Important Update: October 22, Winter 2022 Course Delivery Update
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Major Focus
By interpreting the images and messages of contemporary media, communications studies explores why we communicate the way we do and how we create meaning. Communications scholars investigate the central relationship of communication to technology, social change, and the political process. If you are interested in a deeper view of topics such as popular culture, online media, and advertising, then communications is what you’re looking for.

Career Outlook
Communications students not only develop their oral and written communication skills, but also gain a strong understanding of the ways in which media and information shape society. As our online world continues to expand, communications students will be prepared to work in a broad range of areas including business, human resources, news or entertainment media, marketing, and public relations.

Course Descriptions

Select a course below to see full descriptions. (#) Indicates amount of credits per course.

CMNS 110 Introduction to Communications Studies (3)

The main goal of Communications Studies is to critically assess the images and messages of contemporary media. How do they create meaning? Do they enlarge or restrict our understanding of the world? This course introduces a range of perspectives that seek to explain why we communicate as we do, including a general overview of communications theory and its historical development. Specific fields within the area of communication will also be explored, including: the study of popular culture, media analysis, advertising, journalism, and the political economy of communication.

ENGL 098

Transfers to:
SFU CMNS 110 (3)

CMNS 130 Communication and Social Change (3)

How have the internet and social media influenced Canadian society? To what extent have historical and contemporary developments in communications technology changed the way we do business, discuss politics, and become global citizens, and what issues have resulted? This course critically examines the role of communication in social change in the forms and institutions through which we communicate. In particular, we will discuss theoretical perspectives on the relationship between communication and the major political, economic and regulatory shifts that characterize Canadian and transnational media systems. Different eras of mass communication and leading approaches to its evolution will also be introduced.

ENGL 098, CMNS 110 is recommended

Transfers to:
SFU CMNS 130 (3)

CMNS 230 Cultural Industries: Canada and the World (3)

This course explores the meaning of "cultural industries" such as film, sound recording, publishing etc. and their influence on current Canadian and international communications experiences. Students will consider the impact of the digital world on the economic, political and social aspects of media sectors including news, film, music, and gaming. In addition, students will critically analyze different cultural industries as a product of the relations between for-profit businesses, regulatory structures, and social dynamics, as well as their role in society today.

ENGL 099, CMNS 110,CMNS 130 is recommended

Transfers to:
SFU CMNS 230 (3)

CMNS 253 Introduction to Information and Communications Technology and New Media (3)

This course explores developments in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in digital media. Much more than simple tools that facilitate our use of media platforms, ICTs are now distinct spaces in which part of our lives take place. This course critically analyzes the cultural, economic, political, and social shifts related to our use of technology as well as our understanding of its nature. Students will employ different methods, as well as critiques, of the use of news and social media platforms in order to strengthen a holistic approach to new media in the digital context. Social issues that arise from the use of technology will also be discussed.

ENGL 099, CMNS 110, CMNS 130 is recommended

Transfers to:
SFU CMNS 253 (3)
TRU CMNS 2200 (3)

Coming Soon!

Canadian Communication Association/Association canadienne de communication

The Canadian Communication Association supports graduate students of communications and creates awareness of Canadian Communications scholarship in Canada and abroad.

The Canadian Association of Journalists/L’Association Canadienne des Journalistes

Established in 1978, the Canadian Association of Journalists is a corporation that promotes and recognizes excellence in Canadian journalism and supports the public’s right to information.

CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Canada’s national news, radio and television network. Find news stories, podcasts, and stream live radio via this website, or search the CBC archives.

Media Education Foundation

From the website: The Media Education Foundation produces and distributes documentary films and other educational resources to inspire critical thinking about the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media. (MEF, 2020)

UNESCO : Communication and Information Sector

From the website: The Communication and Information Sector strives to foster freedom of expression, media development, and access to information and knowledge in line with UNESCO’s mandate to “promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”. (UNESCO, 2019)

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