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Communication System Structure

Code: 104721 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503873 Interactive Communication FB 2 2


Carmina Crusafon Baques

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Francesc Manuel López Chaves


The course has no mandatory prerequisites. However, the previous contents taught in the courses Digital Law and Law of ICT, and Theory and History of Interactive Communication, will be important for a better understanding of the course content. It is also recommended to follow up on current information related to the main topic of the course: the structure (political, economic, cultural, etc.) of the globalized communication system and related to technology and communication companies.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The main objective of the course is to introduce students to the global communication system based on four dimensions (economic, political, sociocultural and technological). The course analyzes the functioning dynamics of digital markets and offers analysis tools to understand the functioning of global interactive communication, with special emphasis on the impact of the internet and technological platforms in the redesign of the digitized communication system itself.


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Act within one's own area of knowledge, evaluating sex/gender-based inequalities.
  • Distinguish between and apply the principal theories, conceptual frameworks and approaches regulating interactive communication.
  • Introduce changes in the methods and processes of the field of knowledge to provide innovative responses to the needs and demands of society.
  • 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, academic papers, presentations, etc.
  • 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 collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • 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.
  • Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate using language that is not sexist or discriminatory.
  2. Cross-check information to establish its veracity, using evaluation criteria.
  3. Describe the regulation issues in the communications and new media market.
  4. Differentiate between the actors of communication structure in new media. .
  5. Discuss data from social behaviours in the interconnected society.
  6. Distinguish the salient features in all types of documents within the subject.
  7. Identify situations in which a change or improvement is needed.
  8. Identify the social, economic and environmental implications of academic and professional activities within one's own area of knowledge.
  9. Interpret and discuss documents on the main theories of interactive communication and communication structure.
  10. Plan and conduct academic studies in the field of theory, history and structure of communication and photography.
  11. Propose new methods or well-founded alternative solutions.
  12. Propose projects and actions that are in accordance with the principles of ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and obligations, diversity and democratic values.
  13. Propose projects and actions that incorporate the gender perspective.
  14. Propose viable projects and actions to boost social, economic and environmental benefits.
  15. Submit course assignments on time, showing the individual and/or group planning involved.


The syllabus of the course consists of:

THEME 1: What is the structure of the communication system?

1.1 Conceptual delimitation and theoretical perspectives.

1.2. Methodological proposal: the 4 dimensions of analysis (economic, political, sociocultural and technological).


THEME 2: The dynamics of the global structure of the communication system

2.1 Media,

2.2 Global media groups

2.3 Technology giants.


THEME 3: The digital communication markets

3.1 Sectors

3.2 Business models and types of companies

3.3 Users

3.4 Hubs and clusters


THEME 4: Regulation of the digital communication system

4.1 The role of the state and independent regulators.

4.2 Digital regulation: European Union, United States and China.


THEME 5: The challenges of the digital communication system

5.1 Screens, consumption and free production

5.2 Entertainment

5.2 The meaning of interactive communication in the 21st century


The course is developed in a theoretical-practical way. Alternate sessions and theoretical content with the development of seminars and practical work aimed to better understand the course syllabus. In this way, the topics covered in the theoretical classes can be developed through innovative activities and practical analysis. Lectures will follow the inverted classroom methodology.

The calendar will be available on the first day of class. Students will find all information on the Virtual Campus: the description of the activities, teaching materials, and any necessary information for the proper follow-up of the course. 

The syllabus will be sensitive to aspects related to the gender perspective.

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      
Seminars 30 1.2 1, 2, 6, 4, 5, 9, 10, 15, 11, 12, 13, 14
Theoretical sessions 30 1.2 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 8, 7, 9, 10, 11
Type: Supervised      
Continuous evaluation: practical work throughout the course 30 1.2 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 9, 10, 15, 12, 13, 14
Type: Autonomous      
Autonomous work: reading and practical tasks 50 2 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 8, 7, 9, 10, 15


The evaluation of the subject is summative and includes the following activities:

A. Essays and case analysis (50%): They are tasks in which the student, in a group or individually, performs activities guided or supervised by the teacher. Each of the practices or case analyses has a specific qualification.
B. Test (30%): written test to assess knowledge of the theoretical concepts of the subject.
C. Inclass participation (20%): student participation in the activities during the lectures (current tests, debates or opinion gathering, etc.). Attendance of 80 percent of the sessions is mandatory to obtain the grade.

It is mandatory to participate in all evaluation activities in order to obtain the final grade. In case of justified reasons (health, death, or serious family problem), the essays, case analyses, and tests can be done on alternative dates indicated by the coordinator. There is no possibility to reevaluate the activities of the group participation dynamic.
The grades of each activity will be published on the Virtual Campus, and queries or rectifications can be made up to 10 days after their publication. After this period, the grade cannot be modified.

Any written work with five spelling errors and/or barbarisms (adding five errors in total) will get a zero mark. Any job with a plagiarism percentage that exceeds the usual rules of the authors' rights will also obtain a zero mark. To detect possible plagiarism, computerized procedures may be applied to the digital files of the submitted works, either by applying them to all or only to random samples. The student who makes any irregularity (copying, plagiarism, identity theft...) that may lead to a significant variation in the mark of an assessment activity will be rated 0 in this assessment act. In the event of several irregularities, the final grade for the course will be 0.


Students who fail the course in the continuous evaluation (the result of the sum of the evaluation activities) may choose to apply for a revaluation of the course. The revaluation test will consist of an exam on all the content taught throughout the theory and practice classes. The professors can ask about the course syllabus's current aspects in the revaluation test. Students will have the right to revaluations of the subject if it has been evaluated from the set of activities, the weight of which is a minimum of 2/3 parts of the total mark for the course. To be able to apply for the course revaluation, it will be necessary to obtain a minimum average grade of 3.5.

The student who performs any irregularity (copy, plagiarism, identity theft...) will be qualified with 0 for this act of evaluation. The subject's final grade will be 0 if there are several irregularities.

SECOND ENROLMENT:  In the case of the second enrolment, students can do a single synthesis test consisting of content control and practical exercises. The subject's grade will correspond to the grade of the synthesis test. The student who wants to take a single test must communicate it in writing to the coordinator of the subject.


The single evaluation system of the subject is based on the following percentages:

A) 50% Theoretical test on the content syllabus

B) 30% Written test of resolution of 3 practical cases.

C) 20% Oral presentation to comment and argue about any topic studied in class.

The single evaluation grade results from the sum of the different evaluation tests.

The dates of these tests will be announced at the beginning of the course through the calendar of the subject.

REVALUATION OF THE SINGLE ASSESSMENT:  It will consist of a synthesis test incorporating test questions on content, resolution of cases, and a part of the oral presentation. Those students who have taken the tests of the single evaluation and have obtained at least a 3.5 in the overall grade of the subject may be presented. The date will be announced at the beginning of the course.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essays and case studies 50% 6 0.24 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 15, 11, 12, 13, 14
Inclass participation 20% 2 0.08 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 8, 7, 9, 15, 11, 13
Test 30% 2 0.08 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 8, 7, 9


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ALBORNOZ, Luis i GARCÍA LEIVA, Trinidad (eds.) (2017) Diversidad e industria audiovisual. El desafío cultural del siglo XXI, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

BREVINI, Benedetta; SWIATEK, Lukasz (2020) Amazon: Understanding a Global Communication Giant. New York: Routledge

CEREZO, Pepe (2019). Los medios ante los modelos de suscripción. Barcelona: UOC.

CRUSAFON, Carmina (2012). La nueva era mediática: Las claves del escenario global. Barcelona: Bosch Comunicación.

DÖNDERS, Karen (2021). Public service media between theory, rules, and practice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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FUCHS, Christian; CHANDLER, David (2019). Introduction. Big Data Capitalism – Politics, Activism and Theory. In: Chandler, D. & Fuchs, C. (eds.). Digital Objects, Digital Subjects: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Capitalism, Labour and Politics in the Age of Big Data. London: University of Westminster Press. Pp. 1-20. http://doi.org/10.16997/book29a

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HALLIN, Daniel i MANCINI, Paolo (2008). Sistemas de medios comparados. Tres modelos de relación entre los medios de comunicación y la política. Barcelona: Hacer.

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MANSELL, Robin (2012). Imagining the Internet: Communication, Innovation and Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

MANSELL, Robin I STEINMUELLER, W. Edward (2020) Advanced Introduction to Platform Economics. Cheltenham: Elgar.

PARISER, Eli (2017) El filtro burbuja: Cómo la web decide lo que leemos y lo que pensamos, Barcelona: Penguin Random House Grupo Eidtorial.

PARK, Seun Ho; GONZÁLEZ PÉREZ, María Alejandra; FLORIANI, Dinorá (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Corporate Sustainability in the Digital Era. Palgrave Mcmillan: Londres. ISBN 978-3-030-42411-4. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42412-1

PEIRANO, Marta (2019). El enemigo conoce el sistema: Manipulación de ideas, personas e influencias después de la economía de la atención, Barcelona: Debate.

SHEN, Hong (2021) Alibaba: InfrastructuringGlobal China. London: Routledge.

TANG, Min (2020) Tencent: The Political Economy of China’s Surging Internet Giant. London: Routledge

TÚÑEZ-LÓPEZ, Miguel; CAMPOS-FREIRE, Francisco; y RODRÍGUEZ-CASTRO, Marta (Eds.) (2021). The values of public service media in the Internet society. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

TURKLE, Sherry (2019). En defensa de la conversación. El poder de la conversación en la era digital. Barcelona: Ático de los libros.

ZALLO, Ramón (2016) Tendencias en comunicación. Cultura digital y poder, Barcelona: Gedisa.

The teacher can suggest additional bibliographies and other online sources during the semester.


Basic Microsoft Office tools, applications in the Moodle environment, and free virtual learning platforms.