Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Further Details:

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other Lecture workshop 1 x 2 hour per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assigment 2 - 2500 words  Resit Information  50%
Semester Assessment Assigment 1 - 2500 words  For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

to understand key semiotic concepts

to understand basic principles of semiotic textual analysis

to apply semiotic approaches to the analysis of mass media texts

to asses the usefulness and limitations of such approaches

Brief description

Semiotics has an unenviable reputation for being dense with jargon and difficult to understand. In this module students are offered a practicalintroduction to the application of semiotics to the study of the mass media and are also assisted in interpreting media theorists who have adopted semiotic approaches. They are encouraged to adopt a critical approach to semiotic theories and applications. 'Semiotics for Beginners', which is part of this module, is a very popular hypertext book on the World-Wide Web. We consider in particular the theme of visual representation. For full details see the Module Website at


The lectures are based on the following:

Signifier and Signified
Structural Analysis
Beyond the Literal
Practical Textual Analysis (1)
Photography and Film
Practical Textual Analysis (2)
Intertextuality and Reflexivity
Representation and the Construction of Reality
Reviewing Semiotics

Reading List

Recommended Text
**Bignell, Jonathan (1997) Media Semiotics: An Introduction Manchester: Manchester University Press Primo search **Chandler, Daniel (2002) Semiotics: The Basics London: Routledge Primo search **Cook, Guy (1992) The Discourse of Advertising London: Routledge Primo search **Fairclough, Norman (1995) Media Discourse London: Arnold Primo search **Thwaites, Tony, Lloyd Davis & Warwick Mules (1994) Tools for Cultural Studies: An Introduction South Melbourne: Macmillan Primo search Barthes, Roland (1977) Image-Music-Text London: Fontana Primo search Barthes, Roland (1987[1957]) Mythologies New York: Hill & Wang Primo search Danesi, Marcel (2002) Understanding Media Semiotics London: Arnold Primo search Hodge, Robert & Gunther Kress (1988) Social Semiotics Cambridge: Polity Primo search Jensen, Klaus Bruhn (1995) The Social Semiotics of Mass Communication London: Sage Primo search Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen (1996) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design London: Routledge Primo search Langholz Leymore, Varda (1975) Hidden Myth: Structure and Symbolism in Advertising New York: Basic Books Primo search Metz, Christian (1974) Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema (trans. Michael Taylor) New York: Oxford University Press Primo search Myers, Greg (1999) Ad Worlds: Brands, Media, Audiences London: Arnold Primo search Williamson, Judith (1978) Decoding Advertisements London: Marion Boyars Primo search **Worth, Sol (1981) 'Studying Visual Communication' [www document] HERON document Bignell: 'Advertisements' Primo search HERON document Leiss, Kline & Jhally: 'Two Approaches to the Study of Advertisements' Primo search Semiotics for Beginners
Essential Reading
Module website


This module is at CQFW Level 6