13.02.2017

Master’s Degree Programme in Intercultural Communication (120 ECTS): Curriculum 2015 - 2017

 

Programme description

The Master’s Programme in Intercultural Communication is a two-year interdisciplinary course focusing on intercultural communication theory and practice. Through this approach, students consider the cultural implications of the ongoing changes in how people from differing cultural backgrounds interact with each other. In the programme, students focus on various approaches to intercultural communication. In addition to theoretical depth, there is a strong practical aspect in the programme, providing communication and content production competencies required in the multicultural, networked world. The language of the programme is English.

The programme prepares students for careers involving significant intercultural contacts in companies, public organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The students will be also qualified for research-intensive employment; the MA degree qualifies students for enrolment in doctoral studies.

 

Master's Degree Programme, 120 ECTS

 

Course Descriptions

Programme Studies

KVVA103 Introduction to Intercultural Communication, 5 ECTS

The aim of this course is to introduce the fundamental principles and issues of intercultural communication from an interdisciplinary perspective as well as to develop perception and appreciation of different cultural perspectives and values.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student will be able to

  • identify major researchers in intercultural communication and describe their contribution to the field
  • critically discuss the fundamental principles and topics in intercultural communication from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • perceive different cultural perspectives and values and appreciate cultural diversity
  • analyse communication between people from different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds in both national and international settings.

Learning methods: lectures and online course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

KVVS111 Communication Theory, 5 ECTS

Students will gain a comprehensive view of communication theory. The focus is on various theories of communication. Students will be familiar with theories from a social scientific, interpretive, and critical/cultural perspective.

Learning outcomes: Students will be familiar with the main issues and theories of culture encompassing:

  • identify and describe major theories in communication
  • critically analyze and evaluate communication theories
  • relate theory to day to day communication activities.

Learning methods: Lectures and written assignments based on literature

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

Literature: Miller, K. (2002). Communication theories: Perspectives, processes, and contexts. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.

KVVS012 Qualitative Methodology, 5 ECTS

The aim of this course is to deepen the understanding of qualitative research process, methods, and perspectives and to learn to evaluate them on the basis of scientific and ethical research principles.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student will be able to

  • understand the connections between different research methods and philosophy of science as well as communication theories
  • identify and evaluate different methods for data gathering and analysis in communication research as well as grounds of those methods
  • evaluate the nature of knowledge produced with different methods and its suitability to solve a specific research problem
  • plan a research strategy
  • collect, analyze and interpret data and justify one’s methodological choices
  • respect the principles of research ethics and act according to them.

Learning methods: lecture and activities course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

Literature: Croucher, S. M., & Cronn-Mills, D. M. (2014). Research methods: A theoretical and practical approach. New York, NY: Routledge.

KVVS013 Quantitative Methodology, 5 ECTS

The aim of this course is to provide students with a basic to intermediate-level treatment of research methods and/or statistics employed in social scientific research.

Learning Outcomes: On completion of this course the student will:

  • have an introductory knowledge of statistics at a graduate level
  • have a working knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistical terms and techniques
  • evaluate the nature of knowledge produced with different methods and its suitability to solve a specific research problem
  • plan a research strategy
  • collect, analyze and interpret data and justify one’s methodological choices.

Learning Methods: lecture and activities course

Evaluation: on a scare from 0-5

Recommended timing: first year

Literature: Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

KVVS010 Thesis Seminar, 4 ECTS

The aim of the research seminar is to prepare and support the student in his/her Master’s Thesis research process.
Learning outcomes: On completion of the seminar the student will be able to

  • plan, implement and evaluate a research process in accordance with appropriate scientific conventions and practices
  • consider and apply ethical principles in research
  • give an academic presentation
  • engage critically in academic discussion.

Learning methods: seminar, oral presentation, writing a research plan

Evaluation: on a scale from 0-5

Recommended timing: first and second year

KVVS106 Theories and Models of Intercultural Communication, 6 ECTS

The aim of this course is to increase the intercultural knowledge and awareness of the students, and furthermore to analyze and critically discuss the main approaches in intercultural communication and related fields.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student will be able to

  • identify and describe the major theoretical frameworks both in cross-cultural and intercultural communication research
  • critically analyze, compare and evaluate earlier studies and research applications
  • relate theoretical insights into day-to-day intercultural communication and provide adequate analyses.

Learning methods: lecture course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

Previous studies required: Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Literature: Gudykunst, W. B., & Mody, B. (2002). Handbook of international and intercultural communication (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

KVVS107 Intercultural Communications Skills, 5 ECTS

This course introduces the participants to issues related to learning and instruction in the field of intercultural communication. The aim is to experiment how to put intercultural communication theory into practice, and to become acquainted with different intercultural learning methods, especially those that involve situated learning or experiential learning.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student

  • can apply intercultural communication concepts and theories into the analysis of everyday intercultural situations
  • is aware of the competencies beneficial when interacting in intercultural settings
  • is aware of the techniques and methods in ICC training and learning
  • is willing and able to further develop his/her intercultural communication skills outside
the classroom.

Learning methods: small group workshops with exercises, learning diary

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

Previous studies required: Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Literature: Landis, D., Bennett, J. M., & Bennett, M. J. (Eds.) (2004). Handbook of intercultural training. 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

KVVS110 Communicating in a Culturally Diverse Workplace, 5 ECTS

This course explores communication phenomena in a culturally diverse workplace on organisational, group and interpersonal levels. We will look at such issues as organisational treatment of difference, communication in a multilingual workplace, identity processes, relational development or informal intercultural learning.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student should be able to

  • apply communication concepts and theories to frame and address workplace communication phenomena related to cultural diversity
  • critically discuss the ethical issues in communication in a culturally diverse workplace.

Learning methods: lecture course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

Previous studies required: Theories and Models of Intercultural Communication

Literature: Article collection

KVVS112 Media and Online Cultures, 5 ECTS

This course introduces the student to theoretisations of online media and technologically mediated communication in a multicultural world. The course addresses global media culture in terms of production, distribution and reception, and with specific attention on the questions of social and participatory media as communicative practices. Students will possess the ability to recognize varied issues and perspectives in the study of both emerging media culture, as well as how existing cultural patterns are made relevant in the online setting.

Learning outcomes: On the completion of this course the student will be able to

  • recognize the significance of online communication and media from both technical and sociocultural perspectives
  • identify the history and development of online communication and media from a global viewpoint
  • recognize and critically evaluate cultural stereotypes in online communication and media
  • identify ethical issues related to online communication and media.

Learning methods: lecture course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first year

Literature: Article collection

KVVS104–KVVS105 Theorizing Intercultural Communication, 5 ECTS (3 + 2 ECTS)

The aim of this self-study unit is to introduce the students to advanced intercultural communication concepts and frameworks.
Learning outcomes: On completion of this self-study unit the student will be able to

  • present and critically evaluate advanced concepts, theoretical frameworks and applications of intercultural communication
  • distinguish and compare intercultural communication theories and applications in academic discussion.

Learning methods: Book exams

3 ECTS books (KVVS104 Theorizing Intercultural Communication):

      1. Gudykunst, W. B. (Ed.) (2003). Cross-cultural and intercultural communication. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
      2. Kim, Y. Y. (2001). Becoming intercultural. An integrative theory of communication and cross-cultural adaptation. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
      3. Said, E. 1978. On orientalism. New York: Vintage Books/Random House.

2 ECTS books (KVVS105 Theorizing Intercultural Communication):

      1. Hofstede, G. H., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. New York: McGraw-Hill.
      2. Hall, E.T. (1970) [1990]. The silent language. New York: Anchor Books. AND Hall, E.T. (1976) [1989]. Beyond culture. New York: Doubleday.

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first spring semester - second year

INTERNSHIP, OR PROJECT MANAGEMENT, OR ACADEMIC EXPERTISE, 10 ECTS

This module consists of two parts: an orientation on career development and the role of projects in working life, and an internship, project management, or academic expertise as detailed below.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this module the student will

  • be aware of the level of his/her professional competence and capable of evaluating it
  • be motivated and capable to further develop his/her professional skills in the interface of theory and practice
  • recognize different career options and professional skills.

Orientation on project work and working life

The purpose of this orientation is to introduce the participants to the practices of working life and internships, and the basic premises and practices of project work.

Recommended timing: first year

Learning methods: lecture course

AND

KVVS802 Internship, 10 ECTS

The aim of the internship is for the students to practice and deepen their professional skills and expertise in a real work context as well as develop their insights of different career options. The internship should add up to at least two months of full-time work, or equivalent.

Learning methods: internship

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Previous studies required: Course on project work and working life.

Recommended timing: summer, second year

OR

KVVS803 Project Management, 10 ECTS

The aim of the project work is to engage students with different backgrounds in an extensive research and/or development project. The students have to run the project, produce the set outcomes, report the results, and maintain adequate documentation.

Learning methods: project work

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Previous studies required: Course on project work and working life.

Recommended timing: summer, second year

OR 

KVVS804 Academic Expertise, 10 ECTS

This is an individually tailored unit, where the student attends an international conference or seminar, presents there a paper related to his/her Thesis topic, and writes a report of the event.

Learning methods: Individual learning project.

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Previous studies required: Course on project work and working life

Recommended timing: summer, second year

 

Specialization Studies, 5-15 ECTS

Optional courses chosen by the students, as fits with his/her personal study plan.

Recommended timing: first spring semester - second year

For instance, following courses are offered:

KVVS305 Migration and Transition in a Global World, 5 ECTS

This course deals with communication related topics in migration research regarding adaptation, interpersonal relationships and identity processes in intercultural contexts. The course examines existing paradigms, theories, and models of migration and transition research and critically reviews them, looking also at practical applications.
Learning outcomes: On completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • identify and describe major theoretical frameworks of migration and transition research in Intercultural communication contexts,
  • present and discuss the research applications in the fields of adaptation, interpersonal relationships, and identity processes,
  • recognize the interdisciplinary nature of Intercultural communication in migration and transition research,
  • critically analyze, compare and evaluate earlier research and applications, and
  • develop new insights and contributions to the earlier approaches both in theory and practice, including ethical considerations

Learning methods: lecture course and/or literature

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature:

Croucher, S. M. (2009). Looking beyond the hijab. Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Kim, Y. Y. 2001. Becoming intercultural. An integrative theory of communication and cross-cultural adaptation. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

KVVS304 International Management, 5 ECTS

The aim of this course is to learn about the challenges that managers of both domestic and international businesses face in managing across cultural boundaries. The main focus will be on national cultural differences and processes at the individual, group and organizational levels. The following topics will be covered: fundamental dimensions of culture, how culture affects behaviour, cognition, motivation, and emotion in organisations, negotiation and conflict resolution.

Learning outcomes: This course seeks to develop the following competencies:

  • the ability to understand the dimensions of international business activities
  • the ability to recognize key differences in business and operational practices of other countries
  • the skills to manage and work effectively in diverse cultural environments and/or with people from other cultures.

Learning methods: lecture course and/or literature

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature: Freitag, A. R., & Stokes, A. Q. (2009). Global public relations: Spanning borders, spanning cultures. London: Taylor & Francis. Swann, P. (2010). Cases in public relations management. London: Taylor & Francis.

KVVS113 Communication in global virtual teams, 5 ECTS

This course introduces the participants to the dynamics of group and team communication as they appear in technology-mediated environments, especially in the context of global virtual teams. The course includes an experiential element in that the participants take part in a three-month long project work, where some members of the group can be geographically distributed.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student will be able to

  • describe and analyze key communication phenomena in the context of (global) virtual teams
  • understand the role of technology in today’s knowledge-intensive working life
  • work in a distributed, international and self-guiding team with the help of various communication technologies
  • plan and execute a joint project with other team members

Learning methods: lecture course, group task

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature: Article collection

KVVS208 Health communication in intercultural contexts, 5 ECTS

This course deals with communication related topics in health care settings. The course examines existing paradigms, theories, and models of health care as they are practiced in intercultural and cross-cultural settings. Theoretical and practical issues are equally discussed.

Learning outcomes: On completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • identify and describe major theoretical frameworks of health care/communication in Intercultural communication contexts
  • present and discuss the research applications in the fields health care, medicine, and science
  • recognize the interdisciplinary nature of Intercultural communication
  • critically analyze, compare and evaluate earlier research and applications, and
  • develop new insights and contributions to the earlier approaches both in theory and practice, including ethical considerations.

Learning methods: lecture course and/or literature

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature:

Fadiman, A. (1997). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Harrington, G. N. (2015). Health communication: Theory, method, and application. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

KVVS207 Religion and communication, 5 ECTS

This class is an examination of the relationship between communication and the presence or lack of religion. NO religion or lack of religion will be favored over another in this class. This is not a place for proselytizing or chastising religion, but a place to discuss and examine the relationship between communication and religion/lack of religion. To facilitate this analysis we will study various communication contexts and how the presence or lack of religion influences these contexts.

Learning outcomes: On completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • understand the relationship between religion and communication,
  • critically discuss how religion influences culture,
  • evaluate the role of religion in media, health care, interpersonal relations, organizational situations, and other contexts, and
  • critically digest media discussing religion.Learning methods: lecture course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature: Croucher, S. M., & Harris, T. M. (Eds.). (2012). Religion & communication: An anthology of extensions in theory, research, & method. New York Peter Lang.

KVVS209 Conflict and intercultural communication, 5 ECTS

This course deals with the relationships between conflict and communication, specifically intercultural communication. The course examines the various ways conflict and intercultural communication intersect. Various theoretical and practical issues are discussed.

Learning outcomes: On completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • identify and describe major theoretical and practical frameworks of conflict in Intercultural communication contexts
  • present and discuss the ways in which conflict differs culturally
  • critically analyze, compare and evaluate conflict research and applications, and
  • develop new insights and contributions to conflict approaches both in theory and practice, including ethical considerations.

Learning methods: lecture course and/or literature

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature: Oetzel, J. G., & Ting-Toomey, S. (2013). The SAGE handbook of conflict communication: Integrating theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

KVVS210 International communication, 5 ECTS

The aim of this course is to increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of global media systems, and analyze and critically discuss the main approaches to studying how global media systems differ internationally.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • identify and describe the major theoretical frameworks both in international communication research,
  • critically analyze, compare, and evaluate earlier studies and research applications,
  • relate theoretical insights to their day to day media use in a globally connected media world, and
  • develop methodological ways to study media systems.

Learning methods: lecture course

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Literature:

Hamelink, C. J. (2015). Global communication. thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Mody, B. (2003) International and development communication: A 21st century perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 

Master's Thesis, 40 ECTS

KVVS900 Master’s Thesis, 40 ECTS

The aim of the Master’s Thesis is to learn to plan, carry out and complete a scientific research process.
Learning outcomes: On completion of the Master’s Thesis the student will be able to

  • define a relevant research problem and develop a qualified academic research design in the field of intercultural communication
  • identify significant information, present relevant bibliography and demonstrate source criticism
  • justify and use research methods in an appropriate way and demonstrate coherence between aims and method of study
  • make suggestions about research implications
  • master academic writing conventions
  • critically evaluate the research process.

Evaluation: on a scale from 0–5

Recommended timing: first spring semester - second year

 

Language Studies

XSU0005 Finnish I, 5 ECTS (for non-Finnish students)

Recommended timing: first autumn semester

XSU0006 Finnish II, 5 ECTS (for non-Finnish students)

Recommended timing: first spring semester

KVV0Y96 Maturity Test, 1 ECTS (for students who have not taken a maturity test within their BA degree)

Learning method: An essay in the field of the Master’s Thesis

Timing: After having submitted the Master’s Thesis for the final assessment