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.

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


Not offered in 2016


What is the 'second media age'? Does it offer new insights into what was the 'first media age? The different kinds of social, political and communication dynamics which can be found in cyberspace demands a reassessment of the methodologies used to explore media, as well as new understandings of interaction as they relate to old and new media. The difference between information and communication, interaction versus 'integration', analogue versus digital culture, cyberspace and virtual reality is also explored. Numerous theoretical perspectives will be introduced including the work of Adorno, Ang, Baym, Bennett, Baudrillard, Calhoun, Carey, Hall, Innis, McLuhan, Mellencamp, Meyrowitz, etc.


On successful completion of this subject students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the formal difference between Communications Studies and Media Studies which define the program that this subject is a part of
  2. An appreciation of the difference between first media age and second media age
  3. A knowledge of the social, economic and political impact of television and the internet
  4. An understanding of how new communication technologies have changed the nature of modern audiences
  5. An understanding that traditional media also provide for the formation of 'virtual communities' just as new media do
  6. A sociological understanding of 'advertising' and why it does not work on the internet and how this led to the dot.com crash of the late 1990s
  7. An understanding of the different ways in which media, old and new condition influence cultural globalisation
  8. An appreciation of the difference between being an audience member of broadcast media and a 'user' of new media technology.


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