6 ECTS credits
157 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4016224FNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

1st semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
Communication Sciences
Educational team
Leo Van Audenhove (course titular)
Activities and contact hours

26 contact hours Lecture
131 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

A classic definition of media literacy is the one constructed at the National Leadership Conference on Media Literacy in 1993: 'Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages in a variety of forms'. Media literacy is a booming topic in our fast changing digital media environment. At least, at the rhetorical level it is said to be of utmost importance that all people are media literate. The media literacy field is a highly diverse field. In a review of the field in 2013 Potter identifies 23 different definitions of media literacy. Although all theories on media literacy pay attention to a certain level of critical understanding towards media and news content, digitalization of media and the fast innovation in the field have turned attention to levels of access to digital media, to the strengthening of technical skills to deal with computers, tablets and smart phones and the applications running on them. In this course we focus on 1) the theoretical discussions on media literacy, 2) policies on media literacy in selected European countries,  at the level of the EU and UNESCO, 3) concrete projects on media literacy in Flanders and Europe.

Course material
Handbook (Recommended) : Comparative Communication Research, Esser, Taylor & Amp, 9780415802758, 2012
Additional info

An extensive reader will be compiled and distributed at the beginning of the course. Background recommended reading is:

Buckingham, D. 2003. Media Education. Literacy, learning and contemporary culture. Cambridge: Polity.

Hoechsmann, M. & Poyntz, S. 2012. Media Literacies. A critical introduction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Potter, J. 2014. Media Literacy. London: Sage.

Teaching Methods

Lecture: collective contact-dependent moments during which the lecturer engages with learning materials
- Seminar, Exercises or Practicals (Practical): collective or individual contact-dependent moments during which the students are guided to actively engage with learning materials
- Independent or External Form of Study (Self): independent study

This description of the teaching methods is indicative, in order to assess the expected study load.

Lecture: 26 hours (13 x 2 hours)

  • classical teaching and guest lectures

Self: 131 hours

  • reading of literature before coming to class: 24 hours
  • coursework after guest lectures : 21 hours
  • keeping up with the course material during the semester, amounting to 3 hours per lecture: 36 hours
  • preparation exam: 24 hours (3 days of 8 hours)
Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

M.1.d. Students show in-depth knowledge, understanding and insight within the field of communication sciences and in relation to the latest evolutions and discussions at both the national and international level regarding media, internet and globalization.

M.2.d. Students demonstrate the ability to critically contextualise and evaluate current national and international developments and discussions, and are able to independently deepen insights related to complex problems on the basis of an original framework of analysis, thereby expanding the theoretical basis related to media, internet and globalisation

M.3.    Students show an open and constructive attitude whilst having respect for other views and beliefs. 

M.5.    Students act upon an open attitude in a culturally diverse international context. They critically reflect on their own (geographical, social, cultural, local, personal, …) position. 

M.6.d. Students demonstrate the skill to discuss and debate current societal and scientific topics and theoretical developments related to media, internet and globalisation. The students discuss issues on the basis of critical and substantiated reflections and research findings, open-mindedly and willing to acknowledge other arguments. 

M.12.    Students are able to communicate their point of view in a clear and scientific-grounded argumentation to various target groups.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 70% of the final mark.
Practical Exam determines 30% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Oral Exam with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 70% of the final mark.

Within the Practical Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Assignment and Presentation with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 30% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation


Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Communication Studies: New Media and Society in Europe
Master of Teaching in Social Sciences: communicatiewetenschappen (90 ECTS, Etterbeek) (only offered in Dutch)