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Media and communication

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

The course gives an introduction to the role and function of media in society. The course traces the main developments in the social scientific study of media and communications, focusing on the framework conditions of media as institutions and communication as a process. Students will be introduced to the political economic, sociological, democratic and technological aspects of media and communication. The course revolves around the theoretical foundations and empirical realities of media systems, media organizations, media production and media effects in a societal and international context.

Learning outcome

It is expected that the students after completing the course will have the following knowledge, skills and general competencies:
The student shall:
  • Have basic knowledge of the history of media and communication.
  • Have basic knowledge of comparative methodology.
  • Have knowledge of political communication and journalism's role in democracy.
  • Have knowledge of media technologies, media structures and media systems.
  • Have advanced knowledge of the political economy of the media.
  • Have advanced knowledge of media sociological theory.

The student shall:
  • Have the ability to apply insight into media and communications to assess the role of media in society.
  • Have the ability to apply knowledge of media and communications theories to analyze media institutions and processes.
  • Have the ability to critically compare and analyze various media systems and their features.
  • Have the ability to critically assess and evaluate the effects of structures on media and communication processes.

General competencies
The student shall:
  • Posess theoretical knowledge of media institutions, systems and technologies.
  • Have an understanding of the impact of communication structures on different media sectors.
  • Have gained critical and analytical skills in evaluating the role of media in society.


The course introduces students to the central theories of media institutions, infrastructures and systems. The main theoretical pillars of the course are media sociology (the study of power and change), and media systems (the study of politics and economy). Starting with the history of media and communication, the course continues with an introduction to the main theoretical foundations of media and communication research. These encompass media sociology and institutional theory, media systems theory, the political economy of the media, political communication and media technologies. The course also covers journalism's role in democracy, media industries and social media.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam1/14 hoursA - F
Exams can be taken in English or Norwegian.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher
Luise Salte
Course coordinator
Helle Sjøvaag

Method of work

The course is lecture-based with seminar groups, with weekly 2-hour lectures and 1-hour seminars. The seminar groups require students to prepare by reading the syllabus and to participate in discussion.

Lecture series 2019 (tentative, subject to change)

26.08: The Welcome Lecture: Introduction to the course (Helle Sjøvaag)

02.09: The Hacker’s Lecture: Introduction to media sociology (Helle Sjøvaag)

09.09: The LGBTQ+ Lecture: Introduction to media and democracy (Luise Salte)

16.09: The YouTube Lecture: Introduction to social media (Mario Haim)

23.09: The Lana Del Rey Lecture: Media industries perspectives (Thomas Owren)

30.09: The Brexit Lecture: Introduction to media and politics (Gunnar Thesen)

07.10: The Mark Zuckerberg Lecture: The political economy of the media (Helle Sjøvaag)

14.10: The Sci-fi Lecture: Introduction to media and ideology (Ingvil Førland Hellstrand)

25.10: The Twitter Lecture: Introduction to media and technology (Lars Nyre)

28.10: The Dark Web Lecture: Media and participation (Luise Salte)

04.11: The Fake News Lecture: Journalism in crisis (Helle Sjøvaag)

11.11: The Final Lecture: Summary and exam prep. (Helle Sjøvaag)

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Communication and media (BJO120_1) 10

Open to

The course is open to bachelor students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Education, UiS Business School, including exchange students.

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Faculty of Social Science evaluation system.


Book: Croteau, D. & Hoynes, W. (2019) Media/Society: Technology, Industry, Content and Users. Sixth edition. Los Angeles: Sage, (463 pages)
Hallin, D. C., & Mancini, P. (2017). Ten years after comparing media systems: What have we learned?. Political Communication, 34(2), 155-171, (18 pages)

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 08.04.2020