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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Media Audiences
Module Code CM2770
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Madeline Boughton
Semester 2: Madeline Boughton
Autumn: Madeline Boughton
Module TeachersPat Brereton
Jim Rogers
Madeline Boughton
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module examines the role of media consumption in everyday life and the relationship between media technologies, texts and audiences It argues for the importance of audience and consumption studies as a key component of media studies more generally. It aims to familiarise students with a broad range of theories and methods used in both an historical and contemporary context through engagement with a range of older media such as film and television and newer media such as the internet and mobile phone. In exploring the changing landscape of contemporary media use the module addresses issues of media effects and influences as well as meanings and pleasures.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key theoretical frameworks for studying media audiences.
2. Identify the range of relationships that exist between media and audiences
3. Critically evaluate the range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of audiences
4. Apply abstract knowledge of media audiences to the student's own media use, production and consumption.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Seminars11No Description
Group work40Seminar work and assignment preparation
Independent Study52No Description
Total Workload: 125

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

Ways of thinking about media audiences.
This is an overview of the theoretical and methodological approaches to media audiences.

Media Effects
Mass society and early media effects theories; the hypodermic needle model; Payne Fund studies; propaganda; and studies on the effects of media violence

Uses & Gratifications
The evolution of the uses and gratifications approach; audience power

Reception Studies
The encoding and decoding model; issues of class and gender

New Media Technologies and Audience Transformation
Consideration of the role of technology in shaping media consumption and of transforming cultural spaces.

The Audience as Prod-user
Produsage, and the blurring of distinction between producer and consumer

Cultural Identities: Global Media, Local Audiences
Raises questions about how global media products are interpreted in diverse cultural settings.

Fandom, Identity and Celebrity Culture
Considers the emergence of fans for particular media genres and media personalities and the processes of identification involved.

Audiences, The Market and the Numbers Game
Examines the historical development and current practice of quantifying audiences. Overview and evaluation of quantitative audience data

Global Media / Local Audiences
Examines the interaction of global media content and formats with local audiences / cultural contexts

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
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

  • Sullivan, John L.: 2019, Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power, 2nd, Sage, London, 9781506397405
  • Virginia Nightingale (Editor): 0, The Handbook of Media Audiences,
  • Gauntlett, David: 2005, Moving Experiences: Media Effects and Beyond, 2nd., John Libbey Publishing, Eastleigh UK,
  • Napoli, P.M: 2010, Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences., Columbia University Press, New York,
  • Brooker, W. and D. Jerymn: 2003, The Audience Studies Reader, Routledge, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BAJLBachelor of Arts (BAJL)
BAJMBachelor of Arts (BAJM)
CSBA in Communication Studies
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)

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