Academic Path | Global Communication

Your first year in the Global Communication MA Double Degree program will be placed at SFU, incorporating a field placement at SFU paired with an academic curriculum.

"My experience in the Double Degree program has been greatly enriched by the field placement component. Over the course of three months, I had the opportunity to intern with one of Vancouver’s leading non-profit media education organizations, the Cinematheque Education Department. I joined my field placement supervisors on two very different projects that provided me with a sense of the field that I have spent so much time studying, but had yet to experience. During my placement, I took part in media literacy workshops, youth documentary film production, and a five day film intensive at an alternative school. Through conversations with my field placement supervisors as well as students and teaching staff, I have gained unique insights into the field that encouraged me to reflect on my career goals in such a way that would not be possible through study alone. Not only has the field placement complemented my academic pursuits invaluably, but it has also provided me with the opportunity to spend time in a community that I aim to one day be a part of."

Elizabeth Arnold, The Cinematheque, Education Department

year 1

Global Communication Cirriculum  

At Simon Fraser University

Program Viewbook

  • About the Program
  • Student Achievements
  • Career Paths
  • Student Highlight

Fall Term (September to December)

CMNS 844-5 Communication and Global Power Shifts

This course examines the mutually constitutive relationship between rapidly transforming global communication systems and shifting structures of global political economic and cultural power. Competing  claims of global power shifts between the West and the Rest, between labour and capital, and between  established institutions and networked "multitudes" –  are analyzed in relation to enduring  patterns and emerging dynamics in global communications.

+ one course from any of the following 3 groups

Group 1 Surveys of History and Theory  

This course group contains survey courses that define and map the field and expose  students  to  faculty  interests  and  research  programs.

  • CMNS 800-5 Contemporary Approaches in Communication Studies
  • CMNS 802-5 History of Communication Theory
  • CMNS 804-5 Seminar in Advanced Communication Theory

Group 2 Research Design and Methods

This course group contains research methods  and  methodology  courses  that   help with research projects.

  • CMNS 801-5 Design and Methodology in Communication Research
  • CMNS 805-5 Communication Research Methods and Techniques

Group 3  Research  Area  Courses

This course group contains the school’s various research area and selected topics courses.

  • CMNS 815-5 Social Construction of Communication Technologies
  • CMNS 820-5 Communication, Media and the Concept of the “Public”
  • CMNS 830-5 Popular Culture and Media Theory
  • CMNS 840-5 Political Economy of Communications
  • CMNS 845-5 Communication and Development
  • CMNS 855-5 Selected Topics in Communication Studies
  • CMNS 856-4 Graduate Seminar
  • CMNS 857-5 Selected Topics in Communication Studies
  • CMNS 858-5 Selected Topics in Communication Studies
  • CMNS 859-5 Acoustic Dimensions of Communications

Spring Term (January to April)

CMNS 848-5 Communication and Global Social Justice   

Examines communicative responses to transforming global communications systems  and  shifting  structures  of  global  economic  and  cultural  power.   Considers  how  communicators  and  producers  of  knowledge  and  culture   interact  with  and  produce  these  systems  and  structures  and  the  implications   of these processes for social justice. Note: Priority will be given to students enrolled in Global Communication Double MA Degree program. Students with credit for  CMNS 858 (Special Topics: CMNS & Global Social Justice) in Spring 2014 & Spring 2015 may not take this course for further credit

CMNS 881-5 Field Placement Requirement

All Students are required to complete two field placements, one at each university, leading to the submission of a field report to each university. The field report will take the form of a critical essay (15-20 pages) on the experience of the field placement. The field placement will involve either a work project or assignment undertaken for a host organization, or a policy investigation involving observation and field interviews with relevant organizations. Students will spend at least two weeks or equivalent time in the “field” under the supervision of a faculty member who will provide guidance and assess the completed report. At SFU, students complete the field placement requirement by enrolling in CMNS 881-5.

SFU field placement opportunities

Han Li @ SFU Art Gallery

For me, one of the most impressive experiences with the Double Degree program in Global Communication at Simon Fraser University was my field placement with SFU’s Art Gallery. With my supervisor’s help, I spent more than 80 hours with the Art Gallery at SFU’s Burnaby campus where my duties included  producing a Chinese translation of the gallery’s guide. In the process of translating English to Chinese I became intimately familiar with the public art in SFU, which has ultimately helped to inform my final capstone project -investigating universities use of public art and students’ cultural identity. And as a Chinese student, working in a western institution presents unique challenges as I was introduced to new institutional expectations and work cultures, however in overcoming these challenges with, of course, the support of my colleagues, I have been trained with the skills needed to succeed in the transculturation of the global economy. This speaks directly to the core purpose of our field placement: to integrate our global subjectivity into the local context and contribute to a transcultural environment. After finishing the Chinese version of SFU’s Art Gallery guide, I found not only had I met my own professional obligations as a student, but that through my contribution I have a new sense of belonging to the wider SFU community, one that I have helped to make.

Summer Term (May to August)

CMNS 860-2 Graduate Colloquium in Global Communication

Discussion of essentials of researching, writing, and presenting papers. Students will present drafts of an extended essay for critical review by course supervisor and fellow students. Enrolment restricted to Global Communication  Graduate  Double  Degree  Program  MA  students.

CMNS 894-5 MA Extended Essay

Year 1 Extended Essay at SFU. Approximate word length 10,000 (@250 words/page).

View Global Communication MA Capstone Project

year 2

Global Communication Cirriculum  

At Communication University of China

The academic year at CUC begins in September and ends in late June.

All students must complete two core program courses from the following list for a total of 15 units:

  • Media and Chinese Society: Theory, History, and Practice
  • Chinese Communication Industries, Markets and Regulation
  • Comparative Asian Media Systems and Regional Markets

To meet the breadth requirements of the program, all students must complete an additional 4 units that consist of either a survey course on media production techniques and processes or a course on Chinese politics, economy, culture and society as specified by CUC.

CUC Field Placement

Vanessa Kong, acting journalist in a short film about China's most famous agricultural scientist Yuan Longping (袁隆平)

“It is important to find a field placement that fits student’s interest, be it research interest or career interest. So, if there is any company students have in mind that they want to work with, they should go ahead and send their resume out as soon as they settle down and begin their field placement in the Fall instead of in Spring...

It is because Spring semester is shorter than Fall semester and the workload from the capstone during Spring semester is huge. Starting it earlier would give you more time for finishing the capstone in the Spring.

Some of the field placements my cohort worked with include a news agency in Spanish (producing Spanish news articles about China which are published in Spanish newspapers), Blue Ocean Network (producing English content on TV about China in English-speaking countries), UNIEF (producing a campaign to fight HIV/AIDS in China), CCTV6 (covering the Beijing Film Festival), and Time Magazine in Beijing. Given student’s proficiency in English, their skillset is of high demand in China, so finding a job in China for Canadian students shouldn’t be a problem at all, regardless of their language proficiency in Chinese.”