Module Identifier TFM0830  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Martin J Barker  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   40 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2500 word research excercise  33%
Semester Assessment 2500 word research exercise  33%
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  33%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. understand and utilise a range of methods in the pursuit of grounded knowledge in understanding audiences and reception processes
2. evaluate different kinds of research for the security of their evidence, and the strengths and limitations of the methods used to acquire the evidence
3.   consider critically their implicit conceptualisations of their `object of research? and their ethical and political implications


to ground students in a range of methods used in the researching of audiences and reception, with particular emphasis on qualitative traditions
to enable them to evaluate the strengths and limits of each of these methods, to appreciate the practical tasks they impose, to consider critically both their implied definitions of the `object of research? and the ethical and political issues they raise
to lay the foundations necessary for the kinds of research that students may wish to undertake for their dissertations


Indicative sessions might include:

1. Why methods and methodologies matter
2. Disney as an example of a research domain
3. Researching Disney?s audiences
4. The quantitative/qualitative distinction
5. Questionnaire theory and design
6. Practice week: using questionnaires
7. Reviewing the results of our practice
8. Examining an exemplary study using questionnaires
9. Reception research
10. Practice week: researching Disney reviews
11. Interview theory and design
12. Practice week: conducting interviews
13. Reviewing the results of our practice
14. Preparing for the dissertation
15. Textual and documentary research
16. Practice week: encountering Disney documents
17. Listening to discourse
18. Practice week: analysing sample transcripts
19. Theories of discourse
20. Web-based research

Brief description

The module will explore issues of formulation of research questions, the grounding of these within traditions of research and theory, and effective modes of presentation of research findings. Students will encounter and evaluate a wide range of methods of research which have been utilised in the study of audiences and reception, most notably: observation; interviews; focus groups; content analysis; discourse analysis. A case study of a major research issue, for instance of the Disney Corporation, will be developed in order to highlight issues of sources of information, and applicable modes of research. Teaching and learning will be by a mixture of closely-investigated case-studies of published research, the consideration of cases of possible research (considering possible methods of investigation, associated issues of relations between investigators and research subjects, and ethical questions arising therefrom), and the carrying out of small research exercises subsequently discussed and evaluated.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Ang, Ien (1991) Desperately Seeking The Audience London: Routledge
Budd, Richard W., Robert K. Thorp & Lewis Donohew (1967) Content Analysis of Communications NY: Macmillan
Billig, Michael (1998) Talking of the Royal Family London: Routledge
Deacon, David et al (1998) Researching Communications London: Arnold
Fielden, Ned L (1998) Internet Research: theory and practice Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co
Mackay, Hugh et al (2001) Investigating the Information Society London: Routledge
Morgan, David L (1997) Focus Groups as Qualitative Research London: Sage
Ruddock, Andy (2000) Understanding Audiences London: Sage
Silverman, David (1998) Qualitative Research: Theory, Method, Practice London: Sage
Van Zoonen, Liesbet (1994) Feminist Media Studies London: Sage
Wasko, Janet (2001) Dazzled By Disney? Leicester: Leicester UP


This module is at CQFW Level 7