Media and Communications offers you foundational knowledge for the 21st century. It will equip you with a critical understanding of the constantly changing global media environment and technologies, and provide core research and professional skills valued across a range of media sectors.
The wide array of subjects that comprise the Media and Communications major cover key developments in media industries, new communication technologies and their impact on politics, society and culture. While the main focus is on Australia and the Asia-Pacific, the course has a global orientation, reflecting today’s increasingly interconnected media systems, markets and production ecologies of contemporary digital networks.
- Media management
- Professional writing
- Public relations
Subjects you could take in this major
This subject aims to enhance students’ writing in general by introducing them to the fundamental skills used by professional writers within the Media and Communications industries. Through a workshop format, students will work on their own news stories in order to enhance their mastery of written communication. Students will be made familiar with strategies for planning, editing and revising their work, as well as that of others. Students will also become familiar with various styles and contexts of media writing and develop an introductory understanding of the various writing skills required to communicate effectively to mass audiences. In addition, through the lecture format, students will be introduced to ways of viewing media prose critically by way of theoretical considerations such as rhetoric, the relationship between print media and democracy and between journalism and public relations, editorial constraints, and audience analysis. Introduction to Media Writing is theoretically complementary to Media and Society (MECM10003), and also functions as preparation for those students who may wish to go on to Writing Journalism (MECM30010) in third year.
This subject provides students with a thematic overview of the study of media and communications. The subject addresses the production and distribution of media and the work of media audiences in historical and contemporary contexts. It engages students in debates over the relative analytical power of such approaches as the economics of the media industry and the relations between media, politics and public life. It encourages students to develop their critical capacities by enlarging their understanding of both the empirical nature of the media and the range of theoretical approaches to them.
Research is a vital activity of media professionals and academics. This subject offers a critical introduction to the traditions, approaches and methods used to conduct research into media industries, texts, audiences and platforms. This subject is designed to introduce students to major approaches to media and communications research at an intermediate level. It covers approaches drawn from both humanities and social sciences, including approaches to the analysis of media texts, investigating media audiences, media engagement and media use. Students completing this subject will gain a deeper understanding of a range of different theoretical perspectives on media, and the way in which these are connected to different heuristic and methodological approaches to investigation and research. To this end, the subject draws on a variety of case studies and applications which students will be invited to critically consider. On completing this subject, students will have developed an understanding of different perspectives on and approaches to investigating media, as a basis upon which they can go on to design and undertake their own research projects.
While new communication technologies, satellite broadcasting, and the Internet have contributed to an increasing connectedness between different regions, a deeper understanding of the organizational structure of this ‘connectedness’, the national and transnational regulation and the ways in which these are perceived in different societies and national contexts becomes increasingly important. In particular the inreasing role of supra- and subnational media within such a transnational public require new ‘comparative’ methodological approaches. This subject will explore the organizational, cultural and political structures of transnationally operating media organizations in order to identify new forms of overlap and disjuncture in the international media environment. Students will be introduced to comparative approaches for a deeper understanding of the development and contemporary forms of diverse media structures and societal environments in developing, transitional, and developed countries.
This subject introduces students to techniques in various modes of communication for digital media, with a focus on publishing for the internet. Students receive workshop instruction in digital content creation and web publishing techniques, with the aim of realizing specific projects during the semester. Lectures introduce students to issues in contemporary communications research and a present range of case studies exploring the internet's social, economic and political functions in order to contextualize their understanding of both internet theory and practical communication techniques. On completion of this subject, students will have gained a broad overview and developed skills relevant to working in fields of digital media communication.
This subject examines Australian media with an emphasis on its political nature and issues of media convergence, citizenship, policy, regulation, ownership, governance and local content. Students are encouraged to actively, and critically, examine their own media use. Drawing on this, and a range of case studies, students will engage with debates about journalism and ethics, the nature of commercial and public media, and the changing shape of news and current affairs. Major topics include advertising, commercial television, public broadcasting, newspapers, online media, talkback radio, and journalism and ethics. On completion of this subject, students should have developed a strong grasp of the major thematic issues influencing Australian media.
In this subject students will learn essential skills of digital quantitative and qualitative media research. This will include how to use software tools to collect, clean and analyse social media data (please note: no programming or script writing skills are required). Such skills are widely used in companies, NGOs, governments and the like. Students will apply the skills to write a report on set topics. This subject will provide students with essential skills for careers in media and communications positions, such as audience research, PR, marketing and data journalism.
This subject focuses on the development, management and control of marketing communications, both locally and internationally. Topics will include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and other elements of the communications mix. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of integrating promotional efforts, and on the marketing manager’s role in planning, implementing and evaluating marketing communications. Students will develop an understanding of the operational and creative elements involved in developing promotional campaigns and the strategies used to communicate with target audiences as well as the underlying principles behind these approaches. They will engage with alternative persuasion techniques and potential problems with their adoption, and the proper selection, interpretation, and use of alternative measures of promotional effectiveness. On completion of the subject, students should have developed a strong practical and critical grasp of the different forms and strategies employed in marketing communications.
This subject examines the pressures of technological change on contemporary media institutions and communications practices. Students will be introduced to key debates about media convergence, the relationship between technological change and media practices, and the shift from mass communication to networked communication. A range of case studies drawn from different media sectors including photography, the music industry, television, cinema, and the Internet will be complemented by examination of emerging practices such as video games, digital art and surveillance. Students completing the subject will be able to develop a critical understanding of the forces affecting how new technology is adopted, and will be able to identify the major pressures shaping the media-communications industries in the future.
The Media and Communications Project provides students with an opportunity to conduct an extensive analysis of any form of media output, theoretical framework, institutional structure, or mode of reception. Students will deploy, and reflect upon their selected method of analysis and present their findings in a written report. They will be offered guidance throughout the process of conceiving, designing, executing and writing their report. The final written project should aim to produce a critical evaluation of the topic with reference to relevant positions of theory and debate, the methods and methodology deployed, as well as their own research practice. On completion of this subject, students will have gained critical insight into their chosen topic, as well as a deeper understanding of the processes, stages and methodological requirements for undertaking successful research in the field of Media and Communications. Students will also be asked to give an assessed poster presentation of their work, a format that is widely used by professionals and at academic conferences.
This subject explores global media across different cultures. Students will engage with debates on different aspects of global cultures, including national cultural formations, institutional structures, media ownership, and transnational media. This subject also explores the theme of local resistance to global media representation, including appropriation of these by local audiences. By concentrating on the effects of globalization and new information technologies in and from different geographical regions, students of Global Media Cultures will broaden their understanding of the institutional and cultural contexts of global media. This subject addresses debates on globalization, including those regarding the global-local dialectic, questions of cultural agency, identity politics, and indigenous media. The subject explores key issues on the politics of representation, paying particular attention to questions of subalternity, cultural nationalism and media imperialism, ‘multiculturalism, new technologies, and transnationalism.
This subject teaches the craft of writing hard and soft news stories for a range of digital and print mass media news publications. With an emphasis on news writing, students learn what news is and how (and why) news priorities and story treatment may differ between print, broadcast and online. The subject also looks at how traditional news writing differs from other forms of journalistic writing such as blogs or opinion/comment pieces. Students learn how accuracy, as well as clear and concise language, is vital to all kinds of journalistic writing as well as the critical differences between creative writing, public relations writing (PR) and journalistic writing. The subject introduces the core skill of interviewing with students provided with ample opportunity to put into practice what is covered in both lectures and classes. The subject also looks at professional codes of ethics and editorial policies. On completion of this subject students should have a strong grasp of current journalistic practices and required skills.