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Media and communication

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

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 technologies, media industries, media images and media audiences 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 media and communication industries.
  • Have a basic knowledge of political communication and journalism's role in democracy.
  • Have knowledge of media technologies and media structures.
  • Have advanced knowledge of the political economy of the media.
  • Have advanced knowledge of media sociological perspectives.

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 assess and evaluate the effects of structures on media and communication processes.

General competencies
The student shall:
  • Possess theoretical knowledge of media institutions, industries 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 and infrastructures. The main theoretical pillars of the course are media sociology (the study of power and change), and the political economy of the media (how politics and money influence media). Starting with current issues and aspects of the media and communication landscape, the course continues with an introduction to the main theoretical foundations of media and communication research. These encompass media sociology, 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, media content and media users.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam1/15 hoursA - F
Exams can be taken in English or Norwegian.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Luise Salte , Helle Sjøvaag
Course teacher
Nina Kvalheim , 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 the discussion.
Lecture series 2020 (tentative, subject to change)
The Welcome Lecture: Introduction to the course
Introduction to media sociology (Reading: Chapter 1)
The Twitter Lecture: Introduction to media and technology (Reading: Chapter 2)
The Lana Del Rey Lecture: Media industries perspectives (Reading: Chapter 3)
The Mark Zuckerberg Lecture: The political economy of the media (Reading: Chapter 4)
The Influencer Lecture: Introduction to media production (Reading: Chapter 5)
The Sci-fi Lecture: Introduction to media and ideology (Reading: Chapter 6)
The LGBTQ+ Lecture: Introduction to media and democracy (Reading: Chapter 7)
The Dark Web Lecture: Media and participation (Reading: Chapter 8)
The Brexit Lecture: Introduction to media and politics (Reading: Chapter 9)
The Media Futures Lecture: Introduction to media and globalisation (Reading: Chapter 10)
The Final Lecture: Summary and exam prep.

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.


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 22.09.2020