Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Media History: An Introduction
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 2  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2,500/3,000 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
recognise, order and review a body of historical knowledge in the field of media history

identify and use in interpretation comparative perspectives on the history of the media

compare and evaluate a range of approaches, political, social and cultural, to the structures and developments which defined the media

develop and sustain historical arguments, orally and in writing

work both independently and collaboratively.

Brief description

This module is designed to introduce students to and familiarize them with some of the important themes encountered in the study of media history. It does this by focusing on three areas in particular: the theoretical, the historiographical and the practical. First, therefore, students will discuss how media history relates to, and differs from, `media studies?, and will investigate how the mass media became a subject of concerted theoretical study (among the `Frankfurt school? and others) in the early part of the twentieth century. Second, they will look at how the history of the mass media has been written, focusing in turn on the historiography of the newspaper press, of film, and of broadcasting. Third, students will be introduced to some of the practical challenges of researching in media archives; this part of the module will involve an introduction to and hands-on exploration of the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales (NSSAW), organised in collaboration with NSSAW staff.


The module is designed to introduce students to some of the important themes encountered in studying media history, and to provide them with a thematic framework for the study of the political, social and intellectual structures which shape the media, focusing primarily on British and Welsh media institutions. We are pleased to be able to run this module in collaboration with the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, NLW.


1. Introduction
2. Media history and media studies
3. The Frankfurt School, and after
4. Press history
5. Film history
6. Broadcasting history
7. Researching media history (run in collaboration with the NSSAW)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Seminar discussion and essay-writing. The latter is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar and tutorial discussion; tutors’ feedback.
Information Technology Locating source materials and surveying the historiography on the subject uses of various search tools. Essay-writing and presentation
Personal Development and Career planning Research, discussion and presentation skills are all explicitly linked to possible future uses both academically and professionally.
Problem solving Demonstrating an understanding of both the development of the mass media and its wider political, social and cultural effects and significance. Assessed through the essays.
Research skills Locating and assessing primary and secondary source materials. Assessed through the essays.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different media sources.
Team work Seminar work


This module is at CQFW Level 7