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MFCO103 Introduction to Communication Studies

An introduction to communication theories, media and genres.

This paper introduces students to the concepts and debates that are vital for the study of communication today. It examines the social, personal, economic and ethical effects of communication and media systems that increasingly dominate contemporary society.

This is a foundation paper for a BA in Communication Studies and for studies in Media, Film and Communication more generally. It is also a core paper for a minor in Science Communication.

Paper title Introduction to Communication Studies
Paper code MFCO103
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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COMS 101
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff

Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Anne Begg

Paper Structure

This paper provides an overview of three interrelated areas:

  • Theories of communication
  • Debates in communication studies
  • Types of communication


  • Reading Responses 25%
  • Essay Preparation Task 15%
  • Essay 30%
  • Exam 30%
Teaching Arrangements
Twice weekly lectures
10 tutorials across the course of the semester
Optional library study-skills session
Course readings will be available on eReserve through Blackboard.
Course outline

View a sample course outline for MFCO 103

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Be able to define communication as an object of study
  • Understand the centrality of communication in contemporary society
  • Develop a basic knowledge of theories of communication
  • Develop an understanding of various types of communication

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16-22
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 10-14, 16, 18-21
T2 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 10-14, 16, 18-21
T3 Tuesday 17:00-17:50 10-14, 16, 18-21
T4 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 10-14, 16-21
T5 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 10-14, 16-21
T6 Wednesday 17:00-17:50 10-14, 16-21
T7 Thursday 12:00-12:50 10-14, 16-21
T8 Thursday 14:00-14:50 10-14, 16-21
T9 Thursday 16:00-16:50 10-14, 16-21