The Department of Communication Studies offers students an interdisciplinary and dynamic milieu where they can develop comprehensive and critical awareness of diverse communication and media environments. Our approach to communication emphasizes the questioning and analysing of media and technology in their relationship to social and cultural practices and the circulation of ideas and values.
Our goal is to help students develop knowledge and critical understanding of the central concepts, theories and methods of the field, as well as the ability to think critically and analytically through the use and application of a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to a variety of communication phenomena.
The research interests of our faculty reflect our diversity and excellence as a Department. Our faculty engage with communications from diverse vantage points ranging from media policy, politics and power, international development and gender and identity. These faculty interests are reflected in our comprehensive curriculum which ranges from traditional forms of mass communication to mobile technologies, web 2.0 and nanotechnology.
Our courses encompass four thematic areas which are representative of primary disciplinary approaches within the field of communications studies. These four areas are:
- Media, Culture and Society
Courses in this area focus on how communications media affect the way we perceive and respond to the social and cultural environment. This area emphasizes the study of social and cultural theories which examine these relationships. Graduating students have gone on to work in the communication and cultural industries and to develop alternatives in non-profit and public media education and production.
- Politics and Policy
The focus in this area is on the critical role of the state, civil society and private corporations in the development of communications systems, the production and distribution of culture and issues of social power. Understanding the business of media and the relationships between the economic and political dimensions of communication and culture is necessary to identify and participate in production and decisions regarding them.
- Critical Technology Studies
Courses in this area examine the relationships between cultures, societies, identities, and communication technologies. The focus of this area is to expose students to different theories and methodologies that will allow them to identify and analyse the established, contemporary and emergent technologies. The emphasis here is on exploring the ways in which technology and society are co-constructed.
- Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
Courses in this area study communication at various levels of society: the personal relationship, the social group and the broader organizational structure. The focus in this area is on studying the ways in which we communicate to create organized lives at each of these levels; the nature of the relationships and organizations we create; and our need to change them when faced with many of the kinds of issues raised in the other thematic areas.
If you are interested in applying to the Department find out more about the application process here.