No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

COM115 Media Audiences & Public Opinion (8)


This subject focuses on the various theoretical approaches to understanding and analysing media audiences and the formation of public opinion. The subject considers who/what is meant by the terms 'audience' and 'public'. Audience measurement techniques and developments will be examined in light not only of their effectiveness but also for their broader cultural meaning. The subject will also provide a critical context for understanding media audiences by examining a number of audience research theories such as effects studies, reception theory and ethnography.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: COM115
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Communication and Creative Industries

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Understand how the media industries measure their audiences.
  • Differentiate between concepts of the public and the audience.
  • Outline the different audience research methodologies.
  • Identify and evaluate how media texts are structured - in relation to the formation of public opinion.
  • Understand the complex ways in which audiences produce meanings for media texts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to research and present a written discussion.


The subject will cover the following topics:
Developments and problems in audience research. Effects theory. Ethnography. Reception theory. Television and radio ratings methods. Narrative in news and current affairs. Audiences and talk-back radio. Spin and public opinion. Media representations and public opinion.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.