Media and Communication Studies A: Methodology and Media and Communications Studies

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 2IV162

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Media and Communication Studies G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 27 February 2020
Responsible department
Department of Informatics and Media

General provisions

This course is part of the Bachelor program in Media and Communication and Journalism.

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate basic understanding of key concepts of, and the principles behind, methodology within Media and Communication Studies in a philosophy of science framework,
  • understand how paradigms and research traditions impact on research in Media and Communication Studies,
  • understand methodologies of relevance for Media and Communication Studies,
  • demonstrate basic knowledge of principles for good research practice and the meaning of scientific misconduct and fraud.
  • describe the role of universities (and the higher education system) as knowledge carriers and intermediaries in today's society.

Competence and skills

  • identify different paradigms (and their epistemological, ontological and axiological foundations), research traditions and methodologies in Media and Communication Studies,
  • propose and argue for relevant methods for different types of research in Media and Communication Studies,
  • communicate and discuss - both orally and in writing - research and different approaches to research in Media and Communication Studies.

Judgement and approach

  • critically and independently evaluate different methodological approaches in research,
  • critically and independently evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different methods in Media and Communication Studies,
  • critically and independently evaluate the ethical problems connected to Media and Communication Studies of various kinds.


The course is an introduction to methodology in Media and Communication Studies framed within a philosophy of social science approach.

Firstly, the students will learn how different paradigms different paradigms (defined in a Ritzerean approach, as academic ideologies) define research, because of their different views on reality (ontology), perspectives on knowledge production (epistemology) and value and moral judgements (axiology). This part will also address the role of universities as one of the prime societal locations for the generation of knowledge, which is grounded in these paradigms. Secondly, the course discusses how, in the field of Media and Communication studies, these different paradigms are translated into different research traditions, which again structure the research preferences and outcomes. The course, thirdly, provides a fundamental understanding of the basic principles of qualitative and quantitative methodology, and studies how these methodologies organise their truth claims. This is complemented by other methodological approaches such as historical, hermeneutical, critical methodologies etc. Fourthly, there is throughout the course a substantial focus on research ethics, including criteria and principles for good research practice, the meaning of scientific misconduct and fraud etc.

The course is reflexive in its character, and has the explicit objective to present highly complex methodological discussions in ways that are accessible to early-stage students. It provides the students with the methodological foundation needed for analysing, critically assessing and conducting research. It prepares the students for future courses, where training in particular methodological techniques and methods for conducting data collection and analysis will be provided.


Lectures, seminars and workshops are combined with individual and group work activities and assignments. Seminars and workshops are always compulsory.


The course is examined through active participation in compulsory activities, in individual and group-work assignments, and in written examinations.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator or a decision by the department's working group for study matters.