Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Communications and Media Studies


Dr David Holmes



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit introduces students to the technological, social, economic and political forces driving the development, and adoption of new media and communications technologies. It examines case studies of when 'old technologies were new' such as the telegraph and radio as well as the social shaping of very recent examples of new media, such as Facebook, Sina Weibo, Qzone, Renren and Twitter. Instrumentalist, substantivist and technologically determinist perspectives on new media will be compared as a means of understanding the dynamic convergence of telecommunications, IT and media industries.


At the completion of this subject students are expected to:

  1. Have gained knowledge of the historical development of new media technologies, and their influence on everyday perceptions of time and space.
  2. Have developed an understanding of contemporary developments in communications internationally;
  3. Understand the processes and effects of media convergence, with particular reference to Internet and other emergent technologies;
  4. Have developed an understanding about the forces driving the information revolution;
  5. Have developed an understanding of the issues arising from mass adoption of new media technologies;
  6. Have developed the ability to critically assess the social, cultural, political impacts of communications developments.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


ATS3436, AZA2436, AZA3436