Programme: Undergraduate
Type: Compulsory
Semester: B


The course explores several communication theories and models as systematic processes by which scholars set questions and advance knowledge about the functions of communication media, as well as about their impact on various audiences.

Communication media users are viewed as active agents interacting with each other as well as with other entities in hybrid digital mediation environments, developing multiple roles, and gratifying a variety of needs. The study of communication developed rapidly during the twentieth century, adopting a variety of social research methods and techniques, aiming to understand the social impact, the practices, the uses and the interactions linked to the wider context of modern societies that determines the uses and functions of communication technologies, old and new alike.

The course pursues to familiarize students with the questions that preoccupy communication researchers internationally since the middle of the twentieth century until today, considering the cataclysmic spread of the digital media, as well as the development of social networking.

The explored questions derive from different social environments, while the proposed answers are based on a variety of viewpoints and schools of thought. To achieve a better and complete understanding of communication, sociological and cultural approaches are also considered. In modern societies, understanding this particular phenomenon is essential because communication in its multiple dimensions, is of essential importance from an ideological, political, cultural and economic point of view, as people make decisions, act and interact, engaging and understanding the world through mediated experiences.

Access to the course materials, the suggested literature, etc., is provided through the e-learning platform of the AUTh.



Upon successful completion, students are expected to:

  • Be familiar with the major media theories that reflect the most important developments in the field since the middle of the 20th century to the present day.
  • Understand the importance of social research in the field of communication, using appropriate methods and techniques to collect and analyze social data.
  • Understand the social functions of technology, as well as the ways in which its uses and implementation practices are socially determined.
  • Understand the digital transformations of media and the new concerns emerging in the digital world.


Topics – indicative syllabus

A more detailed outline of the course and the PowerPoint files used during the lectures may be found in elearning.auth. A username and a password are required to get access to this system. Information is available at the Department library.

  1. Meaning and significance of theory – the links with empirical research.
  2. First approaches to the media.
  3. Media theories and social theory.
  4. Mass communication – mass culture – mass media.
  5. Media structures & institutions.
  6. Globalization & media.
  7. Media content and audiences.
  8. Theories of influence.
  9. Economic, ideological & political dimensions of the media.


Required readings

McQuail, D. (2011). McQuail's mass communication theory (4th edition). Kastaniotis Publications.


Supplementary literature (in Greek)

The supplementary literature is indicative and depends on the updates of the syllabus and the topics discussed in the course.

Bantimaroudis, P. (2005). A brief history of communication: Media and civilization (2nd ed.). Epikentro Publications.

Fiske, J. (2010). Introduction to communication studies. Egokeros Publications.

Garnham, N. (2003). Emancipation, the media, and modernity: Arguments about the media and social theory. Kastaniotis Publications.

Hatzistefanou, A. (2022). Propaganda and disinformation: How to spot them. Topos Publications.

Kaitatzi-Whitlock, S. (2012). Communication: Theory in praxis. A.A. Livani Publications.

Katz, Ε. (1989). The two-step flow of communication. In K. Livieratos & T. Fragoulis (Eds.), The message of the medium: The explosion of mass communication (pp. 84–109). Alexandria Publications.

Lasswell, H. D. (1989). The structure and function of communication in society. In K. Livieratos & T. Fragoulis (Eds.), The message of the medium: The explosion of mass communication (pp. 65–83). Alexandria Publications.

Livieratos, K., & Fragoulis, T. (Eds.). (1989). The message of the medium: The explosion of mass communication. Alexandria Publications.

Livieratos, K., & Fragoulis, T. (Eds.). (1994). Media culture: Mass society and culture industry. Alexandria Publications.

Manning, P. (2007). News and news sources: A critical introduction. Kastaniotis Publications.

McQuail, D., & Windahl, S. (2001). Communication models for the study of mass communications. Kastaniotis Publications.

Noelle-Neumann, Ε. (1998). Public opinion. In R. Panagiotopoulou, P. Rigopoulou, M. Rigou, & S. Notaris (Eds.), The "construction" of reality and the mass media (pp. 88–104). School of Communication & Mass Media (Athens University), Alexandria Publications.

Panagiotopoulou, R., Rigopoulou, P., Rigou, M., & Notaris, S. (Eds.). (1998). The "construction" of reality and the mass media. School of Communication & Mass Media (Athens University), Alexandria Publications.

Papathanassopoulos, S. (2020). Among 4 screens. Kastaniotis Publications.

Papathanassopoulos, S. (Ed.). (2011). The media of communication in the 21st century. Kastaniotis Publications.

Pleios, G. (2011). The information society: News and modernity. Kastaniotis Publications.

Pleios, G. (2021). Fake news: The transformation of propaganda in the information society. Gutenberg Publications.

Watzlawick, P., Bavelas, J. B., & Jackson, D. D. (2005). Pragmatics of human communication: A study of interactional patterns, pathologies and paradoxes. Greek Letters Publications.



Performance is evaluated through an exam on the readings announced each semester and through the e-learning system. The exam is a test including multiple choice, true/false, and matching questions that cover all topics discussed during the lectures. To familiarize themselves with the various types of question and this system, students are invited to try the mock test available in the folder "Exams". Information about the next exam session, exam dates and essay due-dates can be found in the announcements page (provided that the exam dates have been announced).