Courses - Faculty of Arts


Communication

Stage I

COMMS 100
15 Points

Communication, Technology and Culture

Explores the past, present and future of communication media. Examines communication media within their social context, and provides a particular focus on the interplay between technology and culture. Key concepts in the study of communication are introduced and various communication media are studied via specific case studies, with particular emphasis placed on new digital platforms including social and mobile media as well as older forms such as television and cinema.

Restriction: FTVMS 100

COMMS 104
15 Points

COMMS 104G
15 Points

Advertising and Society

A critical examination of advertising and advertisements focusing on the role advertising plays in consumer culture. Advertisements from a diverse range of media are studied in order to analyse how advertisements construct and disseminate meaning. The course investigates how advertising engages with the logic of wider cultural and global transformations with consideration given to both consumer and industry perspectives.

Restriction: FTVMS 110, 110G

Stage II

COMMS 200
15 Points

Writing in the Workplace

Addresses written communication in the workplace across a range of discourses, environments, strategies and audiences. Focusing on different kinds of writing used in contexts such as government, community organisations, consultancy, professions, NGOs and private business, students will analyse and produce key workplace text-types within a critical framework of workplace analysis and scholarship on labour and organisations.

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

COMMS 201
15 Points

Journalism Studies

Explores journalism, communications and the news media, examining the history and contemporary state of such practices from a theoretical, rather than practical, perspective. Students gain knowledge about the profound impact that social, political and technological shifts have had on the field of communications today and discuss their implications for popular, professional and citizen journalism.

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 225

COMMS 202
15 Points

Audiences and Users

Examines the ways that audiences have been conceived, addressed, measured and empowered in the context of the history and technologies of communication media. Theories of reception to be studied include uses and gratifications models, consumer behaviourism, passive versus active audiences, the rise of the ‘prosumer’, modes of engagement and fan discourses. Students will also learn about audience research methods.

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

COMMS 203
15 Points

Television Journalism

A practical course where students explore the production of current affairs journalism. Students learn to write, video, present and edit short news items in the field and integrate these into a multi-camera production recorded as live in the television studio. Studio skills include directing, production management, multi-cam scripting, vision switching, presenting and interviewing within a framework of current industry practice.

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 201

COMMS 204
15 Points

Social Media

Addresses issues related to the use of social media and considers in particular the influence of new media corporations such as Facebook, as well as platforms like Twitter, SnapChat, Tinder and YouTube. Explores our cultural practices and social rituals in relation to these peer-to-peer, one-to-many media technologies, and examines this revolution in the media landscape.

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 235, 335

COMMS 205
15 Points

Writing: Concept and Craft

An exploration of written communication which connects writing as an object of analysis and critique to writing as a multi-faceted craft. Since writing systems, materials and tools create the worlds we live in, the course conceptualises the relation between world and word, image and text, technology and body, and addresses cultural, critical and digital literacies that organise lived experience.

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

Restriction: ENGLISH 105, 257, 363

COMMS 206
15 Points

Special Topic: Persuasion and Power

Prerequisite: 60 points at Stage I in BA courses

COMMS 208
15 Points

Digital Communication Ethics

Addresses applied ethical issues arising in digital journalism, social media, “big data” surveillance and privacy, algorithmic bias, and software design. As digital media expand beyond the personal computer, there is an increase of ethical issues pertaining to mobile devices, GPS navigation, biometric modelling, artificial intelligence, and the ever-expanding range of wired devices tracking us through the so-called ‘internet of things’.

Prerequisite: 60 points passed

Stage III

COMMS 300
15 Points

New Media and the Future of Communication

Explores theories and practices of communication in the digital age. The course analyses contemporary debates and controversies about the impact of new digital media platforms on the nature and ethics of communication. Examines the implications for the future in terms of opportunities and risks for individuals, communities and institutions in an environment of rapidly advancing communication technologies.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 200-208 and 15 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 203, 314

COMMS 301
15 Points

Digital Communication and Practice

Offers a practical and creative approach to digital communication within the critical context of platform studies. Students will navigate the capacities, affordances and limitations of a variety of digital platforms by developing the skills to create platform-specific outputs, such as podcasts, gifs, vlogs, mobile films and digital storytelling shorts.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 200-208 and 15 points in BA courses

COMMS 302
15 Points

Visual Communication

Provides students the tools for communicating with various kinds of visual images and objects. These may include brands, logos, graphics, photographs, advertisements, promos, paintings, cartoons, maps, architecture and architectural diagrams. Students will interrogate their culturally specific visual competencies and refine their skills in visual literacy while addressing issues of textuality, identity, ethnicity, nation, class, gender, and communicative inter-relationships more generally.

Prerequisite: ARTHIST 115 and 30 points from BA courses, or 15 points from COMMS 200-208 and 15 points from BA courses

COMMS 303
15 Points

Sports Media

Examines the relationship between sport and the media. Topics include sports journalism; industry practice; the mediated game event; online communities of fandom; commentary; issues of race and gender; and sports law. Students have the opportunity to experience outside broadcast of televised sport and use the university television studio to engage with key media sport professionals.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 200-208 and 15 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 313

COMMS 304
15 Points

Gender, Politics and the Media

Addresses the theory, practice and representation of politics in the media from a gendered perspective. Analyses the relationship between the media and women and men in the public sphere.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 200-208, GENDER 208, and 15 points in BA courses

Restriction: FTVMS 213, 324

COMMS 306
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 200-208 and 15 points in BA courses

COMMS 307
15 Points

Communication Internship

Provides experiential learning opportunities in media, public relations, advertising, and corporate communication industries.

Prerequisite: Approval of Academic Head or nominee

Restriction: ARTSGEN 301, CAREER 300

COMMS 309
15 Points

Communication, Writing and Design

Examines principles and practices of written communication in domains of culture and work. With an emphasis on signs, writing tools and systems, the course considers the relations between text, images and design in persuasive and provocative graphic works. Through project-based assignments, the course develops writing and design skills in common communication contexts, including PR, advertising and content for social media.

Prerequisite: 15 points from COMMS 200-208 and 15 points in BA courses

Restriction: COMMS 305

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

COMMS 700
30 Points

Digital Futures

Considers emerging communication and media technologies and potential future consequences for individuals, societies, and the world at large. Key areas of interest include robotics and AI; ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things (IoT); 3D printing; virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies. Issues examined include automation; future of employment; surveillance; new modes of experience; transformed human relationships; and ecological consequences.

Restriction: MEDIA 717

COMMS 701
30 Points

Communication and Data

Explores the implications for communication in an age of big data, where code and algorithms curate, evaluate, and profile users’ data. The course addresses issues such as archives, clouds, privacy, identity, algorithmic bias and discrimination, complexity, informational capitalism, and affective labour, while also considering possibilities for rethinking the past and predicting the future through the analysis and visualisation of data.

COMMS 702
30 Points

Communication Excess and Avoidance

Silences and absences make communication possible. Each medium, whether spoken or printed, projected or computed, has peculiar silences ranging from elegant to tragic, comic to painful, fleeting to eternal. Superabundant digital media raise acute questions about communicative excess and possible needs to disconnect. Such questions will be addressed alongside the cultural and technological history of communication excess and absence.

Restriction: MEDIA 745

COMMS 703
30 Points

Popular Communication and Politics

Explores popular communication across a range of media, genres, texts and technologies to consider the political nature of the cultures, patterns of use, and modes of interpretation that emerge around them. The course will examine the cultural appropriation, adoption, adaptation and distribution of communicative media as well as the political economy of communication, consumer culture and varying forms of fandom.

COMMS 713
30 Points

Documentary Making

Students produce, direct and edit a 9-12 minute documentary. Emphasis is placed on learning technical and craft aspects of documentary-making informed by the rich and varied tradition of the genre. Analysis of a series of influential documentaries.

Restriction: SCREEN 713

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