M87MC – Media Audiences (2015-16)

This module examines the nature of ‘the audience’ as it has been conceptualised historically, and explores the relationship between audiences and texts. The module will  position audience studies within the disciplines of media and cultural studies; critically examine theories and conceptualisations of ‘the audience’; understand how we can investigate audiences; understand how specific audiences engage with media texts.


Date Topic
Mon 18 Jan Introduction
Mon 25 Jan What are “audiences”?
Mon 1 Feb Methodological approaches
Mon 8 Feb Identity and difference
Mon 15 Feb Adoring audiences
Mon 22 Feb Gendered audiences
Mon 29 Feb Classed audiences
Mon 7 Mar Racialised audiences
Mon 14 Mar Sexed audiences
Mon 21 Mar Recap
Mon 18 Apr Tutorials
Mon 25 Apr Tutorials
Mon 2 May  Due Date

All sessions take place 6-8pm in room ET130 unless otherwise specified.

Click on the links for materials, instructions, and coursework. In general, please make sure you refer to all posted materials including lecture slides, bibliography, and various case study materials, and that you check the module blog weekly.

Module assessment 

A 3.000 words academic essay – due date  Mon 2 May

Identify a specific community or group of people and analyse in detail the ways they engage with  media texts, and how such relationships structure their community, their identity and their behaviour. Are these people an audience? What makes them into an audience, and in which specific ways? How do they make sense of their affective and relational identities?

You should refer to the examples of ethnographic studies discussed in class, and to the theories associated with them. You should also demonstrate awareness of your disciplinary and methodological approach.

Pass requirements: The module mark must be at least 40%. Students who hand in all the required coursework but who do not achieve a pass are entitled a resit. The resit mark is capped at 40%, but passing your resit is the only way to progress to the next year and gain your degree. It is important to remember that people who do not hand in their coursework will fail without the right to resit, which means they will not be able to complete their course and achieve their degree. Always hand something in! 

A resit brief will be made available after module marks are released.

Academic honesty statement


Select Bibliography

Indicative list of readings: more texts will be added in the course of the module.

  • Hall, S. (1980) “Encoding/decoding.” In Hall, S. et al., eds., Culture, Media, Language, London: Hutchinson. pp. 128–38.
  • Miller, T. (2001) “What it Is and What it Isn’t: Introducing… Cultural Studies.” in A Companion to Cultural Studies. Oxford: Blackwell. pp.1-19.