Media & Communication Studies
Welcome to the Department of Media & Communication Studies. It has never been more important to have a deep and critical understanding of the media that influence most aspects of contemporary life. Our department offers modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels that foster such understanding, develop individual skills and support original research.
We offer an undergraduate programme that is roughly 40% practical and 60% theory driven, and covers a wide range of contemporary topics. Such a broad grounding contributes to high graduate employability in diverse media and creative fields, including social media, television, radio, print journalism, film production, marketing, scriptwriting and all fields where good communication skills are essential.
As a component of a Liberal Arts honours degree programme, the study of media complements all other subject choices, contributing to a rounded third level education. Our graduates find that the aptitudes and skills they have acquired within the Media and Communication Studies programme are transferable to numerous career pathways.
Lecturing staff are established academics with considerable experience in teaching and research, each highly active in their individual specialist fields. We welcome queries regarding higher and research degree programmes.
MIC is fortunate to have a fully operational and licenced FM radio station on campus, Wired FM. All students can gain valuable and fun broadcasting experience (as well as a FETAC qualitification) by working with the station as a volunteer or even as a Year 3 work placement. The opportunity to train as a radio presenter alongside the formal degree programme is an enormous asset to students considering a career in media.
At undergraduate level, Media and Communication Studies can be taken as one subject of the joint honours BA in Liberal Arts. In their first year, students take two introductory modules, along with modules from three other subjects.
Students who choose Media and Communication Studies as one of their two major subjects progress to take a variety of practical, production and theory-based modules. This works out as roughly 40% practical and 60% theory-based studies. We find that this mix equips our graduates well for the workplace, for further study and for the challenges that quickly changing work environments present.
Modules vary slightly each year. See below for a current list of modules in the Bachelor of Arts programme in descending order from First Year onwards:
To develop a critical awareness of the major theoretical concepts and problems in the media and communications fields; to foster an understanding of the need for, and nature of, interdisciplinary approaches to these fields, and of the points of convergence and divergence-conceptual, methodological, and normative-implicit in such interdisciplinary approaches.
To introduce students to the critical analysis of media texts, to develop in the student active critical viewing habits.
This module will introduce students to the pre-production and production stages of programme-making in different media.
To introduce students to the aesthetic and narrative codes of cinema and consider these codes in the wider context of the film industry and the relation between cinema and economics in an international form.
To provide students with a critical understanding of the media from a sociological point of view. To introduce students to key aspects of the debate amongst social scientists about the workings and influence of the media.
To examine the current debates surrounding the process of communication and the exchange of messages. To permit the student to explore the potentialities of the print, radio and television media and to master the skills and disciplines necessary for effective preparation of material for presentation in the context of these media.
Media students may choose to undertake a work placement in the area and/or spend time studying abroad.
A practical course in script-writing. To give students an understanding of the process of communication through drama and develop their skills in writing for film, television and radio. Students will develop their skills through a series of exercises and workshops.
To provide an integrated study of the diverse relationships between media, culture and sociopolitical structures by situating the media in their broad historical and social contexts, and subjecting them to a critical examination in these contextual frames of reference.
To make the student aware of the full potential of audio and video resources as communication and instructional tools; to carry out a number of controlled exercises designed to increase the student’s knowledge of audio and video production equipment, its scope and its limitations, and to enable the student to:
- Identify the characteristics and advantages of a systematic approach to audio and video production;
- Operate audio and video equipment appropriate to its intended application;
- Set up and operate lighting equipment;
- Select and prepare an appropriate method of presentation for a given subject or topic; and
- Recognise the importance and characteristics of programme format and presentation style.
Students undertake a supervised individual research project.
Staff of the Media and Communications Department welcome proposals for both MA by research and PhD study programmes. Potential applicants should consider the research profiles of individual staff members and contact them directly to discuss the possibility of thesis supervision. General enquiries should be made to the Head of Department.
MA in Media Studies
Our Master of Arts in Media Studies programme is open to students from a variety of backgrounds, as well as those with previous experience of the subject. However, an ability to work independently and the possession of an open, curious mind are important requisites at this level of study.
Our master’s degree is jointly presented by Mary Immaculate College and the University of Limerick. The programme is delivered over three semesters in one year with lectures generally taking place in daytime on both campuses.*
The first two semesters are comprised of taught lecture modules, whilst the focus of the final, summer semester is upon individual research and dissertation preparation. Students’ research interests are matched to those of department staff, who then supervise the project.
* Some flexibilty with regards to the scheduling of classes may be possible to facilitate students who are working full time, so please let us know your needs when you apply.
Though the precise range of taught modules available each year varies, recent programmes have included the following options:
|Critical Issues in Media Theory|
|Mass Media Research Methods|
|Radio: The Invisible Medium|
|Television Drama: Industry, Form & Audience|
|Ireland and Film|
|News and News Media|
|Researching Irish Media Audiences|
|Sociolinguistics of Irish Media|
|Women and Ageing in Popular Culture|
|Scriptwriting for TV Drama and Film|
|Popular Music Studies|
|Media, Sport and Popular Culture|
|Popular Music Studies|
|Sound, Media & Society|
|Community Media Engagement|
|The Development of Irish Media: a Theoretical Overview|
Audio Research Centre
The Media and Communications Department has a long established research centre which focuses on all things sonic: radio, music, soundscapes, sound art, film soundtracks, etc. The centre is home for research carried out by staff, PhD candidates and associates from other institutions.
Further details about the Audio Research Centre available here.
Limerick Soundscapes is a community based recording project, led by researchers at MIC and UL. They work with a range of local communities to collect sounds from every location in the city and place these recordings on a virtual map of Limerick. The aim of the project is to continue collecting for many years, to create an archive of the gradually changing everyday environments that the cities citizens inhabit.
Staff in the Department of Media and Communication Studies are active in a wide range of research fields. Here are a few of the publications, investigative projects, conferences and creative interventions we have been engaged with.
Sport occupies a central position in Irish social and cultural life, yet has been relatively marginal within the academy. Significant research has been undertaken by individual scholars, and various important books have been published recently – for example Paul Rouse’s Sport and Ireland; Mike Cronin et al.’s The GAA: A People’s History; and Conor Curran’s Irish Soccer Migrants. However, there are currently no collections or monographs devoted to the interrelationships between sport and media in an Irish context. This collection of essays redresses this gap. You can explore this important new publication, Sport, the Media and Ireland here.
Women in Irish Film: Stories and storytellers is an interdisciplinary collection that critically explores the contribution of women to the Irish film industry as creators of culture - screenwriters, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, animators, film festival programmers and educators. This book will explore the experiences and reflections of Irish women practitioners and, across a range of chapters, will situate them within a very specific historical, social and cultural context and further position them within a male-dominated film industry. Read a short RTE interview with Dr Liddy here.
This book is about the struggle for gender equality in film industries across seventeen countries. Little is known about contemporary activism outside of Hollywood and this collection aims to fill this crucial gap in our knowledge. Contributors from countries as diverse as Iceland, New Zealand and Ireland evaluate their respective industries by establishing the scale of gender inequality with reference to structural inequalities, discrimination, unconscious bias and gendered power relations.
To be published in August 2020.
From the album 'Sinners and Lost Souls' by Sons of Southern Ulster. HT Records, Spring 2020 Watch video here.
- Subject Overview