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MFCO401 Advanced Media, Film and Communication Theory

Current issues and theoretical debates in Film, Media and Communication Studies and provides students with writing, research and organisational skills necessary for an Honours degree.

Research is not produced in a vacuum. The type of topic that interests you, the questions you generate and even your preferred referencing style are all informed by a specific method and theory - a particular way of writing, thinking and speaking about knowledge that seems normal or taken for granted. This paper will introduce students to key research methods and methodologies that cut across the disciplines of media, film and communication studies. Students will learn how methodologies produce research in particular ways, situate their own research within methodological practices and apply critical concepts and methods from media, film and communication studies to the development of their chosen MFCO 490 research project. We will also discuss the mechanics of writing, formatting and collating material for a thesis.

Paper title Advanced Media, Film and Communication Theory
Paper code MFCO401
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Full Year
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,120.06
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,439.89

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54 300-level MFCO or FIME points
MFCO 403, COMS 401, FIME 401
Course outline

View a sample course outline for MFCO 401

Teaching staff

Convenor: Associate Professor Catherine Fowler

Paper Structure
The paper is structured around the following learning outcomes:
  • The identification of key methods and methodologies that characterise the disciplines of media, film and communication studies
  • Instruction on the implementation of research methods appropriate to the student's MFCO 490 project
  • Advice and assistance in conceptualising, writing and executing a research project
  • Response paper 25%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Take-home exam 40%
  • Journal 20%
Teaching Arrangements

26 2-hour seminars

Students are expected to participate, lead discussion and take an active part in class seminars and workshops as independent learners.

Course reader available for purchase from Uniprint or via download.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete this paper will:
  • Develop knowledge of the key methods and methodologies that characterise the disciplines of media, film and communication studies
  • Understand how research is situated and produced within a particular methodological history and practice
  • Gain an advanced competency in the verbal and written presentation of research
  • Effectively implement research methods and execute a research project

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 12
Monday 11:00-12:50 9-11, 13-16, 18-22
N1 Monday 11:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41