Module Identifier TFM1030  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mikel Koven  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Research proposal  50%
Semester Assessment Participation in public fora  20%
Semester Assessment Essay (3000 words)  30%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. engage in an informed and critical way in debates about contemporary research problems and projects, evaluating them in terms of the formulation of research questions, conceptualisation of tasks, and methods of research
2. make valuable connections between past traditions and procedures of research, and contemporary problems and tasks
3. participate in public fora of debate, on topics of live interest and importance
4. design a research proposal, taking note of the expectations of the appropriate Research Councils.


Indicative sessions might include:

1. Issues in studying real world audiences and problems
2. `Violence? research as an example of interventions
3. Visiting speaker 1: studying `violence?
4. Designing a project, working to a brief
5. Researching controversial audiences
6. Internal speaker 1: studying a controversial audience
7. Designing research according to Research Council criteria
8. Researching digital audiences
9. Visiting speaker 2: digital audiences
10. Youth anti-politics as an issue
11. Internal speaker 2: researching young people and politics
12. Operationalising `commonsense? concepts
13. Critical examination of research proposals
14. Researching niche markets
15. Visiting speaker 3: defining target audiences
16. Action research
17. Internal speaker 3: doing action research on students
18. Exploring other research traditions
19. Visiting speaker 4: museum visitor studies
20. Review of relations between academic and other research traditions


To provide an opportunity for students to engage in debate on current live issues concerning audiences, in both academic and non-academic spheres.
To provide a space within which students are able to encounter and debate with audience research practitioners, from both academic and non-academic backgrounds.
To enable students to encounter the actual constraints on both the design and conduct of audience research, and to devise solutions to these.

Brief description

This module is designed to provide a space within which a range of current topics can be investigated and critically examined. The programme of sessions will be built around a series of speakers, both internal and external, and from academic and non-academic research communities, who will engage students in issues of on-going research practice. Its precise content will vary from year to year, according to developments in external situations and the availability of speakers (whose visits will be coordinated with the Department?s series of research seminars). Visiting speakers will as far as is possible include representatives from policy bodies (such as the Broadcasting Standards Council and Video Standards Council), and commercial bodies (both industry sectors which use audience research, and specialist research companies). Generally, prior to a speaker?s visit, there will be a preparatory discussion on the nature of the issues, the relevant research record to date, issues of method and ethics, and related problems of `ownership? and use of research outcomes.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Barker, Martin, Jane Arthurs & Ramaswami Harindranath (2001) The Crash Controversy: Censorship Campaigns and Film Reception London: Wallflower Press
Buckingham, David (1996) Moving Experiences: Understanding Children?s Emotional Responses to Television Manchester: Manchester University Press
Cumberbatch, Guy et al (1985) Television and the Miners? Strike London: Broadcasting Research Unit
Kitzinger, Jenny (1999) A sociology of media power: key issues in media audience research?, in Greg Philo (ed), Message Received , London: Longman
Morrison, David et al (1999) Defining Violence: the Search for Understanding Luton: University of Luton Press
Seiter, Ellen (1999) Television and New Media Audiences Oxford: Clarendon Press
Webster, James & Lawrence W Lichty (1991) Ratings Analysis: Theory and Practice Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum


This module is at CQFW Level 7