The course gives an introduction to the role and function of media in society. The course traces the main developments in the social scientific study of media and communications, focusing on the framework conditions of media as institutions and communication as a process. Students will be introduced to the political economic, sociological, democratic and technological aspects of media and communication. The course revolves around the theoretical foundations and empirical realities of media technologies, media industries, media images and media audiences in a societal and international context.
The course is relevant to UN Sustainable Development goals 16 and 17, particularly regarding effective, independent institutions (16.6), public access to information (16.10), and enabling information and communication technologies (17.8).
Course description for study year 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.
Semester tution start
Number of semesters
Language of instruction
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Media and Social Sciences
It is expected that the students after completing the course will have the following knowledge, skills and general competencies:
The student shall:
Have basic knowledge of media and communication industries.
Have a basic knowledge of political communication and journalism's role in democracy.
Have knowledge of media technologies and media structures.
Have advanced knowledge of the political economy of the media.
Have advanced knowledge of media sociological perspectives.
The student shall:
Have the ability to apply insight into media and communications to assess the role of media in society.
Have the ability to apply knowledge of media and communications theories to analyze media institutions and processes.
Have the ability to critically assess and evaluate the effects of structures on media and communication processes.
The student shall:
Possess theoretical knowledge of media institutions, industries and technologies.
Have an understanding of the impact of communication structures on different media sectors.
Have gained critical and analytical skills in evaluating the role of media in society.
The course introduces students to the central theories of media institutions and infrastructures. The main theoretical pillars of the course are media sociology (the study of power and change) and the political economy of the media (how politics and money influence media). Starting with current issues and aspects of the media and communication landscape, the course continues with an introduction to the main theoretical foundations of media and communication research. These encompass media sociology, the political economy of the media, political communication and media technologies. The course also covers journalism's role in democracy, media industries and social media, media content and media users.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Form of assessment
A - F
Exams can be taken in English or Norwegian.
Head of Department:
Method of work
The course is lecture-based with seminar groups, with weekly 2-hour lectures and 1-hour seminars. The seminar groups require students to prepare by reading the syllabus and to participate in the discussion.
Lecture series 2021 (tentative, subject to change)
The Welcome Lecture: Introduction to media sociology (Reading: Chapter 1)
The #Lecture: Introduction to media and technology (Reading: Chapter 2)
The Money Lecture: Media industries perspectives (Reading: Chapter 3)
The Facebook Lecture: The political economy of the media (Reading: Chapter 4)
The Journalism Lecture: Introduction to media production (Reading: Chapter 5)
The Sci-fi Lecture: Introduction to media and ideology (Reading: Chapter 6)
The Scandal Lecture: Introduction to media and democracy (Reading: Chapter 7)
The Dark Web Lecture: Media and participation (Reading: Chapter 8)
The Media Effects Lecture: Introduction to media and politics (Reading: Chapter 9)
The Final Lecture: Media Futures (Reading: Chapter 10)
The course is open to bachelor students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Education, UiS Business School, including exchange students.
Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Faculty of Social Science evaluation system.