Propaganda-Media, Manipulation and Persuasion - JN514

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Medway Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) MR K Somerville




Closed to exchange and short term students



The module examines the role of propaganda as a means of communication and persuasion and deals with the definitions, content, intent and methods of propaganda. It involves study and critical assessment of the role of propaganda in the two world wars, the Cold War, apartheid South Africa, Rwanda and contemporary conflicts and politics.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


Autumn term

Method of assessment

Essay (3000 words) (40%)
Seminar Presentation (20%)
Examination, 2 hour (40%)

Indicative reading

Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, New York: Vintage, 1973
Garth Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion, Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage, 2006
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Media, New York: Pantheon Books, 1988
Keith Somerville, Radio Propaganda and the Broadcasting of Hatred: Historical Development and Definitions, Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2012
Phillip Taylor, Munitions of the Mind: A history of propaganda from the ancient world to the present day, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003 edition
David Welsh, Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, London: British Library, 2013

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of key features and methods of propaganda and its dissemination through the media.
2.Acquire a detailed knowledge of and be able to critically evaluate debates on the application of particular models of propaganda.
3.Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the historical evolution of propaganda and of the means of dissemination through the constantly changing forms of media from word of mouth to social media, and be able to critically reflect on the consequences of media development for the content and form of propaganda.
4. Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the use of propaganda during wartime – with detailed knowledge of specific examples drawn from the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries.
5. Acquire a comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of the use of language in using propaganda to influence public opinion and human behaviour.
6. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the spectrum of propaganda in the media.
7. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the contexts of propaganda usage and the importance of content and intent analysis as measures of the phenomenon.

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