This course introduces students to the core concepts and ideas related to media audiences. Media audiences refer to people and their media practices. We focus on studies within media and culture that define audiences not as spectators, or passive subjects, but rather as people engaged in dynamic and creative practices, such as political activism, citizen journalism, fan activities, or television participants.
The mantra on this course is 'assume less, investigate more.’ This means that empirical studies of audiences are significant for enhancing our understanding of what people do, or don’t do, with media in society and culture. We look at media audiences across various spaces, such as cross media content, hybrid genres, global and local audiences, and across various identity positions as viewers, readers, listeners, producers, participants, activists.
The intellectual architecture for the course is based on four areas: identities, engagement, contexts and methods.
First, we consider theories of identities and subjectivities, including performance of selves, key concepts that are crucial to the study of individuals and social relations. The second concept relates to the study of media engagement, drawing on contemporary research on different stages of political and cultural engagement in social movements, news, or entertainment. Third, we examine the significance of situated audience research, where people’s practices are put into the context of fandom and intense kinds of engagement, or the context of everyday life and day to day routines. Finally, the course addresses qualitative methods used in audience research, specifically interviews.
Part of this course involves conducting interviews with audiences for a specially designed project, thus including empirical research in your learning experience. The overall aim of the course is to highlight how the study of audience engagement is crucial to understanding the changing nature of contemporary media in society and culture.
Media audiences testimonials
Media Audiences Testimonials
You truly feel like you’re a part of an
advanced and intellectually challenging course.
The Media Audiences course has been one of the most interesting and challenging courses in the Media and Communications Department.
The course not only helped me challenge the ideas and convictions I had but also gave me alternative ways to look at and better understand media audiences.
I had a wonderful experience on this course
Media Audiences made for a fantastic start to my postgraduate career
I think the topic of media audiences is crucial when studying media and having an understanding of it would benefit anyone in further study or future career.
The committed and highly experienced teachers featured exciting case studies of people’s engagement with all kinds of media – from reality TV shows to right-wing populism and Donald Trump.
The Media Audiences course was very eye opening and mind-expanding; we got an opportunity to apply various theories in action through the use of qualitative research.
The media audience course has been important to me
While this course is beneficial for beginning graduate work in media studies, the material is helpful for making sense of life outside of the classroom
If you want to gain understanding of conceptual building blocks upon which contemporary media industry is built and how audience analysis should be approached from multiple perspectives, then this course is for you.
It is inspiring to listen to other students' opinions that can make you understand one issue from different angles.
It is a course that truly provides graduate level quality
It’s a stimulating and challenging course that gives you wonderful insight into the truly fascinating world of media audiences!
It was a fabulous experience, sharing ideas, discussing, criticising, struggling, with people from various cultural backgrounds.
Since the audience is inevitable part of any media related studies, this course helped me to get deeper insight into the theoretical concepts which could be used when inspecting media audience related research.
The Media and Communication studies course Media Audiences hosted by Professor Annette Hill has been an enriching experience.