Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication

Language is more than just words on a page

 

Master
Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen /
Communication and Information Studies
Specialization

Multimodal Communication

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

Some think of multimodal communication as something modern, as text and video are combined on websites, or as we both hear and see people we are talking with through apps on our smartphones. Yet humans have been communicating multimodally since prehistoric times, with vocal sounds and hand gestures. Despite the fast pace of digital technology development, videos are played and texts are read largely on the same real-time scale as that of face-to-face interaction – the human time scale.

How and why are different kinds of meanings and functions distributed over different modes of communication? How are those meanings, functions, and modes integrated in different media, including the embodied medium of face-to-face interaction? In this MA track you will learn how multimodal communication works, meaning both how different forms of it are constructed and how they communicate ideas in different ways (such as making abstract ideas easier to understand through metaphors). Attention is given to the use of both written and spoken language in combination with other modes of communication.

We welcome students from abroad as well as those from the Netherlands. The courses in the track are taught in English. What you learn in this programme could be applied in a variety of jobs, such as those of communication advisor, marketing consultant, trainer for media businesses, website consultant, or as background for further study towards a PhD.

First and second semester
In the first semester, your programme will include three required specialist courses on multimodal communication: one concerning talk as multimodal, one on text and image and one about the important role of metaphor in various forms of multimodal communication. Alongside of these, you will take two core courses in the department about how to analyse different genres of communication.

In the second semester, you will take two courses of your own choice (electives) while working on your master's thesis, which you can choose from the study guide. Each student coming into the programme will meet with a member of staff before the start of the academic year to consult about their choice of electives in order to ensure a coherent course of study. Once you successfully complete the programme, you will be a Master of Arts (MA).

Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication courses in the study guide.

Electives
An elective can be chosen from a wide range of courses. They provide opportunities to explore the particularities of multimodal communication in specific contexts.

Examples of conceivable topics might be:

  • Cross-cultural differences in the use of text and image in corporate web page designs
  • Metaphoric and non-metaphoric conceptualizations in commercials: A case study
  • The role of discourse-structuring and referential gestures in political speeches

Thesis
An important part of the programme, the Master’s thesis enables you to conduct original research under the supervision of one of the staff members. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

Dutch students

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor's before Master's rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

In April a nationwide decision was taken to abandon the so-called “harde knip” because of Corona and to formulate alternative requirements for admission to master’s programmes. For this reason, and following general VU guidelines, the Humanities Faculty has opted for a smoother transition. Find out what this means for you below.

Guidelines for Bachelor’s to Master's    

Bachelor’s students at a Dutch university (including VU):     
•    Minimum number of EC’s: 162 EC (90%    
•    Deadline final version of the thesis: 1 December 2020    
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021   
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme   

Current premaster’s students    
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 80% or 1 course unfinished (NB: the thesis is also regarded as a course)     
•    Deadline final version of the premaster thesis: 1 December 2020    
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021    
•    Academic Skills must have been completed    
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme   

HBO Bachelor’s students    
•    Minimum number of EC’s: 216 (90%)    
•    Deadline final version of the HBO BA thesis: 1 December 2020    
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021    
•    Only 1 course (6 EC) of the integrated programme may be left open at the start of the master’s programme

We strongly advise students to do everything possible to complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme before the end of this academic year. The study load makes it very difficult to complete missing courses while on an intensive Master’s programme.

All students who enroll on the basis of the “zachte knip” will be invited by the academic advisor and will be assigned a mentor, who will have a finger on the pulse for the completion of the Bachelor's degree. 

Request exceptional admission
Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August. You can do this by completing and submitting the form for exceptional admission to a Master’s programme.

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

Direct admission to the Master's programme is possible with a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Culture, Linguistics, and Communication and Information Studies from VU Amsterdam. Applications from students with equivalent Bachelor's degrees from other universities in the Netherlands have to be submitted to the Admission Board for assessment.

If you have a Bachelor's degree in another subject, the Admission Board will decide what subjects you will be required to take in preparation for the Master’s programme. Depending on the number of subjects you have to take, you will either have to register for and complete the Bachelor's programme or you will be permitted to register for the pre-Master's course (one year maximum).

Application
Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree can apply via Studielink before July 1st for the Master's programme Multimodal Communication under the label Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen (Communication and Information Studies).

After you have applied for the master in Studielink, you will receive within two days emails with your login details for VUnet (VU studentportal). Please complete your application in VUnet . Don’t forget to fill in your specialization on VUnet : Multimodal Communication.

During this step you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Transcript of records (scan from original)
  • Course descriptions (i.e. for courses related to the discipline of the Master, and for courses on general academic skills)
  • List of literature (the most important literature used for the courses)
  • CV

Please prepare these documents before you're going to complete your application in VUnet!

Please note: students of the Faculty of Humanities at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam do NOT need to upload these documents.

Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink.

Contact

Questions?
For more information on the programme, contact prof. dr. Alan Cienki  

Master's Event
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor's before Master's rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

In April a nationwide decision was taken to abandon the so-called “harde knip” because of Corona and to formulate alternative requirements for admission to master’s programmes. For this reason, and following general VU guidelines, the Humanities Faculty has opted for a smoother transition. Find out what this means for you below.

Guidelines for Bachelor’s to Master's    

Bachelor’s students at a Dutch university (including VU):     
•    Minimum number of EC’s: 162 EC (90%    
•    Deadline final version of the thesis: 1 December 2020    
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021   
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme   

Current premaster’s students    
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 80% or 1 course unfinished (NB: the thesis is also regarded as a course)     
•    Deadline final version of the premaster thesis: 1 December 2020    
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021    
•    Academic Skills must have been completed    
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme   

HBO Bachelor’s students    
•    Minimum number of EC’s: 216 (90%)    
•    Deadline final version of the HBO BA thesis: 1 December 2020    
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021    
•    Only 1 course (6 EC) of the integrated programme may be left open at the start of the master’s programme

We strongly advise students to do everything possible to complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme before the end of this academic year. The study load makes it very difficult to complete missing courses while on an intensive Master’s programme.

All students who enroll on the basis of the “zachte knip” will be invited by the academic advisor and will be assigned a mentor, who will have a finger on the pulse for the completion of the Bachelor's degree. 

Request exceptional admission
Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August. You can do this by completing and submitting the form for exceptional admission to a Master’s programme.

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

Direct admission to the Master's programme is possible with a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Culture, Linguistics, and Communication and Information Studies from VU Amsterdam. Applications from students with equivalent Bachelor's degrees from other universities in the Netherlands have to be submitted to the Admission Board for assessment.

If you have a Bachelor's degree in another subject, the Admission Board will decide what subjects you will be required to take in preparation for the Master’s programme. Depending on the number of subjects you have to take, you will either have to register for and complete the Bachelor's programme or you will be permitted to register for the pre-Master's course (one year maximum).

Application
Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree can apply via Studielink before July 1st for the Master's programme Multimodal Communication under the label Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen (Communication and Information Studies).

After you have applied for the master in Studielink, you will receive within two days emails with your login details for VUnet (VU studentportal). Please complete your application in VUnet . Don’t forget to fill in your specialization on VUnet : Multimodal Communication.

During this step you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Transcript of records (scan from original)
  • Course descriptions (i.e. for courses related to the discipline of the Master, and for courses on general academic skills)
  • List of literature (the most important literature used for the courses)
  • CV

Please prepare these documents before you're going to complete your application in VUnet!

Please note: students of the Faculty of Humanities at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam do NOT need to upload these documents.

Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink.

Contact

Questions?
For more information on the programme, contact prof. dr. Alan Cienki  

Master's Event
Meet us at the next Master's Event!

International students

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor's before Master's rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

In April a nationwide decision was taken to abandon the so-called “harde knip” because of corona and to formulate alternative requirements for admission to master’s programmes. For this reason, and following general VU guidelines, the Humanities Faculty has opted for a smoother transition. Find out what this means for you below. Please note: if you are a non-EEA student, the Bachelor's before Master's rule does still apply.

International students EEA      
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 90%    
•    Deadline final version of the thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021     
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme     

International students non-EEA who are currently enrolled in a VU bachelor’s programme     
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 90% (162 EC)     
•    Deadline final version of the BA thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021     

We strongly advise students to do everything possible to complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme before the end of this academic year. The study load makes it very difficult to complete missing courses while on an intensive Master’s programme.

All students who enroll on the basis of the “zachte knip” will be invited by the academic advisor and will be assigned a mentor, who will have a finger on the pulse for the completion of the Bachelor's degree.

Admission and application

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. If you have read the admission criteria below and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria
In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.

Students are eligible for admission to the Multimodal Communication programme with a Bachelor’s degree in English, Linguistics or Language and Communication. If you have not studied English, Linguistics or Language and Communication, you will only be eligible if your Bachelor’s degree has a strong linguistic component. We will assess your previous education at course level to decide whether you have completed a sufficient number of linguistics courses.

Your suitability will be assessed on not only the basis of your previous education, but also on your motivation for this specific programme. Be sure to elaborate on your interest in multimodal communication in particular.

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a  full high school/International Baccalaureate in English or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. You can already apply online without having the test results. In case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:
  • TOEFL score (score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).
  • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).   
  • Cambridge English : Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C.

Please refer to the Admission and language requirements page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education and a list of all the main literature

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information:
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

Programme
For more information on the programme, contact prof. dr. Alan Cienki  (E-mail: a.cienki@vu.nl).

Application
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:

Irena Paap
T: +31 20 59 85252
E:masters.hum@vu.nl

Information days
Meet us in Amsterdam!

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor's before Master's rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

In April a nationwide decision was taken to abandon the so-called “harde knip” because of corona and to formulate alternative requirements for admission to master’s programmes. For this reason, and following general VU guidelines, the Humanities Faculty has opted for a smoother transition. Find out what this means for you below. Please note: if you are a non-EEA student, the Bachelor's before Master's rule does still apply.

International students EEA      
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 90%    
•    Deadline final version of the thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021     
•    The Statistics course must be completed before the start of the master's programme     

International students non-EEA who are currently enrolled in a VU bachelor’s programme     
•    Minimum percentage of EC’s: 90% (162 EC)     
•    Deadline final version of the BA thesis: 1 December 2020     
•    Deadline for completion of other Bachelor’s courses: 15 July 2021     

We strongly advise students to do everything possible to complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme before the end of this academic year. The study load makes it very difficult to complete missing courses while on an intensive Master’s programme.

All students who enroll on the basis of the “zachte knip” will be invited by the academic advisor and will be assigned a mentor, who will have a finger on the pulse for the completion of the Bachelor's degree.

Admission and application

Due to the corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this master programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection 'Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s'.

Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. If you have read the admission criteria below and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria
In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.

Students are eligible for admission to the Multimodal Communication programme with a Bachelor’s degree in English, Linguistics or Language and Communication. If you have not studied English, Linguistics or Language and Communication, you will only be eligible if your Bachelor’s degree has a strong linguistic component. We will assess your previous education at course level to decide whether you have completed a sufficient number of linguistics courses.

Your suitability will be assessed on not only the basis of your previous education, but also on your motivation for this specific programme. Be sure to elaborate on your interest in multimodal communication in particular.

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a  full high school/International Baccalaureate in English or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. You can already apply online without having the test results. In case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:
  • TOEFL score (score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).
  • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).   
  • Cambridge English : Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C.

Please refer to the Admission and language requirements page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education and a list of all the main literature

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information:
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

Programme
For more information on the programme, contact prof. dr. Alan Cienki  (E-mail: a.cienki@vu.nl).

Application
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:

Irena Paap
T: +31 20 59 85252
E:masters.hum@vu.nl

Information days
Meet us in Amsterdam!

Overview Communication and Information Studies: Multimodal Communication

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 July for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April for non-EU-students.

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Language and Communication

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