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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 28/04/2022 17:15:42

Title of Module: Journalism and Society

Code: JOUR09008 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Dr Margaret  Hughes

Summary of Module

Underpinning the module is the need for students to gain both knowledge and skills that contribute to their employability. In the 21stcentury it can safely be assumed that every organisation is a media organisation and that we all need to understand and have an appreciation of how this impacts and influences practice in the work place.The news media is ubiquitous in our society, its influence is far reaching and its impact is pervasive.

The module will critically examine the relationship between the news media and how it impacts and influences society. It will identify and analyse a range of social and cultural practices operating within and around the news media, and addresses core concerns surrounding news media and journalism in society, including ownership and control and how the mass media, particularly the news media, can influence the social, cultural, economic and political lives in a society. 

The module will also examine news media effects on mass culture and representations of different groups within society both within the context of journalism and sports journalism. Themes covered will include the relationship between sports and the news media; representations of race, gender and nationality, including in sports journalism; and the political and ideological manipulation of sport via media coverage. 

The module will seek to promote an understanding of the significance of the news media in contemporary social life, popular culture, and politics.


  • Students will develop an ability to critically discuss and analyse issues relating to the news media in society, drawing upon both theory and empirical evidence. On completion of this module students will have an awareness of the power, role and impact of the news media in modern society.

  • The assessment approaches adopted will enable students to undertake critical evaluation of the news media and explore this is essay format. However, there will also be an opportunity for students to produce alternative artefacts in assessment, support and tuition will be given in producing shorts films and/or audio that enables issues to be explored.

  • Society cannot evade the power of journalism and the news media in how it learns to understand itself; this module will enable our students to embrace the opportunity to do this and then allow it to inform them in other aspects of their practice and study.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:


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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. L1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of topical debates, theories and perspectives on the role of the news media in contemporary society

L2. L2. Communicate complex arguments and ideas relating to theoretical analyses of the relationship between the news media and society

L3. L3. Demonstrate analytical skills and competencies in the examination of relationships between the news media and society

L4. L4. Apply appropriate academic techniques and conventions in the development of assessed work, undertaking appropriate independent research

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Demonstrating a broad and integrated critical understanding of a wide range of classical and contemporary concepts and theories relevant to a social scientific understanding of news media and journalism.

Demonstrating the ability to evaluate by means of discussion and debate of key areas related to journalism and society, such as models of media effects and theoretical perspectives on journlaism and news media.

A critical understanding of a selection of the principal theories, principles concepts and terminology in the study of the news media and society

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Retrieving a variety of primary and secondary sources relating to the social scientific study of the news media.

Using and developing a range of the principle skills and practices associated with social scientific analyses, including engaging with and analysing a range of texts and electronic sources in the production of assessments relating to journalism and the news media.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Using a range of primary and secondary sources in order to develop an understanding of the use of theories and models related to the news media.

Undertaking critical analysis, evaluation and syntheses of ideas and concepts relating to journalism and society through the assessment mechanism.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicating complex arguments and ideas effectively in both oral and written form through informal class discussions, engagement and debates, communication via the VLE and through the production of assessment

Use a range of IT applications to support and enhance work

Engaging with VLE to access course calendar and module material.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercising autonomy and initiative while fulfilling assessment criteria through research and the production of the assessment.

Engaging with peers, taking into account own and others’ roles and responsibilities in relation to preparation and discussion in seminar classes.

Developing and extending time management skills in the preparation for seminars and assessments.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Staff/student face-to-face contact will take place primarily through lectures and tutorials. Lectures will examine key theories and issues central to the study of media & society. Seminars will be focused on engaging students in the discussion of the theories and issues covered in the lectures and on the development of key competencies related to the seminar learning experience. Seminars will be learner led, with learners working in peer groups. The module will also have an extensive online presence and learners will engage in a number of synchronous and asynchronous online learning and assessment activities, primarily through the module Moodle site. A central focus of the learning, teaching and assessment approach on the module lies in developing learners’ understanding of the processes of learning, engaging them in the development of the information, communication and digital literacies and skills that will support them not only as undergraduate students but as lifelong learners. To further support this, there will be an explicit engagement with personal development planning and reflective practice, supporting learners in the production of a reflective portfolio.

This module will support the acquisition and development of generic attributes and employability, lifelong learning and citizenship competencies by:

1) Surfacing assessment-employability linkages to ensure the skills and competencies learners are developing are made explicit and allowing learners to evidence the development of these skills and competencies

2) Supporting learners in the development of digital literacies through, for example, the use of online research engines and electronic tools. Learners will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their digital skills and competencies and develop their understanding of ‘digital influence’;

3) Providing learners with the opportunity to work with peers in order to develop leadership and negotiation skills and support the development of diversity awareness and interpersonal sensitivity;

4) Supporting learners in the development of self-reflection and evaluation skills and competencies through the explicit focus on personal development planning and the production of a reflective portfolio.

The assessment structure on this module is designed to explicitly support learners in the development of the competencies identified below:

Assessment - Competencies developed
Cognitive - Synthesis
Generic - Criticising
Personal development/citizenship - Self-motivation/cultural awareness

This module will be assessed by a single essay assessment.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
Asynchronous Class Activity36
Personal Development Plan24
Independent Study110
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Deuze, M. & McQuail, D. (2020) McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory: An Introduction. 7th ed. London: Routledge

Cohen, S. 2002. Folk Devils and Moral Panics. 3rd edn. London: Routledge

Rowe, D (2004) Critical Readings: Sport, Culture and the Media, Open University Press.

Hargreaves, J. & Anderson, E (2010) Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender & Sexuality, Routledge

The Athletic

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations 5.3.6 – 5.3.8., available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardArts & Media
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelJournalism
ModeratorKenneth Pratt
External ExaminerDr John Price
Accreditation DetailsN/A
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
L/O 1, 3 & 4 Essay on key concepts in the analysis of journalism and society – 2000 words. (60%)
L/O 2, 3 & 4 Presentation (in the form of a seminar paper/poster/media artefact) on a current event portrayed in the journalism and the news media and based around one of the key themes explored in the module – 10 mins (40%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck mark check markcheck mark400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay check markcheck markcheck mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:
Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.