School of Communication Courses

You will have the choice of many fascinating classes as a Communication student. To get you started we offer two required introductory courses where you will learn the foundation for further study. In later semesters you will select from 200, 300 and 400-Level classes (some required and some optional). 


CMNS 110 - Introduction to Communication Studies

Sample description from Spring 2015 syllabus.

The aim of this course is to provide a general introduction to a range of theories that seek to explain why we communicate as we do.

The first part of the course establishes a general overview of communication theory, from both theoretical and historical points of view. We will examine the relationship between communication, ideology, power, and social consciousness; the development of alphabetic writing; and theories of orality and literacy. We will also review the concept of the self in the context of communication studies.

The second part of the course will focus on specific fields within the area of communication, including: the study of popular culture; media analysis; film studies; advertising; and the political economy of communication. We will also examine the rise of technology studies in communication, and consider the way in which the electronic media(in particular computers and the Internet), have refashioned both human consciousness andculture. In this context,we will discuss issues of privacy and democracy in the emerging digital culture; and conclude the course with a brief discussion of global communication and social transformation.

Our main goal is to critically assess the images and messages of contemporary media. How do they create meaning? Do they enlarge our understanding of the world, or influence us to think about it in increasingly narrow ways?


CMNS 130 - Introduction to Social Change

Sample description from Spring 2015 Syllabus

This introductory course gives an overview of the forms, theories, and institutions of communication, and their role as a part of broader social change.

The course is divided into two sections. The first section introduces the era of mass communication, and some of the more influential approaches to its study, with questions such as: What constitutes mass communication? What is the role of media in democracy? How has mass media been regulated? Since the mass media are everywhere - newspapers, magazines, radio, television, advertising, the Internet, networks, films and popular music saturate our lives – most of what we know about ourselves and our society comes from mass media. What can we learn from this? What impact has the introduction and dominance of communication industries had on us as a society, and as citizens and consumers?

The second section focuses on contemporary, emergent, and networked forms of mass communication, and the theoretical perspectives that seek to explain what is often called the ‘information society’. Are we in the midst of a transition from an era of mass communication to an era of networked communication, and what may be the implications of this shift for social inequality? What role can we play in this transformation? How does concentration of ownership affect the media and the control of information? What is the relationship between the mass media and globalization?



200-Level Classes

Sample List. Always refer to the current Academic Calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Media History

Understanding Television

Media & Popular Cultures

Advertising as Social Communication

Digital Media Communication Techniques

Acoustic Dimensions of Communication

The Cultural Industries in Canada: Global Context

News, Media, the Public & Democracy

The Political Economy of Communication

Introduction to Information Technology: The New Media

Introduction to Electroacoustic Communication

Emperical Communication Research Methods

Documentary Research in Communication

Design & Method in Qualitative Communication Method



300 and 400 (Upper) Level Classes

Sample List. Always refer to the current Academic Calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Communication in Everyday Life

Media & Modernity

Children, Media & Culture

Cultural Production of Popular Music

Media, Sports & Popular Culture

Visualization & Visual Culture in Communication

Documentary Media

Cultural Dimensions in Advertising

Applied Media Workshop: On The Hill

Communication in Conflict & Intervention

Globalization: Cultural Issues

Colonialism, Culture & Identity

Applied Communication for Social Issues

Video Design for Social Communication

Participatory Youth Media Cultures

News Research & Analysis

Publication Design & Print Production

Political Communication, Public Opinion & Political Marketing

Issues in Communication & Cultural Policy

Computer Supported Cooperative Work: Critical Perspectives

Media, Learning & Social Change

News Discourse as Political Communication

Communication & Rhetoric

Broadcast Policy & Regulation in the Global Context

Cultural Policy

Telecommunication Regulation in North America

Science & Public Policy: Risk Communication

Development Communication

Globalization & Media

Information Rights in the Information Age

Media Democratization: From Critique to Transformation

Comparative Asian Media System

Political Economy of International Communication

Media & Popular Culture in China

Communication, Science in Technology

Negotiation & Dialogue in Communication

Race & the Media

Issues in the Information Society


Environment, Media & Communication

Topics in Technology & Society

Communication & Social Issues in Design

Communication to Mitigate Disasters

Audio Media Analysis

Sound Recording Theories & Design

Acoustic Dimensions of Communication

Evaluation Methods for Applied Communication Research

Approaches to Media & Audience Research

Media & Ideology

Women & New Information Technologies

Seminar in Dialogue & Public Issues

Honours Research Proposal & Project

Field Placements

Directed Studies

Special Topics in Communication

Project Groups in:

  • Communication Network
  • Media Analysis
  • Communication Policy
  • International Communication
  • Information Technology

Communication Practicums (Co-Op Work Experience)

Undergraduate Options

Major (Direct entry from high school)


Joint Major


Extended Minor