Digital Media and Communications year 1 modules

Compulsory modules 

Media History and Technologies 

This module introduces students to the history of the media, focusing especially on the ways in which technologies for making and distributing meaning have changed over time. It explores the development of technologies such as writing, the printing press, radio, cinema, television, and the internet. It asks how each of these technologies has related to social, political and communicative changes, and asks; what kinds of society do different media technologies allow us to develop and how?

Professional Communication 

The module will give students an opportunity to explore language and interaction in professional settings. It will introduce students to approaches and methods for analysing forms of oral and written professional discourse from the workplace such as cover letters & job interviews, sales pitches & print advertisements, social media pages, corporate social responsibility reports & crisis management reports, news broadcasting & press releases. It aims to sensitise students to the key role language plays in a range of different professional settings (business, marketing, advertising, education etc), and to offer them an opportunity to put this knowledge into practice through a series of hands-on activities during workshops and seminars. The ultimate aim of the module is to help students develop a range of transferable oral, written and interpersonal skills which are directly relevant to professional life and will thus contribute to enhancing their employability prospects. 

Researching Everyday Communication

This is the first of a pair of first year modules which train students in key research methods in media and communication. It introduces the ways in which we can investigate everyday communication, from apparently simple face-to-face conversations to the intense visual and aural landscape of a city street.

Researching Digital Cultures  

This is the second of a pair of first year modules which train students in key research methods in media and communication. It introduces the ways in which we can investigate digital cultures, from relatively localised communities of practice to the massive networks typical of contemporary social media.

Theories of Communication

For millennia, scholars have asked questions about what communication is and how it works. What does it mean to communicate effectively? What is the relationship between communication and our social lives? How does communication relate to our bodies? Are some ways of communicating better, or more ethical, than others? What differences are there, if any, between human communication and that of other organisms? Can machines communicate? This module addresses such questions, encouraging students to develop their own views, and highlighting the connections between theories of communication and theories of psychology, society, and politics. 

Thinking, Reading and Writing at University

The module aims to ensure that students are equipped with critical strategies for thinking, reading and writing in higher education. Students will explore different academic genres and understand how these disseminate academic knowledge and/or research. The genres will range from the more typical academic essay or academic research article to newer genres such as academic blogs. One of the key skills the module will develop is how to read academic texts critically by using a range of strategies to identify and evaluate arguments in texts. These discussions will be embedded in concepts such as purpose, audience and style which combine to produce successful texts for different audiences. Over the course of the module, students will be introduced to key methods of critical reading & analysis and persuasive writing and provided with opportunities to practice these skills.

Discovering Creative Practice

Discovering Creative Practice will explore how to develop story ideas from scratch. Working both individually and with peers, during the weekly workshops, students will focus on the elements and processes of storytelling – people (creators, characters and consumers), storyworlds (where stories are made, take place and are interacted with), journeys (approaches to narrative, character arc and plot) and forms (scripts, poetry, fiction, creative on-fiction) – using these to discover and reflect on their creative practice.