master's programme

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This English-taught Master’s programme is one year (full-time), and, upon graduation, leads to the title of Master of Science. If you are taking the Bachelor’s programme Communication Science, or have completed it, you will have direct access to the Master’s programme.


The master’s consists of 60 EC (European Credits; 1 EC corresponds with 28 hours of study load). The academic year is divided into two semesters, each consisting of two blocks. Each block consists of eight teaching weeks and two weeks in which examinations are planned. A nominal study load is 15 EC (three 5 EC courses) per block, but it is allowed to take more or fewer courses in a block, depending on your study plan. The exact range of courses and the blocks in which courses are offered may vary per academic year. You can enroll in September (start semester 1) or February (start semester 2).

The study programme consists of the following elements:


The three core courses give an overview of the leading theories and day-to-day practice of the communication science discipline.


Within the 20 EC elective space you can compose your own combination of COM courses. In the table below you can see an overview of all elective courses. It is also possible to follow 5 EC outside the Communication Science programme, for example by doing courses from other UT-programmes such as Psychology, Business Administration or Public Administration. This has to be approved beforehand by the admission committee. Further, it is always possible to take more or extra courses.

Table 1: Overview of all Communication Science master courses.

Semester 1 (Sept-Feb)

Semester 2 (Feb-Jul)

Block 1A

Block 1B

Block 2A

Block 2B

Essentials in communication science

Research topics

Essentials in communication science

Research topics

Societal challenges

The public discourse: media and movements

Societal challenges

Vision, strategy and leadership

Positive organizing

Trust and risk

Game studies in social sciences

Reputation management

Work and technology

User centred design of new media

User support

Social implications of the internet

Social marketing and behavior change

Design and service experience

Advertising and consumer psychology

Design and behaviour change

Note: The range of courses and the block in which the courses are offered may vary from one academic year to the next. No rights may be derived from the Table above.

Instead of making your own combination of courses, you can also decide to follow one of the three focus areas of our programme: Organisational Communication & Reputation; Technology & Communication; or Digital Marketing Communication & Design. Each focus area has its own set of courses.  

Focus area 1: Organisational Communication & Reputation

Organisations have always needed strong communication channels to perform at their best. Today, organisational structures are rapidly changing, influenced by the growing use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and data science. At the same time, the reputation of an organisation has never been so important: in an age of unprecedented transparency, with an ever-evolving media landscape, actively managing the reputation of an organisation is of pivotal significance to keeping stakeholders happy and maintaining the right image. In this focus area, you will learn how to understand and boost organisations from a communications perspective. You will develop the skills needed for managing organisations in our uncertain times, becoming confident enough to guide them through complex challenges. Think, for example, of the introduction of cutting-edge technology, or the process of a merger. This focus area will equip you with the tools you need to understand and make an impact on all areas of communication within an organisation. It will make you a valuable asset to any 21st-century organisation. 

Courses belonging to this focus area:

Focus area 2: Technology & Communication

The 21st century has brought unprecedented technological development. New and often disruptive products are appearing in all areas of life, while smartphones, the Internet, and social media have become indispensable. Technology has changed the way we communicate, while creating new privacy threats. In society, there is growing optimism about the possibilities technology offers, yet it is marred by an uneasiness regarding the implications of new technologies. This focus area will give you a deeper understanding of the inseparability of communication and technology. You will be able to contribute to the debate about the interaction between technology and communication, such as the effects of a digital society on interpersonal communication, or the impact of smartphones on daily life. You will learn how to translate complex issues into simpler explanations. Whether by contributing to a certain technology’s success, or improving public tech-consciousness, you can become a knowledgeable contributor to the technological development of our society. You may also play an important role in the design process of new technologies by acting as the linking pin between designers and the end-users of a product. You will be the one who can translate users’ needs and wishes into design requirements, thereby contributing to a better User Experience, or UX.

Courses belonging to this focus area:

Focus area 3: Digital Marketing Communication & Design

The marketing landscape has changed drastically in the last few decades, with the rise of the Internet, smartphones, social and digital media, and big data all destabilising the more traditional means of advertising. These new possibilities offer unprecedented potential for market exposure. Yet there are also growing concerns about privacy risks, ethical questions, and a potential decline of social media through over-saturation. In our highly competitive world, companies are always fighting for the favour of consumers, with branding, positioning, and advertising among the tools of the trade. Furthermore, design has become a very powerful card in this game. Product and packaging design, corporate or brand logos, and even architecture all have an impact on how we, as humans and as consumers, see, interpret, and evaluate the world around us. In this focus area, you will learn to understand consumer patterns and the role of big data, digitisation, gamification, visual design and multisensory design. You will learn about the fundamentals of researching marketing communication and consumer behaviour. With these skill sets on board, you will become a uniquely skilled communications professional, understanding both unconscious consumer processes and visual and multisensory design to create the perfect impact in a particular market.

Courses belonging to this focus area:


You will finish the Communication Science master’s programme with a master thesis project. This means carrying out independent research on a theoretical subject. You will conduct literature research and collect empirical data, using the outcomes to contribute to both the academic and practical field. We encourage students to collaborate with organisations or institutes, both inside or outside the university. When doing so, it is also possible to combine your master thesis with an internship (5 EC). During the internship you will then be able to reflect on practical competencies at a master level, while simultaneously working on your thesis project at - or in conjunction with - an organisation or institute. The study load of the thesis project in that case increases to 30 EC which means that you do not (need to) follow 20 EC on elective courses but 15 EC instead. 

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