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.)
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]
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]