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    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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Theory of Communication Studies
    Subject Media, Film and Communication
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    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


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
    Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 11-13, 15-22
    A2 Thursday 11:00-11:50 11-13, 15-16, 18-22
    A3 Thursday 15:00-15:50 11-13, 15-16, 18-22
    A4 Thursday 16:00-16:50 11-13, 15-16, 18-22
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