Theory of Communication Studies

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Theory of Communication Studies

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Communication, Mass Communications, Media and Journalism, Media Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    MFCO103 or COMS 101 or 72 points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Communication theory as it applies to cultural, media, and technological contexts and processes.

    All forms of media communication are social and shaped by our cultural and political environment. This is why we communicate in some ways and not others. MFCO 202 provides a critical overview of forms and theories of mediated communications in order to explain how we communicate differently to different audiences and publics. The paper investigates the centrality of communication to the formation of public space, citizenship, popular culture and institutions of power. The paper explores: the public sphere; citizenship, education and health; new mediated sociality; communication as a form of governance; fannish communications; and diasporic uses of media communications.

    Course Structure
    The course covers three key themes in communication studies and debates:
    -The centrality of communication to social relations
    -The role of media technologies in the establishment and contestation of public opinion
    -The role of communication as an expression of power

    -Blog: 25%
    -Written/creative exercise: 25%
    -Group presentation: 25%
    -Exam: 25%

    Learning Outcomes
    Students who successfully complete this paper will:
    -Be able to evaluate the social and political assumptions informing theories of communication
    -Explain how space and culture influence our public identity and public forms of communication
    -Develop the capacity to critically analyse a range of contemporary media texts and their public effects

    Course reader

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.