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?

Communication Studies provides for a varied approach to issues of communication, media and information technologies past, present and future. Our program is predicated on the understanding that, even as we create these technologies, we are shaped and conditioned by them. While studying a broad range of subjects from newspapers to the Internet, from books to videogames, our students will be grounded in a common theoretical base and will be trained to read media critically in both the large and small scales of the global and sociopolitical, and the local and personal.

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. Jamie Skidmore, Undergraduate Advisor
Renée Shute, Academic Program Manager





Guide to First Year

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552