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COMN12-203: Mass and Popular Media January 2021 [Standard]

General information

This subject provides you with theories and approaches to critically assess the relationship between mass and popular media and society. You will study and research how media represents our world, shapes our experiences, and exercises power in society. The subject gives special attention to how news is selected, produced, and disseminated. To develop your personal and professional understanding of mass and popular media, the subject considers many examples.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:COMN12-203
Subject title:Mass and Popular Media
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:January 2021
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours
Attendance and learning activities: Subject teaching methods include lecture, discussion, group work, videos, and case studies. Since much of the subject is based on your interaction with the instructor and your fellow students, attendance is essential. It is expected that everyone will arrive for all classes on time, having prepared all required work, and remain in attendance until class is over. Students will not be permitted to miss class for group project purposes. If you are absent for a university approved medical or family emergency, an acceptable note must be supplied. A medical excuse must state clearly that you were too ill to attend class -- notes that state that you were "suffering from a medical condition" are too vague to be accepted.


Prescribed resources:
  • Michael O'Shaughnessy, Jane Stadler, Sarah Casey (2016). Media and Society. 6th, Oxford University Press, USA , 560.
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role that media plays in society.
  2. Apply theory to critically assess mass and popular media representations of society.
  3. Construct clear, evidence-based arguments.
  4. Research a current media issue.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Activity Formally present answers to two tutorial questions across the entire semester and engage the tutorial group in discussion. 20% Ongoing 1, 2, 3, 4.
Research Paper Conduct a semiotic textual analysis of a recent print advertisement to show how meaning is constructed. 40% Week 7 1, 2, 3.
Research Paper Write a literature review on a current mass media topic. 40% Week 12 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A student who has not established a basis for an extension in compliance with University and Faculty policy either by 1) not applying before the assessment due date or 2) by having an application rejected due to failure to show a justifiable cause for an extension, will receive a penalty on assessment submitted after its due date. The penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment for every day late, with the first day counted after the required submission time has passed. No assessment will be accepted for consideration seven calendar days after the due date. Where a student has been granted an extension, the late penalty starts from the new due date and time set out in the extension.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Additional subject information

In general, the educator in charge of the class will indicate when mobile devices should be used, or not used, during classes. Students will be encouraged to use mobile devices during class time where this enhances or supports the learning environment. The Faculty is concerned that mobile devices may distract from the learning process, and particularly from interactive discussion. It is believed that the academic performance of students may be enhanced if the educator actively assumes the responsibility of indicating when and how mobile devices should be used in the teaching process. For this subject, please put all mobile devices away unless the lecturer asks you to bring them out for use in a learning activity.

Subject curriculum

Introduces the subject and ways to study mass media

Begins explaining the relationship between media and society

Considers theory about the construction of language

Considers the truthfulness of media representational technologies and conventions such as objective journalism

Explains semiology and how to do a semiological analysis

Explains concepts and theories of discourse and ideology

Defines and explains objectives and techniques of culture jamming and defines genre

Identifies characteristics of new media and implications of technological development

Examines how narratives are structured and the structural positioning of characters in film

Considers narrative structures of TV news and development of documentaries and reality TV

Explore the phenomena of "fake news"

Approved on: Nov 5, 2020. Edition: 4.3
Last updated: May 18, 2021.