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Unit of study_

ENGL6970: Reading Magazines

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal evening] - Remote

This unit celebrates magazines as an important but often over-looked part of Australian literary, print and digital culture. Starting with an overview of the history of print culture in Australia and the role of iconic magazines like The Bulletin and Australian Women's Weekly in constructing literary and popular culture, we then examine a cross-section of publications from 'little' literary magazines to fashion, gossip, sports, special-interest, 'indie', custom and online magazines. We interrogate what a magazine might be in a hyper-fragmented market where digital disruption and changes to shopping and reading practices mean that content is delivered across a range of platforms.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ENGL6970
Academic unit English and Writing
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Lydia Rui Jun Cheng,
Lecturer(s) Lydia Rui Jun Cheng,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Video presentation
More information is available on Canvas.
20% Formal exam period
Due date: 21 Nov 2022 at 23:59

Closing date: 28 Nov 2022
10 minutes (500 words equivalent)
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8
Assignment Research paper 1
More information is available on Canvas.
40% Week 07
Due date: 12 Sep 2022 at 23:59

Closing date: 19 Sep 2022
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO7 LO5
Assignment Research paper 2
More information is available on Canvas.
40% Week 13
Due date: 31 Oct 2022 at 23:59

Closing date: 07 Nov 2022
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO4 LO8 LO7 LO6

Assessment summary

2x2000wd research paper (40%), 1x10min video presentation (20%)

Assessment criteria

The aprroved Sydney grading system will apply.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Standard late penalties apply as per FASS regulations

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to magazine studies Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6 LO8
Week 02 History of Australian print culture Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 03 Women’s magazines I: 2nd and 3rd wave feminism Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO6
Week 04 Women’s magazines II: post-feminist scholarship Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 05 Men’s and special interest magazines Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 06 Independent magazines and slow journalism Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 07 The role of the editor Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO8
Week 08 The role of magazines Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 09 The digitalisation of magazines I: theorising the future Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7
Week 10 The digitalisation of magazines II: print vs digital Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 11 The digitalisation of magazines III: what do readers want? Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7
Week 12 The business of magazines Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 13 Magazines’ new competition: the audience Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Readings as shown on the Canvas site.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understanding of the history of print culture in Australia
  • LO2. articulate how magazines constitute an important part of Australian literary and popular culture
  • LO3. construct a critical and rhetorical analysis of a (magazine) text and how it is constructed to appeal to a particular audience
  • LO4. communicate arguments and ideas about print and digital culture effectively and articulately both in writing and verbally
  • LO5. demonstrate skills in research through the competent use of the library and electronic resources that are particular to the study of Australian magazines
  • LO6. understanding of the relationship between book and magazine culture in Australia and its diversification into the digital realm
  • LO7. develop and/or improve skills in digital literacy and the construction of knowledge in a networked society
  • LO8. develop and/or improve skills working with others in a productive, open, and culturally appropriate manner

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The unit has been revised from an intensive block mode to normal 13-week delivery.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.