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Course description

Competencies and objectives


Course context for academic year 2022-23

Advertising is made of messages designed with the will to signify and communicate, and to reach its target audiences through media capable to do so. The science responsible for studying the mechanisms of meaning is semiotics, and the Semiotics of Mass Communication is an applied discipline that highlights the semiotic nature of advertising and allows it to be studied within the framework of mass communication messages. Advertising is inserted or placed throughout the entire social communication landscape, in a more overt or covert way, and establishes varied relationships with other genres, discourses and functions of mass communication. In this subject 1) some basic principles, tools and strategies of the semiotic analysis of mass communication messages are introduced and 2) the concrete analysis of massive messages such as photography, cinema, television and social networks is addressed and evaluated.
The Semiotics of Mass Communication must be sensitive to the new media ecology arising from social networks: mass communication has become "mass self-communication" (Manuel Castells): it continues to be mass communication because it can potentially reach a global audience, such as certain videos that circulate on YouTube, or Instagram photos, or tweets or audios, which become viral and generate a large number of comments and reactions. But at the same time, it is self-communication, because one generates the message, defines the possible recipients and publishes it, or selects the contents of the networks that find and decide to share. All this has undoubtedly modified and even disrupted not only communication, but the very concept of advertising: Facebook or Instagram profiles, or Twitter accounts, become personal brands, self-advertising, in which the private and the public, the personal and the professional mix. The course also critically addresses this new media ecology, its potentialities and its risks.



Course content (verified by ANECA in official undergraduate and Master’s degrees)

UA Basic Transversal Competences

  • CGUA3 : Be able to express oneself correctly in one of the two official languages of the Region of Valencia (Spanish or Catalan) in the discipline concerned.


General Competences:>>Instrumental

  • CG1 : Capacity to analyse and synthesise.
  • CG2 : Capacity to put theoretical knowledge into practice.
  • CG3 : Basic understanding of the field of study.
  • CG7 : Research skills.
  • CG8 : Basic computer skills.


Specific Competences:>>Knowledge (theoretical)

  • CES1 : Understand and analyse the processes of communication and information of the development of specific models and their diachronic evolution.
  • CES2 : Understand the mass media, their characteristics, typologies and problems.


Specific Competences:>>Professional (practical)

  • CE1 : Capacity to understand global communication and information processes.
  • CE45 : Capacity to understand and interpret the context and adapt to change.
  • CE46 : Capacity to interact with different audiences and society by applying synchronic and diachronic knowledge of the economic, social, cultural and demographic context.




Learning outcomes (Training objectives)

No data



Specific objectives stated by the academic staff for academic year 2022-23

- KNOWING the basics of the semiotic of communication: the distinction between signifier and signified, the nature of the semiotic function that links them, the relationship between sing and reality, the role of the interpreter of the sign, the semiotic dimensions (syntax, semantic, pragmatic) of all messages, etc.

-INTERNALIZING the mission, vision and values of Semiotics as the Science of Signs, the laws that govern the signs, and the awareness that human beings are semiotic, symbolic animals, and that the activity of producing and interpreting signs is constant in our lives.

-KNOWING the scope and HOW TO APPLY to specific cases the definition of SEMIOTICS as THEORY OF LYING, both in the domain of public information sphere and in propaganda and advertising campaigns.
- KNOWING the different schemes of communication formulated in the field of linguistics, general semiotics and then adapted to the semiotics of mass communication.
- KNOWING the definitions of the concept of mass applied to the field of communication, as well as its characteristics.
- KNOWING the basic differences between interpersonal communication, mediated interpersonal communication and mass communication.
- KNOWING the implications of new technologies on communication and their impact also on the mass media of the classical mass media (press, radio, cinema and TV).
- KNOWING the semiotic specificities of each of the mass media (press, radio, cinema, television).
- KNOWING the terminology of the textual semiotic analysis and its various orientations and its application to the professional world.
- KNOWING the genres of mass communication and DISCRIMINATE between FICTION and NON-FICTION media products.

- APPLING the semiotic analysis tools provided to INTERPRET media messages (news on any medium, photographs, films or cinematographic sequences, TV programs, songs, video clips, videos circulating on the net ...).

-DEVELOPING and PRODUCING messages (written, graphic, photographic, video graphic) in an original way and be able to INTERPRET and EVALUATE them, subjecting them to analysis and evaluating their communicative effectiveness on different online platforms.

- ASSESSING the semiotic dimension of INNOVATION and BEING ABLE to HIGHLIGHT and PROMOTE IT.




Code: 22514
Lecturer responsible:
Credits ECTS: 6,00
Theoretical credits: 1,50
Practical credits: 0,90
Distance-base hours: 3,60

Departments involved

    Theoretical credits: 1,5
    Practical credits: 0,9
    This Dept. is responsible for the course.
    This Dept. is responsible for the final mark record.

Study programmes where this course is taught