Media Representations and Research Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Semiotics and Textual/Visual News Framing [Summer School]


Media Representations and Research Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Semiotics and Textual/Visual News FramingThere is an ongoing debate in many countries on the quality of media coverage, for example of the immigrants/ refugees/ asylum seekers in the European Union. This underlines the continued importance of research into media representations and the ways in which different audiences interpret them. The “Media Representations and Research Methods” Summer School helps you to better understand the textual and visual elements of the news. The opening lectures teach you how to structure your research and provide insights into the context of media representations. Then you learn how to analyse discourses, signs and frames in a step-by-step process. The lectures contain many eye-opening examples and offer ample room for discussion. You are encouraged to choose a theme and method for your coursework that are both relevant to your research interests. You write a paper in which you use a qualitative method to analyse a news article or photo and give two talks. To acquire more skills in this field, our related course “Media Representations and Multimodality” could be beneficial to you as well. [Click here to apply for course]

Course Program

  • Course period: 1 – 5 August 2016
  • Course language: English
  • Full course program: available as a pdf file at the GeoMeans website
  • Course sessions: Lectures, roundtable discussions and student presentations
  • Special features:
    • focus on long-term skills development instead of knowledge that is quickly forgotten
    • interactive setting in which everyone is encouraged to participate in the discussion
    • direct and constructive feedback to enrich the collective learning experience
    • focus on exchanging views and disagreeing in a friendly atmosphere
    • stimulating balance between knowledge, assumptions and questions (i.e. critical thinking)
    • advice on your employability skills, internship/PhD opportunities and career options
  • Extra options:
    • After-class tutoring in person and by e-mail
    • Facebook Group of this Summer School to share ideas and links with current and former students
    • Informal drinks and dinners with other students and course leader
  • Recommendations from former students:
    • “It is a rare thing to find someone as genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about teaching as Leonhardt.” — Carol, Master student, Germany
    • “Leonhardt provides personal feedback as well as extra reading materials catering to the individual needs of every student.” — Renée, PhD student, Belgium
    • You can read the recommendations from 30 of Leonhardt’s former Summer School students in a pfd file on the GeoMeans website

Course Fee, Special Offer, Funding and Accomodation

Application Process

  • You can apply for the course on the Maastricht University website
  • Within a week after your application, you will be informed on the result
  • Application deadline is 11 July 2016. Applications hereafter are considered on a case-by-case basis
  • If the course is fully booked, applications are considered on a case-by-case basis as well and priority is given to paid-for applications

Learning Objectives

  • Applying qualitative methods from critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and framing analysis to study the possible meanings of media texts and images
  • Designing an analytical framework to study visual and textual representations in the media in line with your research objectives
  • Understanding the role of the national and ideological context in which media operate in the production of news

Course Participants

  • Media Representations and Research MethodsTarget audience:
    • Bachelor/Master students who need to analyse media representations for their course work or dissertation
    • PhD students who want to operationalise concepts, theories and methods related to media representations and/or need support with their research methodology
    • Professionals who need a deeper understanding of why and how media representations reflect and affect society
  • Number of participants: 7-15

Course Exam and Certificates

  • Exam: one paper and two presentations
  • Required in order to pass your exam: high attendance rate and active participation during plenary sessions, strong motivation and good command of English
  • ECTS: 1.5 (for students who pass their exam; other students and professionals get a certificate of attendance)

Course Literature

  • Media Representations and Research MethodsPlease visit the GeoMeans website for recommended literature
  • You are advised to read one of the recommended books before the course
  • You don’t need to buy and read all recommended books
  • During the course, you can borrow most recommended books from Leonhardt
  • Please ask Leonhardt for personal reading advice if you do not know what books suit your learning objectives the best

Course Leader

[Click here to apply for course]

[Click here for “Media Representations and Multimodality” Summer School]

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Media Representations


  1. Can u please do the course again within Novembe or December this year. I really need it as soon as possible

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