Universität Fribourg Université de Fribourg Suisse | Universität Freiburg Schweiz Course offerings

 

Communication and Society

Abstract

You've received your bachelor's degree – now it's time for more. More knowledge to gain a better understanding of media and communication. More skills to competently analyse the digital transformation of public communication. More expertise to help shape the fast-moving media world. Our German and English-language master programme «Communication and Society» provides a research-oriented examination of the social significance and functioning of media, communication and the public sphere in the digital age. Thanks to the diverse content of our programme, you never lose sight of the big picture. Nevertheless, depending on your interests, you can specialise in one of four core areas of study, which will also be acknowledged on your diploma: Media Structures&Media Performance, Political Communication, Organisational Communication and Media Use&Effects. In addition, our programme offers outstanding personal mentoring and a large degree of freedom and flexibility.

Show the study programme profile

Profile of the study programme

The digital transformation is fundamentally changing media and public communication. But what do these changes mean for society? The master programme «Communication and Society» at the University of Fribourg gives you deeper insight and greater expertise in a field that is more important than ever for analysing and explaining current social developments. Studying with us offers a scientifically grounded, critical examination of the social significance and functioning of media, communication and the public sphere in the digital age.

In our research-focused master programme «Communication and Society», you analyse the phenomena and changes in media and communication in small groups in a theory-based, critical, problem-oriented way, with international comparisons. What is the future of journalism in the age of Facebook, YouTube and TikTok? How does modern public service media look like? How are commercialisation and digitalisation changing democracy and political communication? What media policy responses do online platforms and their algorithms require? How are funding problems and media concentration affecting the media's journalistic performance? Do the media reflect societal diversity? How are organisations adapting their strategic communication to the new reality? And what possibilities are open to them to respond to criticism on social media? How are digital offerings changing the use of information and entertainment? What effects do old and new media have on people? With us, you learn to provide fact-based answers to relevant societal questions and, in so doing, address social problems and help shape the media world of tomorrow.

Fribourg profile
Diverse, tailor-made, flexible, personal, multilingual. That's the master programme «Communication and Society» at the University of Fribourg.

Diverse: In our master programme we offer deeper communication-scientific insights at the cutting edge of current developments in research, the media industry, politics and society. Above and beyond specialist knowledge, you learn how to independently research and critically analyse current and societally relevant media phenomena. Our four core areas of study – Media Structures&Media Performance, Political Communication, Organisational Communication and Media Use&Effects – guarantee a focus on the key research areas and topics of communication studies.

Tailor-made: At the same time, if you wish, our master programme allows you to specialise in one of these four core areas according to your own personal interests, and this is also acknowledged on your diploma:

  • Media Structures&Media Performance is devoted to media systems, media organisations and platforms, issues of media policy, media economics and journalism, and the journalistic performance of the media.
  • Political Communication deals with the interplay of media, politics and democracy, the communication by political actors and the coverage of politics in the media.
  • Organisational Communication focuses on the communication management and reputation of organisations, as well as issues of international PR and public diplomacy.
  • Media Use&Effects deals with the use, reception and effects of traditional and digital media offerings.

Flexible: Our master programme offers you the freedom and flexibility you need: in absence of fixed timetables, you can choose between numerous options and attend most of the courses in the order you decide. In addition, with a wide choice of minor study programmes, you can optimally complement your studies in accordance with your own interests, thereby gaining additional expertise. Studying with us also provides the opportunity to spend an exchange semester at one of our numerous partner universities abroad.

Personal: In our programme, we place special emphasis on interactive and innovative teaching methods and excellent personal mentoring of our students, which includes close collaboration and regular feedback.

Multilingual: The master programme «Communication and Society» consists of courses in German and English. You can also attend courses in French. This provides the unique opportunity in Switzerland to study this subject bilingually or trilingually (mention of the languages of study on the diploma: «The candidate completed the programme in German and English» or «The candidate completed the programme in German, French and English»).

Learning outcomes and career openings
With the master programme «Communication and Society», you acquire not only indispensable specialist knowledge but also key analytical and reflective skills. You learn to ask the right questions, critically analyse communication phenomena using appropriate methods and develop solutions for current societal challenges. In addition, we teach you the skills to present your results in a manner relevant to the target group as well as to generate findings of relevance for politics, media and society and put them into practice. This makes you ideally qualified for your professional future in a sector that is undergoing rapid change and offers many opportunities.

Studying with us prepares you for careers and management positions in a wide range of professional fields, for example leading or advisory functions in (media) management or public administration, activities in journalism or public relations and communication management in companies, NGOs, administration and politics, positions in marketing and market research, opinion polling or social research, consultancy, etc.

Of course, our master programme also provides the ideal qualification for an academic career and opens up the possibility of doing a doctorate in Switzerland or abroad.

With a wide choice of minor study programmes to choose from, you can optimally complement the master programme «Communication and Society» in accordance with your own interests, thereby gaining additional expertise.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

90 ECTS credits, 3 semesters

Curriculum

http://studies.unifr.ch/go/hxTyS (German only)

Admission

Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a bachelor's degree.

Holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university are admitted to a master's degree programme without any preconditions if they have earned 60 or 90 ECTS credits – depending on the chosen master's degree programme – within the corresponding discipline. However, additional requirements can be required. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg.

Holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss or a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg, who do not fulfil this condition can be admitted to a master's degree programme with preconditions (which must be successfully completed before starting the master's degree programme) and/or additional requirements (which can be completed during the master's degree programme). The preconditions and/or additional requirements may not exceed 60 ECTS credits in total. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university of applied sciences, according to existing agreements.

The respective conditions of admission for each master's degree programme are reserved.

Alternatives

Also offered as a minor study programme (30 ECTS credits).