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MFCO414 Discourse Theory and Practice

Social practices in relation to media and society, the philosophical basis for concepts of discourse, and communication in a range of social contexts.

This is a theoretical and practical paper that will help students to develop an in-depth knowledge of discourse analysis as a research method.

MFCO 414 draws together the theoretical and the practical aspects of discourse analysis within a media and communication studies context. The paper explores the philosophical basis for concepts of discourse, provides an understanding of social practices in relation to media and society, and provides students with the skills to undertake analyses of communication in a range of social contexts.

Paper title Discourse Theory and Practice
Paper code MFCO414
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,206.91
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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54 300-level MFCO points
Teaching staff
Convenor and lecturer: Dr Brett Nicholls


Glynos, Jason, and David R. Howarth. 2007. Logics of critical explanation in social and political theory. London: Routledge.

Additional readings will be available through eReserve on Blackboard.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning,Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Develop an understanding of the differences between hermeneutic and positivist approaches to social research
  • Engage with the critical assumptions underlying concepts of discourse
  • Identify the key features of discourse analysis in a global context
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of discourse analysis as a research method
  • Critically reflect on the ehtics of social research
  • Undertake a discourse analysis of a media object or situation
  • Conduct advanced independent research

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41