At Aarhus University, students follow their foundational year. During the second year, students follow one of four specialization programmes.
The Politics & Communication Specialisation at the Graduate School of Communication focuses on the relationship between political actors, media and citizens in a changing media environment. In this research-oriented programme, students learn to reflect on their own role as journalists in society, the conditions of journalistic production and the impact of media on audiences and political decision-making.
The programme is primarily concerned with journalism. However, the emphasis is not on practical journalism training, but rather on the critical understanding of the journalism profession, based on scientific research. Ultimately, such training is meant to contribute to maintaining high journalistic standards and will be of use for those who intend to work as professional journalists in the future as well as for those who choose to work in other professions which are related to journalism, media, and communication more broadly.
Students are expected to obtain 30 credits in each of the four semesters of the degree, totalling 120 credits.
The specialization in Politics & Communication consists of 3 substantial courses, an elective and a thesis module. The courses focus on the production of media content, the role of journalism in society, and the question of what represents 'good' political journalism; the issue of European integration in the eyes of citizens, journalists and the political elites, political campaigning in European elections and referendums and new trends in political communication in-and outside Europe; also, students examine the recent transformations in the European and international media and journalism landscape and discuss how these transformations can be critically assessed.
For their elective, students choose from a range of thematic courses that cover different topics within the field of communication science. These include political marketing, social media and politics, media strategies, media entertainment, corporate communication, public relations and brands and organizations in social media.
The final aspect of the Master’s programme is the thesis module. For students specializing in Politics & Communication, this module starts with thesis preparation groups and a methods course tailored to their thesis. Following this, students develop and carry out their own original research under the experienced guidance of a supervisor. Also, to present the findings of this empirical thesis to a wider audience, students develop a journalistic end product, varying from a documentary to news article, websites or other media formats.
Throughout the specialization year in Amsterdam students can take part of numerous field trips, guest lectures and activities. In past years, for example, students visited the European Commission, NGO’s, Clingendael Institute and the International Criminal Court, among others.