Media and Communication Studies C: Methods in Media and Communication Studies II

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 2IV171

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Media and Communication Studies G2F
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

Entry requirements

60 credits in media and communication studies

Learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • account for and show understanding of the key methods in Media and Communication Studies, in relation to the three following dimensions of research practice: Texts; People; Change and Comparison,
  • account for and show understanding of the affordances and limits of each of the discussed methods,
  • show in-depth understanding of the role of theory in supporting Media and Communication Studies methods,
  • account for and show in-depth awareness of principles for good research practice and the meaning of scientific misconduct and fraud,

Competence and skills

  • independently apply one method from each of the three dimensions (Texts; People; Change and Comparison),
  • independently embed the applied methods in a research design (including the independent formulation of a research problem, purpose and research questions and the choice of object for study and methodological approach),
  • adequately select, motivate and apply a relevant theoretical framework throughout the research process for the applied methods,
  • present ones' own and others' research in written and oral form,

Judgement and approach

  • critically and independently evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different methods in Media and Communication Studies, and the appropriateness of their usage in academic research projects,
  • critically and independently reflect on their own and others' contributions to knowledge production,
  • critically and independently reflect on different methodological approaches and their own research from philosophy of science and ethical perspectives.


This course is an in-depth follow-up on the course MCS B/Methods in Media and Communication Studies I, and deepens the knowledge and understanding as well as application of different research traditions and methodological approaches in Media and Communication Studies.

The course consists out of three modules: 1) Texts, 2) People and 3) Change & Comparison. Each module has (a) a methodological-theoretical component, which consists out of lectures focused on the particular methods, and (b) an applied research component, where students work with one particular method of their choice to research a small case study. When selecting methods for the applied research components, at least one quantitative, and at least one qualitative method needs to be selected.

The three modules incorporate the following methods:

  1. Texts: Quantitative and Qualitative Content analysis, Semiotic analysis, Discourse analysis
  2. People: Survey analysis, Experiments, Data-mining, Ethnographic research, Reception analysis
  3. Change & comparison: Longitudinal quantitative analysis, Historical research, Comparative research, (Participatory) Action research

The course provides the students with further training in designing research projects, and the integration of theory in the entire research process. All the methods exercises are solidly anchored in a philosophy of science framework, encouraging critical methodological reflection, including ethical reflections and in-depth awareness of principles for good research practice and the meaning of scientific misconduct and fraud. The course serves as a preparation for the Bachelor thesis and for further academic work.


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


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

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.