Theorizing Media Technology

Course - second cycle - 15 credits

Syllabus for students autumn 2021, autumn 2020

Course Code:
ME651E revision 1.2
Swedish name:
Teoretisera medieteknik
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Media Technology
Date of ratification:
28 May 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Technology and Society
Enforcement date:
30 August 2020
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
20 July 2019

Entry requirements

  1. Bachelor degree in media technology or in a related field with a minimum 180 European Credit Transfer System credits. Examples of related fields include: computer science, informatics, information systems, human-computer interaction, interaction design, media/IT management, game development, media and communication science and digital cultural studies.
  2. English proficiency equivalent to English 6 from a Swedish upper secondary school.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main area of study media technology and can be included in the degree requirements for a Degree of Master of Science in Media Technology (120 credits).


In this course students develop and apply advanced theoretical knowledge in the field of media technology. With a particular focus on existing and emerging media technologies and their impact on the media intensive industries, students explore relevant social, economic and cultural aspects and conditions of media technology.


  • A broad overview of the media technology field and its theoretical foundations,
  • Social, economic and cultural contextualisation of media development and media use,
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives on media development.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • explain how technical, social, cultural, economic and ethical factors affect the development and use of media technologies and platforms,
  • explain key theories in the field of media technology,
  • explain the relationship between different theoretical perspectives and their practical applications.
Competence and abilities
By the end of the course students should be able to:
  • analyse and discuss media technology development from different perspectives and in relation to different contexts,
  • critically discuss theory development in media technology,
  • present theoretical arguments based on literature, case studies and research articles,
  • effectively communicate the results of their theoretical work orally and in writing.
Evaluation abilities and approach
By the end of the course students should be able to:
  • demonstrate an advanced ability to evaluate the theoretical foundations and social contexts of media technology,
  • evaluate different viewpoints on media development and argue for different perspectives and needs.

Learning activities

The course consists of lectures, seminars and independent study, both individually and in groups.


Grading is based on oral and written examination, including active participation in seminars.
The course is assessed based on the following:

  • Essay (7.5 credits, UA)
  • Seminar participation (2.5 credits, UG)
  • Written assignments (5 credits, UA)
To pass the course (A-E): At least grade E on essay (7.5 credits) and written assignments (5 credits) and grade G on seminar participation is required. Course grade is calculated based on the weighted average of assessed parts.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Becker, Howard S. (1998). Tricks of the trade: How to think about your research while you’re doing it. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  • Fuchs, Christian (2014). Social media: a critical introduction. London: SAGE Publications.
  • Gillespie, Tarlton, Boczkowski, Pablo J., & Foot, Kirsten A. (2014). Media Technologies: Essays on communication, materiality, and society. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Interaction Design Foundation (2020). The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. (Available as open access:
  • Karlsson, Jan CH & Bergman, Ann (2017). Methods for Social Theory. Analytical Tools for Theorizing and Writing. London & New York: Routledge.
  • Schäfer, Mirko Tobias & Van Es, Karin (ed.) (2017). The datafied society: Studying culture through data. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (Available as open access:
  • van Dijck, José (2013). The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • van Dijck, José, Poell, Thomas, & de Waal, Martijn (2018). The platform society: Public values in a connected world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Additional literature is decided in consultation with the instructor.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who are taking or have completed a course with the opportunity to share their experiences of and opinions about the course in the form of a course evaluation that is arranged by the University. The University compiles the course evaluations and notifies the results and any decisions regarding actions brought about by the course evaluations. The results shall be kept available for the students. (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

When a course is no longer given, or the contents have been radically changed, the student has the right to re-take the examination, which will be given twice during a one year period, according to the syllabus which was valid at the time of registration.

Other Information

The syllabus is a translation of a Swedish source text.