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Graduate Courses

We offer six courses each year. CS600 and CS601 are required courses. You must also register for CS695 or CS699 while working on your MRP or thesis.

You are allowed to take up to 1.0 credit from other graduate programs with approval from the graduate coordinator. In the past, Communication Studies master's students have taken graduate courses in programs such as Cultural Analysis and Social Theory, English and Film Studies, and Political Science.

2019/20 Course Offerings

Fall 2019

CS600 Graduate Seminar in Communication Studies

This team-taught course introduces students to the core concerns, theoretical concepts and research approaches in communication studies. Particular attention will be paid to the areas of research specialization of faculty. This mandatory course is designed to enable students to do the preparatory work necessary to their research projects.

CS601 Communication Studies Research Methods

This course will provide students with advanced training in the methods of research employed in the field of communication studies. Students study reactive or interactive research methods (participant observation, experimental designs, surveys and interviewing) and unobtrusive or non-reactive methodological designs (discourse analysis, semiotics, content analysis, and rhetorical and historical approaches). Students are encouraged to develop their major research paper or thesis research proposal as the final assignment for this course.

CS605 Critical Theory

Critical Theory is among the founding traditions of communication studies and cultural studies. This course introduces students to key texts in the tradition of Frankfurt School Critical Theory as well as the contemporary inheritance of this tradition in communications thought. We examine this tradition of thought in historical context from its inception and development in the twentieth century to its contemporary inheritances in communication studies. Opportunities to consider competing traditions compared to Critical Theory will present themselves. The texts include works on philosophy, social theory, communication theory, as well as theoretically informed studies of phenomena in communication and culture. Students gain knowledge of Critical Theory and the ways in which Critical Theory informs the analysis of communication and culture today.

 

Winter 2020

CS604 Network Cultures

This course investigates cultural practices, institutional contexts, and social implications of contemporary networked media, such as the internet, social media, mobile media, and similar assemblages. The course engages theoretical perspectives from fields such as cultural studies, critical internet studies, medium theory, and political economy.Specific topics may include but are not limited to algorithmic culture, big data, digital creativity, digital media industries, hacking, internet infrastructures, remix culture, and social media and politics.

CS615 Global Cultures: Hybrids, Homogeneities and Flows

What do wasabi peas, salsa music, the Lonely Planet, and Ciao Bella all have in common? This course explores these and other cultural forms and discusses the various forms and flows of global cultural communication. The global diffusion of radio, television, the Internet, satellite and digital technologies has made instantaneous communication possible, rendering many border controls over these transnational flows ineffective. Through these communication networks, new cultural forms and cultural expressions have emerged; and new cultural identities and power relations are being negotiated and contested transnationally. This course examines global cultures in relation to the information and communication technologies (ICTs) and practices that have enabled and constrained cultural forms and flows.

CS617 Risk, Media & Science

This course is an exploration of a number of critical approaches to risk communication, framed by a number of case studies. It examines the ways that risk messages are created, the influence they have on public understandings of science, and the effect these understandings have on attitudes and ideas regarding risk. Looking first to the ways that risk may be theorized, constructed and codified, this course then explores the role of media in evaluating and disseminating risk messages. The role played by news media in risk communication, and a look to risk communication by government, non-governmental organizations (such as Greenpeace and the AIDS Committee of Toronto), and other risk stakeholders (such as the pharmaceutical and insurance industries) is explored.

Additional Courses

CS690: Directed Studies

A selected research project supervised by an individual faculty member.

CS695: Major Research Paper

A major research project to be undertaken on an approved topic and in accordance with the guidelines of the department.

CS699: Thesis

An independent thesis project to be undertaken on an approved topic based upon research connected with the discipline of communication studies and in accordance with the guidelines of the department.