1 2 COMMUNICATION, MANAGEMENT AND HEALTH GOALS AND CONTENTS The University of Lugano (USI), Switzerland, in collaboration with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State knowledge and skills to Acquire the necessary University (VT), USA, offers a Master in Communication, understand the complexity Management and Health (MCMH), a unique programme of the health sector and and in Europe. to excel in this challenging The purpose of the MCMH is to give students: environment A solid theoretical background in multiple academic disciplines: communication, marketing and management; A focused and in-depth knowledge of the health sector; The option of a dual Master s degree at Virginia Tech University; The ultimate goal of the MCMH is to have our students well prepared to perform jobs either with the private or public sector in all size organisations in health and beyond. POSSIBILITY OF PARTICIPATING IN A MULTICULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMME The Master in Communication, Management and Health offers the unique opportunity of two educational pathways: one based entirely at the University of Lugano, the other with one study-abroad semester at Virginia Tech University. Graduates who complete their second semester at VT will be awarded two Master of Science (MSc) degrees: a VT MSc in Business Administration with a specialisation in Marketing and a USI MSc in Communication, Management and Health. Option of a dual degree at Virginia Tech University, USA ORGANISATION This full-time study programme comprises 120 ECTS spread over 4 semesters. Students have the possibility to spend their second semester at Virginia Tech University, focusing on quantitative and qualitative methodology which introduce students to the analysis of marketing. During the fourth semester, students can complete their master thesis at the University of Lugano or at Virginia Tech University, depending on their choice of subject and supervisor. In addition, students will acquire professional and practical experience as they undertake a threemonth field project in which they apply their theoretical knowledge and methodological skills. STUDY PROGRAMME FIRST SEMESTER USI Health Communication 6 Research Methods in Health Communication 3 Social Marketing 6 Data Analysis 6 Corporate Strategy 6 Managerial and Financial Accounting 6 SECOND SEMESTER VT Marketing Policy and Strategy 6 International Marketing Strategy 6 Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and the Public Purpose 6 Statistics for Research (II) 6 Electives 6 SECOND SEMESTER USI Corporate Identity and Image 6 Health Communication Law 3 Global Corporate Communication 3 Consumer Behaviour 6 Corporate Social Responsibility 3 Electives 9 THIRD SEMESTER USI Organizational Behaviour 6 Industry & Institutions Perspectives: Stakeholders in the Swiss Health System 3 Interpersonal Communication in Health 3 Efficacy of Health Communication via Media 3 Qualitative Research Methods in Health Communication 3 Epidemiology 3 Health Policy 3 Introduction to Public Health 3 FOURTH SEMESTER USI or VT Thesis 21 Field Project 9 Total ECTS 120 Slight changes in the study programme may occur.
2 4 COMMUNICATION, MANAGEMENT AND HEALTH FIRST SEMESTER USI Health Communication Health communication, as the study and application of communication theories in the field of health, is nowadays recognised as a crucial domain to efficaciously inform and influence individual and community health-related decisions. In this course, students will study the most recent theoretical and practical developments in the area of health communication and how this information can be used to improve public health as well as individual behavior. Research Methods in Health Communication In 1964, the Surgeon General of the United States issued his report based on articles in which the Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health concluded that cigarette smoking is a cause of lung cancer in men and a probable cause of lung cancer in women and called for appropriate remedial action. Ever since, public health organizations and government agencies around the world have launched campaigns aimed at decreasing the prevalence of smoking. Still, it took forty-five years for the Canton Ticino to institute a smoking ban in public buildings, and in 2006, it was still the case that 29 percent of Swiss males and 23% of Swiss females were regular smokers. Clearly, the success of the anti-smoking communication campaigns have enjoyed mixed success. In order to design effective health campaigns, we leverage our understanding of human cognition and behavior. However, we can speculate endlessly about the causes of behavior and how we can use communications to change it. Only through systematic study and evaluation can we learn whether or not our speculations are correct. In this course, we will introduce a variety of tools you can use to design and conduct communication research to gain behavioral insights. Social marketing This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the principles and practices of social marketing. The key concepts and conceptual frameworks in social marketing and their implications on public health and social change initiatives will be examined. Social marketing addresses a broad range of health, social, and political issues and this course will allow students to focus on relevant topics of interest to them (e.g., smoking cessation, nutrition, physical activity, HIV prevention, sustainable living, climate change, voting behavior, etc.). Data Analysis This seminar focuses on the statistical analysis of social scientific data sets. The course is especially designed to provide students with the ability to: Demonstrate knowledge of various data-analytical objectives and techniques; Critically consume empirical research findings presented in scholarly journals and popular culture reports; Assess the appropriateness of various data-analytical techniques in response to questions asked by communication researchers; Select appropriate data-analytical strategies based on certain variables of interest; and Upon completion of this seminar, students will be able to produce (i.e., conduct and write up) a complete empirical communication study. Corporate Strategy This course focuses on business strategy, examining issues central to long and short-term competitive position. We will explore a variety of conceptual frameworks and models to analyse and gain insight into how to achieve or sustain competitive advantage. This journey starts by analysing the impact of the internal context (resources and capabilities) on firm performance and subsequently analysing the external environment influence on a firm s performance. After covering both the external and internal perspectives, we bring these concepts together to discuss firm level competitive advantage. This first part of the course focuses on single business or business unit strategy and will take up the first ten weeks. The final weeks explore corporate or multi-business strategy and international strategy. Managerial and Financial Accounting The course aims to explore the role of accounting information, management accounting and control systems in supporting managers in the definition of strategy and in their day-to-day activities. It is widely acknowledged that the survival of any firm depends on its capabilities to generate successful strategic ideas, to motivate its managers to implement strategies, to identify and manage strategic risks and, finally, to create stakeholders trust. In these respects, management accounting and control systems play a crucial role. On the one hand, through strategic planning, programming and budgeting, performance targets are set, coherently with strategic and organizational choices, and used to evaluate managers accountability. On the other hand, reporting systems serve to communicate actual performance to both managers and stakeholders in a way that fosters learning from experience, enables redirecting ineffective behaviours and supports the generation of stakeholders trust. SECOND SEMESTER USI Corporate Identity and Image The identity of a firm can be considered as important a resource as its financial, human or technological resources. In fact today organizations often offer the same products and services and often even communicate in the same way. Therefore, what the organization is its raison d être becomes the ultimate differentiating factor, which makes the company unique. Managing company identity is thus a necessity. In this regard, identity and image are closely
3 6 connected making corporate communications an evolved corporate function which contributes to the defining of strategies and to the alignment of resources. The purpose of this course is to help students understand how and why management of identity and image are an important part of corporate strategy, and to give students the theoretical and analytical tools necessary to the task. Health Communication Law The course will present the background, the objectives and the real impact of most legal norms (and leading judicial decisions) relevant to health communication. Starting with fundamental principles like freedom of expression, protection of privacy or the right to information, it will then deal with more specific topics like advertising for medicaments and medical services, medical confidentiality or the informed consent of the patient. As modern communication does not stop at national borders and as regulations change more and more quickly, the relevant rules will not be described and discussed from a purely legalistic perspective (as would be the case with lawyers), but from an international and dynamic one, with a focus on current and future Swiss and EU regulations. Global corporate communication Despite the increased interaction among countries of the world, scant systematic research currently exists on the way public relations (communication management) is conducted by organizations of different types (corporations, NGOs, government agencies) in different parts of the world. Although this course is titled Global Corporate Communication, the class shall assess international communication management not just by corporations but by governments and non-profits as well. Although public relations scholarship started at least in the early part of the 20th century in some of the Western developed nations, it is only in the past few years that public relations practitioners and scholars have begun to emphasize the importance of viewing public relations practice from an international perspective. This has been greatly necessitated by the rapid globalization that has taken place since the final decade of the previous millennium. In the past 15 years or so, a few studies have emanated from different regions of the world focusing attention, among other things, on the inadequacies of an ethnocentric approach to public relations scholarship. This course seeks to provide students with some insights on the generic principles that one can use to understand public relations practice. These principles were developed on empirical evidence from practice in the US, UK, and Canada and therefore are deemed normative for the rest of the world until empirical evidence can be gathered from many regions of the world. The cultural differences that influence how these principles are applied in different parts of the world shall be explored in this class. These factors are: the political system, economic system, media system, culture (both societal and organizational) and activism. In so doing, this course seeks to offer students the opportunity to develop research programs for their Master s theses that would contribute to building this young body of knowledge. To that end, this course also seeks to encourage critical thinking that will advance pedagogical discussions to advance scholarship in this area. Note that this course is not a hands-on course designed to teach students specific public relations techniques that they can use to practice public relations in a given country. On the contrary, it seeks to introduce them to conceptual factors in an organization s environment in different countries that affect public relations activities there. Having that knowledge, it is reasoned, should help students in conducting public relations in specific countries. Consumer behavior The starting point for this course is that consumers define themselves by what they buy, and, vice versa, they buy based on how they define themselves. We build on cognitive and social psychology to understand better the processes underlying this conundrum. We do this primarily to influence what consumers buy, so as to make informed decisions as marketers in a business (for profit) context. The emphasis is on linking deep theoretical insight with practical application, and as such the course provides both the tools and the context for exercising these tools. Corporate Social Responsibility The role of corporations in society has been discussed for many decades. In the light of globalization corporations are becoming more and more transnational and the question of their responsibilities has been raised and discussed. In addition climate change and unethical behavior (even if not against the law) as well as human rights discussions have influenced the debate. Along with the shift from a mere shareholder point of view to a more integrative stakeholder point of view social and environmental responsibilities and the idea of sustainable development have entered the scene. On the one hand the rule of thumb is: Do no harm. On the other hand, corporations are seen also as answer to the problems by living up to their social and environmental responsibilities. The overarching concept to address the role of businesses in society is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The course discusses latest trends in standardizing and reporting CSR, in implementing CSR e.g. in supply chains, the role of the consumer and the thread of greenwashing and last but not least the philosophical foundations of CSR and business ethics. THIRD SEMESTER USI Organisational Behaviour Organizational behavior is a course in applied behavioral science that emphasizes how problems, solutions and decision-makers interact in contexts that are both hierarchically structured, as well as changing and uncertain. Organizational behavior brings major insights from behavioral economics, social psychology and organizational sociology to bear on a variety of issues that are central to our capacity to understand, predict and manage companies and other complex organizations. Topics covered include theories of motivation and incentives, individual
4 9 decisions, negotiation, communication, teamwork and social networks. The main objective of this course is to help master students in management to develop an appreciation for the way in which these organizational elements interrelate and work together to support corporate strategy and organizational performance. Industry & Institutions Perspectives: Stakeholders in the Swiss Health System The role of this course within the Master in Communication Management and Health program is to build a bridge between theoretical and practical knowledge and help the transition university studies and future career. This will be made possible by presenting to the students particular challenges healthcare professionals had to face and by providing frame for meeting the very same professionals in person. Since the scope of the healthcare sector is quite broad, professionals will represent different entities: from companies to NGOs, from public institutions to hospitals etc. Students will learn how to take into account interests and viewpoints of the many stakeholders in the healthcare sector. Before meeting the health care professionals, student groups will work on a particular challenge and propose ways to meet it. Professionals will then report how they met this challenge, and the case will be discussed in depth. Interpersonal Communication in Health Interpersonal Communication in Health introduces the key concepts and theories that guide our understanding of dyadic human interaction in the context of health. The course integrates the most relevant theories of interpersonal communication with existing scholarship in health communication with the primary goals of developing students abilities to (1) understand and speak the language of the interpersonal communication discipline, (2) define and describe the complex nature of health communication, (3) define key terms used by interpersonal health communication researchers and practitioners, (4) connect theoretical concepts of interpersonal communication to various health contexts, and (5) generate theory-driven research by applying current interpersonal communication frameworks to areas of health. Efficacy of Health Communication via Media For a long time, interpersonal face-to-face communication has been the only means to discuss health-related issues, e.g., during the doctor-patient encounter or among family members and friends. With the diffusion of mass media print, radio, and TV this has changed and it became possible to convey health-related topics via the media to a broader audience at the same time. Eventually, the development of new technologies such as the Internet enabled yet another possibility of both mass and interpersonal mediated health communication. This scenario makes media knowledge and competence to deal with diverse media fundamental for delivering effective health communication messages, from traditional public health campaigns to ehealth and mhealth interventions. This course provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge of the role played by the media in the context of health, alternating front lectures, student presentations and group discussions. Qualitative research methods in Health communication In Miles and Huberman s 1994 book Qualitative Data Analysis, quantitative researcher Fred Kerlinger was quoted as saying: There s no such thing as qualitative data. Everything is either 1 or 0. To the extreme opposite lied Donald Campbell s argument that: All research ultimately has a qualitative grounding. Taking as a starting point the inextricably intertwined (rather than competing) nature of the two major approaches to research, this course will illustrate the ways that qualitative inquiry -especially when used in conjunction with quantitative inquiry in multi-methodological designscan contribute to the current challenges of health communication research. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills needed for thinking qualitatively, that is, focusing on naturally occurring, ordinary events in natural settings and attempting to interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Most importantly, students will gain hands-on experience in various techniques of qualitative data collection and analysis, while designing and conducting their own qualitative research project related to a health communication topic of their preference. Epidemiology This course introduces the basic concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to public health problems, clinical issues and areas of health services such as genetic counseling. Emphasis is placed on the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation, appropriate summaries and displays of data, and the use of classical statistical approaches to describe the health of populations. Topics include the use of conditional probability theory in biostatistics including screening and diagnostic tests, ROC curve; how to design an experiment in public health frameworks. Various epidemiologic study designs for investigating associations between risk factors and disease outcomes are also introduced, culminating with criteria for causal inferences. Applications of epidemiological issues in SPSS are part of the course. Health Policy The course first of all provides a critical analysis of market failures in the health care sector and describes in what spheres government action is required. The seriousness and empirical relevance of market failures and the capacity of government action to correct them will be ascertained by referring to both international and Swiss experience. The course then explores the tensions associated with the desires to increase access to care, improve quality, and limit rising costs. It examines alternative approaches to structuring a nation s health system, develops an analytic framework for the comparative analyses of health systems and for the evaluation of reform proposals. Based on the understanding of the social determinants of health, the final part of the course highlights the links between policies within the health care sector and policies
5 11 that affect other relevant areas like education, economic development and the environment. Introduction to Public Health Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society. A unifying principle of public health is its essentially public nature and the fact that it is mainly focused on the health of the population. While personal health services are focused on the individual, public health is focused on population needs. The goals remain the same: to reduce the amount of disease, premature death, and disease-produced discomfort and disability in the population. Public Health influences the health system and other system of the society as well. FOURTH SEMESTER USI or VT Field Project As part of their study curriculum, second-year students undertake a field project for a company, a non-profit association or any other organization in the health sector. It is a three-month consultancy project conducted by a team of three to four international students from the Master of Science in Communication, Management and Health, who apply their theoretical knowledge and skills in communication, management and marketing acquired in the Master s programme to real practical situations in a professional environment. Examples of projects include market or competitive analysis, product positioning, feasibility study, evaluation of health campaign, consumer satisfaction study. Students are under the supervision of the Director of the Master s programme and the Master s External Relations and Partnership Manager, who provide guidance to manage contacts with the client organization, develop the project and prepare the final report and presentation to the organization. Students evaluation is based on the quality of the final report, client satisfaction and team collaboration. Get qualified to work CAREER OPPORTUNITIES in the marketing and MCMH graduates are prepared for career opportunities communication functions of companies in marketing and communication for pharmaceutical, Biotech, and insurance companies, as well as government and and organizations in the health sector other health organisations. Marketing departments from other sectors will also value the distinctive profile of MCMH graduates. The programme enables students to: Acquire specific skills in the health sector and at the same time get an education in business and marketing Collaborate on on-going research projects commissioned by different stakeholders in the health domain (e.g. health promotion institutions, etc.) GENERAL INFORMATION AWARDED DEGREE Master of Science in Communication, Major in Communication, Management & Health LANGUAGE This programme is entirely taught in English. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Bachelor s degree granted by a recognised university, in the fields of Communication Sciences, Economics or other relevant disciplines. Further information for applicants graduating from a University of Applied Sciences is available online: Applicants whose first degree was not taught in English, are required to at least have earned a B2 certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or an equivalent level of another proficiency certificate e.g. TOEFL, IELTS. (see on page 8 the equivalency table). Candidates wishing to be considered for Virginia Tech University need to participate in a selection process, as VT can only offer a limited number of places. As VT requires a higher English level, applicants interested in spending their second semester at VT, need to submit either the TOEFL or IELTS English test. Depending on the type of TOEFL, students taking this English test must obtain at least the following scores: Internet-based test: at least 80, preferably with no section sub-score less than 20 Computer-based test: at least 213 Paper-based test: at least 550
6 IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher can be accepted in lieu of the TOEFL. Applicants are encouraged to provide GRE or GMAT scores in support of their application. APPLICATION PROCEDURE As this is a joint master programme, students must apply to both institutions. Candidates are invited to send their complete application to USI and, after acceptance, to VT. The application deadlines are July,1st for USI and September, 1st for VT. Detailed course descriptions are available on: One the most relevant didactic features of this Master is that it gives you the possibility to explore your areas of interest with quite some depth, as it allows you to focus on only a few topics for a longer period of time. I further enjoy that the Professors always also consider the practical implications and applications of the studied theories. Personally, I had the great opportunity to complete an internship at the USI Institute of Communication and Health, where I could apply what I had learned during my first year of studies to a concrete research project. Giovanni Dragonetti, student One the most relevant didactic features of this Master is that it gives you the possibility to explore your areas of interest with quite some depth, as it allows you to focus on only a few topics for a longer period of time. I further enjoy that the Professors always also consider the practical implications and applications of the studied theories. Personally, I had the great opportunity to complete an internship at the USI Institute of Communication and Health, where I could apply what I had learned during my first year of studies to a concrete research project. Giovanni Dragonetti, student
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