Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

MFCO202 Theory of Communication Studies

Communication theory as it applies to cultural, media, and technological contexts and processes.

All forms of media communication are social and shaped by our cultural and political environment. This is why we communicate in some ways and not others. MFCO 202 provides a critical overview of forms and theories of mediated communications in order to explain how we communicate differently to different audiences and publics. The paper investigates the centrality of communication to the formation of ideologies/citizenship, popular culture, audiences, and institutions of power.

Paper title Theory of Communication Studies
Paper code MFCO202
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.

^ Top of page

18 COMS or MFCO points
COMS 201
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff

Convenor and Lecturer: To be advised.

Paper Structure

The paper covers three key themes in communication studies and debates:

  • The centrality of communication to social relations
  • The role of media technologies in the establishment and contestation of public opinion
  • The role of communication as an expression of power


Note: This is subject to change before the class commences.

  • 80% Attendance (8 tutorials) and discussion 'starter' activity - 20%
  • Essay (1500 - 2000 words) - 30%
  • Journal (equivalent 1000 words) - 20%
  • Test (approximately 2000 words) - 30%
Teaching Arrangements

Two 1-hour lectures per week
One 1-hour tutorial per week


Required readings are provided via Blackboard or the course readings.

Course outline

View a sample course outline for MFCO 202

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Be able to evaluate the social and political assumptions informing theories of communication
  • Explain how space and culture influence our public identity and public forms of communication
  • Develop the capacity to critically analyse a range of contemporary media texts and their public effects

^ Top of page


Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 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
A1 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 11-14, 16-22
A2 Thursday 11:00-11:50 11-14, 16-22
A3 Thursday 15:00-15:50 11-14, 16-22
A4 Thursday 16:00-16:50 11-14, 16-22