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Bachelor
Communication Science
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Study programme

In the Bachelor’s in Communication Studies, you study media and the effects of media use on people and society through various research methods and theories. You will do this from different perspectives, such as politics, business, entertainment, marketing, and health communication. The first year and a half are fixed in terms of the study programme, but afterwards, you will have more opportunities to arrange the programme yourself. Check out the subjects you will take during the Bachelor's programme below.

Overview per year
  • Year 1

    During the first year, you will be introduced to the most important theories within Communication Science. By reading and discussing literature and doing individual and group assignments, you learn to understand these theories and apply them to current events. You will also follow courses in statistics and research skills and you will be introduced to a number of specialised content courses, including the domain courses Corporate Communication and Entertainment Communication. 

  • Year 2

    During the second year you will deepen and broaden your knowledge of communication science. You will follow in-depth courses on methods and statistics of social research, such as statistical modelling and qualitative research. You will practice your knowledge and skills in various (group-) projects. In addition, you will follow the domain courses on Persuasive Communication and Political Communication & Journalism. In the second semester, you will be able to tailor your study programme with Electives. 

  • Year 3

    During the third year, you will apply your acquired knowledge in practice during an internship. This can be at a company in the Netherlands, but you can also choose to do your internship abroad. In the second semester you will work on the graduation project. Here, you will bring all the knowledge you have acquired in recent years together in your own research. In addition to the internship and graduation project, you will take a number of other courses, including two ‘Topics’ of your choice. 

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Introduction to Communication Science
    Period 1
    Period 2
    12

    You will learn the fundamentals of communication science and how media influence people and vice versa. You will develop scientific skills to work with theories and research, including analysis, validation, and reporting. You will also learn about the context in which communication takes place, such as mass media, propaganda, and empirical research.

  • Methods of Communication Research and Statistics
    Period 1
    Period 2
    12

    In this course, you will learn important research methods and statistical analyses. You will be introduced to various research designs, data collection, and data analysis. In addition to attending lectures, you will also participate in tutorial sessions where you will practice using the statistical software package SPSS.

  • Research Workshop: Survey
    Period 3
    6

    In this course, you will learn how to choose a research method and create a research plan. You will conduct a survey research project with your group: formulating questions, collecting responses, analyzing the data, and writing a report. You will also attend lectures where you will gain theoretical knowledge that you can directly apply to your research, which will be assessed in an exam.

  • Corporate Communication
    Period 4
    6

    You will learn how organisations communicate with people both within and outside the organisation. You will explore strategic communication concerning important matters and how communication is handled during times of change and knowledge sharing. You will discover the role of communication in organisations and relationships with others through practical examples and theories.

  • The Media Landscape
    Period 4
    6

    In this module, you will explore the media industry. You will gain insight into major players, economic markets, and technological changes that influence the media. Additionally, you will learn how media companies strategically respond and examine the effects on society.

  • Entertainment Communication
    Period 5
    6

    You will learn about the characteristics of popular forms of entertainment and how they attract different users. You will also explore how entertainment is effectively used to train, educate, or influence people. In this course, you will discover how to find answers to questions that arise when exploring entertainment.

  • Philosophy of Science & Methodology
    Period 5
    6

    You will learn how science has evolved over the centuries and which discoveries have changed our understanding of the world. You will also learn to reflect on science, research methods, and philosophical ideas, making connections with communication science and statistical knowledge in tutorial sessions.

  • Research Workshop: Content Analysis
    Period 6
    6

    In this course, you will learn how to systematically examine the content communicated in media messages. We will cover various research techniques, and you will have the opportunity to conduct content analyses yourself. You will work both individually and in groups on research projects, utilizing collected data to write scientific reports.

  • Academic Skills Tutoring
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    Period 4
    Period 5
    Period 6

    Academic Skills Tutoring is a programme that you follow in the first and second year of Communication Science. In the first semester, the focus is on improving your academic and practical study skills. In the second semester, the emphasis shifts to career orientation and exploring career opportunities. You will attend tutorial sessions, masterclasses, and other sessions to enhance your skills and study planning.

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Persuasive Communication
    Period 1
    6

    You will learn how to create and apply persuasive messages in advertising, health, and educational contexts. You will explore theoretical models and practical skills, such as conducting a literature review and applying concepts to marketing and health issues. You will develop the foundational principles for creating effective messages.

  • Statistical Modelling for Communication Research
    Period 1
    6

    Deepen your statistical skills and gain a better understanding of data analysis. You will explore the principles of inferential statistics, including sampling, estimating population characteristics, testing null hypotheses, and test power. Additionally, you will learn how to apply various models using SPSS.

  • Political Communication & Journalism
    Period 2
    6

    This course focuses on the role of media in politics and its influence on the public. You will learn about the interactions between the public, the media, and politics, and discuss issues related to voting behaviour, news media, and political campaigns. This module combines classical theories with recent literature to gain insight into the informative function of media in our democracy.

  • Qualitative Research
    Period 2
    6

    This course is about the fundamental principles of qualitative research in communication science. You will learn about methods such as in-depth interviews and focus groups, and develop skills for data collection and analysis. You will conduct your own qualitative research project and learn to critically evaluate its reliability.

  • Research Workshop: Experiment
    Period 3
    6

    In this course, you will learn why and how to design experiments. You will gain knowledge and skills for conducting data collection and data analysis in experiments. You will also learn to understand the different stages and the empirical cycle, and you will carry out your own experimental research.

  • Free-choice electives
    Period 4
    Period 5
    Period 6
    30

    The elective space can be customized according to your preferences, allowing you to choose elective courses, a minor, or participate in an exchange programme abroad.

  • Academic Skills Tutoring
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    2

    Academic Skills Tutoring is a programme that you follow in the first and second year of Communication Science. In the first semester, the focus is on improving your academic and practical study skills. In the second semester, the emphasis shifts to career orientation and exploring career opportunities. You will attend tutorial sessions, masterclasses, and other sessions to enhance your skills and study planning.

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Effective and Ethical Communication Consultancy
    Period 1
    Period 2
    12

    You will learn to support various forms of communication advice using theories. You will develop skills in reflecting on ethical considerations and how to adjust your advice accordingly. Working in groups, you will look at practical situations from different communication domains such as marketing, PR, internal communication, and political lobbying.

  • Internship
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    16

    During the internship, you will apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired during your studies in a practical setting. You will also gain new experiences that are relevant to your field of study. Additionally, you will conduct research as part of your internship and write a report on your findings.

  • Restricted choice-electives: Topics
    Period 4
    Period 5
    12

    Topics are elective courses related to communication science. You choose two topics. For example, Content Marketing, where you learn how companies develop their own content to attract a specific target audience. Another option is The Crisis of Trust, where you explore the influence of organisations, media, and the public on trust in our society. Health Communication is another example, where you learn about the power of media in conveying health information and promoting behavioural change.

  • Restricted-choice electives: Graduation Project
    Period 4
    Period 5
    Period 6
    18

    You bring together all the knowledge you have gained over the past years and apply it to your own research. You show your ability to conduct independent and systematic research. You can choose from different specialisations: Corporate Communication, Entertainment Communication, Persuasive Communication, or Political Communication and Journalism.

Compulsory course
Elective
Find more information in the online course catalogue
Additional options
  • Honours programme

    Do you want more challenge during your studies? In the Honours Programme, which starts in year 2, you will take additional courses, both within and outside your own Bachelor's programme. You will deepen and broaden your knowledge. The programme consists of 30 ECTS and you take this in addition to your regular education. When you complete the Honours Programme, you will receive an Honours certificate.

  • Study abroad

    The UvA has partnerships and exchange agreements with more than 100 other universities. During your electives space you can do an exchange semester abroad. This can be a valuable learning and cultural experience, and a great addition to your study programme. 

    You can only go abroad in your third year. This means you have to swap around your modules and do your internship or graduation project in your second year. 

  • Electives / minor 

    There are various opportunities during the Bachelor’s programme for you to shape your programme to your liking. You can gain 30 elective study credits with courses that are part of another Bachelor's programme at the UvA, thereby doing a second specialisation. 

    Also you can choose a minor: a cohesive programme lasting half a year (30 credits) taken outside your own degree programme. You could choose a minor in Sociology or Business Economics, for example. Communication Science students are especially encouraged to take the minor Communication in the Digital Society, in which you can delve into how digital technologies influence our way of learning, working, entertainment, and social connection. In this minor, you engage with theories and ethical issues that are relevant to how we organise our digital society. You will also learn the basics of the Python programming language for data analysis, a skill that is becoming increasingly important in both corporate and academic jobs. 

  • Internship

    In the Bachelor's programme you will do an internship at an organisation of your choice. This internship will allow you to gain relevant work experience, and apply your academic knowledge in a professional setting. Moreover, the internship will enable you to develop and apply practical skills while using the knowledge you have gained during the programme. 

    You can also do your internship abroad. You should look for an internship yourself and will be assigned an internship supervisor from the study programme.

I am currently writing my thesis within Persuasive Communication and next year I am planning to go abroad for one semester. Read how Armitha personalised her programme
Time distribution and tutoring
  • Time distribution - hours in lectures vs. practicals

    You have a limited number of hours in lectures, with a strong emphasis from the first year on working on challenging assignments with fellow students in tutorial groups. On average, you will have 4 hours of lectures per week, 12-14 hours of tutorial groups and 25-30 hours of self-study.

  • Teaching methods at Communication Science
    • Lectures: during lectures, you sit in a large hall with fellow students while a lecturer explains the material.
    • Tutorial groups: during working groups, you work on the study material interactively in smaller groups, under the guidance of a lecturer.
  • Tutoring during your studies

    During your studies, you are supported in different ways. There is always a team of student advisers available if you have questions about your study planning or if you have difficult personal circumstances. You will also take the course Academic Skills Tutoring during the first two years of Communication Science. During this course, you focus on improving your academic and practical study skills. Also, there is room for career orientation and discovering career opportunities.

How do media effects on attitudes and behavior come about? And to what extent do we determine our media use and how media influence us? Dr. Annemarie van Oosten about the course Introduction to Communication Science, read more
Frequently asked questions
  • What role does statistics play within the Bachelor's in Communication Science and can I prepare myself for it?

    Statistics and research methods play an important role within our programme of Communication Science. In year 1 and 2, you will follow multiple statistics and methods courses and in year 3 you will apply the skills you have learned to your thesis and internship. We find it important that our students are being trained to assess the value of existing research and to be able to come to their own findings within the domain of Communication Science. After you have obtained your secondary education diploma (Dutch: vwo-diploma, i.e. pre-university level education), you should be prepared well enough to follow the first course of statistics and methods. Furthermore, actively participating in the UvA matching provides a good picture of what you can expect from the programme and the role of statistics within the program.

  • Can I also follow this Bachelor's programme in Dutch?

    If you are a Dutch-speaking student, you can also follow our Dutch track. The programme of the Dutch track is exactly the same as the programme of the English track. Read more about the Dutch track Communicatiewetenschap.

  • What is the difference between Communication Science and comparable programmes?

    In the Netherlands there are many study programmes, also at the UvA, which are similar in name to Communication Science. Our suggestion is to make your own comparisons: collect information on multiple programmes, look at their courses, the options, and the points of focus. Communication Science at the UvA focuses on 4 domains: Entertainment Communication, Persuasive Communication, Corporate Communication, and Political Communication. In addition, there is a strong emphasis on statistics and research methods. Our lecturers are affiliated with ASCoR, the research institute for Communication Science. Also, all our students have to do an internship, which is rarely a standard part of other (similar) programmes. In this way, our students are able to bring what they have learned into practice.

  • Can I keep my side job and on which days do I have classes? How is the workload during my first year?

    We understand very well that students have to work alongside their studies to earn a living. The study takes an average of 30 per 40 hours a week, so please keep this in mind while making your planning. The week prior to the start of the programme, you can see on which days you will have lectures and tutorials. To each individual student, the workload is experienced differently. In general, most students in the first semester, have to get used to the university, a different method of teaching, and the pace. With the tutorials, the guidance we offer, and enough self-study from you, the majority of the students succeed in making this a success. Below you can find an example of a weekly schedule of a first-year student

  • I want to combine university with creativity. Will I get the opportunity to do so within Communication Science?

    Within the Bachelor's of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam, you obtain a Bachelor's of Science. Therefore, it is a scientific study. Within Communication Science you will be given a number of creative assignments. However, there are no specific classes in creative skills within the Communication Science programme. For example, you won’t receive assignments to design websites or set up graphic advertising campaigns. Basically, you will mainly follow courses on the theoretical aspects of these types of campaigns. How do you make a success out of a campaign, advertisement, intervention, entertainment product, etc.

    Research and creativity

    Initially, “research” sounds like the most theoretical part of the study. Think again. After all, every research is about practice. For example, if you are interested in fashion, the Corporate Communication course allows you to research different stakeholders in the problem of cultural appropriation in the high-end fashion industry. This is a real-life example of a project that has been done. In many such research projects, you are free to a certain extent to choose a topic yourself. In this way, you can align communication research with your own social interests

    Electives and creativity

    In the second half of the Communication Science programme, you have the opportunity to personalise your programme. During this period, you will follow electives, do an internship and write your graduation thesis. So, there is a lot of room here for integrating creativity. Especially when doing your internship, you will have the opportunity to acquire practical skills at a company that matches your interests.

    Creativity outside of the study

    Another option to combine creativity with Communication Science is through extracurricular activities. For example, you can go to CREA, the cultural student center of the University of Amsterdam. Each semester they offer a wide range of workshops and courses in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, writing and much more. They also offer courses related to Communication Science, for example, video editing with Final Cut Pro X or editing in Adobe Photoshop. In addition, the Communication Science programme itself also offers various extracurricular workshops in which these types of creative skills are taught, under the name of Career Matters.

  • I have obtained a Dutch hbo degree. Can I start a Master's in Communication Science right away or should I first do the Bachelor's?

    If you have obtained a Dutch hbo degree or you have obtained an international degree equal to a Dutch hbo and would like to start the Master's in Communication Science, you first have to follow part of the Bachelor's programme, also called 'de verkorte bachelor' (in Dutch only).