MP5035 - Media, Power and Identity

What will I learn on this module?

The module explores the interrelationship between the media, power and identity. Students will be introduced to key academic writing from the fields of media and cultural studies on the link between the media, power and identity, and will then apply these concepts and approaches to a series of case studies analysed in class. The case studies stem from different media types (ranging from filmic examples, contemporary social media, streaming television and other media industries), as well as different historical and cultural contexts. The examples are deliberately chosen to resonate explicitly with the lives of young people, and to enable them to analyse and reflect on how identity categories such as social class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and nationality are presented in the media. Moving from the contemporary to the historical gives the opportunity to reflect on the current historical moment and how this is linked to longer trajectories in the development of media cultures, as well as to the social inequities and unequal distributions of power still marking the present.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of a lecture and seminar programme, supported by individual tutorials. The lectures enable the tutor to discuss theories and case studies in an in-depth manner. Lectures will also include textual material (film and television clips). The delivery of the module will be supported with additional learning materials that are accessible on ELP.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module tutor has weekly office hours during which you can contact them for academic support. All students are also provided with an academic tutor who also has hours to support student learning. Students will also be directed to specialist support services available in the library.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• KU1: you will develop a detailed focus upon both the nature of communicative technologies and the role such technologies play and are made sense of within contemporary culture

• KU2: you will develop a detailed understanding of a range of contemporary communication technologies and the ability to analyse the technologies that play a central role within wider society, in your own life, and in relevant professions

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• IPSA1: you will reflect on and develop critical enquiry skills and further develop research competences
• IPSA2: you will reflect on and enhance your communication skills, both written and verbal

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• PVA: you will develop a detailed understanding of professional and ethical approaches to work, curiosity about the world, and your position as a global citizen

How will I be assessed?

To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

At the end of the semesters, students will produce a portfolio consisting of two different parts; 1) a 10-minute podcast or video-essay (50%); and 2) a 2000-word written essay (50%). In both assessments, students will be asked to present an independent analysis of a media work or media event of their choosing in relation to the topics covered in class. Students will benefit from a multifaceted assessment method, which will allow them to develop transferable skills of expressing themselves creatively via different media, ranging from writing to podcast production. In this way, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, independent thinking and research skills in two different, but complimentary assessment formats, therein developing useful presentation skills which can aid them in future employment. Detailed guidance will be provided during the semester on both podcast production and essay writing and planning. Students who choose to may submit a video essay instead of a podcast, with this choice bearing no weight on their final mark.

Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically as part of the ESAF process. This feedback will provide a detailed account of your research/methodological skills, critical engagement and communicative ability, as well as supporting future learning by indicating areas for development. You can also request additional verbal feedback on your submissions by arranging a meeting with the module tutor.





Module abstract

‘Media, Power and Identity’ explores the interrelationship between the media and our identities, and how one is shaped and influenced by the other. In the module, students will learn about how the media both comments on and, through perpetuating specific discourses, shapes how we think of ourselves and how we view others. The module will proffer advanced considerations of issues such as media representations of social class, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality and collective memory, enabling students to evaluate and analyse how these identity categories are depicted in the media they consume. Students will learn about key academic works which will enable them to analyse questions of power distribution in society, social inequality and media representation. The module utilises a weekly case-study approach, selecting examples that explicitly resonate with young people, and that come from a variety of media including cinema, television, news media, social media and other media cultures. Students will also be encouraged to investigate related themes of personal interest and build them into the final assessment. The module will be supported by the use of relevant clips from cinema, television and online sources, and will also engage with historical examples of media. Students will thus have the opportunity to learn and reflect on the history and future of the media environments in which they may wish to pursue future employment, as well as reflecting on the broader social role played by these media industries.

Course info

UCAS Code P305

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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