The Department of Communication Studies offers two 100-level courses: CS 100 Introduction to Media History and CS101 Mass Communication in Canada. These two survey courses are designed to introduce students to the major social transformations that accompanied the emergence of communications, and the development of mass media and communication in Canada. Course material and assignments are designed to encourage students to conduct research, develop expository writing skills, and become familiar with the research materials offered through the Wilfrid Laurier University Library.
At the 200-level, students are exposed to core courses and elective courses designed to introduce some of the core conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues that shape communication studies. Core courses at the 200-level include verbal and non-verbal communication, intercultural communication, visual communication, the role of language, and the media’s role in disseminating messages. Additionally, courses offered at the 200-level introduce students to quantitative and qualitative research methods employed in communication studies.
Communication Studies courses at the 300-level build upon the conceptual, theoretical, and historical issues introduced in previous years, and allow students more advanced exploration in the three key thematic and substantive areas in the program: communication history and theory; visual communication; and global communication and media. Core courses include critical advertising studies, visual communication, communication and gender, print communication, communication and political economy, international communication, alternative media, media ethics, critical television studies, and digital media. These courses are intended to provide students with both depth and breadth in the field of communication studies appropriate to this level of study.
At the 400-level, communication studies courses offer a more specialized analysis of specific issues related to communication studies. These courses require students to undertake research that integrates theoretical frameworks and perspectives with media and communication studies. Students are expected to produce theoretically informed and critically engaged analyses of communication and society. Senior seminar courses (CS400) are tied to faculty research interests, while the advanced courses (CS401, CS402, CS403) are capstone courses offered in the three areas of departmental focus.
The Department of Communication Studies is committed to interdisciplinary study. Students may take a number of core and elective courses in film studies, English, languages and literatures, philosophy, political science, business and economics, and anthropology. Upon graduation, communication studies students will be prepared to pursue post-graduate studies, or work in a variety of media and non-media related fields.