The programme starts with introductory courses focusing on the analysis and evaluation of argumentation and on rhetorical analysis. Following that, students will take four course on communication in specific contexts (health, politics, law, academia, organisational). In the term paper and in the thesis the students can study a specific genre or context of their own choice.
The Dual Master's programme in Communication and Information comprises 90 ECTS credits: 42 credits for core courses, 30 credits for internship, and 18 credits for a Master’s thesis.
The core courses in the first semester are mandatory for all students.
Students acquire the skills that are needed to analyse and evaluate verbal communication in specific contexts. Students learn how to make an analytic overview of argumentative texts, to evaluate these argumentative texts and to make a characterisation of specific genres. The following topics are dealt with: argumentation analysis, the evaluation of argumentation and fallacies, and genre analysis.
Students acquire skills to analyse the rhetorical and persuasive aspects of communication. The course offers an introduction to classical and modern rhetoric and persuasion theory.
In this course the argumentative and stylistic properties of three text genres will be investigated: the medical consultation, the health brochure and the consumer medicine advertisement. The pragma-dialectical argumentation theory is taken as a point of departure for the analysis of health communication.
This course has a theoretical and a practical component. In the theoretical component, the course provides a systematic overview of the main discursive approaches to the various genres in the political domain, such as political interviews, election debates, parliamentary debates, and political speeches. These approaches are critically discussed and evaluated for their strengths and weaknesses. In the practical component, the course guides students into applying the theoretical insights in an original analysis and evaluation of political communicative practices under the form of a research paper.
Students will write a research paper about argumentation in a political, legal, or medical context. The research paper (approx. 4000 words) is about an argumentative, stylistic or discourse phenomenon that occurs in one of the genres that have been discussed in the courses taught in the first semester.
In this course modern research of argumentation and communication in the legal domain is discussed. The focus is on argumentation in the context of legal decision-making by courts and public officials who must account for their discretionary powers. The emphasis lies on the way in which characteristics of the domain of legal decision-making play a part in the analysis of argumentative communicative practices. The different disciplinary and theoretical approaches that will be discussed originate in legal argumentation theory, legal logic, legal rhetoric, as well as in theories about law, language and literature.
This course is about verbal communication and argumentation in science communication and education. Based on knowledge of the characteristics of academic discourse as expert-to-expert communication, the emphasis is on analyzing argumentation in science communication and education, the structure of texts within various genres and stylistic devices in science communication and education.
The internship is an important part of the dual master Communication and Information. An internship offers you the opportunity to gain work experience at academic level. The internship takes place at an organisation in the Netherlands or abroad at a department in which communication plays an important role. Ideally, the internship is focused on the design, production and revision of persuasive texts.
The Master’s thesis enables you to write an original work of programme research under the supervision of one of the staff members. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the thesis supervisor.
The final assignment in the first year is the writing of a thesis (18 ECTS). The thesis is a written report (17000 - 23000 words) on individual research with a clear academic character. It is a study of the role of argumentative language use in an institutional context. The main topic is a phenomenon that occurs in the verbal communication within a well-defined genre from the political, legal, medical, organisational, academic domain or another well-defined communicative domain. Ideally, the results are illustrated by a case-study.