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Mass Communication 262

Research Methods in Communication Studies

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours per Week: 4 hours lecture

Number of Credits: 3 Credits

Prerequisites: Mass Communication 110 or 130 and 12 credits

Corequisite: English 100

Text: Berger, A. A. Media and Communication Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, California. 2014.

Course Description

This course provides a critical introduction to the principal research methods in communication and media studies. Students will study the purpose and theories behind various research techniques, along with their strengths and weaknesses, and learn what to consider when choosing among different research strategies. Students will also learn to critique research findings, including their ethical dimensions.

Course Outline

Week Topic
Week 1 What is research?
Week 2 Writing Research
Week 3 Library Searches
Week 4 Semiotic Analysis
Week 5 Rhetorical Analysis
Week 6 Ideological Criticism
Week 7 Interviews
Week 8 Ethnomethodological Research
Week 9 Participant Observation
Week 10 Content Analysis
Week 11 Surveys
Week 12 A Primer on Descriptive Statistics
Week 13 Conclusions


Students’ grades will be based on their completion of the following activities:

Mid-term Exam 15%
Quizzes 10-20%
Assignments 20-30%
Project 10-20%
Participation 10%
Final Examination 30%


Ian Chunn, B.A., M.A. (Toronto), B.Ed. (British Columbia)
Jean Hebert, B.A. (British Columbia), M.A. (Simon Fraser)