Communication and Media Studies is an exciting and ever-expanding field, and our courses build from daily experiences.

  • Our core curriculum gives you a strong foundation of critical-thinking, research, and problem-solving skills.
  • We also offer a wide range of electives, drawing on the expertise of our internationally recognized faculty. You will learn how government, industry and technology shape the communications environment and how media, in turn, impact culture and society at all levels – from the games we play to how we govern ourselves, from global climate change to the buildings we live in.
  • In the fourth year of the B.CoMS Honours program, you will take a practice-focused workshop course. These courses supplement their academic training with a suite of carefully selected, in-demand skills.
  • Fourth year B.CoMS honours students with a 10.0 GPA or higher may also pursue an Honours Research Essay, an opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor to develop a year-long research project.

Program requirements and a full list of courses can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar. (Not all listed courses are offered every year.)

Featured Courses

We offer a rich menu of mandatory and optional courses over the four years of the program – here are just a few highlights.

COMS 1002 – Current Issues in Communication and Media

In this required first year course you will become acquainted with the critical thinking and research skills necessary to understand and contribute to important conversations about the key topics and issues in today’s communication and media landscape, from trends in popular culture to the gamification of daily life, the fragmentation of online communities, rise of so-called cancel culture, and more. [Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash]

FYSM 1217 – First-Year Seminar

Begin your academic journey with an optional First-Year Seminar course. These smaller capacity classes are designed to introduce students to writing, critical thinking and communication methods. Topics vary each semester from current issues in pop culture to learning technical skills. [Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash]

Offerings for 2021-22

FYSM 1217
Selected Topic: Reading and Writing for media studies
A (Fall Term 2021) – Fridays 11:35 – 14:25
Instructor: Joanne Farrall

This course is a writing-intensive seminar designed to equip new students with the skills to get the most out of their Communication and Media Studies degree. Through a combination of modules, activities, and assignments, students will gain practical skills in university-level research, reading and writing for Communication and Media Studies.

FYSM 1217
Selected Topic: Reading and Writing for media studies
Section B (Fall Term 2021) – Tuesdays 11:35-14:25
Section D (Winter Term 2022) – Fridays 08:35 – 11:25
Instructor: Joanne Farrall

This course is a writing-intensive seminar designed to equip new students with the skills to get the most out of their Communication and Media Studies degree. Students will work through one term-long research assignment to gain practical skills in university-level research, reading, and writing for Communication and Media Studies.

FYSM 1217 C (Winter Term 2022)
Selected Topic: Black Radical Tradition
Tuesdays  8:25-11:35
Instructor: Armond Towns

This course examines what Cedric Robinson called the Black Radical Tradition. For Robinson, this entailed the realization of the limits of Marxism for addressing Black people’s demands. Using the 1968 Montreal Congress of Black Writers as a starting point, the course will examine the relationship between Marxism, communication, and Black studies.

COMS 2003 – Communication as Propaganda

In this second year elective course you’ll learn how governments, corporations and even citizens have used propaganda to gain support or generate opposition for different campaigns, products and ideas. From promoting war and cigarettes to civil rights and media freedom, propaganda is both a central and contentious part of our shared media histories. [Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash]

COMS 3001 – Quantitative Research in Communication

Want to know which segment of the population is most likely to vote for a particular political party or candidate? In this required third year course, you’ll explore techniques for collecting and analyzing large data sets, from public opinion surveys to reports by Statistics Canada. This course will help you know which techniques are needed to design, implement and analyze your own statistical research. [Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash]

COMS 3002 – Qualitative Research in Communication

Academics, corporations and governments use qualitative research in their planning and decision-making. In this required third year course, you’ll explore questions about how people make sense of the world: why some get angry at an ad yet others feel inspired; why some change their behaviour (quit smoking, get a flu shot, save money) and others just shrug and do nothing at all. Learn more about the critical analysis of media texts, and how to conduct a focus group or interview to understand what people think and what moves them. [Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash]

COMS 3308 – Critical Studies in Advertising and Consumer Culture

In this third year elective course you’ll learn about the interconnections between the developments of mass democracy, mass consumerism and mass media. You’ll study some of the most important and effective advertising campaigns of the past, and will develop essential skills to navigate the complex and ever-changing consumer landscape of the present. [Photo by Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash]

COMS 3412 – Communication and Health

Our mediascape is increasingly cluttered by news sites, blogs, Pinterest pages, YouTube channels and self-tracking apps all dedicated to health and wellness. It’s never been easier to monitor and direct our bodies in pursuit of good health! This third year elective course introduces students to the ways in which communication and media studies informs our understanding of what health is and why it matters. [Photo by Nikita Kostrykin on Unsplash]

COMS 4006 – Professional Communication Research

Show off the research skills you’ve acquired in your degree and develop a professional research portfolio project. In this fourth year workshop, you’ll work as part of a team to conduct communication research for a community partner. This is hands-on, practical, skills-based learning. Past student groups have conducted research for a wide range of partners in areas like health policy, homelessness and housing, student financial planning, environmentalism, music and culture. [Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash]

COMS 4501 – Digital Media Practice

Design a website, produce a podcast or shoot a short film for social media. These are some of the common digital media skills that you may be asked to demonstrate in your first job upon graduation. This small enrolment workshop course is open to B.CoMS majors in their fourth year and will prepare you with valuable professional skills in digital media practice relevant to the contemporary workplace. [Photo by William Iven on Unsplash]

COMS 4605 – Media, Race, and Ethnicity

Issues relating to race and media are among the most crucial of our time. In this fourth year seminar, you’ll learn about historical and contemporary issues pertaining to media, race and ethnicity, engage with important thinkers and develop analytical tools and vocabularies for critiquing media texts and challenging racial stereotypes. [Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash]

COMS 4800 – Special Topics in Communication and Media Studies

You will have the option to take a specialized course that is unique from the program’s standard curriculum in your fourth year. These courses typically address the most current controversies and issues facing the field. Past courses have explored issues relating to sex and media, digital piracy, cultural diplomacy, sport and religion. [Photo by Elyssa Fahndrich on Unsplash]