Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Rose-Marie Bezuidenhout


The unit introduces critical and practical approaches to research in the media and communication industries. It presents a critical overview of the rationale for research in industry and academia. Various traditions of inquiry are explored and applied to typical research studies conducted in communication and the media with specific reference to South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Specific quantitative, and qualitative research methodologies are investigated. Various key ethical and critical research issues are deliberated.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the uses of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in academic and industry contexts.
  2. Understand the uses of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in science and non-science environments
  3. Understand the nature and use of a theoretical framework in a research project
  4. Define and formulate a research project, including hypotheses, research problems and questions, goals, ethical considerations, literature reviews,theoretical frameworks, and data collection, analysis and interpretation methods.
  5. Demonstrate sound awareness of ethical principles in research practices.
  6. Demonstrate familiarity with specific methodologies, including, for example, ethnography, case study, survey, textual-, thematic-, discourse- audience- and quantitative content analysis
  7. Reflect on relationships between local and global frameworks in developing approaches to research.


(1) Critical theory component: take home exam quizz (1500 words): 30%
(2) Ethics precis (1000 words): 20%
(3) Student research projects (3000 words): 40%
(4) Tutorial participation (500 words): 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

36 hours contact per semester

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


First year Social Science sequence


AZA2453, ATS2453, ATS3453