Study overview BSc Communication Science

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Study overview BSc Communication Science

Human interactions and tech are key to many things in human life. On a private level, they not only shape our identity, but also affect our attitudes and behaviours (think of how smartphone use influences the things we like, see and buy). On an organisational level, interactions foster for example organisational identification and leadership. Finally, on a societal level, social interactions both facilitate and hamper issues like polarisation, democratic distrust, and inequality. This challenging programme addresses all three levels and will help you understand how interaction processes work and will equip you with the skills needed to tackle the social-technical problems of today.

Modules Communication Science

In our modules, we combine relevant subdisciplines of communication science like organisational communication, marketing communication and media communication with related disciplines such as social psychology and human-tech interaction.

During the first two years, you will take four modules a year, each focusing on a particular socio-technical problem which you will explore in depth during lectures and workshops. Every module has a duration of 10 weeks and is worth 15 EC. Furthermore, each module consists of four components: Project, Theory, Research and Academic & Professional Skills. Each module centres on a Project which reflects a contemporary global challenge. To solve this challenge, you will get input from the other module components. This means that you will get acquainted with the theoretical underpinnings of the specific issues at stake (Theory), you will know how to study the topic at hand and conduct your own research (Research) and how to effectively communicate (Academic & Professional Skills). In every module, you will be supervised and coached by a group of enthusiastic counsellors/mentors. Assessment methods will vary from individual written tests, and individual and group assignments to oral tests and individual and group presentations.

Overview modules

  • Year 1EC
    • Module 1 | We connect society15

      The first module of the Bachelor’s in Communication Science provides an introduction to the field of communication science and what our discipline can mean for society. In the Project, you will take on the role of a content strategist and develop a popular content strategy that is related to one of the UN’s global sustainable development goals  like clean energy, gender equality or good health and well-being. In Theory, you will get an introduction to the basic theories, models and concepts that explain how and why people connect and perform certain behaviours, which provides a strong academic base for the following modules. For the Research part, you will learn about social science research, including how to formulate clear and answerable research questions and how to select from various research designs and different data collection methods. Furthermore, you will acquire important academic and professional skills, such as writing skills, visual design skills, and skills to collaborate in an international project group.

    • Module 2 | Understanding media15

      Most of the ways in which we communicate with each other are mediated by (social) media. We describe our professional lives on LinkedIn, binge-watch series on Netflix, and talk about basically anything over WhatsApp. In this module, we dive into the small-scale effects of digitised media on individuals and explore why and how people use media for communication, social interaction and entertainment. In the Project, you take on the role of a media researcher and conduct a survey on, for example, social media and happiness, influencer marketing, or motivations to play games. In Theory, topics that will be discussed include, among others, how media theories have developed, the cultivation of beliefs, media choice and selective exposure, the impact of media on identity and the self, social media, and advertising and gaming effects. In Research, the basics of quantitative research (i.e., survey) will be covered and in Skills, you will learn how to make a theoretical framework and present research findings.

    • Module 3 | The innovation journey15

      Technology is developing at breakneck speed. But what makes one innovation a success and the other a flop? In this module, you will learn about the successes and failures of the development and implementation of innovations that may change society, focusing on the role of stakeholder-, reputation-, and crisis communication. In the Project, you will set up a communication agency and advise a start-up on how its innovation is being perceived by society, based on a large-scale big data media analysis. In Theory, we focus on corporate communication theories with topics like corporate identity and reputation, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder communication, public relations and crisis communication. In Research, you will be introduced to the field of big data analytics and study the methods and the software that are available for analysing online information. In Skills, you will learn about the basic academic and professional skills of a public relations professional as you will be asked to take the lead in a crisis situation.

    • Module 4 | Design for user experience15

      The possibilities offered by technology in today's society are endless. In the past, communication professionals had to rely on traditional communication strategies to achieve behavioural change. Nowadays, however, ‘new’ theories and insights from social psychology in combination with new communication technologies help create persuasive and effective interactions with targeted audiences. In the Project of the final module of the first year, you will be challenged to design a prototype of an app that aims to positively change the target group’s behaviour, for example, less littering or a healthier lifestyle. In Theory, you will learn about the relations between humans and technology, and more specifically how technology can be used to influence human behaviour. This will inspire you to come up with the best design. To test your prototype app, in Research, you get acquainted with a variety of qualitative data collection methods that are used in user-centred design processes, such as interviewing, observation and usability testing. Finally, in Skills, you will be trained to communicate with companies that may be interested in collaborating with your team to further develop the prototype of a persuasive app and present your app design in a competitive pitch in a Shark Tank presentation format.

  • Year 2EC
    • Module 5 | The network society15

      In this module, we dive into the role of new media in our society. On one side, we will discuss the characteristics of the networked society, and explore how the digital world is shaped by social, economic, and political forces with a special interest in the question of who is in contact with each other behind the scenes of issues that dominate the public debate. In the Project, you are trained as media influencers by creating a transmedia story by using several social media technologies (a combination of e.g., vlog, podcast, Instagram stories, livestream and social network analysis) to present your research results. To do so, Theory will be about the forces that drive the development of the digital environment, social networks and technologies, and how the digital environment, social networks and technologies affect our society on a group, as well as on an individual level. In Research, you learn how to analyse social network data and Skills will be about audio-visual design and storytelling skills in order to create a transmedia story that is both professional and engaging.

    • Module 6 | Lead the change15

      Innovation drives the modern organisation. We are entering a new industrial revolution and automation is starting to take over cognitive tasks as well. Therefore, much like in the first industrial revolution, the role of humans is again being rapidly redefined. This module addresses the question of what the organisation of the future may look like and how communication processes can be optimised in these modern organisations. In the Project,  you will interview members of an organisation and explore how a practical question arising from an unexplained organisational communication phenomenon can deepen our understanding of the changing work environment. Theory is about how new technologies fundamentally change the businesses of organisations and their ways of organising, including leadership, organisational identification, decision-making, and change management. In Research, you learn how to perform in-depth interviews, as well as how to analyse the qualitative data. Skills is about how to set up and give an engaging workshop to a particular audience.

    • Module 7 | Persuasive design15

      The impact of design goes way beyond beauty and pleasure and can have a large impact on human experience and behaviour. Hence, design plays an ever-bigger role in behaviour change initiatives. Think of a trashcan making a sound or emitting scent when you interact with it, or stairs designed (and sounding) like a piano in order to seduce people to take the stairs instead of the escalator, for example. In this module, you will discover how design can help change people’s behaviour and learn about the underlying dynamics and processes that can affect this change, like conscious and unconscious thoughts and the influence of others. Based on these insights, you will come up with a design for a behaviour change intervention in a real setting or test the effects of a design in a simulated environment during the Project. Theory will focus on human-technology interaction, multisensory design, visual communication, interactive marketing, consumer psychology and social psychology. In Research, you will get acquainted with quantitative experimental research tools which allow comparison between two or more groups and in Skills, you will learn how to report your study as a scientific publication.

    • Module 8 | The quantified self15

      Digital innovation is reshaping the way many industries, organisations and individuals are functioning today. Robotics, augmented/virtual reality technology, and Internet of Things facilitate data collection and analysis, which forms the base of future service offerings and business models. With that, big data has become the new gold. But how is (big) data being generated? And how do people live with the quantification of themselves? In the Project of this module, you will experience and reflect on the meaning of data in our highly digitised society by quantifying your everyday life. During this social experiment, in which we explore the possibilities and (moral) boundaries of data, moral philosophy, philosophy of language, and philosophy of technology are indispensable (Theory). In Research, it will be about deep data and predictive modelling in which we try to combine different data sets with the ultimate goal to predict future behaviours. Finally, in Skills you will learn how to present a standpoint about a societal issue related to the ‘quantified self’ in a convincing way, using sound arguments and appropriate rhetorical instruments.

  • Year 3EC
    • Modules 9&10 | Electives15

      You fill in the elective space according to your own wishes and ambitions, outside the Bachelor’s in Communication Science, basing your choice on the future path you want to take. Why not use it for an experience abroad?

      These are some of the options:

      ·   To broaden your knowledge, you can take subjects from other Bachelor’s at UT, like We Create Identity (Bachelor’s in Creative Technology), Human Factors & Engineering Psychology (Bachelor’s in Psychology), Public Management (Bachelor’s in Management, Society & Technology) or Professional Learning in Organisations (Master’s in Education Science and Technology).

      ·   Spend half a year studying at another university – in the Netherlands or abroad.

      ·   Do an internship at an (international) company. As a result, you learn to approach issues from a different culture, and you develop the flexibility to work in various teams and circumstances.

      ·   Complete a pre-master’s programme in preparation for a Master’s degree other than Communication Science.

    • Module 11 | COM @ work10

      This module was set up to give you more insights into your own skills and interests, the professional field of communication science, and the typical jobs communication science students perform. The module starts with an exploration of trends, societal developments and dynamics within the professional field of communication science. Then, you will explore organisational life in practice by means of company visits and interviews with graduates of the Master’s in Communication Science. This all adds up towards the final product of this module: a podcast about your views on the professional field of communication science.

    • Module 12 | Bachelor thesis20

      After two years of doing several bachelor modules and a half year doing electives, it is time to finish off the Bachelor’s in Communication Science with a thesis. You carry out independent research – including literature reviews and data collection – on a relevant subject of your interest. In this half year, you get to apply all the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired throughout the programme. Finally, you will write a research report and present your results during a symposium. Once you successfully finish this phase, you will receive your Bachelor’s diploma and you can officially call yourself Bachelor of Science (BSc)!

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First time at university

When you are a first-year student, you experience many new things. Here we start explaining at least a few of them.

  • You complete modules

    During your three-year bachelor's programme, you will take 12 modules (4 modules per year). Each module, you will address a theme that is hot in society, business or industry. This theme will bring together all the components of your study: theory and practice, research, designing solutions, self-study and teamwork.

    A fixed part of every module is the team project, in which you and your teammates apply the knowledge you have acquired to a current challenge and design a workable solution. This learning method is part of the Twente Education Model (TOM): an innovative approach to studying that you will only find at the University of Twente.

  • Study points - how do they work?

    Student workload at Dutch universities is expressed in EC, also named ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), which is widely used throughout the European Union. In the Netherlands, each credit represents 28 hours of work. You need to acquire 60 credits each year.

    You will receive credits for every study unit you pass. Your programme assigns fixed numbers of hours to each assignment, project report or exam. In the first year, you need to get at least 45 out of 60 points.

  • Did you get 45 EC or more and meet the additional programme specific requirements? Then you can enter the second year

    Our goal is to get you to the right place as quickly as possible, which is why we apply the principle of a binding recommendation. All first-year students receive this at the end of the year. You will receive positive advice if you have achieved 45 or more of the 60 EC in the first year and when you have met the programme specific requirements. 

    Under certain circumstances, despite a too low score, we can still give you a positive recommendation, for example, if we have sufficient confidence that you are in the right place. Do personal circumstances such as illness or problems interfere with your study performance? Your study advisor will help you further.

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