Online training


Online training
BYO computer, your house, your address


03 Mar 2021


10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Researching Visual Communication: Methods for understanding images in media culture

This online workshop has been organised by the Data, Communication and New Technologies (DCT) Pathway and is open to all ESRC and non-ESRC funded PhD and MA Social Research students within the WRDTP’s seven partner universities. Whilst this session has been organised by the DCT Pathway, students aligned with other interdisciplinary Pathways are welcome to attend if its themes and content will be of use to you in your research.

In this session, Giorgia Aiello and Katy Parry will draw upon the research undertaken in their new book ‘Visual Communication: Understanding Image in Media Culture’ (Sage 2020), to introduce a range of approaches to visual analysis. Organised into sections on Identities, Politics and Commodities, the book includes eighteen original case studies designed to illuminate the role of images in contemporary media culture while also illustrating the various steps researchers or students can follow to design their own projects. In this manner, Aiello and Parry interrogate the work that images do, in various contexts, forms and genres. Following a brief presentation, this interactive session will explore the pros and cons of various methodological perspectives, including content analysis, social semiotics, multimodality and critical discourse analysis. In order to ensure relevance for students’ own projects, a range of approaches to visual analysis will be discussed in terms of how they suit participants’ own research objectives, questions and conceptual frameworks. Participants will be asked to send in visual materials related to their projects in advance, allowing for an online workshop where we will work through the visuals together, discussing any specific issues or problems identified by the researcher. Participants for the workshop can be at any stage of their research project.

Participation work/ materials

Students who would like to have their visual data or materials included in the workshop should send in their materials one week in advance (by 24 February), along with their research questions (which can be provisional), or a specific issue that they would like help and advice on. The visual content can be around 10 images or 5-10 minute video, as a rough guide.

Materials should be sent to

Students attending this workshop will:

  • Familiarise themselves with a range of approaches to visual analysis in terms of how they suit participants’ own research objectives, questions and conceptual frameworks.
  • Gain a theoretical and practical understanding of how and why to undertake visual analysis within their PhD research

This training session will be delivered via Zoom . 

PLEASE NOTE: Our online training sessions will be recorded and will be available on the VIRE in an edited format for those students who cannot attend. If you wish to join this session but do not wish for your contributions to be included in the edited VIRE resource, please ensure that you select NO when prompted in the online booking form regarding recording.