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Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication


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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

What role does language play in communication within various types of organisations, such as governmental, commercial, media and healthcare organisations? That is the central question in the master's programme in Communication and Information Studies.

 

During the programme, you will write and analyse texts, study the experiences of news users, research the role of images in communication, look at how body language influences our communication, and much more. Although the exact content differs, each specialisation trains you to become a communication specialist.


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Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication

The Multimodal Communication track is taught in English. In this track, you will focus on analysing the cognitive processes that take place in the production and interpretation of language. In these processes, multimodality almost always plays a role. For instance, you process what someone says in a different way when you just speak with them over the phone than when you video chat with them. And text with an image is processed differently than text without an image. There is also a difference between when you mean something literally or when you use a metaphor. Analysing and understanding these processes is central to this track.

 

What the tracks have in common is a focus on studying how messages are crafted.  The difference is that, in each track, varying degrees of attention are paid to spoken and written language, persuasive and informative language, language and image, multimodality, normativity, writing culture, and language use in social media.

 

Summary

Language is more than just words on a page

Some think of multimodal communication as something modern—as combining text and videos on websites, or as both hearing and seeing people when we communicate using apps on our smartphones. But it simply means communicating using a variety of modes, or methods, at the same time. Even a simple face-to-face interaction combines the modes of spoken language and physical gestures. 

 

In this track, you will learn theories and methods for analysing and understanding how multimodal communication works. You will look at how different forms of multimodal communication are crafted in different genres of communication. You will also examine how multimodal communication can be used to convey meaning in different ways (such as making abstract ideas easier to understand through metaphors).

 

You and your fellow students will explore how meanings, functions, and modes are integrated in different media, including the embodied medium of face-to-face interaction. You will also apply an array of theories and methods to analyse the complexity of audio-visual communication in various contexts—through the natural media of our bodies as well as other material and virtual means. In this track, attention is given to the use of both written and verbal language in combination with other modes of communication.


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Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication

You will of course develop specific skills within in your specialisation, but there are also general skills that you will learn as part of the master’s programme in Communication and Information Studies (CIW).

 

For instance, as a CIW graduate, you will have excellent research and analytical skills. You will also know how to craft messages in ways that have the most impact on specific target groups. And you will know which communication channels to use and when to use them.

 

Specific skills for this track:

Multimodal Communication:

  • how to analyse spoken, written and body language
  • how to use multimodal means (images, gestures, metaphors) to achieve your specific communication goals

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Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication

I have an international degree


Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.

 

Students are eligible for admission to the Multimodal Communication programme with a Bachelor’s degree in English, Linguistics or Language and Communication. If you have not studied English, Linguistics or Language and Communication, you will only be eligible if your Bachelor’s degree has a strong linguistic component. We will assess your previous education at course level to decide whether you have completed a sufficient number of linguistics courses.

 

Your suitability will be assessed on not only the basis of your previous education, but also on your motivation for this specific programme. Be sure to elaborate on your interest in multimodal communication in particular.

 

English language requirements

 

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

 

TOEFL score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).
IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C.
Exemptions from providing the English test scores are applicable to students, who:

  • have completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia; or
  • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or
  • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union

 

The required evidence should, if possible, be included with the complete application. If either unsatisfactory or no evidence of English language proficiency has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon the provision of such evidence. This condition will be clearly indicated on the offer letter and must be fulfilled before enrolment at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

 

See the Admission and language requirements page for further information on the general requirements.


 

I have a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university (Bachelor's degree from VU Amsterdam, VU pre-master’s certificate or a Bachelor’s degree from another university)

 

Direct admission to the Master’s programme Multimodal Communication is possible with a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Culture, Linguistics, and Communication and Information Studies from VU Amsterdam. Applications from students with equivalent Bachelor's degrees from other universities in the Netherlands have to be submitted to the Admission Board for assessment.

 

If you have a Bachelor's degree in another subject, the Admission Board will decide what subjects you will be required to take in preparation for the Master’s programme. Depending on the number of subjects you have to take, you will either have to register for and complete the Bachelor's programme or you will be permitted to register for the pre-Master's course (one year maximum).


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Hochschule

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Studienort:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Niederlande
Nord Holland
T  +31 20 59 89898
E  international@vu.nl

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Kosten EU: 2168 EUR / Jahr

Kosten Nicht-EU: 16630 EUR / Jahr

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