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Epistemology and Methodology of Communication Research

Code: 42443 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
4313227 Media, Communication and Culture OB 0 1


Jaume Soriano Clemente

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)

Other comments on languages

The required readings for the course may include texts in English and Spanish.


No previous knowledge of the Official Master’s Degree in Media, Communication and Culture modules is required.

Objectives and Contextualisation

Knowledge and usage of communication research methods and techniques.


  • Apply advanced techniques in quantitative and qualitative research to the production and reception of communication.
  • Continue the learning process, to a large extent autonomously.
  • Lead and work in interdisciplinary teams.
  • Plan and lead basic and applied research projects in media communication and culture.
  • Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply procedures for data collection and analysis.
  2. Assess the appropriateness of techniques of communication research.
  3. Carry out fieldwork using quantitative and qualitative research techniques.
  4. Construct instruments for data collection and analysis.
  5. Construct research samples.
  6. Continue the learning process, to a large extent autonomously.
  7. Formulate hypotheses, research questions and objectives.
  8. Identify the different possible research strategies.
  9. Lead and work in interdisciplinary teams.
  10. Programme the implementation of research projects.
  11. Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.


1. Epistemology of scientific knowledge

2. The debate on method in the social sciences. Paradigms

3. Mediated communication as an object of study.

4. The research process. Methodological dimensions

  • 4.1. Choice and delimitation of the object of study.
  • 4.2. Formulation and operationalisation of hypotheses and research questions.
  • 4.3. Sample construction: representativeness and validity

5 Introduction to basic methodological procedures in mediated communication

  • 5.1. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis
  • 5.2. Interviews
  • 5.3. Focus groups
  • 5.4. Ethnography/Participant Observation
  • 5.5. Survey
  • 5.6. Experiments/Quasi-experiments



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.


  1. Lectures
  2. Case study
  3. Readings
  4. Tutoring
  5. Projects and assignments

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      
Case study 5 0.2 7
Lectures 25 1 8, 2
Type: Supervised      
Tutoring 15 0.6 10
Type: Autonomous      
Reading, projects and assignments 105 4.2 8, 2



The final grade will result of combining three ways of evaluating the academic performance:

-          Carrying out essays that will be the 50% of the final grade.

-          Taking a type test exam about the reading ofa text. The qualification of this test will be a 30% of the final grade.

-          Class attendance and participating in debates and academic controversies that will take place in class. This will be a 20% of the final grade.


Both the test and the essay can be retaken. Assistance and participation will be not evaluated a second time.

Only students who have failed the test or the essays previously will be suitable for retaking either one or both of them, as long as their final mark for the module is below 5 points. Students with a higher final grade than 4,9 will not be able to retake any activity.


3.Ordinary revision of the evaluation activities

In the case of not agreeing with the marks given to each different evaluation activity, the student will have the right to an ordinary revision of those with the professor. The date and time of this revision will be announced on the Virtual Campus module’s class.

4.Extraordinary revision of the module’s final mark

In case of not agreeing with the final qualification of the module, the student 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, whichcan be found on the Faculty’s web: http://www.uab.cat/web/estudiar/grados/informacion-academica/evaluacion/revision-extraordinaria-de-la-calificacion-final-1345717361537



PLAGIARISM: The student who performs any irregularity (copy, plagiarism, identity theft...) that can lead to a significant variation of the qualification of an evaluation act, will be qualified with 0 this act of evaluation. In case there are several irregularities, 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
Content follow-up tests 30% 0 0 8, 7, 2
Participating in classes and debates 20% 0 0 11, 6
Realization of assignments 50% 0 0 1, 4, 5, 3, 10, 9


Arroyo, Millán; Sádaba, Igor (coords.)

2012 Metodología de la investigación social Madrid, Editorial Síntesis.

Becker, Howard

2011 [1986] Manual de escritura para científicos sociales Buenos Aires, Siglo XXI.

Chalmers, Alan F.

2000 ¿Qué es esa cosa llamada ciencia? (Tercerca edición en España) Madrid, Siglo XXI.

Couldry, Nick and Hepp, Andreas

2017 The Mediated Construction of Reality, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Della Porta, Donatella; Keating, Michael (eds.)

2013 Enfoques y metodologías en las ciencias sociales, Madrid, Ediciones Akal.

Gauntlett, David

2007 Creative Explorations. New approaches to identities and audiences New York, Routledge.

Goyanes, Manuel

2017 Desafío de la investigación estándar en comunicación. Crítica y alternativas, Barcelona, Editorial UOC.

Hansen, Anders and Machin, David

2019 Media and Communication Research Methods (2nd Edition), London, Red Globe Press

Igartua, Juan José

2006 Métodos cuantitativos de investigación en comunicación Barcelona, Bosch.

Íñiguez, Lupicinio (ed.)

2006 Análisis del discurso. Manual para las ciencias sociales Barcelona, Editorial UOC.

Kubitschko, Sebastian i Kaun, Anne
2016 InnovativeMethods in Media and Communication Research eBook, Springer

Rose, Gillian

2019 Metodologías visuales: una introducción a la investigación con materiales visuales Murcia, Cendeac.

Soriano, Jaume

2007 L’ofici de comunicòleg Vic, Eumo Editorial.

2017 "Investigar la comunicación con métodos biográficos. Propuestas de estudio", en Historia y Comunicación Social vol. 22(1), pàgs. 157-171.

Wright Mills, Charles

2009 [1959] La imaginación sociológica México D.F., Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Verd, Joan M.; Lozares, Carlos

2016 Introducción a la investigación cualitativa Madrid, Editorial Síntesis.


1973 La disputa del positivismo en la sociología alemana Barcelona, Grijalbo.


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