The UT aims to educate the communication professional of the future. In our Bachelor’s programme in Communication Science, communication theories are connected with organizational contexts, technological developments, and design.
Communication and modern organizations
Traditional organizations are disappearing. Rapidly changing contexts and the possibilities offered by ICT are leading to more flexible ways of organizing, with people often collaborating in temporary teams on specific projects. ICT has also made organizations more transparent to the outside world than ever before. Many organizations are experimenting with ’new ways of working’, with flexible working hours, online meetings, and flexible office spaces. What remains unchanged is that communication is what makes things work. In the Communication Science programme at the UT we will help you understand and optimize communication processes within such dynamic and complex organizations.
Here are some examples of questions you might deal with: How do we build, maintain, and improve our relationship with stakeholders? How can communication boost collaboration between employees, work motivation, and professional development? How can we best facilitate change and innovation? How can we influence political or governmental processes? How can we best fulfil our social responsibility? What are the implications of globalization?
Communication and technology
Technology and communication are closely connected. The practice of communication is strongly influenced by technological developments, and will be even more so in the future. Just think of the rise of robotics. At the same time, the success of new technologies depends on communication. Many brilliant technological innovations have failed due to communication problems – for instance, a lack of user orientation in the development process, or a problematic implementation process. As a communication professional, you can play the role of ‘user’s advocate’. This requires a thorough understanding of users, user experience, and usability. You may also be involved in the marketing of technical products, in societal debates about new technologies, and in making science and technology understandable. Think of the privacy concerns regarding mobile phones: we all use smartphones, download apps, and give permissions, but do we really know how our privacy may be invaded? In the Communication Science programme at the UT you will extensively explore this relationship between communication and technology.
Here are some examples of questions you might deal with: What are the benefits of robotics in communication? How can we create optimal human-robot interactions? How can we optimize the usability and user experience of technical products? How do users decide to adopt and appropriate new technologies? How can new technologies be implemented in organizations? How can we minimize the privacy threats of ICT? How can we explain complex technological and scientific developments to lay audiences? How can we effectively use apps to achieve communication goals?
Communication and design
Communication professionals have long underused the potential contribution of design to reach their goals. Everything communicates, and it is important to realize this. Product and packaging design, for instance, strongly affect consumers’ impressions of products. The interior design of meeting rooms, work stations, or consultation rooms affects people’s behaviour and experiences. Design is not limited to visual aspects: it involves all our senses. Carefully considering how impressions originating from different modalities complement each other is essential. This does not only apply to product marketing, but also to work environments. At work elements such as lighting and colour can enable employees to thrive and flourish, but they can also severely hamper innovation and creative thinking. In the Communication Science programme at the UT you will learn to incorporate design in your repertoire as a communication professional.
Here are some examples of questions you might deal with: How can persuasive design be used as a communication strategy? How does packaging affect consumer experience and buying behaviour? How can the design of buildings and interiors contribute to our identity and reputation? What is the added value of multisensory design? How can design and advertising complement each other? How can design facilitate the usability and user experience of products?
Theory meets practice: The engineering communication professional
As a university known for its many high-tech engineering programmes, we aim to teach you to think and act as an engineer. In the Bachelor’s programme in Communication Science, you will learn to systematically solve complex communication problems, using theories, research, and academic and professional skills. These problem-solving processes will also involve project management and collaboration with others. You will learn to get the best possible results by combining academic thinking with a hands-on practical orientation.
Multidisciplinarity on the campus
High Tech, Human Touch is the slogan of the UT. Combining behavioural, or social, sciences with science and engineering is central to our identity. We firmly believe today’s societal challenges can only be solved that way. This is why Communication Science at the UT has a multidisciplinary nature. The projects you will engage in throughout this Bachelor’s programme have a strong orientation towards organizations, technology and design. You will be working with experts from various disciplinary backgrounds, and be encouraged to view problems from different disciplinary angles. Studying on the UT’s vibrant campus will make it easy for you to contact professors and other experts and develop an entrepreneurial attitude – which is one of our core values.
This is us!
The 6 qualities that set Communication Science at the University of Twente apart from other communication programmes
1. We believe in technology
At the University of Twente, an acclaimed technical research university, you will witness and be a part of innovative (communication, media & engineering) technologies. You will become skilled not only in communication theory, but also in using the technical tools needed to process and analyse Big Data, design communication solutions, link communication technologies, create communication tools & enable your co-workers to communicate effectively in today’s complex, ‘technologized’ world. Think Google Analytics, PechaKucha, the Internet of Things, Technical Communication and much more. Conversely, the ‘techies’ and engineers at our university will stand in awe of you as a person who not only speaks their language, but can also translate it to the outside world – bringing ‘high tech’ and ‘human touch’ together in fascinating new ways.
2. We believe in organisations & we understand the changes they face today
Not too long ago, communication experts did the communicating while others did the work. Today, communication is everything. From the tiniest details to the grandest strategies. From the receptionist’s tweets or the Facebook entries of employees to the company logo and the CEO’s behaviour at parties. At Twente, we will equip you to perceive, connect, create & impact. We will train you to be the kind of connector, enabler and accelerator today’s organisations so desperately need.
3. We believe in internationalisation
Internationalisation is one of our spearheads at the University of Twente. And to us it means a lot more than just lecturing in English. It means welcoming a growing percentage of international students and offering our students excellent opportunities to study abroad. It means crossing boundaries, understanding cultural differences and connecting worlds. It means preparing you to a be a Global Citizen and – as a communicator – to enable others to comfortably take their place in today’s connective, global village.
4. We believe in entrepreneurship
Did you know the University of Twente is Europe’s most entrepreneurial university, with no less than 900 booming startups to our name? And did you know that a larger percentage of communication experts than ever before operate as freelancers or run their own business? Put the two together and you’ll agree that the UT is the place to prepare yourself for stepping out as a communication entrepreneur.
5. We believe in getting down to business
More than other universities, we connect theory and practice all through our programmes. As you get more knowledge, we will challenge you to put it into practice in assignments and projects. You will form teams with other students to solve real problems presented to you by real businesses. With our unrivalled business network, we’ll get you out of the lecture hall and library and into the real world. And we’ll get you sweating, too – because in today’s world getting the communication right is not just more fun, but also involves a lot more hard work, than ever before.
6. We believe in you
Succeeding as a communicator today goes far beyond good writing, great speaking or strong soft skills. Sure, you’ll need those – as well as a firm grounding in analytics and at least a touch of tech-savviness. But more than anything, communication is about you. What you stand for, how you impact others. That’s why in our Communication Science programme, uniquely, we look at who you are as a person. We challenge and mentor you. We help you face your strengths & weaknesses and get to work with them. At the University of Twente we don’t believe so much in communication scholars: we believe in you.
IS THIS YOU?
The 7 characteristics of the perfect Communication Science student:
- You have a keen mind and are eager to gain insight into all kinds of situations and things
- Facts, figures and trends attract you; ideas, insights and innovation excite you
- You’re observant & sensitive to what is going on around you, often perceiving things others miss
- You may not be an activist or know-it-all, but you care about your world & want to engage with it
- You’re into people, organisations & (international) cultures as much as (social) media, technology & analytics
- You easily move in & out of different (people’s) worlds & enjoy trying to connect & influence them
- You may not see yourself as a future CEO, but you’d do pretty well as a ‘CEO Whisperer’