Curriculum | Global Communication

Year 1 At Simon Fraser University

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.

Plus one elective course.  Electives may be selected from across the University.  Courses within the School of Communications Include:

  • CMNS 800-5 Contemporary Approaches in Communication Studies
  • CMNS 802-5 History of Communication Theory
  • CMNS 804-5 Seminar in Advanced Communication Theory
  • 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 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 takes the form of a critical essay (15-20 pages) on the experience of the field placement. The field placement involves either a work project or assignment undertaken for a host organization, or an 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.

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).

All Year

Mandarin classes run throughout the year for students without foundational Mandarin.

Students have access to drop in tutorial sessions, and one-on-one support from the program TA throughout the year. 

Members of the 2018 cohort in class in Vancouver.

year 2 at Communications University of China

The academic year at the CUC begins in September and ends in late June.  The program requirements at the CUC are as follows:

Core Courses

  • Media and Chinese Society: Theory, History, and Practice
  • Comparative Asian Media Systems and Regional Markets
  • Intercultural Communication: Theory, Experiences and Reflections
  • Chinese language and culture (for non-Mandarin speakers)

Graduate Colloquia

  • Directed Reading: thesis development
  • Chinese politics, culture and society

Field Placement


Members of the 2017 cohort in class in Beijing.