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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.

This paper introduces students to key conceptual frameworks methodologies that cut across the disciplines of media, film and communication studies. Students will learn how academic disciplines produce research in particular ways, and work towards situating their own research within media, film and communication studies to the development of their chosen Honours dissertation 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 (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 or FIME points
COMS 401, FIME 401, MFCO 403
Teaching staff

Convenor: Dr Brett Nicholls and MFCO staff.

Paper Structure

The paper is structured around the following learning outcomes:

  • The identification of key conceptual frameworks and methodologies that characterise the disciplines of media, film and communication studies - in both historical and contemporary contexts
  • Development of a critically-engaged disposition to media, film and communication texts
  • Instruction on the implementation of relevant scholarly concepts and methodologies appropriate to the student's Honours dissertation


  • Critical summary of a set reading 25%
  • Position paper on a theoretical issue 25%
  • Discussion starter 10%
  • Take-home exam 40%
Teaching Arrangements

Twenty-six 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.
Course outline

View a sample course outline for MFCO 401

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 conceptual frameworks and methodologies that characterise the disciplines of media, film and communication studies
  • Understand how research is situated and produced within a particular cultural context
  • 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 Friday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 16-22
N1 Monday 13:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41