Media and Communications
What will I study?
Your course structure
The Bachelor of Arts requires the successful completion of 24 subjects (300-points), including at least one major. Most students study eight subjects each year (usually four subjects in each semester) for three years full-time, or the part-time equivalent.
Most Arts majors require 100 points of study (usually eight subjects) for attainment. This means out of your 300-point program, you have the opportunity to achieve two majors in your course.
COMPLETING YOUR MAJOR
If you are taking Media and Communications as a major, you must complete:
- One Level 1 subject and one Arts Foundation subject
- 37.5 points (usually three subjects) of level 2 elective subjects
- 25 points (usually two subjects) of level 3 elective subjects and
- One level 3 capstone subject
If you are taking Media and Communications as a minor, you must complete:
- One level 1 subject and one Arts Foundation subject
- 25 points (usually two subjects) of level 2 elective subjects (usually at second year)
- 25 points (usually two subjects) of level 3 elective subjects (usually at third year)
Breadth is a unique feature of the Melbourne Model. It gives you the chance to explore subjects outside of arts, developing new perspectives and learning to collaborate with others who have different strengths and interests — just as you will in your future career.
Some of our students use breadth to explore creative interests or topics they have always been curious about. Others used breadth to improve their career prospects by complementing their major with a language, communication skills or business expertise.
Ashleigh Barraclough is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media and Communications.
Media and Communications has given me a good background knowledge for journalism. It has raised a lot of broad questions about the meaning of journalism, reporting, and the media within democracy and has raised lot of background questions on ethics.
I started working at Farrago (the student publication of the University of Melbourne) as a campus reporter, and the following year became the editor. Working at Farrago I get to put both publishing and journalism into practice.
I was actually in a Media and Communications class, called Introduction to Media Writing, when the editors came in and were talking about all of the different positions they had on offer at Farrago the following semester. The campus reporter role appealed to me as a quite journalistic role, where I could put what I was learning in the classroom into practice, and would have an editor keeping me accountable!
A couple of the more practical journalism subjects in the course include Introduction to Media Writing, a first year subject, that offers a really good way to gauge how to write in many different genres. And then there’s Text and Audio Journalism in second year - a very practical subject that includes digital and mobile journalism.
Explore this major
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this major.
Who we are and what we do is all tangled up in our identity. This subject considers how identities are constructed and maintained through mediated processes of self and other. The subject investigates the myriad demands and devices that figure in constructing our senses of self and other (including language, leisure, beliefs and embodied practices). By exploring identity in diverse contexts, across time and place, the subject maps varying conceptions of self and other and how these conceptions are constructed and maintained. A key focus is on how these mediated conceptions of self and other are translated into material practices of inclusion, exclusion, discrimination, violence and criminalisation.
Language plays a central role in the central disciplinary areas in the humanities and social sciences. This subject gives students tools for thinking about language in a range of disciplines, including linguistics, history, sociology, politics, literary studies, anthropology, language studies, psychology and psychoanalytic theory. It shows how language can be analysed as a system, but also how language features centrally in politcal and social contexts: for example, in the processing of the claims of asylum seekers, in developing views of ethnicity, race and nation, and in colonialism; and in the construction of gendered and sexual identity. The role of language in the psyche, and the process of acquisition of languages in children and in adults, are also important topics. Knowing how to think about language, and familiarity with the main thinkers who have discussed language in a range of humanities and social science disciplines, provide an indispensable basis for study in any area of the Arts degree.
The idea of power is a way to grasp the character of social relations. Investigating power can tell us about who is in control and who may benefit from such arrangements. Power can be a zero-sum game of domination. It can also be about people acting together to enact freedom. This subject examines the diverse and subtle ways power may be exercised. It considers how power operates in different domains such as markets, political systems and other social contexts. It also examines how power may be moderated by such things as regulation and human rights. A key aim is to explore how differing perspectives portray power relations and how issues of power distribution may be characterised and addressed.
Reason, many believe, is what makes us human. Until recently, most scientists and philosophers agreed that the ability to use the mind to analyse and interpret the world is something intrinsic to the nature of our species. Reason has a long and extraordinary history. We will explore a number of inter-related themes: the nature of reason from Ancient Greece to our contemporary world; the ever shifting relationship between reason and faith; reason's place in the development of scientific experimentation and thinking; shifting perspectives about the uses of Reason and, finally, how reason relates to theories of the mind, exploring the tensions between reason, the passions and the will.
Reason will take you on a journey from Plato's cave to the neuro-scientists' lab. We will visit revolutions in science, thinking and politics. We will explore the impact of some of the great philosophers of history, including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Bentham, Coleridge, Marx, Nietzsche, Foucault and many more besides. By the end of this subject you will have a deep understanding of the importance of the idea of reason to human history and philosophy. You might, even, be able to answer the question: 'does reason exist?'
Reason is an Arts Foundation Subject and we will argue that understanding the history and philosophy of reason provides great insights into many aspects of the humanities from political philosophy to understanding history. We will, of course, be paying particular attention to the foundational skills that will help you successfully complete your Arts major: particularly critical thinking and argument development.
- First Peoples in a Global Context12.5
First Peoples in a Global Context
This subject will provide students with an introduction to the complexity, challenges and richness of Australian Indigenous life and cultures. Drawing on a wide range of diverse and dynamic guest lecturers, this subject gives students an opportunity to encounter Australian Indigenous knowledges, histories and experiences through interdisciplinary perspectives. Across three thematic blocks - Indigenous Knowledges, Social and Political Contexts and Representation/Self-Representation - this subject engages contemporary cultural and intellectual debate. Social and political contexts will be considered through engagement with specific issues and a focus on Indigenous cultural forms, which may include literature, music, fine arts, museum exhibitions and performance, will allow students to consider self-representation as a means by which to disrupt and expand perceptions of Aboriginality.
Humans grapple with representations of themselves and their contexts. They also like to imagine other possible worlds. We use words, language, images, sounds and movement to construct narratives and stories, large and small, about the trivial and the profound, the past and the future. These representations can help us to understand worlds but they can also create worlds for us. This subject explores how different genres such as speech, writing, translation, film, theatre and art generate representations of social life, imagination and the human condition. A key aim of the subject is to develop a critical appreciation of how language, images and embodied gestures are used to construct empowering and disempowering discourses.
- Introduction to Media Writing12.5
Introduction to Media Writing
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.
- Media and Society12.5
Media and Society
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.
- Understanding Australian Media 12.5
Understanding Australian Media
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, radio, online media, alternative media, media regulation, and journalism and ethics. On completion of this subject, students should have developed a strong grasp of the major thematic issues influencing Australian media.
- Comparing Media Systems 12.5
Comparing Media Systems
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.
- Internet Communication 12.5
This subject introduces students to practical techniques underpinning effective communication for the internet. Students participate in lab-based workshops in researching, producing and evaluating various forms of digital communication, with the aim of realizing a specific online project during the semester. Lectures contextualize the practical workshops within contemporary media and communications studies research to provide a critical understanding of the social, economic and political issues associated with internet communication and digital culture. Topics covered include online collaboration, visual communication, impression management, peer economies, and digital labor.
- Approaches to Media Research 12.5
Approaches to Media Research
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.
- Text and Audio Journalism 12.5
Text and Audio Journalism
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. Students will learn how to write news and feature stories, as well as producing one piece of broadcast journalism. Students learn how accuracy, as well as clear and concise language. 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.
- Media and Communications Project12.5
Media and Communications Project
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.
- Digital Media Research12.5
Digital Media Research
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.
- Media Futures and New Technologies12.5
Media Futures and New Technologies
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.
- Marketing Communications12.5
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 marketing 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.
- Digital and Mobile Journalism12.5
Digital and Mobile Journalism
This subject teaches writing, research and production skills for digital media, with a particular focus on journalism created on mobile devices, a significant, but still emerging, field of contemporary news production. Students learn how to produce and manage content across a range of digital media platforms and formats (video, audio, image, text); with a key component of the course shooting video and recording audio to industry standard using their own mobile devices. Techniques taught involve coverage of both breaking news and scripted news stories, as well as practices of curating and spreading digital content. Students also learn to edit news stories and rich media files using a range of software designed for phones, laptops and desktop computers.
The practical skills taught are embedded in a pedagogical framework of media ethics and digital transformation studies.
- Media Psychology12.5
Issues of trust, identity, and evaluating credibility, are central to any consideration of knowledge claims within the context of social media communication and public debate more broadly. This subject will engage with a range of new theoretical understandings and empirical data under the rubric of ‘cyberpsychology’ to gain critical assessments of this fast-changing field. Topics such as online identity, online relationships and dating, pornography, children’s use of the internet, cyber bullying, online games and gambling, and deception and online crime will comprise the core elements of study.
- Perspectives in Global Media Cultures12.5
Perspectives in Global Media Cultures
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. 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 interaction, questions of cultural agency, identity politics, and the economic and political functions of social media. The subject explores key issues on the politics of representation, paying particular attention to questions of cultural nationalism and media concentration, new technologies, and technological determinism.