Swayam Central

Communication Research

By Prof. Narasimhamurthy   |   Bengaluru Central University
Communication research is of theoretical and application value. Media effects research in particular has played a stellar role in the formulation and revision of communication theories.  Some such theories include the ‘magic bullet theory, the selective exposure theory, the agenda setting theory, the uses and gratification theory, the theory of spiral of silence, and cultivation theory.   Besides adding to theories, communication research provides functional inputs to communication and media industry.  Such functional inputs are of immense value in assessing the reach and effectiveness of mass media, modifying the media content, and launching new media products to meet the changing needs of the audience. That being the importance of communication research, students pursuing post graduate programmes in communication and journalism must have a thorough understanding of   research methods so as to function as academic and media industry researchers. With that objective, the 20 module of the communication research course is designed to help students learn all aspects of communication research. The 20-module syllabus covers all essential areas of research such as characteristics of research, types of research, review of literature, formulation of research questions and hypotheses, data collection methods, sampling procedures, data collection tools, collection and analysis of data, and presentation of findings.  The course will also expose students to the most essential statistical procedures. Here, the focus will be on data measurement levels, measures of central tendencies; Measures of variability, Inferential statistics, parametric and non-parametric tests such as   Chi-square test, Student’s t-Test, Analysis of Variance, Pearson and Spear-man Correlation coefficient tests, and use of statistical software for analysis. The 20 module will be covered in 15 weeks. Each week will cover one or modules with four quadrants consisting of E-content, self-instruction materials, interaction, assignments and assessments. 

Learners enrolled: 1782


Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 15 weeks
Start Date : 15 Jul 2019
End Date : 30 Oct 2019
Exam Date : 09 Nov 2019
Enrollment Ends : 10 Sep 2019
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Level : Postgraduate


    WEEK 1: 
    Methods of knowing: tenacity, authority, priori, science; Research definitions and characteristics; Communication and other branches of social sciences; Major landmarks of communication research; Communication research in India. 

    Week 2: 
    Nature and scope of communication research; Research universals: data, concepts, constructs, variables; Types of variables: independent variables, dependent variables, extraneous variables, discrete variables and continuous variables;  Levels of measurement- nominal, ordinal  interval  and ratio. 

    WEEK 3: 
    Research areas: source, message, channel, receivers and effects; Content analysis; Types of research: Qualitative and Quantitative research; Pure research and Applied research; Descriptive research, Exploratory research, Correlation research, Explanatory research; Historical research, Ex-post facto research, Experimental research

    WEEK 4 : 
    Steps in research process; Step 1: Arriving at a research problem; an idea/topic; concretising the idea and finalizing research problem; Considerations in problem selection: Interest, relevance, significance, and cost and time factors.Research process Step 2: Review of literature; Step 3: Formulating study objectives, research questions, hypothesis – research hypothesis and null hypothesis/alternative hypothesis; Research proposal

    WEEK 5: 
    Research process- Step 4.1: Selecting a research design; Types of research designs; one -shot design, before-and-after design, longitudinal design; retrospective design, prospective design, retrospective-prospective design

    WEEK 6:
    Research process- Step 4.2: Experimental designs; Experimental design essentials: random assignment, manipulation of independent variables; Control group and experimental group; Types of experiments – Field experiments, Lab experiments; Types of experimental designs:  Single group design, two group design, Solomon four-group design

    WEEK 7:
    Research process- Step 5.1: Population and samples; Sampling methods: Probability and probability sampling procedures – Simple random sampling, Stratified random sampling, Cluster sampling, Systematic samplingResearch process- Step 5.2: Non-probability sampling methods: Convenience/accidental sample, Quota sampling, Snowball sampling, Mixed sampling methods; Characteristics of samples; Sample size adequacy; sampling error.  

    WEEK 8 : 
    Research process- Step 6.1: Data collection methods for qualitative studies: In-depth analysis of documents; Observation of events, groups/communities; in-depth interviews; textual analysis/ qualitative content analysis.Research process- Step 6.2: Data collection methods for quantitative studies: Observations, Interviews and surveys; Quantitative data collection tools: Observation schedules, Interview schedules, Questionnaires; Types of questions; Consideration in framing questions. 

    WEEK 9:
    Research process- Step 6.3: Scales: Thurstone scales, Guttman scale; Likert scale; Semantic Differential scale; Reliability and validity of measures.Research process- Step 6.4: Quantitative content analysis; Sample for content analysis; categorising the content; coding of content, Inter coder reliability/consistency.

    WEEK 10:
    Research process- Steps 7.1: Quantitative statistical analysis: Descriptive statistics- frequencies, percentages; simple and grouped frequency distribution;  Graphic presentations – pie chart, bar graph, frequency polygons; Symmetrical and skewed distribution.

    WEEK 11:
    Research process- Steps 7.1: Measures of central tendencies: Mode, Median, Mean; Measures of variability: Range, Mean, Standard deviation.Research process- Steps 7.2: Normal curve and its properties; Sampling error, levels of significance, P value.

    WEEK 12:
    Research process- Steps 7.3: Inferential statistics – Parametric and non-Parametric statistics; Chi-square test; Student’s t-Test; Analysis of Variance; Basics of Factor Analysis. 

    WEEK 13:
    Research process - Steps 7.4: Inferential statistics – Pearson and Spearman Correlation coefficient tests; Regression. 

    WEEK 14:
    Research process - Steps 7.5: Statistical software usage procedure; data entry and data editing, analysis of data and interpretation of results output.  

    WEEK 15:
    Research process- Steps 8:  Reporting the findings;  Thesis, Chapterisation of thesis; Research reports; Research papers for publications; Footnotes, endnotes; Reference styles –, APA, MLA Chicago; Harvard. Ethics in media research.



    Prof. Narasimhamurthy presently working as a Professor in Communication, Dean Faculty of Arts, Bengaluru Central University, Bangalore. Prof. Murthy has 30 years of experience in Communication Education. His areas of interest include Communication Research, Theories of Communication, Development Communication and Broadcast Journalism. He has published more than 20 research papers in National/International refereed journals and attended several National and International conference/seminars in India and abroad. His actively involved in Mass Communication and Journalism academic activities of several Universities of the country. 


    “30 Marks will be allocated for Internal Assessment and 70 Marks will be allocated for external proctored examination”