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Communication Science: Corporate Communication

The curriculum of the track Corporate Communication of the Master’s in Communication Science comprises;

Jacobs, Sandra
Dr. Sandra Jacobs

Programme outline

Strategic Communication of Organisations

Dr. Sandra Jacobs, lecturer in Strategic Communication of Organisations:

‘In our course, we will discuss the issues regarding the communication of organisations. How can you identify relevant stakeholders? How do organisations communicate in times of crisis? Which ethical issues can arise when an organisation communicates with its publics? How do social media change the communication of organisations? And how are the identity of the organisation and its communication related? We will combine in-depth reading, lectures, and in-class exercises to find answers to these questions.

We will keep a good eye on balancing academic content with practical applications. We will have firm discussions on scientific issues, but also apply our fresh knowledge to current cases of organisations in the news. Cases from previous years include the UvA’s crisis communication policies, the corporate social responsibility of fastfood companies, and the external communication of banks after the economic crisis. However, it will also be up to you to provide nice examples and to use your own experiences (if you have those). Next to that, you will not only read articles written by renowned corporate communication scholars, but they will also give you guest lectures that provide you with up-to-date knowledge of current topics in corporate communication. And of course, we will not forget to look forward to your life after obtaining your master’s degree.  A company from Amsterdam will visit us on-campus and you will help them to solve a case on issue management in their work field.’

Strategic Communication in Organisations

Central themes in this course are organisational culture and climate, leadership and (inter)personal communication styles. Using these themes as a framework, the seminar further addresses a range of topics that are relevant to the field of communication professionals, such as new ways of working, intercultural communication, diversity, organisational change and knowledge sharing.

Lotte van Walstijn
Lotte van Walstijn

Lotte van Walstijn, The Netherlands, student in Corporate Communication:

‘When I chose this track I was especially interested in how communication within organisations influences the corporate identity and the organisational culture. In our first semester course Strategic Communication in Organisations, we looked at the impact of different communication styles on structures and performance within organisations. For multiple papers I looked at how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is developing and how internal communication styles influence CSR performance. In the second semester I am going to write my thesis. There, I will analyse the impact of CSR communication and how employees react to changes in communication. 

Research Methods Tailored to the Thesis

During the first semester, you will also take the course Research Methods Tailored to the Thesis course (6 ECTS), in which you’ll refresh, train and further develop your research skills before starting to write your Master’s thesis in the following semester. 


In the second semester you can personalise your Master’s by choosing two electives (6 ECTS each), allowing you to create a programme that suits your interest best. You can choose from all the electives available in the department of Communication Science ,for instance; Organisations on the Web; Corporate Website, Social Media and Webcare, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Communication; Organisational Behavior and Communication; Public Relations, Media and Public; and Brands & Organisations in Social Media, Sustainability Marketing and Communication. 

Read about all the electives 

Master’s Thesis

You will be guided and supervised in the creation, design, content, analysis and reporting of an academic empirical study. This commences in semester 1 when you will start brainstorming about your topic. You are free to choose a topic for your thesis, as long as it stays within the confines of your specialisation: Corporate Communication. Previous topics include: the difference in framing by media and organisations during a crisis; Corporate Social Responsibility across industries and economic regions; the shift in power between PR and journalism.

You must obtain a total of 60 credits to be awarded the Master’s degree. Fulfilment of all the requirements takes one year of full-time study.

More information about the courses

Thesis examples