BMA0C202 – Media Theory

Module code
Module title
Media Theory
This module investigates a selection of dominant media theories. Students will become familiar with research undertaken as a result of these theoretical developments, and will consider how contemporary media events can be considered in the light of different theoretical paradigms.
  • BM9601
  • CO0005
NZQA Level
Level 6
NZQA Credits
Delivery method
  • Web-Enhanced
Learning hours
Directed hours
Self directed hours
Total learning hours
Resources required
Learning Outcomes

2.1Understand and apply a process for developing and refining ideas
- discuss, identify and evaluate issues presented in lectures
- discuss, identify and evaluate issues extracted from relevant texts
- complete self-directed research and reflect upon working processes
- show evidence of drawing together and applying skills and knowledge from previous and concurrent courses

2.2 Understand relevant aspects of the critical discourse surrounding a contemporary practice
- produce written and oral analyses of selected texts, identifying relevant issues
- use writing and research strategies to analyse and describe selected texts
- reflect critically on relationships between representative texts, examples of work and self practice
- produce oral and written interpretations of and comparisons between selected works
- develop and test rationales for self practice
- conduct conventional presentations of outcomes

2.3Understand the media landscape
- discuss how the media communicates to its audience
- examine the historical development of media
- discuss the development of selected concepts related to the media
- examine the relationship between technology and media products
- explain different data collection methods and different reality claims
- discuss communication models

2.4Understand institutional, intentional and receptive media theories
- explain theories in structures and functions of media industries
- discuss how structures affect media products
- explain interpretive and perceptive media theories
- discuss a variety of reception theories
- analyse propaganda
- explain theories of persuasion
- discuss interpersonal communication

2.5Understand mass media 'effects and uses' theories
- explain agenda setting, knowledge-gap hypothesis, media effects and uses

2.6Comprehend the process of graded assessment
- employ a vocabulary for describing work
- consider and reflect upon research processes and decisions
- participate in ongoing formative assessment
- consider, discuss and document self and peer performances for graded assessment



3.1 Mass media and society
Models of mass communication
The theory of Limited Effects
The Media as Public Sphere

3.2 Sociological theories
Media dependency,
Agenda setting,
The spiral of silence
Media, crime and social deviance

3.3 Critical theory

3.4 Institutional and structural approaches
Institutions of the media
Media routines
Political economy theory
Content analysis

3.5 Audiences
Reception theories
Theories of persuasion

3.6 Communicating with a range of cultures
Content of interest to a Mori audience
New Zealand cultural identities
Content from at least one other culture
Modes of address appropriate to the audience
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Students undertake exercises prescribed by lecturer to develop skills in analysis of lectures.
Students undertake exercises prescribed by lecturer to develop skills in analysis of texts.
Lecturer prescribes project topics; students identify specific questions within those topics.
Students initiate research relating to content for their own projects.
Lecturer identifies problems with students' process; lecturer and student develop strategies for approaching future projects.
Students participate in informal presentations of their project.
Lecturer monitors student progress through the time management of individual projects.
Students participate in graded assessment according to criteria set by lecturer.