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As a Communication & Media Studies student, you will gain a strong foundation in the field, and will also be able to customize your program to your needs. The foundation is provided by the required courses at the first and second year levels that all students will take. These courses will introduce you to key perspectives in the field of Communication & Media Studies, and provide rigorous training in research, writing, and critical thinking. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of other courses that will enable you to develop your knowledge and skills and engage with the issues that most interest you. In addition, you will take courses outside the department, giving you the opportunity to experience York’s wide range of programs in Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and elsewhere. You can even do a joint major with another department, or a major in Communication & Media Studies with a minor in another field.

The three thematic areas comprising Communication & Media Studies are Media, Culture and Society, Politics and Policy and Critical Technology Studies. You can always take courses across the thematic areas, but these help you to organize your program of study, and to orient yourself to future careers, some of which are suggested here.

Media, Culture and Society

Media, whether more traditional forms like print or broadcast media or new forms of digital media, provide the context within and through which our cultures develop. These cultures are complex and often contested with courses in this thematic area giving students the tools to engage in these debates and translate them into real-world contexts.

Courses in this thematic area have a "7" as their second number. For example, CMDS 2700, CMDS 3701, etc.

Politics and Policy

This thematic area is geared towards students interested in the business of media and the relationships between the economic and political dimensions of communication and culture. You will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and participate in media production and the various decision- and policy-making processes that shape our media landscape.

Courses in this thematic area have a "2" as their second number. For example, CMDS 2200, CMDS 3201, etc.

Critical Technology Studies

Courses in this thematic area provide you with the resources to think critically about the transformative impacts of technology and examine how those technologies are embedded in wider social contexts.

Courses in this thematic area have a "5" as their second number. For example, CMDS 2500, CMDS 3501, etc.

Course Search

Browse through the database below to explore courses that will fulfill certain degree requirements in the Communication & Media Studies program.

When registering for classes on the Course Timetable website, be sure to carefully read through the "Notes/Additional Fees" section of each course you select.

AP/CMDS 1000 6.00
Introduction to Communication & Media

This course provides a critical overview of the main issues in the field of communication and media. It examines how media systems are implicated in our personal lives and in larger social, cultural, political, and ...

AP/CMDS 1401 3.00
Fake News, Fact-Finding and the Future of Journalism

What is fake news? How does it spread? How do we distinguish fact from fake? Are social media to blame? This class addresses the fake news challenge and teaches students to be informed consumers of ...

AP/CMDS 1405 3.00
Death, Destruction & Disease in the Media

This course encourages students to critically examine the impact of the perspectives of broadcast, social, and digital media. Mediazation is a theory that argues media frame the processes and discourse of political communication. Assessing the ...

AP/CMDS 1410 3.00
Sport Media

This course explores the relationship between sport cultures and media practices. Key topics include media representations of athletes; fandom; the business of sport media; sport and social justice; and the development of sport media over ...

AP/CMDS 1460 3.00
Sounding off! Introducing sound studies

This course offers an introduction to the study of sound and of audio cultures. Students will explore a variety of listening practices while surveying the creative, political and social dimensions of sound and its reproduction. ...

AP/CMDS 2111 6.00
Communication in Everyday Life

Examines the processes of interpersonal communication providing insight into how we create and communicate meaning for each other at all levels of social communication. We analyze everyday communication using a variety of models from the ...

AP/CMDS 2200 6.00
Introduction to Politics, Policy and the Media

This course analyzes the relations between popular media, communication technologies and power. The role of the state, market and civil society in the development of communication systems, and the production and distribution of culture are ...

AP/CMDS 2500 6.00
Information and Technology

This course focuses on critical stances with which to view our society's preoccupation with information and technology. Different models and theoretical approaches are used to understand how information and technology affect social change. Prerequisite: AP/CMDS ...

AP/CMDS 2700 6.00
Media, Culture and Society

This course explores the individual and collective significance of the role of communications in culture and society. Various historical, theoretical and methodological approaches are introduced as ways to analyze the impact of communications media in ...

AP/CMDS 2830 6.00
Music and Society

This course explores the relationship between the production and performance of music and its economic, social and political milieux. The first part of the course centres on the special theoretical perspective of the social sciences ...

AP/CMDS 3100 3.00
Foundational Communication Theory

Provides an overview of the foundations and theoretical approaches in communication theory. Special attention will be paid to mass communication theory, medium theory, audience research, semiotics, and the political economy of media. Course credit exclusion: ...

AP/CMDS 3101 3.00
Contemporary Communication Theory

Examines the various perspectives of contemporary communication theory. It explores current theoretical approaches with an emphasis on contemporary debates and issues in communication studies. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN 3320 6.00 (prior to Fall 2012).

AP/CMDS 3150 3.00
Introduction to Research Methods in Communication Studies

Introduces students to the major research paradigms and attendant methodologies in the field of mass communication. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN 3991 6.00 (prior to Fall 2012).

AP/CMDS 3210 3.00
Global Media, Local Communication

Examines the theories and practices of the global media - telecommunications, news, film, television, and the new media - in the contexts of local communication and culture. The interactions between the global media and local ...

AP/CMDS 3213 3.00
Labour in the Communication and Cultural Industries

This course analyzes labour in the communication and cultural industries (including journalism, broadcasting, creative labour and cyber-work) by the examination of the historical constitution, present institutions, and current practices organizing labour in these industries. Course ...

AP/CMDS 3221 3.00
Communicating Social Movements

Examines the literature on major developments in the history of Canadian social and protest movements, social entrepreneurialism, and pressure group behaviour. The larger historical questions of current movements' relationships to past patterns of protest are ...

AP/CMDS 3250 3.00
Communication Policy I: A Comparative Introduction

Introduces students to the politics of policy making across communication, including press, broadcasting and telecommunication, with an emphasis on the Anglo-American democracies. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN 3350 3.00 (prior to Fall 2012).

AP/CMDS 3251 3.00
Communication Policy II: Current Issues and Case Studies

Examines current issues in communication policy in Canada through the use of case studies. It considers such topical issues as: national identity and globalization, convergence and fragmentation, as well as intellectual property, privacy, and global ...

AP/CMDS 3252 3.00
Ethics and the Media

Examines challenges to ethical behaviour and normative intentions posed by the institutional imperatives of the modern media corporation. Explores the ethical relationships of the media corporation and the people it employs with the communities being ...

AP/CMDS 3517 3.00
Doing Bodies/Doing Technology

This course explores the ways in which interacting, producing and consuming technology also affects how bodies and identities are enacted, experienced, produced and theorized. It challenges students to think creatively about the ways in which ...

AP/CMDS 3550 3.00
Digital Media and Culture

Examines the origins and development of forms of digital media and culture with particular emphasis on how they differ from pre-digital or "analog" cultural forms. Upon establishing our theoretical foundations for considering new media as ...

AP/CMDS 3551 3.00
Advanced Issues in Digital Media and Culture

This course investigates some of the transformative effects of digital communications technologies within realms of culture as diverse as politics, romance and mating, industry, medical and pharmaceutical practice, commerce, finance, the arts, scientific enquiry, and ...

AP/CMDS 3590 3.00
Feminist Perspectives on Media

Examines gender in relation to various media. Diverse media including film, television, magazines, and romantic fiction are analyzed through a feminist perspective and held within historical relationships of gender. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN 3393 6.00 ...

AP/CMDS 3591 3.00
Feminist Perspectives on Technology

Examines communication technologies from a feminist perspective. Various technologies from the telephone, television, cinema, computers, and the Internet are analyzed within historical relationships of gender. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN 3393 6.00 (prior to Fall 2012).

AP/CMDS 3700 3.00
Advertising: Media and the Development of Consumer Culture

The course approaches advertising as a privileged form of communication and as central to development of the media. This course will explore the emergence of consumer society and the social, political, and economic roles of ...

AP/CMDS 3701 3.00
Advertising, Culture and Society

Examines the place of advertising within culture and society. It will focus on the analysis of advertising; the cultural triumph of the image; the democratization of luxury; the aesthetics of mass culture and the place ...

AP/CMDS 3712 3.00
The Rise of the Classical Hollywood Cinema: Entertainment, Art and Politics

This course concentrates on the Hollywood cinema from 1929 to 1945, a period that deals with the concept of 'the studio system' which functioned to cut production cost while mass producing films. We will investigate ...

AP/CMDS 3713 3.00
The Decline of the Classical Hollywood Cinema: Post-WWII, the Cold War and the Rise of Corporate America

This course concentrates on the Hollywood cinema from 1946 to 1964. The aftermath of WWII produced political, social and cultural changes that effected the mainstream cinema. Politically, the Cold War led the government to publicly ...

AP/CMDS 3725 3.00
Young People's Media In Canada

Explores the production of media for young people here in Canada. Canada has a long history of producing media texts for children and youth. Our children's television, film, music, magazine and videogame industries are rich ...

AP/CMDS 3729 3.00
Screen Cultures

This course examines the cultural and social dimensions of screens in historical and contemporary contexts. Screen cultures include film, TV, video, digital, and mobile media.

AP/CMDS 3730 3.00
An Introduction to the Documentary (for non-film majors)

Introduces students to the documentary, a popular video and audio genre which both entertains and educates. Students will learn how to analyse various sub-genres to understand how and why they are produced and interpreted. Course ...

AP/CMDS 3733 3.00
Introduction to Media History

The course will examine major developments of that account for change in media from oral culture to the present. The larger socio-cultural questions will be examined with a focus on the major themes of technology, ...

AP/CMDS 3751 3.00
Television as Culture

Examines the interaction between television and culture by exploring the local and global impact of television, its structures, the medium and its effects. The place of television within the larger structure of society and culture ...

AP/CMDS 3770 3.00
Transnational Media Cultures and Global Youth

The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of the critical debates and issues surrounding youth media culture in a transnational context. This course will trace the impact of the transnational ...

AP/CMDS 3781 3.00
Media and Environment

This course examines various currents of thought within communication studies that have attempted to take 'the environment' into account. It explores the field of environmental communication, as well as how broader frames such as eco-feminism, ...

AP/CMDS 3900 3.00
Themes in Communication Studies (Disinformation, Misinformation, and Conspiracy Theories)

This course is a mix of deception and facts. It might be run by your professor or by a bot based somewhere else in the world. It’s designed so that you agree with it, like ...

AP/CMDS 4140 6.00
Communications Field Experience: Corporate and Cultural Industries

Students earn course credit by working on a project for an organization involved in communication policy development, information services or administration. Details of each student's responsibilities are worked out in consultation with the supervisor, the ...

AP/CMDS 4201 6.00
Resistance and Subversion on the Internet

Explores the ways in which social justice seeking groups have engaged with the Internet for social change through an examination of the Internet's origin stories, software, hardware, regulation, use and access. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN ...

AP/CMDS 4206 3.00
NetWork: Digital Labour, Profit, and Exploitation

This course familiarizes students with debates about and theories used in the analysis of labour in the "information society." Labour and "social" media, open source software, media piracy, and other contemporary internet phenomena are all ...

AP/CMDS 4210 6.00
Global Communication: Contemporary Issues

Examines various aspect of communication in the global marketplace. Areas of focus include the increasingly transnational nature of media ownership, production and regulation; the emergence of worldwide audiences; and the globalization (and re-localization) of everyday ...

AP/CMDS 4215 3.00
Current Issues in Canadian Media and Communications Policy

This course examines a number of key issues confronting Canadian media and communications policy today such as: concentration of ownership; copyright; financialization; convergence; net neutrality; spectrum allocation; and digital policy. Framed as a series of ...

AP/CMDS 4217 6.00
Governing Culture: Cultural Policy in an Era of Neoliberal Globalization

Situating cultural policy within an age of neoliberal globalization this course introduces students to the theoretical approaches that have shaped scholarly discourse on cultural policy and analyzes the rationales offered for cultural policy initiatives at ...

AP/CMDS 4222 3.00
News Next: Creating News in a Platform Society

This course will look at changes to how news is gathered, distributed and consumed. The impact of social media, allegations of "fake news" and the shift away from traditional forms of news presentation will be ...

AP/CMDS 4270 3.00
Cultural Industries and Work

This course will examine cultural industries, exploring from a historical perspective the ongoing transformations that are shaping the way media, culture and communication are produced and consumed in the contemporary global economy. Particular emphasis will ...

AP/CMDS 4275 3.00
Power, Resistance and New Media

What is the relationship between the changing forms of state and corporate power and civil society resistance associated with new media? The role of new media in protest movements (e.g., Occupy), transparency platforms (e.g., Wikipedia), ...

AP/CMDS 4505 6.00
Debates about Technological Development

This course investigates some of the texts in the burgeoning study of society and technology that have inspired its major philosophical perspectives and frameworks of research. Six perspectives are surveyed: institutionalism, critical theory, feminism, phenomenology, ...

AP/CMDS 4700 6.00
Popular Culture and Communications

Employing a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, this course examines the role of communications media and information and technology in the production and circulation of popular cultural artifacts and practices. Course credit exclusion: AP/COMN ...

AP/CMDS 4708 6.00
Youth Cultures and Media Practices

This course analyzes contemporary youth cultures with an emphasis on the ways in which youth engage with diverse and converging media texts and practices. The course develops a contextual understanding of media literacy, identities, embodiments, ...

AP/CMDS 4725 6.00
Mediations of Identity

Examines processes and practices at work in media representations of race, sexuality, gender, class, ethnicity and nation within Western society. Key theoretical approaches to power, knowledge, ideology, subjectivity and signification are applied to current and ...

AP/CMDS 4727 6.00
Cultural Politics and Aesthetics

Through an examination of key theoretical texts and case studies, both historical and contemporary, this course will develop a framework for understanding the relationships between culture, communication, aesthetics and politics. Through assignments and a major ...

AP/CMDS 4732 3.00
Theories of Diaspora and Transnational Media

Provides a survey of some of the key issues regarding diaspora and transnational media. The course examines different theoretical and methodological approaches to diaspora and transnational studies from different disciplines. Particular attention is given to ...

AP/CMDS 4733 3.00
Second-Generation Diaspora and Identity

Course Trailer

Builds on AP/CMDS 4732 3.00 Theories of Diaspora and Transnational Media, providing a survey of the key issues regarding diaspora and second-generation identity. Particular attention will be given to the role of transnational media in ...

AP/CMDS 4740 3.00
Surveillance, media, and society

This course analyzes the development of what has been called the "surveillance society." The course combines theoretical and empirical studies, and ranges from debates over security-based surveillance to studies of the ubiquitous surveillance in the ...

AP/CMDS 4742 6.00
Sport, Media and Society

This course critically analyzes the relationship between sport, media and society. It locates the sport media industry within a historical and theoretical context and introduces students to critical issues surrounding sport, representation, ideology, consumer culture, ...

AP/CMDS 4750 3.00
Approaching Indigenous Media

(Crosslisted to: AP/INDG 4750 3.00) This course focuses on forms of indigenous storytelling which underlie indigenous media. It explores indigeneity in popular culture, the history of indigenous broadcasting and broadcast policy in Canada. This course and ...

AP/CMDS 4755 3.00
Indigenous Media in the Canadian Context

This course focuses on the presence of indigenous media in Canada today, as well as on emergent forms of Indigenous media and emergent Indigenous media theoretical and policy frameworks.