Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedNot offered in 2014


Previously coded COM2050


This unit introduces students to the technological, social, economic and political forces driving the development, and adoption of new media and communications technologies. It examines case studies of when 'old technologies were new' such as the telegraph and radio as well as the social shaping of very recent examples of new media, such as Facebook, Sina Weibo, Qzone, Renren and Twitter. Instrumentalist, substantivist and technologically determinist perspectives on new media will be compared as a means of understanding the dynamic convergence of telecommunications, IT and media industries.


At the completion of this subject students are expected to:

  1. Have gained knowledge of the historical development of new media technologies, and their influence on everyday perceptions of time and space.
  2. Have developed an understanding of contemporary developments in communications internationally;
  3. Understand the processes and effects of media convergence, with particular reference to Internet and other emergent technologies;
  4. Have developed an understanding about the forces driving the information revolution;
  5. Have developed an understanding of the issues arising from mass adoption of new media technologies;
  6. Have developed the ability to critically assess the social, cultural, political impacts of communications developments.


Short essay (1575 words): 35%
Moodle posts (1125 words): 25%
2 Hour exam (1800 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour lecture/seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Both Gateway units ATS1279, ATS1280 in Communications


ATS3436, AZA2436, AZA3436