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University of Western Australia Foundation Program Unit Outline

Media Studies & Communication Unit 2: TV & Film

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Table of Contents


Subject Overview


Unit Overview


Prior Knowledge


Learning Outcomes


Skill Outcomes


Assessment Structure


Unit Structure



1. Subject Overview This subject focuses on media in Australia. Participants will gain the tools to understand and critically evaluate communication in the media. This subject will prepare them for media courses at university as well as give them tools to be able to critically use media texts in any course that they follow. This subject supports the rationale of the study of the Media set out in the aims of the UNESCO Declaration on Media Education: “We live in a world where media are omnipotent: an increasing number of people spend a great deal of time watching television, reading newspapers and magazines and listening to the radio. Children already spend more time watching television than they do attending lessons in school. We need to accept the impact of the Media and appreciate their importance as elements of culture in today’s world. Arguments for the study of the media as a preparation for responsible citizenship are formidable now and with the development of communications technology ought to be irresistible. The school and the family share the responsibility of preparing the young person for living in a world of powerful images, words and sounds. Children and adults need to be literate in all three of these symbolic systems. [We need] to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will encourage the growth of critical awareness ... and should include the analysis of media products, the use of media as means of creative expression, and effective use of and participation in available media channels”. The subject aims to build awareness of media literacy to allow participants to critically analyse media texts independently, developing their understanding, experience and enjoyment of the media. It will introduce and develop technical and creative production skills, including opportunities to use ICT in production work and the opportunity to evaluate their own and other participants’ work. Participants will build understanding of how meaning is created in the media, with a focus on the forms, codes and conventions of the media. Participants will also develop critical understanding of economic, cultural and ideological influences of the media on society. This subject does not study the historical development of media and communications, but rather focuses on contemporary issues in the field.

2. Unit Overview This unit focuses on the mediums of television and film; theories of media influence; the language of production and media analysis; movie editing skills using Windows Movie Maker.

3. Prior Knowledge There are no specific prerequisite subjects for this unit. In order to succeed, students are expected to have a broad knowledge of and interest in contemporary media genres across print, visual, audio and online media. Higher than average competence in English at Year 11 is beneficial as range and accuracy in English is essential in media professions.

4. Learning Outcomes After completing this unit, participants should have a greater understanding of: 1. Media analysis - language and production elements – introduction to semiotics and genre, camera angles and movement, editing techniques, lighting and sound 2. Feature films – the medium of film, storytelling, response and promotion; industry focus: Australian film, Bollywood, Chinese cinema, Latin American cinema; genre 3. Television – the medium and purpose of television; television news- functions and discourses; news writing – structure and grammar 4. Theories of media influence – content analysis, experimental, survey and ethnographic research; validity, reliability, generalizability and correlation; media impact theories – hypodermic needle, multistep flow, selective processes, cultivation theory, priming; 5. Media and behaviour – violence, prejudice, sexual behaviour, drug abuse, computer media, smoking and obesity; pro-social behaviour – information campaigns, education; regulation; the violence debate; media research and the effects of violence

5. Skill Outcomes Participants will also develop technical skills in the use of Windows Movie Maker, image capture and movie editing Furthermore, participants will develop cross-curricular skills in: 1. Personal organisation Planning, prioritising and organising time and resources to maximise professionalism in media related work. 2. Working co-operatively Working co-operatively with other participants in formal and informal learning situations to achieve successful outcomes. 3. Researching Collecting, analysing, organising and justifying the selection of information from various sources to complement the formal learning program. 4. Problem solving & critical reasoning Analysing technical media problems and theoretical media concepts to reach satisfactory solutions and conclusions. 5. Strategic communication Planning, communicating and responding to technical information and theoretical media concepts through discussion and written presentation. 6. Using technology Using video cameras and computer software effectively to increase skills and professionalism in image capture and movie editing. 7. Strategic decision management Formulating, implementing and evaluating decisions that will enable the participant to achieve their objectives.

6. Assessment Structure




Participation tasks

Video Nation

TV Documentary production.

Response to Media Movie:

Video Movie Review

Film production group project.

Movie trailer





Week 3 - 5


Week 6 5%


Movie Trailer and production

Examination (written)

Multiple choice and/or short answers, essay, unseen media


Detailed assessment information will be provided during the course.

7. Unit Structure Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9


Production – Adobe Premiere


Television (Theory) Video Nation (Production) Film (Theory) Film Trailer Submission Review/Trial Exam

Media analysis Response to Media (Week 6)

Required Course Text:

Stewart, C & Kowaltzke, A 2008, Media: New ways and meanings, John Wiley and Sons, Milton.

Unit outline - TV & Film  
Unit outline - TV & Film