Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

MassMedia Communication

MassMedia Communication
First semester
Information and Knowledge Society
Teoría de la Comunicación
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

In order to make an appointment, please send an email to the professor



Intellectual discourses, theoretical models or research methodologies that have accompanied the history of the emergence and development of different media can not be summarised in one major and complex theory niether in a single definition of communication.

Due to this evidence, in this subject we will defend the opportunity of do an introductory journey through a selection of theories that have made consistent academic contributions on the media world. Through guided self-learning, the student will critically analyse the main theoretical and methodological beliefs that have served as a compass in this space of dialogue and discussion which has been and makes the story of Communication Theory.

Pre-course requirements

No pre-course requirements are needed to enrol in this subject.


The objective of this course is to help students become oriented to the broad field of theoretical thinking on the media, a complex universe of assertions, theories, concepts and paradigms, not infrequently incompatible.

The historical setting and the compared theming in which this subject is based intends  to endow the student with analytical tools to comment critically on the various dimensions of the current dynamics of the digital communication ecosystem.

In turn, this subject aims to awake the students' interest for intellectual work and their enthusiasm for being personally capable of generating their own analytical and critical thinking.


  • 01 - The ability to adapt to varying circumstances
  • 02 - The ability to understand, accept criticism and correct errors
  • 03 - The ability to administer and manage human and technical resources
  • 04 - The ability to work in a team and autonomously
  • 05 - The ability to organise time and workspace
  • 06 - The ability to develop academic rigour, responsibility, ethics and professionalism
  • 07 - The ability to apply the deontology and respect for the audiovisual sector
  • 08 - The ability of critical analysis, synthesis, concretion and abstraction
  • 09 - The ability to objectify, quantify and interpret (data, statistics, empirical evidence…)
  • 10 - The ability to confront difficulties and resolve problems
  • 11 - The ability to generate debate and reflection
  • 12 - The ability to meet deadlines, develop the ability to be punctual and respect for human, technical and material resources
  • 13 - The ability to create spoken and written communication
  • 14 - Knowledge and mastery of rhetoric and oratory to communicate own ideas
  • 15 - Knowledge and mastery of body language and techniques for public speaking
  • 16 - The ability to manage, analysis and reflect on content
  • 18 - The capacity and development of general culture and interest in social events
  • 19 - The ability of informative documentation
  • 20 - Knowledge and mastery of bibliographic media
  • 21 - Knowledge and mastery of the digital culture
  • 22 - Knowledge and mastery of the distinction between opinion and information / colloquial and cultured register
  • 23 - The ability to prioritize newsworthy events and contrast information
  • 24 - The ability to plan and organize both short term and long term projects
  • 26 - The ability to develop a sense of taste and perfection in the aesthetics and finalization of projects
  • 27 - The ability to adapt to distinct audio visual publics and markets.
  • 35 - The ability to contextualize and critically analyze the products of the audiovisual industry
  • 37 - The ability to contextualize and critically analyze the organizational structure of global communication
  • 38 - The ability to understand and apply the structure of the audiovisual system
  • 39 - The ability to understand and apply the legal dimension of an audiovisual product
  • 40 - The ability to defend and respect authorship and intellectual property
  • 41 - The ability to know how the distinct elemental agencies of the audio visual sector function
  • 42 - The ability to distinguish, analyze and dominate the distinct genres and formats of television, film and radio
  • 44 - The ability to adapt to new audiovisual formats
  • 50 - The ability to adapt, understand and apply the expressive possibilities of new technologies and future changes
  • 51 - Knowledge and mastery of the functioning of Corporate and Institutional Communication.
  • 52 - The ability to apply audiovisual knowledge and techniques for commercial purposes in any form
  • 53 - Lingustic ability in Catalan, Spanish and English
  • 54 - The ability to skillfully manage the literature, terminology and linguistic structures of the English language related to the field of communication.

Learning outcomes

 Los/as estudiantes:

  1. Adquirirán una visión global del sector audiovisual.
  2. Interiorizarán una visión compleja de las sociedades contemporáneas.
  3. Comprenderán con más conocimiento de causa el presente y sabrán detectar nuevas tendencias.
  4. Profundizarán en la cultura y el pensamiento contemporáneo y sus influencias en dinámicas personales y colectivas.
  5. Conocerán las leyes que rigen la producción, distribución y recepción de información.
  6. Manejarán las distintas teorías que tratan de explicar el funcionamiento de los procesos de comunicación en todas sus dimensiones (emisor, mensaje, canal, receptor, uso, efecto, etc.)
  7. Priorizarán la creación de una imagen social y/o corporativa de cualquier iniciativa con dimensión pública.
  8. Facilitarán las relaciones entre personas, grupos de personas, instituciones, organismos, etc. 




Topic 0: Social sciences and theories of communication

0.1. The object of study of communication theories.

0.2  Epistemological and methodological bases.

0.3. What do we mean by "communication theory"?

0.4. Main perspectives


Topic 1: The first era of media theory. The all-powerful effects model

1.1. Historical context: a new social and media order

1.2. Theorists of the mass society

1.3. The origin of propaganda, techniques, characteristics and its impact on theories of communication

1.4. The Frankfurt School

1.5. Contributions and limitations

1.6. Typology of effects

1.6. Overcoming the model?


Topic 2: The second era of media theory. The limited effects model

2.1 Historical context: a new social and media order 

2.2. Origins of the limited effects theory. Mass Communication Research

2.3. Main contributions of the limited effects model

2.4. Typology of effects

2.5. Overcoming the limited effects model.


Topic 3: The third era of media theory: The model of the return to powerful effects.

3.1. Historical context: a new global and mediatic social order

3.2. Main contributions of the model of the return to powerful effects

3.3. Typology of effects

3.4. Overcoming the model?





Design of a communication research

Object of study, research objectives and research questions

Methodologies for communication research

Analysis of empirical data

Presentation of communication research results

Structure and dissemination of results


Teaching and learning activities

In person

Coaching. Monitoring how students learn the content of the subject, either individually or in groups. In the coaching sessions, mistakes will be corrected, queries answered, and exercises and activities to achieve the established objectives will be suggested. 0.2
Focused Praxis. Handing in occasional exercises to learn theory through practice. 1.0
Meeting Point. Meetings will be organised with notable people from the professional and scientific fields or the international field, and students. These sessions will take the form of conferences, work sessions, discussions, or interviews, etc. 0.8
Lectures. In lectures, lecturers/professors not only transmit content or knowledge, but also, and above all else, attitudes, motivation, skills and values, etc. They also ensure that participants can express their opinions and arguments to the other students. 3.0
Peer learning. The aim of this activity is to ensure that students gain the ability to analyse and be critical. One way of achieving this is by correcting their peers' exercises and results, etc. Each student will be evaluated twice: as both a recipient and a transmitter of critical knowledge. 1.0

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

  • To every call
    • Theoretical exam 60% 
    • Research Project 40%

    * To pass the course you must present the two parts.

    ** The spelling rules of the Faculty shall apply to all tests and assignments.

    *** To pass the second call is necessary to accomplish all assessment activities not approved in the first call.

Bibliography and resources

Davison, P. (1983). The third-person effect in communication. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 47 (1), 1-15.

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Illinois: Row Peterson.

Igartua, J. J. y Humanes, M. L. (2004). Teoría e investigación en comunicación social. Madrid: Síntesis.

Klapper, J. (1974). Efectos de las comunicaciones de masas. Madrid: Aguilar.

Lazarsfeld, P., Berelson, B. y Gaudet, H. (1968). The people’s choice. How the Voter Makes Up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign. New York: Columbia University Press.

Lipmann, W. (2003). La opinión pública. Madrid: Langre.

McCombs, M. (2004). Setting the Agenda. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Noelle-Neumann, E. (1973). Return to the concept of powerful mass media. Studies of broadcasting, 9, 67-112.

Noelle-Neumann, E. (1995). La espiral del silencio. Opinión pública: nuestra piel social. Barcelona: Paidós.

Rodrigo Alsina, M. (2001). Teorías de la comunicación. Ámbitos, métodos y perspectivas. Barcelona: Aldea Global.

Wolf, M. (1987). La investigación de la comunicación de masas. Crítica y perspectivas. Barcelona: Paidós.