Communications and Information Sciences: Language and Media

3 Jahre
1. September. (Studiengänge mit Studienbeginn Februar)
Candidates with a non-Dutch pre-university school diploma:
  1. A diploma equivalent to a Dutch VWO diploma
  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
2078.00 € / Jahr

Application deadline: 1 May (1 April if you want to use the housing options of the VU)
Worum geht's im Studium

Interplay of media, communication processes and language

One of the key competences of communication professionals these days is to understand and successfully employ the relation between media use and communication processes. Our programme will offer you insight into the factors that, in professional contexts, influence the interplay of media, communication processes and language in a globalized world. In our courses, you will study new phenomena in media use and international communication and develop a thorough theoretical understanding of communication.

Old and new media in a globalized world

These days, social media are no longer only used for their original purpose, personal communication, but also employed by businesses for professional purposes. Organizations use Twitter for webcare, Skype or Facetime for meetings and Whatsapp for conversations. Facebook is also used for creating business communities. In the BA CIS specialization Language and media you will learn how and why organizations apply new (and old) media in business-to-business and business-to-consumer interaction.

You will also discover how applications of new media influence, shape or even define the content and linguistic or visual characteristics of the messages that are exchanged. Tweets, for instance, have a limit of 140 characters, which affects the language that is used. Likewise, a face-to-face conversation differs from a WhatsApp conversation, as a result of the medium used. But it also works the other way around: characteristics of texts , images or conversations may themselves also affect the choice for a particular medium. Our programme will provide you with the skills necessary to analyse various aspects of media design and to investigate effectiveness of specific choices.

Both new and old media are used in an increasingly globalized world, and communication takes place more and more in an international context. Such international communication does not only involve different languages, but also different cultures, even between English-speaking countries. Moreover, all around the world different varieties of English are emerging, each with their own characteristics. In business settings, international colleagues interact using a so-called lingua franca, typically English. This is why several courses in our programme will focus on the role of English as a lingua franca in international communication. And as people communicate increasingly across nationalities, we will make sure to offer you courses that will give you insight into the opportunities and challenges of intercultural communication.

Study Language and Media in Amsterdam

The programme is taught by a dynamic staff who teach courses on communication science, applied linguistics, media analysis, interaction and intercultural communication. You will work in relatively small seminar groups, where you will be motivated to engage in critical discussions, and where you have the opportunity to follow your individual interests.

If you are interested in doing a BA in Communication and Information Studies abroad, VU Amsterdam is an excellent choice! VU Amsterdam is known as a high-quality university with a social heart. You will benefit from the personal atmosphere and easy access to all facilities due to our campus setting, and still have the vibrant city of Amsterdam close at hand.

The programme in a nutshell

The BA-programme Language and Media offers you a unique opportunity to combine the study of language and communication processes with new and exciting developments in media use, against a backbone of generally accepted theories and methodologies.

First year

In the first year you are introduced to linguistics, communication science and discourse analysis. You learn how communication processes interact with media, and explore how media are used in organizational contexts. Of course, we train your general academic skills, such as research methodologies and academic writing.

Second year

After the first year, you have a solid base from which to explore various aspects of language use in (social) media . We also offer theoretical courses on intercultural communication and global English. You will then apply these theoretical insights in more practice-oriented courses on multilingual communication and language management.

Third year

In the first semester, you will take elective courses or gain valuable experience by working as an intern. In the second semester, you will complete your specialization and conduct your own research project, which you will report on in your BA thesis.

Future prospects

You will be able to advise companies on their communication strategies, and evaluate products delivered by advertising agencies. Other career opportunities include jobs such as web editor, webcare manager and sentiment analist, and new tasks created by new and social media. In more traditional fields there is a need for business writers, editors, market researchers and copywriters.

Studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university is located in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands and where English is the second language spoken. The campus is surrounded by one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands hosting over 700 companies.

With more than 23,000 students, of which 3,300 are international, the university conducts cutting-edge research into problems of major societal and scientific importance. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes reflecting a strong level of involvement in current societal issues: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, to engage with society and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world. In addition Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
International Student Advisor
Rosa Vijftigschild
phone: +31 20 59 85641

For more information, go to:
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