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Unit of study_

MECO1002: Digital Media and Communications Landscapes

Digital media and communications landscapes teaches students to map and analyse media policy, industry change, and user engagement. Within this framework, it explores concepts of labour and practical responses to workplace dynamics. Students will review their digital media footprint and develop professional branding strategies.


Academic unit Media and Communications
Unit code MECO1002
Unit name Digital Media and Communications Landscapes
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Margaret Van Heekeren,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Research essay
Due date: 23 Nov 2020 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Landscape infographic
10% Week 04
Due date: 14 Sep 2020 at 23:59
500 words equivalent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6
Assignment Profile of media work
20% Week 07
Due date: 12 Oct 2020 at 23:59
750 words equivalent, inc. 500w text
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Assignment Literature review quiz
30% Weekly 1250 words equivalent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO4 LO3 LO2
  • Literature review quiz: Complete a weekly online quiz based on the weekly readings and submit a question prompted by the readings.Landscape infographic: To create an infographic. The infographic will answer the question, 'How are digital platforms disrupting traditional business models in Australian media and communications and what are the consequences?' 
  • Profile of media work: To design a 3-page (A4) illustrated profile of media work in Australia. The profile will answer the question, 'What are the parameters and requirements of work in Australia's media and comms industries?' 
  • Research essay: To research and write an essay that answers one question from a list of six options and analyses policy and regulatory practices in Australian media and communications.

All assessment tasks are compulsory and must be attempted to be eligible to pass.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

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:

All late assessments will be penalised at a rate of 5% per day. Any assessments submitted 10 days or more after the due date will receive a 0 mark.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, 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 dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

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

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Mapping Lecture and tutorial (1 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 02 Business models Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 03 Industry organisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Competitive pressures Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 05 Labour market dynamics Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 06 Content creators Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Branding, celebrity and influence Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 08 Media critics and advocates Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Policy and regulatory practices Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Self-regulation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Data collection, online privacy and digital rights Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Telling Australian stories Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

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: Lectures will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS.
  • 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

Textbook: S. Cunningham & S. Turnbull (Eds.), The Media and Communications in Australia, 4th edition, Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.

All additional readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

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. demonstrate disciplinary literary in media political economy, including business models, industry organisation, policy and regulation, labour market dynamics, content creation, access, voice, diversity and use
  • LO2. explain ways digital platforms are disrupting traditional business models and their consequences
  • LO3. identify and discuss the parameters and requirements of work in Australia's media and comms industries
  • LO4. read and critique recommended academic readings and media coverage on key issues of debate around Australian media and communications
  • LO5. research and analyse policy and regulatory practices in at least one Australian media sector
  • LO6. communicate learning outcomes in diverse formats including discussion and debate in lectures and tutorials, conceptual media production, and academic writing.

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
The 2019 S2 USS revealed students wanted more support for the Infographic assessment and were concerned about equity in the use of software for the assessment.As a result of this feedback all students in 2020 will be required to use the free software program Canva to ensure equity. Canva support video tutorials will be made available.

Additional costs

The MECO1002 textbook is S. Cunningham & S. Turnbull (Eds.), The Media and Communications in Australia, 4th edition, Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin. RRP: $55 Non-members; $51.15 members. The book can be purchased via Booktopia as a hardy or an ebook. second copies are also available. Do NOT purchase the 3rd edition (2010) as it does not include chapters listed in the weekly reading schedule.

Work, health and safety

If there is a return to campus during semester students should familiarise themselves with University of Sydney procedures for safety during the pandemic. The procedures, and other advice is available here:


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