1 Master of Communication Studies New Media and Society in Europe A one-year programme in English focusing on one of the most dynamic sectors in Europe.
2 Master of Communication Studies The Master of Communication Studies is a one-year (60 ECTS) academic master with a focus on New Media and Society in Europe. This English language programme focuses on the rapidly changing field of media and communication in a European context. The programme takes an interdisciplinary approach and allows students to concentrate on business, policy and/or user aspects of new media. Digitisation of media, the emergence of the Internet and the mobile revolution have fundamentally changed the media industry. Formerly separate markets are merging. Old and new players are forging new business models. This master provides you with an in-depth understanding of media economics, European media markets and mechanisms. The European Union plays a crucial role in media and communication policies. It has tried to foster a single European market in media and services. Through several large programmes, it has stimulated innovation and the emergence of a European Information Society. The European Commission s current Digital Agenda for Europe sets the framework for the coming years. In this master programme, you will gain an understanding of European policy and policymaking in the fields of media, innovation, and the Internet. People as users of new media and communication technologies are central stakeholders in the European information society. The interplay between changes in new media and in the adoption of these new media in everyday life is important to understand social change in Europe. In this master programme, you will develop a deeper understanding of the why, what and how of interdisciplinary user research in the field of new media. Furthermore, this master programme will equip you with the necessary analytical skills and subject-specific knowledge to work in the emerging European communication space. Being taught in the capital of Europe, it will acquaint you with the European institutions and media players. For that purpose, the programme schedules a yearly lecture series with representatives of the European industry and institutions, organises site visits and offers the possibility of an internship.
3 Programme The programme consists of two semesters and is completed in one academic year. It comprises one set of compulsory courses and one set of optional courses. The optional courses allow students to focus on three specific fields: business and markets, policy and governance, as well as user aspects of new media and society in Europe. Instead of choosing from the optional courses, students can decide to do an internship. Courses ECTS Semester Compulsory Courses (48 ECTS) Master Thesis in Communication Studies 24 1 and 2 Advanced Methods for Communication Studies 6 1 Information Society and Globalisation: Advanced Theoretical Debates 6 1 EU Media and Communication Policy 6 1 Lecture Series on European Information Society 6 2 Optional Courses (12 ECTS) European Media & Communication Markets 6 2 Critical Issues in Media Economics 6 1 European Innovation Policy 6 2 Current Case Studies: Global and Regional Governance 6 2 Global and Regional Internet Governance 6 2 Comparative Communication Research 6 1 Media, Culture and Globalisation Theory 6 1 Users and Innovation in New Media 6 2 Business and Consumer Ethics 6 2 Internship 12 1 or 2 The master focuses on current trends and is supported by state-of-the-art research from two partnering research institutes of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel: the centre for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) and the Institute for European Studies (IES). The programme allows for choice and is based on an interdisciplinary understanding of new media and society in Europe. The flexible programme also enables students to pursue their interests and to develop expertise. The courses are taught in small groups, using interactive teaching methods. Importantly, the programme stimulates individual participation, critical thinking and discussion with staff and fellow students. The highly specialised staff and researchers provide excellent guidance in writing your master thesis in a variety of subject fields. The master thesis can be written in one of the following languages: English, Dutch, French or German (the last three only with the supervisor s approval).
4 Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication The centre for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) was founded in 1990 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Since 2004, SMIT has been part of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology (IBBT), an independent research institute founded by the Flemish government to stimulate ICT innovation. SMIT specialises in social scientific research on media and ICT, with an emphasis on innovation, the user, policy and socioeconomic questions. Currently, the research centre employs over 50 researchers. SMIT research combines quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. In order to develop new methodological tools, a continuing dialectic between theory and empirical research is one of the centre s highlevel objectives. Furthermore, SMIT research combines fundamental academic research projects with short and longterm research projects and services contracts for both public service organisations and media industries. Institute for European Studies Awarded the title of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in 2002, the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel offers advanced master programmes and focuses on interdisciplinary research in European Studies more specifically on the role of the EU in an international setting. One of its major research themes is the policy and legal aspects of the information society in the EU and beyond. The IES s information society cluster deals with EU internal market policies in the media, information and telecommunication sectors as well as e-government issues. Domains currently studied include the digital single market, European media policy, public service broadcasting, sports broadcasting rights, access to content, copyright enforcement, taxation, competition law, civil society participation in policymaking, comparative models of international interaction in the field of e-government, and more. [W] [W] smit.vub.ac.be [W]
5 Admission criteria Direct admission: Direct admission is granted to students holding a Belgian Bachelor s degree in Communication Studies. Application-based admission: An Admission Board will evaluate the applications on an individual basis. The Board can decide to oblige the applicant to complete an individual preparatory programme of up to 24 ECTS for students with an Academic Bachelor in the Human and Social Sciences or up to 30 ECTS for students with an Academic Bachelor in another discipline. This preparatory programme can be followed during the course of the Master. Language Requirements: Proficiency in English is essential. The language requirements of the Master of Communication Studies are in line with those set by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Application procedure Students without direct admission can download the application form, fill it out and send it to the Registrar s Office. These applications will be transferred to and assessed by the Admission Board. If successful you will receive a Letter of Acceptance. There are two different admission packages, one for EEA students and one for non-eea students. All information about the application procedure can be found on the web pages for prospective students. [W] index.php It is important that you start the application procedure in time, as the application requires paperwork from you that might take a while to collect (official transcripts, official translations ). If you have any doubts about how to proceed, please contact the coordinator of this programme. [E] The Master of Communication Studies is a regular master, funded by the Flemish Community. Information about the fees can be found on the web pages for prospective students. [W] fees.html
6 Thrilling campus life The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is host to more than students who are earning their BA, MA and PhD diplomas in a variety of scientific disciplines. Its main campus is a green oasis in the city of Brussels where the international atmosphere and diversity of the European capital are reflected on campus. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel and its partners offer a full and sparkling campus life that meets every student s needs, from affordable housing to banks, libraries, on-campus cafeteria, music, film, culture and leisure to a complete sports facility. This sports complex includes one of the largest fitness clubs in the Brussels area, an exclusive athletic field, an indoor football field, basketball, volleyball, badminton and squash courts and a swimming pool all are at your disposal on the university premises. Of course, students can also benefit from the broad cultural programme of cosmopolitan Brussels. After all, the main university campus is only a few metro or tram stops away from the old city centre. And if that is not enough, you can always explore the many neighbouring cities that are easily accessible by Belgian Inter City rail. These cities include Antwerp, Ghent, and Namur (30 min); Bruges, the Flemish Coast, Liège and Paris (approximately 1 h); and Amsterdam, Köln, London and Luxemburg (2 h).
7 The faculty The faculty includes leading scholars in the field of information and communication technologies, new media, European media and European integration processes. This is a selection of the professors teaching at the Department of Communication Studies and in the programme. Prof. Dr. Jean Claude Burgelman is the founding Director of the centre for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT ) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In 1999 he joined the European Commission as a Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Prospective Technology Studies, where he became the Head of the ICT Unit in In 2008 he joined the Bureau of European Policy Advisors responsible for innovation policy. He currently works for DG Research and is in charge of the European Research Area Board. He chairs the World Economic Forum s Global Agenda on Innovation. Jean Claude Burgelman teaches the course on European Innovation Policy. Prof. Dr. Caroline Pauwels is Director of the centre for Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication. Her main research interest lies in the field of European Audiovisual policy, entertainment economy and convergence, as well as concentration issues in the media industry. She is a member of several media- and culture-related boards, and acts as Government Commissioner for the Flemish public service broadcaster VRT. She teaches the course on EU Media and Communication Policy. Prof. Dr. Jo Pierson is Senior Researcher at SMIT. His main expertise lies in the field of user empowerment and innovation strategic research on the meaning and use of new media. His research focuses on involving users in the technological development process based on ethnographic study and Living Lab approach. Other research areas include online privacy and surveillance, co-creativity, interactive digital television and ICT in small businesses. He co-teaches the course on Information Society and Globalisation and Users and Innovation in New Media. Prof. Dr. Leo Van Audenhove is Head of the Master of Communication Studies New Media and Society in Europe and Senior Researcher at SMIT. He co-teaches a Jean Monnet Module on Global and European Information Society Policy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His main areas of competence are in the field of information society, international communication, and policy related to the Internet and new media. He teaches the courses on Information Society and Globalisation, Comparative Communication Research and Global and Regional Internet Governance. Prof. Dr. Luk Van Langenhove is Director of the Comparative Regional Integration Studies Institute of the United Nations University (UNU-CRIS) in Bruges and Representative of the Rector at UNESCO in Paris. Before that, he was Deputy Secretary-General of the Belgian Federal Ministry of Science Policy, Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Belgian Federal Minister of Science Policy and a researcher and lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He teaches the course on Current Case Studies: Global and Regional Governance.
8 More information? About the programme More details and up-to-date information on the programme can be found at: [E] [W] About the Vrije Universiteit Brussel [T] [E] [W] About practicalities (housing, visa ) [E] hvs 10-10/2.000 ex. Printed on FSC paper.
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