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Major: Media Studies

Media Studies


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

200 level

Introduction to the Cinema (3)
Cybercultures (3)
International Television and Beyond (3)
Documentary Media: Forms, Histories, Futures (3)
3cp from
Australian Film and Television (3)
News and Current Affairs (3)
Sound Cultures (3)
3cp from
Visual Countercultures: Graffiti, Kitsch and Conceptual Art (3)
Health, Bodies, Media (3)
Photo Media (3)

300 level

Media Internship (3)
Media Ethics (3)
Sex, Death and Politics: The Ethics of Our Lives (3)
Media Identities (3)
Music, Sound and Moving Image (3)
3cp from
Screens, Images, Ideas (3)
Network Cultures (3)
Forensic Media (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program The major in Media Studies offers students the opportunity to develop critical research and analytical skills focusing on a range of media and contexts. Students will select from a range of units that cover topics such as news and entertainment media, media representation, a range of internet-related issues (including privacy, file-sharing, social media), forensic media and network cultures. Students will also develop transferable skills in research, analysis and communication.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Identify and apply key debates, themes and concepts in the broad field of Media and Film Studies.
2. Evaluate and reflect on the relationship of current cultural and social trends in news and audio-visual works and practices to the contemporary global media environment.
3. Distinguish between and critically evaluate theoretical positions on visual and media practices and texts.
4. Analyse, ethically evaluate and communicate the broad and specific arguments in contemporary media debates.
5. Analyse the ways in which media-identity relationships have been constructed and theorised.
6. Examine key theoretical approaches to media analysis.
7. Integrate interpretive and communication skills in order to effectively convey the key ideas, issues and disciplinary debates on the ways in which media is used across diverse platforms and contexts.
Learning and Teaching Methods The major in Media Studies uses a range of learning and teaching methods to enable students to achieve the program level outcomes. Unit learning outcomes are constructively aligned with the program level outcomes and graduate capabilities. The range of learning and teaching methods used across units in the major include:

• Lectures: While some lectures are delivered in traditional face-to-face format, others utilise the Echo 360 lecture recording system and pre-recorded video lectures. The array of formats in which lectures are available ensures that students have access to the lecture materials at any point during the semester.

• Tutorials: Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with the selected topic(s). Tutorials provide three key markers: First, they provide forums for resolving uncertainties within and questions about the set materials and topics. Second, tutorial participation generates knowledge. Through tutor-led and peer-assisted direction, students generate knowledge of the subject. Third, tutorials enable students to put generated knowledge into practice through activities such as discussion, debate, group tasks and presentations. Additionally, the knowledge generated in tutorials underpins assessment structures and tasks.

• Teaching materials: A range of teaching materials are used to support and direct student learning:
a. lectures (face-to-face and recorded)
b. traditional paper-based and electronic readings
c. text books
d. audiovisual material
e. task handouts/worksheets

• Program structure: The major in Media Studies consists of eight units across 200 and 300 level. At 200 level students develop critical skills in research and analysis as well as disciplinary knowledge covering an array of topics. At 300 level students further develop their critical skills by interrogating a number of challenging and sometimes controversial issues involving the complex relationships between the state, the public and media. For their capstone, students have the option of MAS316 Media Futures or MAS350 Media Internship (students pursuing a double major will complete both). MAS316 encourage students to be reflective and prepared for employment through offering a range of invited industry speakers, many of whom are leaders in their field. MAS350 (also a PACE unit) allows students to complete an internship relevant to their studies and fosters reflection on the alignment between their studies and the workplace.
Assessment The major in Media Studies uses a range of assessment methods:

• Essays: Essays range from 500 to 2500 words and are used to assess a range of outcomes from demonstrating comprehension of a particular issue to synthesizing multiple sources to evaluate a case study. Essays are frequently used in production units which require students to critically articulate applied theory.

• Projects:
a. websites
b. audiovisual and written news reports
c. photo essays

• Quizzes: Used to periodically assess understanding and comprehension, quizzes also motivate students to participate in a culture of learning by engaging with teaching materials. Quizzes may be in-class or take-home and paper-based or conducted electronically via the learning management system.

• Presentations: students develop the ability to articulate information in a number of forms. In addition to the above, presentations assess students' abilities to meaningfully articulate information. In addition to their peers, students may deliver presentations to staff (in simulated client scenarios) or industry guests.

• Participation: Students are assessed on their meaningful contributions to a culture of learning. Participation is assessed through engagement with discussions, debates, tasks through learning teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and online tasks. Through participation students engage with a commitment to learning and develop reflective practices.

• Other: Other assessments include blogs, reflective journals, production diaries and minutes of group meetings. Learning and teaching innovation is a strong feature in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies and alternative assessment methods are frequently trialed.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduates with a major in Media Studies will find employment in the wide areas of media policy and content production. Combined with another major (e.g. Journalism or Screen Practice and Production), students develop production skills with a critical knowledge of the media ecology that equips them for work in a rapidly transforming environment.

Graduates will be well placed to pursue further study such as the Master of Creative Industries, Master of Future Journalism or Master of Research offered by the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Culture.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148