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MSc Applied Communication Science

Course Description

MSc Applied Communication Science

If you are interested in the use of communication to improve the quality of life, then Wageningen is the place to be! In the MSc programme Applied Communication Science students learn to integrate communication science with problem solving and innovation in the domain of the life sciences, such as nature, environment, water, nutrition and health, biotechnology and food production. Not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole world!

Programme summary

In this programme students learn to analyse and critically reflect on the role of communication in complex dynamic processes. They also learn to design communication strategies and programmes that are relevant to societal problem solving and innovation.


There are two specialisations that students can choose from:

Communication in Innovation
Students learn to analyse and strategically apply communication to deal with current societal issues, problems and challenges in life science domains such as nature conservation, nutrition and health, water management, environment and food production. Our students are trained to adopt an integrative approach that involves social science and technical innovations, fulfilling an intermediary role to enhance multidisciplinarity and interactive cooperation.

Communication is a basic element of change. Complex processes of change involve different perspectives and perceptions of the various people involved. Societal processes like climate change, poverty, disease or ecological degradation require appropriate solutions that integrate insights from all kinds of disciplines and stakeholders. Opportunities for enhancing mutual understanding and collaboration between science disciplines and society are explored. Special attention is paid to everyday life situations and how people actively deal with common issues related to the domains of the life sciences. There are no pre-defined thesis tracks.

Students compile their own thesis tracks by choosing, besides the compulsory communication science courses, a combination of closely linked courses; including a minor in a life sciences domain. An internship introduces students to professional practice. The major thesis allows them to become experts in a specific area within communication that is closely linked to their personal interests and future career.

In the thesis track of their choice, students link Communication Science to, for example, Nature Conservation, Nutrition and Health, Animal Production Systems, Ecology and Environment, Forestry and Rural Development, Land Use Planning, Organic Agriculture, Product Design and Quality Management, Food Technology or Water Management.

Health and Society
More information on this specialisation is available here: http://www.findamasters.com/search/masters-degree/i883d5908c20425/msc-health-and-society-specialisation

Your future career

Graduates are specialised in building bridges between various stakeholders, such as governments and citizens or laymen and experts. They work for communication consultancy organisations, government departments, hospitals, development agencies, commercial organisations, media and institutes of knowledge. Career prospects are: communication consultant (advising organisations on how to improve their communication processes); policymaker (formulating policy in cooperation with groups in society); process facilitator (managing conflict, negotiation and change); communication manager (organising internal and external communication processes of an organisation); project manager (managing the communication and collaboration between parties throughout the entire project lifespan); journalist (making scientific knowledge accessible to a broader public); communication researcher (making a systematic analysis of a communication issue).

Alumna Bette Harms.
"At 'International Union for Conservation of Nature' (IUCN) I am part of a booming platform called 'Leaders for Nature' where over twenty multinationals meet and learn to incorporate natural capital into their core business processes. I am the coordinator of the Leaders for Nature Academy where I develop and deliver training models to our network members. In my daily job I actively seek to develop cooperation between Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's), the government and private sector. The Master Applied Communication Science has given me the capacity to translate ecology into valuable and understandable knowledge for a range of professionals working in the private sector."

Related programmes:
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Development and Rural Innovation
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies

Visit the MSc Applied Communication Science page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Enrolment in a MSc Programme at Wageningen University requires: A BSc degree (or equivalent) in a field of science relevant to your selected programme +A Grade Point Average (GPA) for this BSc of at least 70% of the maximum grade +Fluency in English, both written and spoken +Good skills in mathematics and/or statistics + Basic computer skills (Microsoft Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook; use and structure of the Internet; RSI-prevention)

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