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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

We offer six courses each year. CS600 and CS601 are required courses. You must also register for CS695 or CS699 while working on your major research paper 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 MA students have taken graduate courses in programs such as Cultural Analysis and Social Theory, English and Film Studies, and Applied Politics.

2020/21 Course Offerings

CS600: Graduate Seminar in Communication Studies (0.5 credit)

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 (0.5 credit)

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.

CS604: Network Cultures (0.5 credit)

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. 

CS640i: Platform Studies (0.5 credit)

The study of platforms is on the rise. While platform studies originally emerged from hardware studies as an integrated attempt to study the hardware, software, code, marketing, and use of computational technologies—especially, early on, video game consoles—its use has been broadened to include the study of software platforms, such as social media sites, and the particular affordances they offer for users, including their algorithmic decision making; their terms of service; their background code environments; and their embeddedness in neoliberal capitalism (selling user data, acting as space to display advertisements, etc.). This holistic approach to studying technology encompasses everything from minute details (such as how buttons or LEDs might be configured on a MINITEL console, or XBOX360 game controller; the way that privacy settings are displayed to users on Facebook; the packaging of an Apple product), to the broad and situated socio-political context of corporations (such as the gender make up of development teams at Nintendo; or the political investments of members of the Board of Directors at Twitter). This course will unpack the politics of platforms through an intensive study of key texts in the field, tracking significant debates and discussions, as well as new developments.

CS640j: Social/Media/Power (0.5 credit)

Description to be finalized.

CS650: Visual Communication and Culture in Theory and Practice (0.5 Credit)

This course examines the inter-related fields of visual communication and visual culture. The course addresses the origins and development of visual communication and visual culture as academic disciplines and fields of practice as well as contemporary approaches and perspectives on the visual. Diverse theoretical approaches are explored in conjunction with an investigation of distinct visual practices from areas such as film, the fine arts, photography, design, new media and architecture.

Contact Us:

Jeremy Hunsinger, Graduate Coordinator


General Inquiries

T: 519.884.0710 x2806


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