• Vivian Moh

CNM Module Reviews: NM4000/Honours Modules

Congratulations! If you’ve made it to searching for NM Level-4000/ Honours module reviews, it probably means you’re in your last few laps of your university life. And that means you deserve a pat on the back. Good job for surviving till now!

Source: upklyak


If you’re like me, lost and confused without many NM friends or seniors to seek guidance on modules from, rest assured as CNM Types has compiled a list of NM4K/honours module reviews from our seniors and peers, so you don’t have to!

By now, I’m sure most of you are pretty experienced in seeking out the available modules that match your preferences and weighing your priorities. If you’re still unsure, do read the NM3000 module reviews guide for more details. So without further ado, let’s jump right in to the reviews!

Please note the AY/Sem of each review as there may be changes to the curriculum and teaching staff that are not reflected in this article. Do check LumiNUS or NUSmods for the latest update. In addition, please understand that these reviews are based on our interviewees’ experiences, which may differ from person to person.


Here’s a brief overview of the NM4000 modules we’ll be reviewing (click on the module to skip ahead):


 

NM4102 Advanced Communications & New Media Research

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Jiang Shaohai

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who

  • Enjoy NM research and theories

  • Planning to do a research-based honours thesis

Module Description:

  • Helps honours students conduct independent empirical research using the key social science research methods.

  • Learn detailed procedures and executable techniques of selected research methods such as survey research, experimental design, in-depth/focus group interviews, and content analysis.

  • More in-depth research methods learnt in NM2101, NM2103 and NM2104.

  • Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach with students selecting their own research topics, developing research questions and hypotheses, and designing the structure of research activities including measurement, sampling, data collection, and data analysis.

  • A glimpse of what it would be like writing your research-based honours thesis.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class participation (20%)

  • Article critique, presentation, and lead discussion (20%)*

  • Group project (30%)**

  • Individual research proposal (30%)

*Do note that this component has been changed to 15% in the upcoming semester on LumiNUS

**Do note that this component has been changed to 35% in the upcoming semester on LumiNUS


Pros:

  • Freedom of choice of topic makes the module very fun and exciting if you choose a topic you’re personally very interested in.

  • Prof is extremely nice and understanding, and replies to any and all queries quickly, so don't be afraid to ask anything if unsure.

  • Deadlines were pretty spread out, though it would be wise to start individual proposal sooner, so that one can focus on the group project afterwards.

Cons:

  • Similar to a standard research module in which the content can be dry if you do not really appreciate research-based modules in general.

  • Can be rather challenging to apply the theories in your research.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Start and clear individual work as soon as possible. Try to choose more engaging topics if possible to make research phase smoother.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

  • Must have taken either NM2101, NM2103, or NM2104.



NM4204 Media Ethics - Principles and Practices

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Bertha Henson

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are

  • Interested in understanding the ethical standards that media professionals should hold themselves to and how to better evaluate the news we receive from Singapore’s mainstream media.

Module Description:

  • Learn about the principles underpinning ethical communications, whether in social media or traditional media.

  • Understand the dilemmas that face media players, whether in journalism, advertising and public relations, with contemporaneous case studies to stimulate critical analysis.

  • Module is focused on the Singapore context and how the prevailing laws and cultural norms define or refine ethical principles.

Assessment breakdown:

  • 4 Short assignments (10% each)

  • 2 Individual essays (20% each)

  • Project work and participation (20%)

Pros:

  • In Media Ethics, lines can be very blurred so hearing others’ perspectives and actively contributing to the discussion can be very interesting.

  • There are hands-on application activities using the most current news topics.

  • The prof’s passion for the the field of journalism in Singapore is very inspiring and encourages the students’ interest in discerning the media landscape.

Cons:

  • Assignments were due almost every other week so consistent effort is needed! But it shouldn't take over half a day to complete (for those 10% assignments).

Tips when taking the module?

  • Stay abreast of current news topics.

  • Try to learn and understand how to think about ethical issues, such as through frameworks instead of memorising content. You can do this by reading the prof's Blog, Facebook posts, and engaging with her in conversations.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4206 Media Regulation & Governance

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Morales Tellez Sofia Rosario

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in how media is being governed around the world and the laws in place to protect the ever-changing media landscape.

Module Description:

  • Learn about the origins of law, how different governments regulate media, and important laws governing new media such as copyright, defamation and surveillance.

  • Examine how technological transformation of media and communications has required nation states to make big adjustments in regulatory frameworks.

  • Provide students with the possibility to analyse and differentiate the open spectrum of regulatory and policy solutions for new challenges that technology is imposing.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Midterm reflection journal (15%)

  • E-Seminar participation (20%)

  • Group project (25%)

  • Group peer evaluation (5%)

  • Group project e-presentation with Individual presentation (20%)

  • Final reflection journal (15%)

Pros:

  • Prof Sofia is very patient and encouraging to different ideas.

  • There is a fair amount of group work and opportunities for individual reflection. Deadlines for assignments were well spread too.

  • It was very interesting to learn about the different ways each country controls media and how each method has its pros and cons.

Cons:

  • Reflection assignments were not very worth its weightage as they can be rather challenging and complex, especially if you're struggling to understand the module.

  • Topics can be dry as well.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Do your best to understand the slides, Google the topics or check with prof for anything you're unsure about.

  • Pick a case studies which you're interested in e.g. China's Google problem, Facebook's recurring censorship issues, digital divide across the world.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4207 Managing Communication Campaigns

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Soh Kai Ruo

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in learning how to planning, executing and managing communication campaigns.

Module Description:

  • Capstone module of the communication management sequence that students can apply theory, their skills and creativity to public relations problems facing companies.

  • Students will design and implement campaigns and manage relationships with stakeholders such as clients, the media, and key community leaders.

  • Provides an opportunity for practical application of principles to real-life problems. Students are expected to produce the collaterals needed for their campaigns and design realistic evaluation exercises to test their campaigns and assess their efficacy.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Seminar Participation (20%)

  • Research Report (15%)

  • Campaign Proposal Presentation (10%)

  • Final Strategy and Creative Assets (20%)

  • Reflection (10%)

  • Campaign Evaluation Report (25%)

Pros:

  • Prof is really friendly and sincere in caring for the well-being of the students. She also does not take free-riders in project groups lightly so don’t afraid to sound out if you face any of such issues.

  • The module has a more hands-on application front. You may get to create social media content such as TikToks and gain experience in posting advertisements on social media (though this depends on the nature of your campaign and the client).

Cons:

  • The workload can be quite intense even though there are eight people in a group, especially if you are unfortunate enough to score slackers as groupmates. :(

  • Be prepared for unforeseeable circumstances such as unresponsive clients which can hinder your progress.

Tips:

  • Always try to link your campaign’s ideas with theories.

  • Always plan ahead with good time management.

Pre-requisites:

  • Completed 80MCs, including 28MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

  • NM2219



NM4208 Strategic Communication Design

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Tan Kai En

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested to enhance their knowledge and skills in design! Especially those who wish to continue their learning after NM3217.

Module Description:

  • Learn how to communicate effectively through research and strategy, apply and package communication messages and design in print/interactive publications.

  • Master the planning and management of the design workflow, while developing an appreciation for visual literacy.

  • Formulate a communication campaign and synthesise different communication medium (e.g. magazines, website, brochures, social media) to create a coherent campaign that conveys a specific message.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Integrated Communications Plan (25%)

  • Analysis and Critique Paper (15%)

  • Final Project Package (Magazine, Website, Poster) (55%)

  • Participation (5%)

Pros:

  • The module is very interesting and deepens students’ knowledge in design. Prof Kai explains the concepts in an interesting and easily understandable manner.

  • While working on the final project, students get guided feedback from Prof Kai and peers to build on their design portfolio.

  • Prof Kai is also very caring and relatable. He often looks out for his students' wellbeing.

  • Lab with access to Adobe suite will be utilized during class while students who prefer to have their own individual licenses may purchase them on their end.

Cons:

  • Despite the fun assignments, the heavy weightage of the final project puts a lot of pressure on doing it well.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Consider planning your time well and work on the final assignment systematically throughout the semester to avoid having to rush it towards the deadline.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

  • NM3217



NM4210 Advanced User Experience Design

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Dennis Ang

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Passionate in UX/UI Design and are interested in pursuing a career in the field.

  • Keen to learn new skills or add projects into their portfolio.

Module Description:

  • Learn about user experience design (UXD), where the main concern is the design and evaluation of the overall quality of the interactive experience a person has when interacting with a product or a system.

  • Learn relevant theory and design techniques as well as engage in design and evaluation activities.

  • There is no requirement for programming skills and the project will focus on design and evaluation, not implementation.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Participation (10%)

  • 3 Reflections (5% each)

  • Interaction critique (15%)

  • Project 1 (20%)

  • Project 2 (40%)

Pros:

  • Very useful module where you will definitely get to hone your UX/UI skills (including hard skills like Figma).

  • Projects done up can definitely be added to your portfolio.

  • One of the rare hands-on modules in university with an actual client. Students were tasked to come up with design solutions for them, having to do user research and Figma prototypes before finally, presenting to the client.

  • Prof Dennis is very helpful and gives timely, detailed and useful feedback every week, but he is also strict with the marks.

Cons:

  • Very tight timelines and heavy workload.

  • Really helps to have good group because you have WEEKLY deliverables and the project is really time-consuming.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Implement Prof Dennis' feedback because he gives great feedback.

  • Time management, being efficient and keeping to weekly deadlines is key.

  • It will help if you have taken at least one design-based module (NM2213, NM3216, NM3221, NM3222, NM4225, NM4227, or CS3240).

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4219 New Media in Health Communication

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Jiang Shaohai

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in health communications, which is especially relevant considering the current COVID-19 context, and how digitalisation affects it.

Module Description:

  • Examine the impact of new media content in health communications such as theories and concepts about health behaviour outcomes and strategic use of media channels.

  • Understand the implications for public health in the media marketplace, and how new media can be leveraged to build grassroots engagement, promote policy advocacy, and build environments that are supportive of healthy behavior change.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Individual essay (30%)

  • Lead seminar discussion (20%)

  • Class Participation (15%)

  • Group Project (35%)

Pros:

  • Content covers very interesting and relevant topics, especially with the current COVID-19 context.

  • Prof Jiang invited at least three industry professionals from public relations agencies and health organisations to share their experiences. This gave us a good glimpse into how the concepts we learnt from the module are applicable in the real-world context and the available career prospects relevant to health communications.

  • Class participation was rather manageable.

  • Prof Jiang is also very approachable and nice so it was easy to reach out to him whenever we had any queries about our project.

Cons:

  • Structure was a little messy. In the earlier half of the semester, we were not taught many theories and concepts that could be relevant to our project. However, Prof soon realised and added in additional slides to go through them.

  • Some may find the topics rather dry and repetitive, especially if you’re not keen on health communications.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Try to do the readings prior to the lectures so you can class participate more actively!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4223 New Media and Organizations

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Suwichit Chaidaroon (Prof Sean)

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in organisational communication, culture, and issues surrounding it.

Module Description:

  • Examine issues that organisations may face such as the pros and cons of Work-From-Home and how companies should navigate these issues.

  • Examine the process of communication as individuals work, collaborate, build relationships, and influence each other within organisations.

  • Explore the impact that new media has on communicative processes within organisations.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Seminar Participation (20%)

  • Midterm - Cyber Attack Simulation (20%)

  • Group Hybrid Workshop Presentation (30%)

  • Individual Thought Leadership (30%)

Pros:

  • The Linkedin articles assignment was very manageable and refreshing as compared to the usual academic essays that we had to write.

  • Dr Sean was lively and approachable, he also tried to make lectures interesting and digestible for students.

  • If you've been through internships or will be entering the corporate world, the content is very relevant as it provides insights on how an organisation and its leaders should communicate, and the impact different cultures can have on employees.

Cons:

  • Would have preferred if students had more time to prepare for the webinar group project, instead of only starting at the second half of the semester.

Tips when taking the module?

  • For the Linkedin articles, choosing a topic that interests you/your followers to make it more interesting to write and read!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4227 Game Studies

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Alex Mitchell

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in games, the process of making a good game, and how to appreciate it more.

Module Description:

  • Focuses on the critical study of games and play. Drawing on concepts from a range of disciplines, students will examine the nature of games, the act of playing, and the broader social and cultural significance of games.

  • In addition to readings of academic texts related to games, students will also be expected to play, critically analyse, and design both computer and non-computer games.

  • Learn the process of game-making and what developers take in mind when constructing the overall play experience, and how games and social issues come together and how we can make the game effective in conveying a message.

  • There is no requirement for programming skills.

Assessment breakdown:

  • 3 Reflections (15%, 5% each)

  • Game Video Review (15%)

  • Project 1 (20%)

  • Project 2 (40%)

  • Seminar Participation (10%)

Pros:

  • Prof Alex gives very detailed feedback for each assignment and is very approachable!

  • No coding knowledge is needed for the module and Prof Alex would divide the groups based on our abilities and interest.

  • Very fun and engaging module. Every week before the seminar, Prof would recommend some games that are relevant to the topic of the week for us to play. And during the seminar, we would analyse it together.

Cons:

  • Try to plan your time well as the individual assignments together with some of the group projects milestones might get a bit overwhelming.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Have an open mind and have fun exploring!

Any pre-requisites?

  • No requirement for having taken any previous game-related modules, although there is a creative/design component, so it will help if you have taken at least one design-related module (NM2213, NM3216, NM3221, NM3222, NM4210, NM4225, or CS3240).

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4228 Crisis Communication*

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Dr Krishnasamy Bhavani

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested to learn more about Crisis Communications and how to handle crises.

  • Interested in Public Relations.

Module Description:

  • Focuses on crisis communication and management of traditional and digital media, with emphasis on application of theories, strategies and tactics from a communication management perspective.

  • Learn the fundamentals about how organizations and corporations manage and communicate during crisis and develop understanding of crisis communications theory, type of crisis communications plans, and crisis responses.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Seminar Participation (30%)

  • Essay (30%)

  • Online quiz (10%)

  • Final Group Project and Presentation (30%)

Pros:

  • Average and manageable workload.

  • Content is easy to understand and very applicable in real life situations.

  • Deadlines are very reasonably spread out.

  • Prof is very experienced in the Public Relations field and will be able to provide advice from a professional perspective. She also explains the topics very clearly.

Cons:

  • Seminars can be rather dry and boring, sometimes it is rather overwhelming too because of the information overload.

Tips when taking the module? -

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

  • NM2219

*NM4228 Risk and Crisis Communication is the updated module name on LumiNUS (for AY22/23 Sem 1), and includes NM4240 as preclusion. Do check the changes before enrolling in the module.



NM4230 Communication for Social Change

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Natalie Pang

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in learning about how communication can impact social groups and create social change such as advocacy for marginalised communities.

Module Description:

  • This module focuses on theories, strategies, and tactics that social groups can employ to communicate the changes they seek, and inspire and mobilize people to action.

  • Discuss how communication can be used to engage with the increasing marginalized population and their need with the goal of creating spaces for listening to marginalized voices and creating possibilities to incorporate culture and participation into multicultural participatory development programs.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class participation (15%)

  • Leading Group Discussion (10%)

  • Individual Reflective Paper (20%)

  • Group Project (35%)

  • Poster Presentation (10%)

  • Peer Evaluation (10%)

Pros:

  • Very interesting topics were discussed and they inspire students to think deeply and reflect social issues not only based in Singapore but also globally.

  • Prof Natalie is very knowledgeable and active in social activism for certain causes in Singapore, so she gave very professional advice to students on their projects.

  • Students have the freedom to choose the social causes/issues that they wish to work on, which makes it even more meaningful and worthwhile.

  • Students also had to present their projects to the entire class, which was very interesting as everyone was so creative and worked on such impactful projects!

  • Students were given the opportunity to use Shorthand and Stornaway, which are rather expensive digital storytelling tools that we normally don’t have access to, in our project.

Cons:

  • While this may not be a concern to some, it was rather hard to gauge the final grade as most of the assessments were due only at the end of the semester. Students only received their grades of one component towards the end of the semester.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Choose a topic you’re passionate about because the project will be more meaningful to you.

  • Plan ahead! You may be required to contact organisations or key individuals related to, or part of, the marginalised community you’re focusing your project on and it can take some time for them to get back to you.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.



NM4231 Advanced Digital Storytelling

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Sarah-Tabea Sammel

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in editing videos and making documentaries.

Module Description:

  • Deepen the knowledge of students who have foundational digital storytelling experience and enable them to obtain deeper conceptual understanding and technical skills in narrative storytelling elements.

  • The focus of this module is video production to publishing standards.

  • The module combines theory with practice and implements a strong focus on film and media studies into critical theory and discourse methodology in co-dependence to practical tasks and methods.

  • Class participation tasks include editing of short videos.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class participation (20%)

  • Photo story online zine: Group project + Individual reflection (30%)

  • Final Media Project (50%)

Pros:

  • More hands-on application as compared to other modules. Students learn to create and edit videos and are given freedom to develop their own creative ideas and topics.

  • Workload was heavier towards the end of the semester due to the group project and final video, but it was rather manageable throughout the semester.

Cons:

  • Grading a video can be quite subjective as it is subjected to Prof’s preferences.

  • It was also rather difficult to learn certain editing tips through Zoom (hopefully it won't be that much of an issue with the continuation of F2F classes).

  • Readings were also rather abstract and it was difficult to apply the concepts discussed.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Have a passion for creating and editing videos

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.

  • NM3230 or equivalent industry experience with reference, if a student hasn’t taken NM3230 they may contact the module instructor to seek approval to take NM4231.



NM4239 Digital Propaganda and Public Opinion

Taken in: AY 2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Taberez A. Neyazi

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested about political issues, especially if they're keen to know how the digital sphere has shaken things up in that world.

Module Description:

  • Examine the uses and influence of social media/big data in the governance process, policy development, international relations, social movements, war and conflict.

  • Understand communicative techniques of propagandists and become critical consumers of digital media content.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class participation and attendance (15%)

  • Individual projects and presentations (30%): Propaganda in my life (15%), Leading Discussion Role (15%)

  • Mid-term (20%)

  • Group project (35%)

Pros:

  • Assessments were pretty manageable, and deadlines were evenly spread out.

  • Prof Neyazi was helpful and always open to meet with my group. He also consistently checked with the class if they had any questions.

  • There is a key focus on online propaganda, such as propaganda on social media, which is very interesting and makes students deeply reflect and discern how propaganda that they interact with on the regular has the ability to manipulate public opinion.

Cons:

  • Content can be difficult to understand. Prof explains it during the lecture but the reading itself can be very tedious and theoretical.

  • There was also a lot of readings to do. Prior to the mid-term feedback, there were around four articles to read every week, with two supplementary readings. He later reduced it to three readings per week.

  • Content can also be pretty dry and rather repetitive. It also seems to overlap with the content of NM4245.

  • Towards the second half of the semester, Prof would call on students randomly in the seminar.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Do your readings consistently and don't leave it to the very last minute!

  • Start early on the group project to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM4240 Risk Perception and Communication*

Taken in: AY 2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Hong Soo Jung

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in risk communications across different industries.

  • Keen in working in crisis communication-related roles and the public relations industry.

Description of Module:

  • Examine research, theory and practice related to the communication of social, health, and environmental risks.

  • Consider risk communication from multiple perspectives, including psychological, social, and cultural.

  • A cross-cutting theme is that theory and practice often intersect in shaping our understanding of how people perceive, react to, and communicate about risk. The module will emphasize understanding, applying, and developing theories of risk communication.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class Participation (20%)

  • Leading discussion and presentation (10%)

  • Two reflection papers (40%, 20% each)

  • Final Group Project (30%)

Pros:

  • Content covers quite a broad range of risk theories and relevant topics across different industries, such as environmental and health risks.

  • Prof Hong is very encouraging and nice, which helps students to be more confident about themselves. Feedbacks were also provided very timely and useful for improvements.

  • Class participation was relatively easy. Prof also made it easy to track individual class participation with a google document for students to fill up on what they have contributed in class.

  • The module encourages students to be more discerning about how academic research, especially in relation to risks, is reported in the mainstream media.

Cons:

  • Content can be rather confusing and there is quite a lot to covered every seminar which can cause information overload.

  • There were two to three readings every week and students are required to submit at least three discussion questions per reading.

  • Project can be rather taxing as well because students were required to submit mini project assignments in addition to the project report. These included the literature review that consists of abstracts of at least 10 research materials (academic articles and other materials like videos or social media posts) that students will use in the project.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Do your readings early and timely so there won’t be a backlog.

  • Try to clarify what you’re unsure of early on.

  • The module might be rather heavy in workload but it'll be worth it because you get to learn a lot!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.

*Do note that NM4228 in AY22/23 Semester 1 has been renamed to Risk and Crisis Communication and will be taught by Dr Hong. NM4240 is listed as a preclusion of NM4228 on LumiNUS.



NM4244 Sex in the Media

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Michelle Ho

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in gender studies, feminism and those who would like to have open discussions about gender issues in the society.

Module Description:

  • Explore questions of sex, gender, sexuality, and power in contemporary media and popular cultures.

  • Examine issues and themes such as gender identity and representation of sex, women in media production and consumption, and reception and fandom of pop culture, from critical approaches in cultural studies, feminist theory, film theory, queer studies and communication theory.

  • Analyse the representation of gendered and sexual identities and desires in the media

Assessment breakdown:

  • Participation (20%)

  • 2 Video blogs (Vlog) and 4 comments (30%)

  • Research project: Stage 1 Writing for Exploration (15%), Stage 2 Annotated Bibliography (20%), Stage 3 Media Analysis (15%) (50% in total)

Pros:

  • Very interesting module, especially the way discussions included the implications of conventionally "taboo" topics such as sex and pornography, which sets it apart from other modules.

  • Having open discussions and perspectives by the other students also enriched each other's learning.

  • The professor was also very encouraging and gave constructive feedback to our assignments. She is also extremely passionate and knowledgeable, and open to contrasting opinions in discussions.

Cons:

  • Content can be rather abstract and difficult for some students to understand.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Be open-minded!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM4245 Political Communication

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Ozan Kuru

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in politics and political communications, especially how the new media influences the way people think about political topics.

Module Description:

  • Examine how the rise of digital media has impacted political communication across the world.

  • Understand how established institutions such as political parties and news organisations have changed, and how citizens are engaging with politics and media.

  • Introduces political communication, which is an interdisciplinary field of study that draws upon concepts from communication, political science, sociology, psychology, history, and more, to understand contemporary challenges and opportunities in the field.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class participation (15%)

  • Political communication analytical essay (20%)

  • Mid-term (20%)

  • Leading discussion role (15%)

  • Final group project (30%)

Pros:

  • Prof Ozan is really nice and encouraging! You won’t have to fear whether you’re asking any dumb questions because he’s always open to explain about anything you’re unclear about.

  • Topics are very interesting, especially if you enjoy debating and discussions about politics issues. There were also many relevant and up-to-date examples provided, which was good in aiding our understanding on how the theories can be applied to the real-world context.

Cons:

  • Class participation was rather difficult because everyone had so much to say, so Prof encouraged students to type it in the zoom chat instead. Having said that, class discussions were always very robust and you’ll get to learn a lot from your peers.

  • While the topics were interesting, they can be rather difficult to grasp if you’re not paying close attention or doing the readings, or generally not very up-to-date on the latest political news.

  • While the content tried to cover the political issues across many countries, there is quite a huge focus on US politics.

  • Group project can be effortful with a 6000-word limit (though we had six groupmates so if you pace yourself well, it should be okay!).

Tips when taking the module?

  • Do the readings consistently.

  • Keep yourself updated on the latest news.

  • Start your group project early so you don’t have to rush towards the end of the semester.

  • Keep an open mind!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM4247 Creative Writing in the Marketplace

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Jinny Koh

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are

  • Interested in creative writing, storytelling and how to apply these skills in branding and driving campaigns.

Module Description:

  • Learn the importance of narratives and techniques of crafting meaningful and interesting stories that drive successful branding, events, and campaigns.

  • In the first half of the semester, students will plan, research, outline and write a personal essays. In the second half of the course, students will apply what they have learnt to a narrative video script that is professional and relevant to the industry for a brand or cause.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class participation (25%)

  • Micro essay (10%)

  • Flash fiction (10%)

  • Personal essay (25%): Pitch and Essay

  • Video script report (30%)

Pros:

  • Readings for the modules were very interesting and were usually short stories/personal essays.

  • Class participation was mostly based on your opinions about the readings so it was very manageable. Prof Jinny is also very open to discussions and there is never a clear-cut answer to everything!

  • At times, there will be in-class activity which is creative writing as well and you’ll contribute and receive constructive feedback from your peers.

  • If you enjoy creative writing, reading and appreciate good storytelling and narratives, you’ll really enjoy the module! As far as I know, CNM does not have many other creative writing modules available.

  • Prof Jinny is also an author herself so she offered good and professional advice to encourage our writing.

Cons:

  • Prof Jinny only uploaded the individual assignment guidelines on LumiNUS a week prior to the submission date. This can be rather stressful when you have more than one assignment due on the same day.

  • The workload may seem rather heavy because there are three individual assignments on top of the group project.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Choose topics/brands you’re really interested in to work on.

  • Let your creative juices flow and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM4248 Lifestyle Writing

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Felix Cheong

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in media writing, or are considering lifestyle journalism as a future career option

  • Prefer hands-on application rather than a research-based module

Module Description:

  • The module equips students with the relevant skills to write feature stories targeted at readers of lifestyle magazines.

  • It will cover the different genres including reviews, personality profiles, trends, backgrounders and others. Students will also be introduced to elements of feature photography and be exposed to different writing styles.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Review of arts event (play, concert, dance, exhibition) (20%)

  • Profile pitch (10%)

  • Personality profile (20%)

  • Final feature pitch (10%)

  • Final feature (30%)

  • Seminar participation (10%)

Pros:

  • The assignments required students to reach out to the interviewees for their stories, which provided a rather accurate glimpse of what being a lifestyle journalist is like. Those considering a career in a related field can experience whether this is a right fit for them in the future.

  • Being a professional lifestyle journalist, the lecturer provides very timely and helpful advice and insights regarding working in the field.

  • He also has very low tolerance for grammatical errors. This trains students to be very careful and detail-oriented to avoid such common mistakes in the future.

  • He is very helpful and takes the time and effort to conduct one-on-one feedback and consultation sessions.

  • Graded components consisted of solely individual assignments so if you do not enjoy group projects, this is perfect for you.

  • Readings were very manageable and short.

Cons:

  • Seminars can be rather dry, and mostly just a repeat of his slides or the readings

  • The module is very writing intensive, so those who are not very keen on it should avoid taking the module.

  • As mentioned earlier, the assignments require students to reach out to interviewees and interview them, which can be rather challenging for introverts.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Do yourself a huge favour and start your assignments early so you can quickly move onto other profiles/topics if you get rejected by the potential interviewees you reached out to (which happens rather often).

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.

  • NM2220



NM4249 Media & Audiences

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Jinna Tay

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in understanding and unpacking the media (films, movies, videos, etc.) via the lens of audiences, producers and/or distributors.

Module Description:

  • Understand the media landscape in Singapore and the issues and challenges facing the media environment mainly via TV texts.

  • Learn the history of television and various media components (formats, genres, producers, alternative media, etc.) and understand the the constructs of the media and the type of audiences they attract.

  • Investigate the complex disruptions in national identities, media texts and institutions via the media production and policies that shaped them, and how the digital changes allow us to understand audience reception.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Mid-Term test (20%)

  • E-seminar participation: seminar participation and leading discussion (20%)

  • Background and Lit Review (30%)

  • Focus Group Presentation (30%)

Pros:

  • Interesting module with content that encourages open discussion and debate

  • Prof Jinna is also open to consultations for group projects, so be sure to utilise this opportunity to clarify doubts in terms of your approach, direction or ideas.

  • In the later half of the seminar, Prof allowed for student takeaway participation via Google Docs and quizzes via Telegram group. This was very encouraging for those who are not as comfortable speaking up in class to gain some participation marks.

Cons:

  • Timeline towards the group project was rather hectic as the seminars from the earlier half of the semester focused on topics related to the Mid-term exercise. It was only from Week 7 onwards that the topics discussed aligned more with the project.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Be sure to pace yourself and your group project properly.

  • Pick a media text that your group is greatly familiar with so that it is easier to analyse and conduct interviews. It will also make the project more interesting and exciting.

  • Try to complete the interview as early as you can so that you have more time to analyse your findings!

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM4250 Data Journalism and Analysis

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Wu Shangyuan

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Keen on becoming future journalists, especially those interested in data journalism.

  • Interested to pick up tableau/orange/twitter sentiment analysis.

Module Description:

  • Understand why data journalism is an essential part of the newsroom in the digital age and critically analyse how it has been used in the real world to break important news stories.

  • Learn how and where they can obtain data, including using data sites and the Web as a resource, as well as how they may ascertain the reliability of the data and what they can discover from it by asking the right questions.

  • Break down the data using software programmes and use the data to create compelling news narratives.

  • In presenting this news, students will also learn how to make the data more understandable through the use of data visualisation.

  • This course will teach students to become familiar with how to use Orange, Tableau and Excel for the purposes of data analysis and reporting.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Assignment 1: Data story pitches (20%)

  • Assignment 2: News story from unstructured data (20%)

  • Final individual project: News story and visualization and report of analysis (500 words) (40%)

  • Class participation (20%)

Pros:

  • Prof is very sharp and clear. As the class size was quite small (12-15 students), everyone had a chance to practise and receive guided feedback which was really helpful. It was also very easy to approach the prof for questions.

  • The module was more application-based rather than theoretical so the content taught is rather relevant to what a data journalist would apply from day-to-day.

  • Seminars were vey engaging and hands-on. Between content covered by Prof, there will be in-class exercises that students have to apply what they’ve just been taught. So it’s definitely not a module you can snooze in.

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve for software like Orange for Sentiment analysis.

  • Assignment 2 and 3 were due within three weeks of each other, so that can be rather rushed especially if you have other assignment deadlines to meet.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Read the textbook during earlier weeks as it will be helpful for following the lectures!

  • Prof can be very strict with marking. Be sure to follow the assessment guide to a T!

  • She is also very sharp so don’t bother trying to get by with mere fluff.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track

  • NM2220



NM4255 Computational Perspectives for Social Media

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor: Kokil Jaidka

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in social media and the theories behind social media use.

Module Description:

  • Understand the theories underpinning social media usage and online communication. Explore how people communicate on social media, and how to mine insights from it

  • Explore advanced topics in the design, communication and impact of social media, and be encouraged to experiment with real social media platforms before and during each class.

  • No prior experience with social media or social network sites is required to successfully complete this module. The emphasis will be on the analysis of contemporary social media practice and the design of social media platforms.

Assessment breakdown:

  • 2 Tests (30%)

  • Class participation: including 5 forum posts (20%)

  • Individual presentation (20%)

  • Final group project (30%)

Pros:

  • As a social media user, this module was very fun as the theories discussed were very applicable and relevant to real-life social media experiences.

  • For those interested in working as a social media manager, the module will give you an interesting perspective of how people communicate online, and help shape your social media campaigns better.

  • The assignments were also quite manageable.

  • Prof Jaidka also made the effort to bring up practices, and social media simulations for students to apply the theories learnt. Students can also experiment with a social media campaign stimulator and execute their own social media campaigns.

  • Prof Jaidka is a very knowledgeable and understanding lecturer, and was very open to accommodating to our needs.

Cons:

  • The topics were very repetitive and could have been consolidated to cover more breadth.

  • Readings can be long as well.

  • Seminars can sometimes be dry.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Besides understanding the theories taught in class, make sure to know how to apply them to real-life context.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM4883G Financial Communication

Taken in: AY2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Clarence Fu

Who is this module suitable for?

Individuals who are:

  • Interested in exploring financial communications and investor relations.

Module Description:

  • Examine the nature, practices and framework of financial communication.

  • With an emphasis on analysis of financial markets, it outlines the communication strategies for addressing financial issues and addressing finance publics.

  • Emphasis will be placed on analysing investors, developing strategies for communicating financial products, financial news writing and media relations, and financial crisis response strategies.

  • No financial background is required to take the module.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Class Participation (25%)

  • Quiz (25%)

  • Individual Assignment (25%)

  • Group Project (25%)

Pros:

  • Useful for those who are considering the field, or in an agency where you may also work with clients in the finance industry.

  • Rather manageable module with very interesting content. Prof Clarence tried to make the content as useful and interesting as possible by teaching the communications behind the scenes during IPOs and annual general meetings.

  • He is an adjunct professor who runs his own consultancy so he has a wealth of experience in the industry which he brings into his classes. Beyond class content, he took time to share his analysis of the industry and its job prospects and opportunities.

  • The module is application-based and not very theory-driven.

  • Industry experts were also invited to share industry experience. One such example is a sharing session by our NM alumni who is now a corporate and financial communications manager from Edelman.

Cons:

  • Content can seem quite heavy, with a lot of new information especially for those who have little to no prior financial background!

  • The module also seemed more of an introduction into investor relations.

Tips when taking the module?

  • Pay attention and participate actively in class. This adds to your class participation grade, and you don't waste time on re-watching lectures.

  • As long as you take note about what prof says in class, the assignments are rather manageable. Some of the explanations won’t be found in the notes.

Any pre-requisites?

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track.



NM5218R Cultural Policy

Taken in: AY 2021/2022 Semester 1

Lecturer/Tutor: Dr Audrey Yue

Who is this module suitable for?

  • Individuals looking to learn more about the role of culture and how it permeates everyday life.

  • Particularly good for those who intend to enter the culture industry

  • This module may also be useful for those planning to pursue a post-grad to understand what the pacing of post grad classes are going to be like.

Module Description:

  • Examine the stakes involved in defining and operating within cultural policy studies by analysing the practices of cultural industries, art institutions, cultural planning and participation, and creative economies.

  • Evaluate specific instances of cultural policy development, and produce studies of cultural practices in order to re-think perceived notions of identity, representation and power.

  • Learn to appreciate the relationship between critical analysis and policy orientation in cultural studies and be familiar with specific instances of cultural policy development at national and international levels.

Assessment breakdown:

  • Blogs: 4 blogs, 8 comments (30%)

  • Seminar participation and final project multimedia presentation (20%)

  • Mid-term essay (15%)

  • Final research essay (35%)

Pros:

  • Discussion in class was very lively and interactive. As this is a 5k mod, you will have graduate classmates. This makes for a very good experience as during class discussions, you will be learning a lot from them as well. (Fear not, you'll be graded at an undergraduate level.)

  • Prof Audrey is more open to questions or further clarifications on class content so if you're struggling to understand anything, do ask her!

Cons:

  • This module is very heavy, so very good time management is needed. Some of the readings are going to require time to digest.

  • Be mentally prepared that this class will not end on time!

Tips when taking the module?

  • If you don't understand anything, just ask!

Any pre-requisites?

  • You will be required to fill in an application form to undertake level 5000R modules. This form has to be submitted by Week 0, and the module will be allocated to you only if your application is approved.

  • Completed 80 MCs, including 28 MCs in NM, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or been on the Honours track


 

So here's it all! The great compilation of 23 reviews of NM4000/Honours modules by your CNM seniors and peers that just saved you a whole load of time frantically googling mod reviews and/or texting friends to ask around what they've taken and how it went for them!


There are still other available NM4000/Honours modules that have not been reviewed on CNM Types. If you're interested in sharing your experience, please don't hesitate to write to us via Instagram on @nus.cnm! We look forward to hearing from you so more CNM juniors and peers can benefit from your review :)


Last but not the least, a very special thank you (!!!) to all the contributors for your precious module reviews so our CNM peers and juniors can have a clearer roadmap on their CNM module-planning journey!

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U-ju hearts for all our contributors!


Good luck and have a great mod-reg, everyone! 😊

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