Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is relevant to students in the Arts though is available to all students who have an interest in the media and communication. The unit introduces students to forms of media and to issues of ownership and control and will examine key theoretical perspectives underpinning the study of media and communications. Contextualised contemporary debates such as the effect of the digital media will be covered as will the additional themes of the portrayal of gender, ethnicity and wealth in the media. The unit concludes with a focus on the consumption of media by audiences.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe the current state of the media and communications industries, with reference to considerations of ownership and regulation; (2) explain the term ‘semiotics' and undertake a basic semiotic analysis of a public communication's text; (3) describe a range of theoretical families used in the study of media and differentiate between them; (4) demonstrate an ability to evaluate news items drawing upon theoretical frameworks using specific structuralist, poststructuralist and postmodernist theories; and (5) analyse social patterns related to the consumption of media output, having regard to changes over time.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) examinations; (2) assignments; and (3) Group Presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.