Master of Mass Communication



Description of Core Subjects

A6301 Communication, Technology & Society

This subject examines communication, especially mass communication, within its social context, in combining a survey of classic studies with discussion of current issues and areas of debate. It introduces students to a broad range of issues concerning the role, effects and limitations of communication in modern society. Other issues that will be looked at include communication as a process within society, the content and effects of mass media, the media and public issues, media and information controls, the impact of new communication technologies, and communication for national development.

A6302 Communication Research

This subject focuses on how to apply the results of research to the evaluation and enhancement of media operations and output, communication planning, and mobilisation of communication resources at corporate and national levels. Research concepts such as sampling, validity and reliability, and types of research relevant to media industries (which include content analysis, survey and designs for campaign evaluation) will be covered. The programme aims to enhance students' critical understanding of research findings, and the ability to translate reports into more effective media management and production.

A6303 Media Law, Ethics & Policy

The subject aims to familiarise students with the broad scope of legal regulations covering various aspects of the media. The course will cover international laws, conventions and treaties, and Singapore law relating to the media. The course will also cover intellectual property law, defamation and censorship. The rest of the course will be devoted to ethics and policy, including current policy issues and the policy-making process. Students will be taught problem-solving skills for ethical issues. At the end of the course, students are expected to possess a better appreciation of the legal and ethical constraints in making management decisions.

Description of General Electives

A6321 Media Management

The first part of the subject focuses on the structure and process of media organisations. Students will look at the components of production, finance, programming, promotion and distribution, and human resources. The second part turns to issues concerning media as business, including multicultural management, fragmentation of the media, competition, and regionalisation.

A6322 Media & Marketing

This course seeks to introduce you to the fundamentals in integrated marketing communication including public relations, marketing and media. Often, graduate students who do not have an undergraduate degree in communication, struggle to understand advance material pitched at students with communication experience or knowledge. At times, the current knowledge students have is primarily focused on their local markets or taught in a different language with different terminologies.

With this in mind, a foundation course in Media and Marketing aims to bridge these gaps and help prepare students broadly for future strategic communication courses in the graduate program. Students will also gain a better understanding of the essential concepts, trends, campaigns and the evolved terminology that applies today in the real world of marketing communication. While the course covers essential concepts of corporate communication, marketing communication, media planning and digital marketing, it will have sufficient depth as we explore some of the current trends and issues.

The course is conducted over 2 weekends, so do expect some level of intensity with an accelerated learning format.

A6325 Public & Promotional Communication Issues & Strategies

This subject focuses on government and corporate communications aimed at mass and specialized audiences. It examines issues relating to communication of government policies, corporate concerns and corporate image. Several communication models will be used to analyse different strategies and tactics employed in public communication. The subject also explores possibilities of devising new communication paradigms using new technologies.

A6326 Campaign Design, Implementation & Evaluation

Public campaigns aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour or creating awareness are the focus of this subject. It examines the different stages of designing and implementing campaigns. It also introduces students to different evaluation methodologies and to research approaches to campaign development. Case studies of government and corporate campaigns are used to analyse the theory and practice of public campaigns.

A6329 Regional Communication Issues

This subject emphasizes on the influence of the mass media on Asian societies, with the historical, political, social and cultural dimensions in the development of mass communications in Asia (involving the structure and function of the media) being main areas of focus. Some major topics of interest will include ethics, legal limitations, freedom, copyright, censorship and cultural values.

A6330 Public Opinion & Persuasion

This subject focuses on psychological and social-psychological study of opinion and attitude change through media and public campaigns. The course will review experimental and survey designs for measuring and monitoring public opinion, as well as classic case studies. Students will also consider applications to elections, marketing, and development campaigns at the individual, group and societal levels.

A6337 Strategic Advertising Management

This course covers practical concerns and scope of advertising management and relevant theoretical perspectives and principles. Some of the topics include media planning, decision-making, message strategy, branding, creative approaches, account-servicing, and agency-client relationships.

A6338 Communication Management & Leadership

This course covers issues such as effective leadership, value-added management performance, managerial creativity, innovation, organisational knowledge creation and usage, as well as corporate productivity of info-communication and media organisations.

A6339 Strategic Public Relations Management

Students will look at world views that drive various communication and public relations management strategies, audience segmentation strategies and techniques, and different models of public relations available to corporate public relations managers. The course also explores value-creative means of building and strengthening cogent relationships with various external entities.

A6340 Principles of Computer-Mediated Communication: Application and Evaluation

This seminar is a survey of theories, topics, and landmark studies in the domain of computer-mediated communication (CMC). By exploring the epistemological, theoretical, and methodological treatments these works reflect, students will become sufficiently familiar with the topic to (a) situate contemporary and prospective research questions in a historical familiarity with the field, (b) design and test CMC applications based on theoretical and empirical guidance in organizations, health communication, education, personal relationships, etc.; and (c) prepare for advanced study in CMC. Students will develop a broad-based understanding of theory and research in CMC, and a specialised understanding of a particular theoretical approach and its application to a research or practical question.

A6341 Mobile Communication & Society

Addressing the fact that mobile communication is the most widely adopted mediation technology in the world, this class will be a survey of current research and the future prospects of mobile communication and its social consequences. It will introduce the student to the general study of mobile communication and examine issues such as the methodological issues of mobile research, and the role of mobile communication in international development. Further it will examine how mobile communication changes sociation patterns and urban organization, the potential of mHealth, the role of mobile communication in the lives of women, associated ethical issues, and the role of mobiles in the lives of teens. The student will gain broad insight into how and why mobile communication has been so widely adopted.

A6342 Information and Communication Technologies for Development (old course code: A6914)

Globally, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have had a profound impact on the socio-economic, political, and cultural spheres of nations. This advanced graduate course examines the opportunities and challenges presented with the advent of ICTs, particularly with regards to developing nations. The course will cover basic concepts in terms of the technologies and their impact on the particular domains of education, gender, health, livelihoods, and in post-disaster situations. The course offers knowledge necessary to understand and critically assess the transformational impact of ICTs on developing nations.

A6343 Television Studies (old course code: A6906)

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the major themes, topics, and theoretical perspectives that constitute television studies. Attention will be focused on the various critical studies and methodologies currently employed within the field, with an emphasis on analysing the ideological implications of the television text. The course will cover the narrative and aesthetic specificities of the medium, television genres and their characteristics, issues of audience analysis, issues of gender and ethnicity, and trends related to globalisation.

The objectives of this course are, firstly, to familiarize students with the television studies field as it is presently constituted and, secondly, to develop a range of critical tools and skills for analysing television.

A6344 Convergent New Media: Challenges & Opportunities (old course code: A6904)

This course focuses on the practical application of knowledge on new digital and social media platforms, media convergence, new technologies and its impact on business, communities, regulatory policies and stakeholder communication. It is designed to help media professionals tackle opportunities and challenges of digital innovation. Over the semester, the course will incorporate real-world case study discussions on a range of issues faced by organizations, lectures and guest lectures on the impact of media innovation and convergence and creative possibilities, know-how in developing stakeholder communication strategies on social media as well as some how-to tools to help media professionals better understand trends, new audiences and the competitive landscape.

A6345 Special Topic: Film & Media Studies (old course code: A6915)

This course aims to provide an introduction to the graduate study of film and new media. Its three major areas of focus are (1) major themes, concepts, and methodologies that have been employed within the increasingly interdisciplinary fields of film and media studies (2) ways that film has been theorized over the course of the past century (3) and an array of media-theoretical approaches to the forms of new media (digital and computer-based media) and their social and cultural impacts.

Through readings, writings, and discussions on the readings and the films screened, students will be familiarised with a series of key contemporary terms at the nexus of film studies, media studies, cultural studies, and critical theories, and develop a range of critical tools and skills for conducting in-depth researches on the forms and contents of film and new media technologies.

A6346 International Public Relations (old course code: A6901)

This course seeks to provide you with some insights on the generic principles that one can use to understand public relations practice in different nations. We shall also explore various environmental factors that affect public relations practice in different nations. The course also seeks to encourage critical thinking that will promote pedagogical discussions to advance scholarship in this area. Note that this course is not a "hands-on" course designed to teach you specific public relations techniques that you can use when you find the need to practice public relations in a given country. On the contrary, it seeks to introduce you to factors in an organisation's environment in different countries that affect public relations activities there. The idea is that such knowledge should help you in conducting public relations in specific countries.

A6347 Organisation Communication and Conflict Management (old course code: A6902)

This course is an in-depth coverage of specific areas of communication theory research & practices, including organisational communication and conflict management. Overarching theories of how humans interact within the organisation will be discussed and students will be asked to use these theories to analyse organisations and the conflicts that take place within them. We will also focus on developing practical skills to enhance students' ability to effectively communicate and resolve conflicts within the organisational context.

A6348 Issues in Interactive Advertising (old course code: A6333)

The goal of this course is to provide graduate students with a deeper understanding of the nature and impact of interactive advertising. This course will examine various perspectives and theories of interactive advertising, discuss a range of issues related to interactive advertising, and produce quality seminar papers on interactive advertising.

A6349 Managerial Seminar in Corporate Communication (old course code: A6913)

C-Suite executives all over the world now recognise how important professional corporate communication is for the success of their corporations. More than ever before, they understand that corporate reputation building, investor relations, scenario development and crisis preparedness planning, competitive intelligence, communication research and organisational communication, among other communication disciplines are critical in a world of relentless change, with ever more complicated stakeholder structures, alliances and interests.

Just as the need for solid communication advice on an ever increasing and more serious range of issues is getting indispensable, key tasks of the corporate communication officer are under threat and taken over by others: organisational communication by the HR department, investor relations by the finance team, corporate reputation by the legal department and on top of this we find powerful chief marketing officers who believe corporate communication is part of their remit.

What is the future of the corporate communication officer? This will be the topic of a top-level roundtable discussion, organised by the students, in collaboration with a leading global PR firm, a top communication publication and NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School. This advanced seminar allows the students to study the current and future position of chief communication officers of mid- and large-size companies and helps them to understand how to successfully manage issues these professionals face. During their journey, students are guided by and engage with top-level professionals in these areas.

A6350 Presentation for the Workplace: Theory and Practice (old course code: A6917)

This course is designed for students and practitioners in all fields who must present cogently, and often persuasively, to diverse audiences through multiple channels. The course will focus on helping students expand their understanding of conceptual, technical, and practical skills to plan, develop, and execute strategic presentations.

A6351 Internet Governance (old course code: A6910)

Internet governance is an increasingly important issue for anyone with any sort of managerial role regarding internet. This has been recognised at the international level, where the United Nations has established the Internet Governance Forum. The course will cover the governance of critical Internet resources, content regulation issues such as copyright and privacy. It will also touch on the possibilities and limits of different modes of regulation, including self- and co-regulation. It is a course on rules about and rules about the rulers and the ruled.

A6352 Understanding Videogames

This course is an introduction to videogames. As media technologies develop rapidly, the videogame industry has emerged as a major entertainment business with its revenue surpassing that of both the movie and music industries. The majority of the population now plays videogames in one way or another. They are played on consoles, computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Despite the popularity of videogames, we still know very little about the motives, responses, and consequences of videogame play. This course offers a broad perspective to understanding videogames from motives to consequences, and business models to various platforms for videogames. Based on selected papers and book chapters the course focuses on why people play video games, how players respond to them, what their effects and consequences are, and the popular platform of videogames and their business models.

A6353 Multimedia Journalism

This course will offer graduate students a systematic awareness of multimedia and what it entails in the methodology of journalism as it moves from the old to the new. It will introduce familiarity with the apparatus of multimedia, the interfacing of different media, and how they all function to suggest an interconnected system between the information consumer and the types of media that convey the news. Multimedia journalism therefore covers the facets of media, including print, broadcast and the Web. It will teach students how to analyse the news data and textual content of the different media. At the same time, students will learn concepts relating to convergence of media and get to use the school’s Newsplex studio in achieving a more practical understanding of the course.

A6354 Issues in Asian Journalism

This course presents students with an informative and comprehensive programme of understanding the issues and current affairs in Asian countries from the angle of journalism studies. Students will be given the task of forming an outlook that is challenging and questioning as they move away from the traditional focus on European and American issues in the wider world of journalism and enter into the study and assessments of the politics, economics, and social patterns of Asian countries and investigate how Asian issues contribute to journalism studies as a whole. Students are required to study and analyze the events, past and current, that flow out of the societies and states of Asia and to mark out their journalistic content. Students will also study the political economy underpinning Asian issues. They will be asked to give specific instances of current events, trace the movements of these events as they have occurred, and to predict those issues and happenings that may become historically significant. The comprehensiveness of Asian issues means that students will take in not just political or business matters but also religious, cultural, and philosophical values.

A6355 Audience Psychology & Message Design

Persuasion is a science and an art. Persuasive messages are impactful when they connect with the target audience. Knowing how to connect with the audience can be intuitive, but benefits from studying audience psychology. This module will cover a number of theories and case studies that can help communicators design effective messages. Students in this module will craft messages based on primary or secondary audience research, and gain new appreciation of the balance between science and art in persuasive communication.

A6356 Journalism 3.0: Clickbait Journalism?

Journalism is evolving. Of course, journalism is no stranger to challenges. But developments in communication technology and the corresponding changes in society are challenging journalism’s identity. Who is a journalist? What do we mean by journalism? What does the future hold for journalism? Or does it have a future? This course is all about how journalism is changing. It includes a critical analysis of emerging news practices, including the use of social media, web analytics, drones, and big data in journalism. How are journalists coping with these new practices and how do they affect the kind of journalism we produce? The course brings together discussions on the professional and ethical implications of these emerging practices in news production.

A6357 Emerging Communication & Information Technologies

This course examines new and emerging information and communication technologies with a special focus on computer-related technologies (including Web, App, smart devices, mobile technologies, computer games, educational simulation, speech user interfaces, social interfaces, agents, avatars, virtual reality, and social robots). Psychological, socio-cultural, and business implications of new technologies are the main concerns of the course.

In this course, students will learn to analyse the implications of future unseen technologies through diverse methodological tools and viewpoints provided in the class.

A6358 Emerging Communication Technology and Policy

This course introduces emerging communication technologies, including (1) artificial intelligence, and (2) virtual and augmented reality, and explores policy, law and ethics issues that these technologies generate. Among AI policy issues, the focus is on intellectual property and privacy, e.g., intellectual property in works that are generated through the use of artificial intelligence, and privacy rights in data used and insights derived from it. Among AR/VR policy debates explored are how to address psychological risks to users.

A6911 Independent Study for Mass Communication

This course aims to prepare students for independent research. At the end of the course, students will be expected to understand how to design and conduct a research project in the area of communication study, and acquire in-depth knowledge in a selected research topic area. Course requirements include 3 reports; (Initial Proposal, Mid-Term Report and Final Report) and an Oral Presentation. Each item carries a certain fixed weightage and deadlines. Throughout the semester, the student will work with the instructor to submit the final report by Week 15. The requirements should be completed within one semester. Only students who choose the ‘Coursework Only’ option should take this course.

CI6221 Information Visualisation

This course will examine the study of concepts, models and examples for improved information visualisation. Students will look at representation and interpretation data, as well as different forms of document visualisation such as TileBars, galaxies, themescapes, and Kohonen maps.

H6750 Social Media Analytics

This course develops analytical ability with respect to the variety of information provided by the web and social media applications. In providing an overview of cutting-edge social media analytics with an emphasis on applications to real life problems, students will learn about the mechanisms for observing behavioral and consumer generated information as well as the leading-edge technologies that aid in the collection and analysis of these data.

Techniques for managing, exploring, visualizing, and analyzing data from social media applications. Strategic aspects of social media analytics. Metrices for assessing the effectiveness of social media strategies. Collecting, analyzing and deriving insights from social media data. Social Network Analysis.

K6312 Information Mining and Analysis

As a supplement to the study of knowledge management, this course will explore the principles and concepts of knowledge discovery and data mining, and attempt to explain the knowledge discovery process. On the technical side, students will learn data preparation, statistical methods, and techniques and methods for extracting information and knowledge from large amounts of data. Machine learning techniques such as nearest eighbour categorisation and Bayesian learning will be taught, to aid text and Web mining for unstructured data.

Note: Not all courses listed in the curriculum will be offered in a semester. Courses offered are subject to availability of instructors and resources.