This unit of study provides advanced study of new media that equips students with a critical understanding of the digitally-networked landscape as it applies to professional and everyday life. The unit first traces the transformation in the organisational structure of popular media from broadcasting to the internet. Upon this foundational understanding of the key shift from mass media to distributed networks, emphasis is then placed on gaining an understanding of the social, economic and cultural effects of digital new media. Areas of study address: the rise of user-generated content; peer-to-peer networks; the decentralised production and consumption of popular culture; mobile connectivity; location-based platforms and applications such as geo-social networking; intellectual property law (from DRM to Creative Commons) and informational governance; cloud computing (Web 3.0) and 'participatory media' - new forms of political, cultural and economic collaboration. The critical and theoretical orientation of the unit is grounded in various 'media 2.0' practices with a component of the assessment undertaken in simulated industry environments. Class discussions, student presentations, readings, and case studies will highlight effective strategies and applications of these new media platforms such as social networks, geo-social networks, blogs, wikis, peer-review sites, and micro-blogs.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply and appraise key approaches and debates related to distributed digital media;  
  2. Evaluate and apply related critical thinking and conceptualisation skills;  
  3. Use relevant concepts in the study of social media;  
  4. Develop complex ideas and lead cohesive and well-developed discussions; and  
  5. Apply effectively expressed understanding using media 2.0 platforms and applications.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Lead class discussions on unit topics Equivalent word length 1000 words 20%
ICT (Wiki, Web sites) Weekly reading online posts 1500 words 30%
Literature Review Media 2.0 based literature review 2500 words 50%

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