Media Studies Key Concepts

Media Studies revolves around seven key concepts (you can use the acronym M-I-G-R-A-I-N for easy reference):

  • Media Forms
  • Institution
  • Genre
  • Representation
  • Audience
  • Ideology
  • Narrative

Use the menu on the left to find out more about each one.

Using Key Concepts in Media Studies

These Key Concepts function as tools you can use to analyse a media text. Each Key Concept has a set of theories and ideas associated with it. Once you've learned and understood the theories, you can use them to support your own explanation of how a media text is constructed and received. Usually, Media Studies exams will ask you to analyse a text whilst focusing on one or more of these concepts, as specified by the question.

Other Useful Pages On This Site

As well as incorporating Key Concepts into your textual analysis, you also need to consider codes and conventions - technical, symbolic and verbal - and different potential (preferred and oppositional) readings. These pages have additional information on these sets of theories:

Media Studies Terminology

Success in Media Studies is heavily reliant on you knowing the right word to use to describe whatever you are referring to. Terminology is there to help you, to make your descriptions accurate - learn it and use it.

Check out these Media Studies glossaries

It's helpful to keep your own word list as part of your notes. Jot down terms and definitions as you come across them.

Applying Key Concepts

Whatever you learn as a concept, you need to be able to apply to real world examples. This means keeping up with the latest in media trends. You can find a range of media-related news stories (linked to concepts such as representation) over at the Mediaknowall blog. If you want those stories to appear automatically in your Facebook News Feed, hit "Like". Also, try starting a discussion on the Facebook page if you have a question about a particular topic.