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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Media Audiences and Consumption
Module Code CM536
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Madeline Boughton
Semester 2: Madeline Boughton
Autumn: Madeline Boughton
Module TeachersMadeline Boughton
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Students undertaking this module will gain an understanding of the importance of audience analysis and research in contemporary media and communication studies. It aims to familiarise students with a broad range of theories and methods used in the study of media effects and audiences in both historical and contemporary contexts. Drawing on a range of media texts, the module will examine the ways in which meanings are generated for, and interpreted by audiences, in order to enhance our understanding of what people do, or don’t do, with media in society and culture. We examine media audiences as viewers, readers, listeners, producers, participants, activists.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of a range of key theoretical approaches to audience studies
2. Identify the range of relationships that exist between the media and their audiences.
3. Evaluate different theoretical and methodological approaches to the academic study of audiences.
4. Apply abstract knowledge of media audiences to empirical contexts.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Theories, methodologies and analysis of empirical and contemporary media audiences consumption
Directed learning12Students are required to prepare in advance of, and participate in, class discussions and debates.
Independent Study66Students are expected to undertake research and readings of core course content in addition to studying relevant supplementary reading material.
Assignment Completion148Preparation, research, analysis and completion of two course assignments commensurate with a ten credit module.
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

Overview of debates, issues and trends in contemporary audience studies
Power, Ideology and Meanings: Encoding/Decoding: The 'active audience': reading and resistance: The Pleasures of the Text: Women's Genres; Cultural Public Sphere, Counter Publics and Fan theory; Contexts of viewing: domesticity and home: 'New Media' and modes of consumption.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Research PaperStudent will draft an audience research proposal, drawing on course content, including rationale, methodology and research design.35%As required
EssayStudent will be required to complete an essay, from a choice of three topics, which will be based around the core course content.65%Sem 2 End
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

  • Gillespie, M (ed): 2005, Media Audiences, Open University Press,
  • Brooker, W. and D. Jermyn: 2003, The Audience Studies Reader, Routledge, London,
  • Abercrombie, N and B. Longhurst: 1998, Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination,
  • Ruddock, A.: 2001, Understanding Audiences: Theory and Method, Sage, London,
  • Staiger, J.: 2000, Perverse Spectators: The Practices of Film Reception, New York University Press,
  • Kuhn, A.: 2002, An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory, I.B. Tauris, London,
  • Askew, K. and R.R. Wilk: 2002, The Anthropology of Media: A Reader, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Morley, D.: 1980, The 'Nationwide' Audience, British Film Institute, London,
  • Morley, D: 1986, Family Television: Cultural Power and Domestic Leisure, Comedia, London,
  • Kelly, M.J. and B O'Connor: 1997, Media Audiences in Ireland: Power and Cultural Identity, University College Dublin Press, Dublin,
  • Hay, J., L. Grossberg and E. Wartella: 1996, The Audience and its Landscape, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado,
  • Alasuutari, P. (ed): 1999, Rethinking the Media Audience, Sage, London,
  • Bailey, S.: 2005, Media Audience and Identity: Self-Construction and the Fan Experience, Palgrave/Macmillan, Oxford,
  • Bird, E.: 2003, The Audience in Everyday Life: Living in a Media World, Routledge, London,
  • Delanty, G., Giorgi. L., & Sassatelli. M: 2011, Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere, Routledge, London,
  • Gauntlett, D.: 2005, Moving Experiences: Understanding Television's Influences and Effects, Westview Press, Boulder,
  • Morley, D.: 1992, Television Audiences and Cultural Studies, Routledge, London,
  • Nightingale, V.: 2012, The Handbook of Media Audiences, Routledge, London,
  • Staiger, J.: 2005, Media Reception Studies, New York University Press, New York,
  • Sullivan, John L.: 2013, Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions and Power, Sage, London,
  • Croteau, D. & Hoynes, W.: 2019, Media/Society: Technology, Industries, Content and Users, Sixth, Sage Publications,
  • Lull, J.: 1990, Inside Famkily Viewing: ethnographic research on television's audiences, Routledge,
  • Ruddock, A.: 2007, Investigating Audiences, Sage, London,
  • Annette Hill: 2007, Restyling Factual TV Audiences and News, Documentary and Reality Genres, First, Routledge,
  • 1994: Stargazing: Hollywood cinema and female spectatorship, Routledge, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
CSPMMaster of Arts
MADPMasters in Documentary Practice
MPCSMPhil (Communications)
MSHCMSc in Science and Health Communication
Date of Last Revision18-SEP-09

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