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Module UXS-2046:
Media, Politics & Society

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Dyfrig Jones

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to examine the media within its socio-political context, looking at the way in which both media texts and media institutions are shaped by social and political pressures, as well as the impact of the media on politics and society.

Course content

This module will help students answer challenging and important questions by introducing key media theories and using them to think about power in our society. Students will learn how to assess and discuss the relevance and impact of milestones in media and mass communications theory from the nineteenth century to the present, exploring theoretical approaches to media content, production, regulation and reception, including key themes such as freedom of speech, public sphere and political economy.

On completion of this module students will understand the structures and workings of local, regional and national government. The module will provide students with an understanding of the relationship between journalists/the news media and the public including concepts of the public as citizens and consumers, as well as differing approaches to measuring and understanding media audiences.

Assessment Criteria


B- to B+ (60-69%) - Strong knowledge - Understands most but not all - Evidence of background study - Focused answer with good structure - Arguments presented coherently - Mostly free of factual/computational errors - Some limited original interpretation - Well known links between topics are described - Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches - Good presentation with accurate communication


A- to A* (70% +) - Comprehensive knowledge - Detailed understanding - Extensive background study - Highly focused answer and well structured - Logically presented and defended arguments - No factual/computational errors - Original interpretation - New links between topics are developed - New approach to a problem - Excellent presentation with very accurate communication

C- to C+

C- to C+ (50-59%) - Knowledge of key areas/principles - Understands main areas - Limited evidence of background study - Answer focused on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure - Arguments presented but lack coherence - Has several factual/computational errors - No original interpretation - Only major links between topics are described - Limited problem solving - Some weaknesses in presentation and accuracy


D- to D+ (40-49%) - Knowledge of key areas/principles only - Weaknesses in understanding of main areas - Limited evidence of background study - Answer only poorly focused on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure - Arguments presented but lack coherence - Several factual/computational errors - No original interpretation - Only major links between topics are described - Limited problem solving - Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy - Exceeds expectations for some primary criteria - Moderate factual knowledge with several weaknesses in understanding - A few ideas/arguments are presented but with weaknesses

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain the relationship between political structures, social changes, and media institutions

  2. Demonstrate a strong understanding of key theoretical concepts and debates in media studies.

  3. Use evidence to support academic arguments about the role of the media in society.

  4. Demonstrate the ability to present critical arguments regarding the influence of politics on media institutions

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY 2000 Word Essay

2000 word essay, drawing upon the essay plan completed for Assignment 1


Detailed essay plan, outlining a ten-point essay structure. Each point in the plan should be accompanied by a properly cited academic source, relevant to the essay question, and a short summary of the source.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


11 x 1 hour weekly lecture


11 x 1 hour weekly seminar

Private study

Students will be expected to work individually, undertaking research relevant to their assessment.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Butsch, R. (2007). Media and Public Spheres. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. Curran, J. (2002). Media, power and politics Doyle, G. (2002). Media Ownership The Economics and Politics of Convergence and Concentration in the UK and European Media. London: SAGE Publications. Feintuck, & Varney. (2006). Media regulation, public interest and the law. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Freedman, D. (2013). The Politics of Media Policy. Hoboken: Wiley. Hallin, D., & Mancini, P. (2012). Comparing media systems beyond the Western world (Communication, society, and politics). New York: Cambridge University Press. Kuhn, R. (2007). Politics and the media in Britain (Contemporary political studies series). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Lunt, P., & Livingstone, S. (2012). Media regulation: Governance and the interests of citizens and consumers. McCargo, D (2003). Media and Politics in Pacific Asia (Politics in Asia). Taylor and Francis. McChesney, R. (2015). Rich Media, Poor Democracy : Communication Politics in Dubious Times. New York: The New Press Oates, S. (2008). Introduction to Media and Politics. London: Sage Publications. Street, J. (2001). Mass media, politics, and democracy. New York: Palgrave. 20 Siebert, F., Peterson, T., & Schramm, W. (1956). Four theories of the press: The authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility, and Soviet communist concepts of what the press should be and do. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois press.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: