Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Andrew McStay
Overall aims and purpose
The purpose of this dual-coded course is to offer students insight into the nature functioning and implications of the modern advertising industry. Focusing on digital media, it considers the history and business of digital advertising, the media environment, how it works, creativity, audiences, technology, threats to the industry, policy and regulation, profiling, privacy, and future trends. By means of weekly case studies students will eventually use theoretical, technical, legal and industrial insight to make recommendations to key stakeholders on trends and best ethical practice.
Topics may include: an overview of digital affordances; examination of the history of digital advertising; analysis of of how it works; consideration of creativity; assessment of key contemporary issues; analysis of media properties and how these may be "hacked"; consideration of new forms of digital profiling, laws and regulations; debating art versus science in advertising; and wider social and moral questions germane to advertising.
C- to C+
Work at this level (C- to C+) will demonstrate above average writing skills, background research and conceptual understanding and a degree of success in using these to understand digital advertising.
At B- to B+ a greater attempt to engage with ideas will have been made. Mistakes may still have been made but the student will have read more broadly and understood their examples in greater depth (whether this be a law, company, technology or other aspect of digital advertising).
At this level of A- and above students will display mature appreciation of digital advertising, its multifaceted nature, theoretical and ethical implications, and will have made an attempt to synthesize this understanding (to compare and contrast, and arrive at an argument). Students will also be able to make rich connections between theory and the real world so to advance understanding of either/both theory or/and appreciation of a practical digital advertising matter.
Work at this level (D and D+) will demonstrate adequate writing skills, a limited amount of background research, some attempt to grapple with concepts and a degree of success in using these to understand digital advertising. At threshold level mistakes will have been made in comprehension and thereafter application.
To have a strong awareness of technical factors that inform digital advertising
To be able to critically analyse digital advertising to advise on best ethical practice
Apply and critique governance frameworks that should guide modern advertising
Synthesise, theorise and make sense of the complexity of digital advertising
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The lecture format will be employed, although the lecturer will be sensitive to need for high levels of interaction so as to ensure comprehension.
This will involve reading course materials and beyond. The latter will encompass academic sources, but also industry reports, policy documents and relevant news sources to be advised by the lecturer.
These will primarily be student-led so as to encourage engagement and maintain weekly enthusiasm.
Students will be required to form study groups to explore topics, compare understanding and prepare for module tasks.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- 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
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- 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.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
Derived from QAA Communication, media, film and cultural studies
- Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or other forms
- Retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research.
- Communicate effectively in interpersonal settings, in writing and a variety of media
- Deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach.
- Put to use a range of information communication technology (ICT) skills and develop, as appropriate, specific proficiencies in utilizing a range of media technologies
Resource implications for students
Minimal. Beyond the suggestion of buying the course textbook, there should be no other resource implications.