Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Communication Theory

Communication Theory
First semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

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



The various intellectual discourses, theoretical models and research methodologies that have accompanied the emergence and development of the different media cannot be summarised in one major, complex theory, nor in one single definition of the term communication. In light of this evidence, in this subject we will take an introductory look at a selection of theories that have sought to explain the media world. Through guided self-learning, students will critically analyse the main theoretical and methodological concepts that have served as a compass in this space of dialogue and discussion that has always characterised Communication Theory.

Pre-course requirements

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


The aim of this subject is to help students become familiar with the broad field of theoretical media thought, a complex universe of assertions, theories, concepts and paradigms that are not infrequently incompatible.

The historical background and comparative topics on which this subject is based intend to endow the students with the analytical tools needed to critically discuss the various dimensions of the current dynamics of digital communication ecosystems.

Furthermore, this subject aims to spark the students’ interest in intellectual work and their desire to become capable of generating their own analytical and critical thoughts.

A fourth objective of this subject is to help students realise that empirical social research cannot be performed in empty theoretical space and that, as a result, to further their observations, they should not simply follow spontaneous assumptions, but must rely on more general theories to explain and guide their projects.

This subject will have achieved its purpose if the students come to view the theories about the media not only as tight and expendable speeches by foreign specialists, but as inescapable guidelines for a thorough understanding of the media and as prospects for intellectually stimulating observations.



  • 10 CG - Knowledge and mastery of bibliographic repertoires
  • 11 CG - Knowledge and mastery of different research resources
  • 16 CE - The ability to make judgments and well-argued critical assessments
  • 18 CE - Ability to detect newsworthy events
  • 22 CE - The ability to critically analyze Spanish, European and World journalism.
  • 36 CE - Knowledge and mastery of the distinction between opinion and information / colloquial and cultured registers
  • 37 CE - Knowledge and mastery of different techniques to contrast information

Learning outcomes

  • To be familiar with the main theoretical concepts of reporting.

  • To be able to form intelligible and convincing arguments.

  • To have a historical basis for understanding the present of the media.

  • To be familiar with the elements that make up news organisations.

  • To develop an entrepreneurial spirit and leadership.

  • To develop creativity and the ability to be innovative in product development and journalistic or communication projects.




Topic 0: The social sciences and mass communication theory

Topic 1: The first era of media theory

(A) The theory of mass society

(B) The theory of propaganda

Topic 2: The second era of media theory: Limited effects theory

Topic 3: The third era of media theory: Critical and cultural theories

Topic 4: The fourth era of media theory


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. 0.6
Seminar. This activity will consist of taking an in-depth look at specific up-to-date topics in a monographic manner-in some cases these topics will have been debated socially-, via active work in small groups. 1.0
Practical workshop. A highly practical working activity, where students can acquire skills that are practical or also theoretical (intellectual skills, logical skills, critical skills, intellectual learning skills, study skills, quoting skills, 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. 2.5
Lab. Working groups that combine theory and practice. The aim of these is not to undertake already known techniques, but instead to make progress that is both theoretical and technical. These Lab sessions will culminate in the creation of a professional or semi-professional product. 0.7
Focused Praxis. Handing in occasional exercises to learn theory through practice. 0.4

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

  • Theoretical exam: 60% (November 2021)

  • Research project: 40%

* To pass the course, students must sit the exam and submit the project.

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

*** To pass the second sitting, students must complete all the assessment activities they failed to pass in the first sitting.

Bibliography and resources

Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2011). Mass Communication Theory. Foundations, Ferment, and Future. Wadsworth.

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

Scheufele, D. y Moy, P. (2000). Twenty-five years of the spiral of silence: A conceptual review and empirical outlook. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 12 (1), 3-28.