Module Identifier HYM8030  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Sian H Nicholas  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Aled G Jones, Dr Jamie Medhurst, Professor Thomas P O'Malley  
Co-Requisite HYM0130 , HYM1030  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   15 Hours Introductory meeting and 6 x 2 hour seminars plus tutorials  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment TWO ASSESSED ESSAY OF 4,000 WORDS EACH  100%

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)

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
James Curran (2002) Media and Power, Chapter 1
G. Boyce, J. Curran and P. Wingate (1978) Newspaper History from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day
Paul Smith (1977) The Historian and Film
Stephen Koss (1981-4) The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain (2 vols)
Rachael Low (1948-1985) The History of the British Film (5 vols)
Asa Briggs (1961-1995) The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom (5 vols)

Hans Dahl (1994) `The Pursuit of Media History?, Media, Culture and Society 16, pp551-563
Nick Hiley (1996) The Problems of Media History?, Modern History Review 7(4), pp17-19
Asa Briggs (1980) Problems and possibilities in the writing of broadcasting history, Media, Culture and Society
Tom O?Malley (2002) Media History and Media Studies: aspects of the development of the study of media history in the UK 1945-2000?, Media History 8(2) pp155-173


This module is at CQFW Level 7