Contents & Procedure of the Master’s Programme

The total volume of the master’s program is 120 ECTS, of which 108 ECTS are compulsory courses in Communication Science and 12 ECTS are free electives. This corresponds to a four-semester planned study period, after which graduates are awarded the title “Master of Arts” (MA).

The program is divided into six modules: the master’s thesis and the master’s examination. Modules 3 to 5 are offered as compulsory elective modules.

Students have to choose between two specialisations in Communication Studies: Comparative Communication and Media Studies (A) and Digital Communication Cultures (B) at the beginning of the programme. Each specialisation consists of 3 bound elective modules (3A, 4A, 5A or 3B, 4B, 5B). A change between the bound elective modules is not permitted.

Modules of the program

Module 1: Master's introduction

Module 1 provides an overview of relevant topics and areas of research in the subject, as well as in-depth knowledge of research and professional practice in media and communication. It also explains the structure of the curriculum. It introduces the basics of science and epistemology.

Einführung Master

(8 ECTS)

VU Einführung Masterstudium

(4 ECTS)

VU Theoriewissen Masterstudium

(4 ECTS)


The final examination will take place in the framework of a module examination. Successful completion of this module assessment is a prerequisite for a) Participation in the EU Deepening Empirical Research and b) In addition to VU Statistics Master and KO Keytexts for KO Master Conversation.

Module 2: Theories and Methods

Building on the basic knowledge acquired in the undergraduate programme, this module provides advanced knowledge in statistics (especially inferential statistics) as well as selected more complex research methods. The KO Key Texts discuss current theories in depth and critically question their validity.

Theorien und Methoden

(14 ECTS)

KO Schlüsseltexte

(6 ECTS)

VU Statistik Master

(4 ECTS)

UE Vertiefung empirischen Forschens

(4 ECTS)

Module 3: Specialisation

This module offers research-oriented specialisations in the chosen thematic area of Communication Studies: Comparative Communication and Media Studies (A) or Digital Communication Cultures (B). The three seminars cover the basics of project research.

Spezialisierung 3A / 3B

(18 ECTS)

SE Spezialisierung 1

(6 ECTS)

SE Spezialisierung 2

(6 ECTS)

SE Spezialisierung 3

(6 ECTS)

Module 4: Media Production

The Media Production module focuses on the conception, design and production of media products in the context of communicative practice. Depending on the elective module (A or B), practical media solutions are analysed, compared and reflected on the basis of specific communicative tasks and, if necessary, own media products are developed and designed on this basis. Possible outcomes include exhibitions, posters, photo series, films, videos, TV magazines, radio programmes, anthologies, e-books, online journals, weblogs, social web platforms, academic journals, etc. Events etc.

Mediale Produktion 4A / 4B

(16 ECTS)

UE Mediale Produktion 1

(4 ECTS)

PR Mediale Produktion 2

(6 ECTS)

SE/PR Mediale Produktion 3

(6 ECTS)

Module 5: Research Practice

Depending on the choice of one of the two specialisations (A or B), this module offers focus-specific research projects that are carried out in three stages across the courses. The first part of the project exercise introduces the topic, teaches basic factual and literary skills and develops questions or hypotheses; the second part is devoted to methodological design and empirical implementation; and the third part evaluates and interprets the research results and enables their exploitation in the form of a research report, publication or other form of presentat

Forschungspraxis 5A / 5B

(14 ECTS)

UE Projekt – Teil 1

(4 ECTS)

UE Projekt – Teil 2

(4 ECTS)

SE Projekt – Teil 3

(6 ECTS)

A project within the Research Practice module will be spread over two consecutive semesters. The courses are limited to 20 participants. The composition of the students remains the same throughout the two semesters of the project. Switching between different projects is not permitted. Part 1 and 2 of the project (UE Project – Part 1 and UE Project – Part 2) can be taken in the first semester of the Master’s programme.

Participation in an SE project – part 3 requires the successful completion of parts 1 and 2 of the same project.

Modul 6: Master

The Master Conversatorium gives students the opportunity to create, present and discuss their respective Master projects.


Modul Master

(38 ECTS)

KO Masterkonversatorium

(6 ECTS)


(26 ECTS)


(6 ECTS)


Master’s thesis and Master’s examination

Almost there: Before you receive your Master of Arts degree, you must write your Master’s thesis and pass your Master’s examination:

The topic of the dissertation must come from one of the units listed in the syllabus. Students have the right to propose a topic or to choose a topic from a number of suggestions made by their supervisors

The minimum length of the thesis is 120 pages (270,000 characters including spaces), to be agreed with the supervising tutor.

The Board Master’s examination before a three-member Board of Examiners (Chair, First Examiner, Second Examiner) consists of two 20-minute examination sections which are thematically different from the Master’s thesis. The topics and the literature will be decided at an early stage in consultation between the candidate and the examiners; the candidate will be able to make suggestions. The first examiner is usually the Master’s thesis supervisor, and the second examiner must be chosen independently and contacted to arrange the examination date (usually always on a Monday).

Prerequisites for the Commission’s Master’s Examination are proof of successful completion and acceptance of all compulsory subjects and free electives of the Master’s programme and a positive grading/confirmation of the Master’s thesis. The date of the examination is set by the candidate in consultation with the Examination Board and the Secretariat of the Department of Communication Studies.

These persons at the Department of Communication Studies are able to conduct the Master’s examinations in the areas listed below: