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JOVA5 Research Directions in Communication and Media Studies 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Degree Programme in Journalism and Communication
Journalism and Mass Communication
School of Communication, Media and Theatre

Learning outcomes

Having done this module the student has acquired an overview of the research traditions and directions in the field of communication and media studies. He/she can figure out the turning points in the history of the field and to place research traditions into the context of society and culture. The student is also able to see how research directions are connected to the development of media and technology and to assess their relations to media structures and regulation as well as to professional practices and education.

General description

Teaching in the module contextualizes the diversity of research on media, culture and communication by illuminating paradigm changes in the field and by analyzing how these changes relate to broader societal developments. Major focus is on the concepts, themes and approaches that provide fruitful intersections for the study of communication and interaction in a post-industrial and increasingly technologically mediated world.

The module consists of seminar meetings (2 ECTS) on communication and media studies completed with an individual essay of a selected article (2 ECTS) and group work (1 ECTS) in which the students familiarize themselves with key problematics in the field through certain research traditions and their representatives. Every seminar session contains required readings which are discussed in the seminar. Seminar presentations are based on this group work. The teacher provides both group and individual tutoring.


The series of canonic texts and authors (see the Moodle list) are available for individual essays and group work. The length of the individual essay is 8-10 pages (3200-4000 words). The essay introduces the author as well as his/her main theoretical starting points and key concepts. All essays should be returned to Moodle by Friday, December 18th.

Group work and book diary

On the basis of the essay a student will be prepared a short (15-20 minutes) presentation in his/her group. This requires disciplined teamwork and the division of labor between students; in other words, each student introduces one article and shares its basic ideas and key concepts, themes and approaches with others. During group meetings every student keeps also a personal book diary (1/2-1 page/group session). The most important is to recognize what is learned - not just repeat what is heard or read. The book diary should be returned to Moodle by Friday, December 18th.

Seminar presentation

On the basis of the essay a student will be prepared a short Power point –presentation for all fellow students. Power Point – presentation contains 5 slides: 1 (presentation title & your name), 2 (brief description of the author/theorist), 3 (his/her main theoretical contribution to the field), 4 (his/her key theoretical concepts), 5 (your own views).




Welcome, course opening (2 hours): Course introduction, the schedule and requirements


Seminar session: Paradigm changes in the field – readings across traditions

Group work; a guided first meetings


Seminar session: ‘Three degrees’ of media: material, symbolic and institutional

Group work, a second meeting (sharing ideas of the chosen articles)


Seminar session: Canonic texts in research on media, culture and communication

Group work, a third meeting (sharing ideas of the chosen articles)


Group work, a fourth meeting (sharing ideas of the chosen articles)


No meetings


Seminar: Presentations (I)


Seminar: Presentations (II)

Enrolment for University Studies

Until 30.9. By NettiOpsu.

Approximately 24 students. Priority will be given to exchange students and students of the Master's Degree Programme in Media Management.

Enrolment time has expired


Iiris Ruoho, Teacher responsible


26-Oct-2015 – 14-Dec-2015
Lectures 20 hours
Mon 26-Oct-2015 - 23-Nov-2015 weekly at 14-17, Main building ls. C7, No teaching on 30.11.
7-Dec-2015 at 14 –17 , Main building ls. E222
14-Dec-2015 at 14 –17 , Main building ls. E222

Study materials

The following books and articles are used as supplementary material for a book diary, an individual essay, and group work:

Peters: Speaking into the air: A history of the idea of communication. 2001
Katz & al (eds.): Canonic texts in media research. 2003 
Lister & al (eds.): New media: A critical introduction. 2003 or newer
Pietilä: On the highways of mass communication studies. 2005
Lum (ed.): Perspectives on culture, technology and communication. The media ecology tradition. 2006
Craig & Muller (eds.): Theorizing communication: Readings across traditions. 2007
Jensen: Media convergence: The three degrees of network, mass and interpersonal communication. 2010
Hesmondhalgh: Why Music Matters. 2013