COMS225-24SU1 (C) Summer Jan 2024 start

Politics and New Media

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 8 January 2024
End Date: Sunday, 11 February 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 14 January 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 28 January 2024


A Facebook profile is required to take part in this course. This course is being offered at two universities at once in Finland and Aotearoa New Zealand. Students will take part in discussions with students from the other university and will be taught by academics from each university, with a tutor and lecturer at Canterbury coordinating the local version of the course. The course studies the latest developments on how public life and politics are being shaped by web-based communication. You will be asked to think critically about the globalisation of politics online, about the divisions between haves and have nots and about the ways different groups pursue their agendas online.

The aim is to convey knowledge about the implications of new media and the Internet within different subfields of communication and political science. The course provide students with insights into the theoretical points of departure for this development with reference to various empirical studies of the transformation of media and politics online. More specifically the course aims at exploring the complex relationship between new ICTs (information and communication technologies), globalisation, and a multitude of issues ranging from citizen participation to democratic deliberation to minority rights.

There are several central dimensions of politics that have been affected on a global scale by the revolution in ICTs: e.g. political participation, governance, political communication, citizenship, and indeed democracy encompassing the plurality of ethnic, religious, local, national and global identities. These are studied within the framework of postmodern politics as in the greater fragmentation of political, economic and social actors into autonomous networks as part and parcel of the network society. This development involves both democratic challenges and potential with respect to crucial factors of the ‘inclusive society’ such as cultural and social diversity, equal public opportunities, and access to informed knowledge. The coverage and analysis of the multiple issues at stake takes a Nordic/New Zealand comparative perspective while simultaneously taking into account the plural voices communicating across differences within the global span in between.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course you should be able to:
a) to demonstrate knowledge and capacity to make effective usage of the academic literature in the fields of politics, communication/journalism and policy studies with a specific insight into online democracy, governance, communication, media and public participation.
b) to demonstrate an ability to comparatively discuss and analyse social and political issues in a clear, concise and rigorous way making effective use of the conventions of scholarly presentation as well as online facilities such as social media.
c) to collaborate constructively with fellow participants in an international setting combining individual skills and group dynamics along with face-to-face and online interaction.
d) to demonstrate a critical awareness of the political implications of global communication, and ability to apply theory based knowledge on observed case findings of the relationship between digital communication technologies, democracy and inclusive society.


ny 15 points at 100 level from COMS, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01-P1 Tuesday 15:00 - 16:30 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
8 Jan - 14 Jan
01-P2 Tuesday 19:15 - 20:45 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
15 Jan - 4 Feb
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01-P1 Wednesday 15:00 - 16:30 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
8 Jan - 14 Jan
01-P2 Wednesday 19:15 - 20:45 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
15 Jan - 11 Feb
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01-P1 Thursday 15:00 - 16:30 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
8 Jan - 14 Jan
01-P2 Thursday 19:15 - 20:45 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
15 Jan - 11 Feb
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 17:00 - 18:00 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room
8 Jan - 11 Feb

Course Coordinator

Donald Matheson

Partner institutions
The courses ‘Politics and New Media’ (UC) and ‘Governing Online Communication’ (UH) make up a combined international course in political science and communication hosted by the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki (UH) in cooperation with the School of Language, Social & Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury (UH). The shared online facilities are complemented by the UH coordinators’ visits at UC ensuring live interaction with the participating students and local contributions to the lectures by guest lecturers at each participating institution. The collaboration has been developed within the educational mobility project Inclusive Journalism Initiative: Reporting Europe and the Asia-Pacific funded under the ICI Education Co-Operation Programme 2013-17.


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Online lecture discussion 20% post 4 times before a lecture, 4 times during a lecture and 3 times after a lecture.
Online group task 35% collaborative task with students from Helsinki University
Final essay 35% individual analysis of issues from the collaborative task, 2000 words
Tutorials 10%

Textbooks / Resources

All readings will be accessed electronically via the course learning environment on
Facebook (‘Main Site’).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All COMS225 Occurrences

  • COMS225-24SU1 (C) Summer Jan 2024 start
  • COMS225-24SU1 (D) Summer Jan 2024 start (Distance)