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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Analysing Visual Media Texts
Module Code CM135
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Mark O'Brien
Semester 2: Mark O'Brien
Autumn: Mark O'Brien
Module TeachersMark O'Brien
Angelos G. Bollas
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The aim is to develop core foundational skills for reading and interpreting the still and moving image – primarily photography and film – by examining characteristics of formal/stylistic composition and media conventions alongside the interpretative frameworks of semiotic and representational (ideological) analysis

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically engage with visual methodologies literature
2. Understand the relationship between media texts and their historical, political and cultural contexts
3. Develop the grammar and language of media analysis to interpret a range of visual media
4. Apply a study of the signs and meanings of still and moving images
5. Complete a close textual analysis of a range of media texts

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Weekly class contact
Seminars11Weekly presentations and discussion
Group work35Group assignment - visual image analysis
Assignment Completion35Individulal assignment - textual analysis of film
Online activity40Use of course-related material on Moodle
Directed learning30Curated visits to art galleries and exhibitions
Independent Study30Accessing media studies and film journals
Independent Study47General research and writing
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Visual Media Literacy

Compositional Interpretation

Semiology and Advertising Images

Media Literacy

Ideology & Photography

Film Form

Film Story-telling: story structure, film narrative and narration

Film Genres: genre tropes, mythology and marketing

Documentary & Music Videos: moving image media

New Smart/Postmodern Film TV

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentGroup and solo assignments: Analyse and interpret still images, using semiotics and other tools of analysis. Demonstrate knowledge of module's core concepts and theories. Apply tools to analysis of visual media100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Rose, Gillian: 2001, Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials,
  • Geiger and Rutsky: 2005, Film Analysis: A Norton Reader,
  • Croteau & Hoynes: 2014, Media/Society: Industries, Images & Audiences,
  • P. Brereton: 2001, Continuum Guide to Media Education, Continuum,
  • G. Branston and R. Stafford: 2006, The Media Studies Guide, Routledge,
  • P. Long and T. Wall: 2009, Media Studies:, Pearson,
  • J. Nelmes (ed): 2007, Introduction to Film Studies, 3rd ed, Routledge Press,
  • J. Hill and P. C. Gibson: 1998, The Oxford Guide to Film Studies, Oxford Press,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BAJLBachelor of Arts (BAJL)
BAJMBachelor of Arts (BAJM)
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSCIBA Social Sciences & Cultural Innovation
CSBA in Communication Studies
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Date of Last Revision11-FEB-05

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