Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 3 (Dissertation)

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Dissertation of no more than 20,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

From among the following, according to the strategy followed:

  • display a transferable understanding of the tasks of formulating an answerable research question
  • design and implement some securely-grounded research procedures
  • demonstrate the ability to analyse the results of such procedures,and be aware of their strengths and limits as evidence
  • relate such research to a broad range of uptodate thinking and knowledge in the field of audience and reception studies
  • manage a richly critical attitude towards such thinking and knowledge and ground evaluations in an understandings of different research traditions in this field

Brief description

The object of this is to provide an opportunity for students to take a topic of their own choosing, which they will have evolved in and through the Research Practices module, either to conduct an intensive scholarly inquiry into some issue relating to the field of audience and reception studies, which will be well-grounded in an understanding of the research tradition(s) within which the topic is posed; or to conduct a small-scale empirical enquiry on a carefully-formulated topic, having selected an appropriate method or methods. Students will be assigned an individual supervisor who will assist the student within the general framework and limits operated for postgraduate dissertations within the Department. There are two distinct modes of work for the Dissertation (although many topics will combine the two in particular ways). The first, where emphasis falls on primary research, will be measured against criteria emphasizing the effective use of reflexive methods for both gathering and analyzing the dissertation'r research materials. The second, where emphasis falls on scholarly re-evaluation of existing work, will be measured against criteria emphasizing the clarity of identification of conceptual or methodological issues, and the depth and coherence of critical approach to these. In both cases, students? dissertations will be expected to show evidence of an appropriate range of reading, within a critical literature review.


To enable students to complete their MA Audience + Reception Studies, through undertaking a substantial piece of original work.
To allow them to achieve this through two distinct kinds of original work: either a dense scholarly examination of existing research, its theoretical, conceptual and empirical base and live implications; or a piece of well-designed and well-conducted research into a carefully formulated topic regarding audiences and reception.

Reading List

Recommended Background
Deacon, David et al (eds) (1999) Researching Communications London: Arnold Primo search Gina Wisker (2001) The Postgraduate Research Handbook Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Primo search Klaus Bruhn Jensen & Nicholas Jankowski (eds) (1991) A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research London: Routledge Primo search Silverman, David (2000) Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook London: Sage Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7