CMM1002 - Communications Challenges

2021/2 Module description

StaffDr Neil Ewen - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

This is a challenge-led module, which focuses on an aspect of social inequality in Western society from one of the following: class; race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality, disability. The module will introduce you to key aspects that define social inequality, such as media representation, histories of under-representation and omission, and the relationship between politics and language. Using a combination of workshops, lectures (including guest lectures from industry professionals), and tutorials, you will work in small groups to devise a campaign to address a specific, current problem or issue of social inequality. Examples could include: diversifying the representation of the female body in the local media; raising awareness of mental health issues amongst young men locally (18-21); a campaign to address gender stereotypes in university sports societies. The module will guide you step-by-step in developing applied skills including identifying a target audience, social media campaign strategies, determining appropriate voice and language, and how to judge the ethics of campaigning.

Module aims

This module will provide you with a grounding in the practical skills and experience integral to creating a media campaign. It will teach you a range of practical skills in production design, schedule-building and give you guided experience of small-group teamwork in a variety of roles, with each student scheduled to spend time as a production manager, production designer, researcher, and communications director, over the course of the module.

Development of these skill sets will be embedded in the lecturer-guided and independently-guided exploration of a social issue (revealed at the start of the course), which each group will develop a campaign on. The course aims to give you a hands-on experience of negotiating issues of audience, tone, format, as you develop your outputs, which may include a podcast, an infographic, and a short video.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify an effective campaign strategy, taking account of the target audience and aims
  • 2. Demonstrate that you possess the practical skills necessary to put a campaign into practice.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Synthesize and explain the tenets of a social issue
  • 4. Interrogate and select evidence to build a case

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Demonstrate leadership and effective teamwork
  • 6. Reflect on work processes and organise thoughts into structured blogs
  • 7. Communicate clearly and imaginatively in both written and/or oral form
  • 8. Generously engage with methods and people who represent opinions and viewpoints different from your own

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that the focal topic each year will be a pertinent issue related to social inequality from one of the following areas: class; race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality, disability.

The module will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • How to organize and execute a campaign
  • The ethics of social campaigning
  • How to make a podcast

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching11Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching22Workshops
Guided independent study267Private study, preparation for lectures and seminars, reading etc

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft campaign plan 500 words1,3,4Oral and written
Presentation10 minutes5,6Oral and written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio of campaign outputs 70Free format equivalent to 1,500 words per student. (college norms for equivalent assessment will apply, depending on studentsÂ’ choice of format) The full list of possible assessments will be discussed in a workshop ahead of assessment; information on assessment lengths will also be available on the ELE site).1-5Written feedback
Blog 202 x 500-words6Written feedback
Participation 10Ongoing1-8Oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of campaign outputsPortfolio of campaign outputs1-5Referral/Deferral period
BlogBlog6Referral/Deferral period
Participation Repeat Study/mitigation1-8N/a

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Atherton, J. (2018). Social Media Strategy. London: e
  • Brierley, S. (2007). The Advertising Handbook. London: Routledge.
  • Brink-Budgen, R. (2000). Critical Thinking for Students: Learn the Skills of Critical Assessment and Effective Argument. Plymouth: How To Books.
  • Burton, M. (2015). Campaign Craft: The Strategies, Tactics and Art of Political Campaign Management. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
  • Chafey, D. et al. (2003). Internet Marketing Strategy Implementation & Practice New York: Financial Times.
  • Chambers, E. & Northedge, A. (2008). TheArts Good Study Guide. Milton Keynes: The Open University.
  • East, R., Wright, M., & Vanheule M. (2013). Consumer Behaviour: Applications in Marketing. London: Sage.
  • Gabay J. (2005). Gabay’s Copywriting Compendium. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Grix, J. & Watkins, G. (2010). Information Skills: Finding and Using the Right Resources. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hardy, J. and Macrury, I. (2018). The Advertising Handbook. London: Routledge.
  • Howard, P. (2005). New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kim, C.M. (2019). Public Relations: Competencies and Practice. London: Routledge.
  • Kim, C.M. (2016). Social Media Campaigns. London: Routledge.
  • McCarthy, P. (2002). Presentation Skills: The Essential Guide for Students. London: Sage
  • Percy, L & Rosenbaum – Elliot, R. (2016). Strategic Advertising Management Oxford: OUP (5th edition)
  • Pickton, D and Broderick, A (2005). Integrated Marketing Communications eed)
  • Posner, K. & Applegarth, M. (2008). Project Management Pocketbook. 2nd Edition. Alresford: Management Pocketbooks.
  • Pricken, M. (2010). Creative Strategies: Idea Management for Marketing, Advertising, Media and Design London / New York:  Thames & Hudson
  • Rose, C. (2010). How to Win Campaigns: Communications for Change. London: SAGE.
  • Sethna, Z. and Blythe, J. (2019). Consumer Behaviour. London: SAGE.
  • Solomon, M. (2016). Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being, Global Edition. London: Pearson.
  • Solomon, M. et al (2016). Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective. London: Pearson.
  • Szmigin, I. and Piacentini, M. (2018). Consumer Behaviour 2nd ed. Oxford: OUP.

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