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In this Master's programme, the study of verbal communication is firmly anchored within the context of an institutional domain, ensuring that you become an expert in a specific form of communication, be it political debate, doctor-patient communication or speechwriting.


Paying close attention to genre analysis, language use and communication, you will explore a range of discourse and communications approaches, including pragmatics, argumentation theory, genre theory and stylistics. Upon completion, you will be able to unravel and scrutinise challenging communicative situations and apply the key theories and approaches of discourse in order to analyse, evaluate and produce texts in various communicative disciplines.

Programme structure

The Master's programme Discourse and Communication Studies comprises 90 ECTS credits:

  • 42 credits for courses and electives
  • 30 credits for the internship and report
  • 18 credits for the Master's thesis

Core courses

In the first core course Introduction to Argumentative Discourse Across Domains, you learn how to analyse and evaluate argumentative texts, and explore the argumentative characteristics in a variety of argumentative domains. Subsequent core courses narrow the focus to a specific domain.

  • Argumentation and Communication in Health examines the medical consultation, the health brochure and the consumer medicine advertisement;
  • Argumentation and Communication in Politics analyses political debates, interviews and speeches;
  • Argumentation and communication in Law offers insights into the characteristics of various legal genres.


Electives may consist of an internship or a course relevant to the Master’s topic. One of these courses is Argumentation and communication in Science, in which the scientific papers and popularising scientific texts are analysed.


For more information about available internships and the experiences of other student interns, please follow the link below.

Internships (Current students website)


The Master's thesis (18 EC) is an individual project based on the contents of the Master's courses taken by the student. The thesis is a report of a study on the verbal communication within a well-defined genre from the political, legal, medical, organisational or academic domain. Ideally, the results are illustrated by a case study. While writing the thesis, the student is advised by a staff member. In addition to this individual instruction, the students participate in group sessions in which the writing process is monitored by an instructor who provides central instruction and organises a peer review procedure.

Detailed course information

For detailed course information, please see the UvA Course Catalogue (link below).

UvA Course Catalogue: Discourse and Communication Studies