Communication Studies


What is Communication Studies?

The study of communications addresses questions such as: What is popular culture and how does it shape society? Who controls the media and why? What shape does communication take in today’s global world? What are the different media technologies and at whom are they targeted?

The major in Communication Studies will address these questions and others as it critically examines the role and development of communication in modern society.


Why study Communication Studies?

The Major in Communication Studies draws upon a variety of disciplines to provide students with a critical understanding of the role media and communication technologies play in culture and society. Courses focus on the analysis of media and communication technologies, the mass circulation of ideas and information, the relationship between communication and society, and the transformation of mass forms of popular culture. In addition to exploring the historical developments of media and communication, the program introduces students to emerging theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary media. Core courses in Communication Studies provide students with knowledge of key traditions in communication studies and cover a series of critical themes that are intended to guide students throughout the program.

A degree in Communication Studies will train students to analyze media critically, focusing not only on what various media are, but also on the relationship of media to social power, personal and international relations, moral issues, cultural events, representational politics and the role of technological industries in society.

Career opportunities for students pursuing communication studies include:

  • public relations
  • advertising
  • education
  • consulting
  • human relations and management
  • telecommunications
  • broadcasting
  • fine and performing arts
  • writing
  • publishing
  • research (academic and business)

Communication Studies is also an excellent preparation for students intending to pursue careers in law, journalism, film and politics.

Courses available in first year

Communication Studies 2000
Critical Approaches to Popular Culture considers critical issues and approaches in the study of popular culture. It will explore the ways in which everyone is both a user of, and is used by, popular culture. A variety of critical approaches to studying popular culture will be examined: production, texts, audience and history.
Lectures: Three hours per week
Prerequisite: None

Communication Studies 2001
Introduction to Communication Theory provides an introduction to theoretical approaches to organization, use and manipulation of language including semiotics, performativity, mass and group communications, sociolinguistics and interpersonal communication. We will examine notions of influence, rhetoric, social judgment, deception, subject formation, globalization and cultural hybridity within the field of communications.
Lectures: Three hours per week
Prerequisite: None. Prior completion of Communication Studies 2000 is encouraged. 

Sample program for first year

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in communication studies will normally take the following courses in their first year:

Sample program

Fall SemesterWinter Semester
English 1090critical reading & writing course
Communication Studies 2000Communication Studies 2001
language study (LS) courselanguage study (LS) course
quantitative reasonsing (QR) coursequantitative reasoning (QR) course
minor courseminor course


For assistance with course selection, students should contact:
Academic Advising Centre,


Contact information

For additional information please contact:
Dr. Jennifer Lokash, Undergraduate Advisor
Renée Shute, Academic Program Manager





Guide to First Year

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000