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Communication Theory

Code: 104765 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503868 Communication in Organisations FB 2 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Jaume Soriano Clemente

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Marc Blasco Duatis


No specific knowledge is required.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This module belongs to Communication subject or area and it is qualified as fundamental within the Communication in Organizations Bachelor Degree. It is considered that there is a progressive logic linking the basic modules of the Communication subject or area, based on a long teaching experience and structured as follows:

  1. History of Communication. It introduces students to the historical evolution of communication from the first communicative phenomena to nowadays communicative experiences.
  2. Structure of Communication. It presents the communicative ecosystem, its dynamics and structural logic.
  3. Communication theories. It presents and specifies the different theories, schools, authors and different communication analysis perspectives and approaches.

The general training objectives of this module are: 1) to identify the main theories in the communication field, the conceptual elaboration and the theoretical approaches that lay the foundations of its knowledge; I 2) to favour critical thinking about the role of the media within society and their relations with social organizations.


  • Differentiate the principal theories on communication in organisations, which underpin knowledge of the discipline and its different branches.
  • Display thorough knowledge of the contemporary world in its social, economic, political and cultural dimensions.
  • Manage time efficiently and plan for short-, medium- and long-term tasks.
  • Search for, select and rank any type of source and document that is useful for creating messages.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Cross-check information to establish its veracity, using evaluation criteria.
  2. Define the basic concepts of communication.
  3. Describe the structure of the media and its dynamics.
  4. Find what is substantial and relevant in documents within the subject.
  5. Identify the fundamental principles of the theories and history of communication.
  6. Interpret and discuss documents on the main theories of communication.
  7. Plan and conduct academic studies in the field of theory, history and structure of communication.
  8. Present a summary of the studies made, orally and in writing.
  9. Relate communication systems to the cultural evolution of contemporary society.
  10. Submit course assignments on time, showing the individual or group planning involved.



Introduction and year planning. Presenting the program. 

Interpersonal communication.

Non-verbal interpersonal communication.

Media communication. Beginning of the communication media research.

Media communication. Functionalist paradigm. Uses and gratifications theory.

Media communication. Agenda setting theory.

Media communication. Silent spiral theory.

Media communication. Social construction of reality.

Media communication. Birmingham school.

Media communication. Media events.

Media communication. Mediatisation theory

Media communication. Attention economy/Post-truth.


The calendar will be available on the first day of class. Students will find all information on the Virtual Campus: the description of the seminar activities, teaching materials, and any necessary information for the proper follow-up of the subject. In case of a change of teaching modality for health reasons, teachers will make readjustments in the schedule and methodologies


This teaching guide includes a gender perspective when addressing the module’s content.


The teaching methodology will be based on theory lectures, learning throug discussion and debates, readings, tutorials, projects and tests. The main goal of this module is to lay the foundation and develop a critical analysis and critical thinking.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 30 1.2 2, 5, 9
Seminars 13 0.52 8, 6, 7, 10
Type: Supervised      
Tutoring 19 0.76 1, 7, 4
Type: Autonomous      
Personal study and oriented readings 65 2.6 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 9



1. Continuous evaluation of students

All students will follow the continuous evaluation system: two exams/tests (test type) + individual work project + participating on the seminars + oral presentation

1.1 Tests (having a 25% value each of the final grade), which will be about the theories and debates given in lectures and about the content of the module’s mandatory readings. The aim of these tests is to prove the students’ knowledge on communication theories, conceptual definitions, theoretical approaches and social communication analysis.

1.2 Fulfilment of an individual project (30% value of the final grade) within the module’s seminars. At the begenning of the course, seminar lecturers will provide guidelines about the project and its evaluations, as well as about dalendar and deadlines. Seminar lecturers are also responsible for follow up and tutorial of students projects. The aim of the project is to evaluate the comprehension, the analysis capability, structuring and systematization of knowledge acquired during the module and applied to a case or situation.

It will have to be carried on from the perspective of the analysed theories in the lectures work of frame. The seminars’ teachers will decide if the essay topic suggested by the student is appropriate or not. If necessary, the teachers will give the indications for the students to reformulate the project. The same teachers will be doing a follow up and tutoring on the student’s project.

 The individual project will be evaluated using a scoring rubric that will be based on:


 Introduction (up to 1 point);

 Appropriate usage of the theoretical frame (up to 2 points);

 Argumentation (up to 1 point);

 Conclusions (up to 2 points);

 Writing style (up to 1 point);

 References (up to 1 point);

 Citations (up to 1 point);

 Originality (up to 1 point).


1.3 Seminar participation (10% value of the final grade). Seminar activities include discussions and debates about the mandatory readings. These readings are planned to provide knowledge about the usage of the communication theories within the analysis of reality and news. The readings will be mandatory and alongside with the content of the lectures, they are part of the module’s core.

1.4. Oral presentation of work (10% of the final grade). The lecturers will assign speakers for each of the readings to be presented at the seminars.


Final mark.

Each student has to take, at least, the two tests and the individual essay. In order to pass the course, each of the two tests (multiple-choice) must be passed with a minimum mark of 5 points each. If one of the tests is failed, the final mark of the subject will be the same one of the failed test. Given the case the student doesn’t take one of the tests, the final grade will be “not evaluable”. If the student has failed both of the tests, the final grade will be the average of both tests.

As to the project, in case that the student doesn’t doesn’t deliver it or doesn't do it at all, the mark will be “not evaluable”. Taking into account that the module has a continuous evaluation system, if a student is “not evaluable” on the project, he/she will also be “not evaluable” on the module’s final grade.

Because of this, the result would be:

Test 1: 25%

Test 2: 25%

Individual essay: 30%

Seminar’s participation: 10%

Oral presentation of works: 10%


2. Evaluation of students enrolling this module for the second time or more

Students enrolled for the second time or more will be able to follow one of these two evaluation options:


2.1 Continued evaluation – two tests (test type) + individual work project + participating on the seminars + oral presentation. The student will follow the same procedure of evaluation as explained in the section 1 and will have to inform the teacher. The requirements to pass the module are the same as the ones specified in the section 1.


Final qualification. Same procedure as section 1.


2.2. Final test (test type) the students taking the module for the second time or more will also be able to be evaluated only by completing a test, according to the article 117.2 of UAB’s Academic Regulation, applicable to all the university students regulated accordingly to the Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29th of October, modified by the Royal Decree 861/2010 of the 2nd of July. The students who choose this evaluating option will be welcomed to join he lectures and the seminars, as long as they are aware that the only evaluated activity they will take will be this test. They will not be evaluated within seminar participation nor the fulfilment of the project.


Final qualification. The final grade of the students who choose this evaluation will be the same as the one they get in the test they’d take.


3. Second-chance exam:

According to UAB’s Academic Regulation, students will have the chance to make up for the evaluation activities. The students who will be able to take them are:


3.1 Students taking the module for the first time or more (as long as they chose this evaluation option) – two tests + individual project + seminar participation + oral presentation. Students who took the tests and failed them will have the right to retake one or two of the tests failed.

It will not be possible to retake the individual project. The aim of the project is to evaluate the comprehension, the analysis capability, structuring and systematization of knowledge acquired during the module and applied to a case or situation. It is the result of a continued evaluation started at the beginning of the semester and it will not be able to redo it within a short time.


It will also not be possible to retake the participation in the seminars for obvious reasons.


3.2 Students taking the module for the second time or more who chose to follow the one final test evaluation. The students who did this exam and failed will be able to retake a new test.


4. Chances to get a higher mark

4.1 The students who have followed the continued evaluation and passed the exams can take the make up exam to get a higher grade. They can do it either with both exams or only one. In any case, the student will have to accept the results they get, even if they are worse than before. If one od the make up exams is failed, then the final grade of the module will be the same as the one in the test.


4.2 Students taking the module for the second time or more who choose the final test evaluation system and have passed, will also have the chance to take a make up exam to get a higher grade. In any case, the student will have to accept the results they get. The final grade will be the same as the one in this exam.


5. Ordinary revision of the evaluated activities:

Given the case the student is not satisfied with the grades of his or her different evaluated activities, there will be an option for revising these marks. In the case of the tests and final exam (test type), the ordinary revision will be carried by the lecturers responsible of theory groups. The individual project and seminar participation will be revised with seminar lecturers. Dates dates and time of ordinary revisions will be made public through UAB’s Virtual Campus.


6. Extraordinary revision of the module’s final grade:

In case of not agreeing with the final qualification of the module, students will have the right to ask for an extraordinary revision. He or she will have to fill a reasoned request to the Communication Sciences Faculty office within the fifteen days following the publication of the final mark. The revision will be carried out following the extraordinary revision instructions approved by the Faculty Board on the 5th of May of 2016, and revised in May 2019.




PLAGIARISM: The student who performs any irregularity (copy, plagiarism, identity theft...) that can lead to a significant variation of thequalification of an evaluation act, will be qualified with 0 this act of evaluation. In case there are severalirregularities, the final grade of the subject will be 0.


NOTE: The proposed teaching methodology and evaluation activities may undergo some modifications depending on the health authorities' attendance restrictions.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Individual essay 30 10 0.4 1, 6, 7, 10, 4
Oral presentation of works 10 3 0.12 8, 10
Seminar participation 10 6 0.24 8, 6, 7, 10
Test 1 25 2 0.08 2, 3, 8, 5, 9, 4
Test 2 25 2 0.08 2, 3, 8, 5, 9, 4


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This subject does not require knowledge of specific computer programmes other than those for writing university papers and for telematic communication.