COURSE DESCRIPTION
(For reference only)


注:科目簡介只有英文版

COMM7010 Foundations of Communication Study

This course offers a survey of the variety of theories and issues in communication in a systematic fashion and from a historical perspective, with a focus on those theories and issues that bear strong implications for the present situations of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China.  This course seeks to:

COMM7020 Approaches and Methods in Communication Research

This course is intended to be a lab where students can execute their critical thinking and creative abilities in exploring the fascinating world of mass communication research. While the main purpose is to expose students to the fundamentals of social scientific research methods and to familiarize them with a variety of research techniques in mass communication research that are useful to media professionals (e.g., surveys, experiments, content analyses), students will also be encouraged or required to critically evaluate published research articles and creatively design their own research project.

COMM7030 Perspectives on Media & Society

The purpose of this course is to explore and discuss the relationship between the media and society. The course is organized by an analytical framework which examines the media from textual, institutional, medium and audience approaches. Various theoretical perspectives such as critical studies, social constructionism, medium theory and cultural studies will be introduced to examine the interaction between the media and society. The course aims at not only enhancing students’ theoretical understanding about the subject matter but also cultivating their skills of analyzing media influence in social life.

COMM7040 Issues in Intercultural Communication

This course is an introduction to and survey of the broad area of international and intercultural communication. Students will learn to develop their critical thinking skills through class discussion and the reading/writing assignments. The first half of the course focuses on international communication issues, including the Western media system, press freedom, the influence of new media in the globalization of communication, and transnational advertising and public relations.  The second half of the course is devoted to intercultural communication topics. With an increase in awareness and understanding of the similarities and differences among different cultural values, students will broaden their worldview and be a better intercultural communicator. Students will be expected to interact with a person from a different culture throughout the semester.

COMM7050 Media and Communication in Chinese Societies

This course aims at expanding students’ knowledge on the evolution of media and communication in contemporary Chinese societies. Close examination of some important events and major characteristics of the news media will enable students to understand the impact of these events which changed people’s perspectives about their societies and about themselves. Analysis on the role of the news media in specific events and the interplay between “the information provider” and “the information receiver” will help students to gain a profound understanding of the unique political, economic, and social dynamics in the Greater China Region.

COMM7060 Issues in Corporate Communication

This course introduces graduate-level critical thinking about the integrated nature of internal and external communications in the contemporary organization. Asian and western organizational theories and the role communication plays within them are offered at the outset. Students then explore a variety of organizational structures and the kinds and volumes of information that flow in all directions bringing life to the organization.

A major focus of the subject is on managerial communication in the Asian organization. Students investigate the importance of communication in carrying out motivation, leadership, team-building and the notions of quality and organizational change. The fundamental relationships of the organization to its external and internal environments and audiences are carefully observed with emphases on understanding, developing and applying communication strategies that attend to competitive advantages, organizational image and “handling issues”, crises and opportunities. The increasing impact of information technology on organizational communication is also assessed with regard to re-engineering, quality management and integrated marketing communication. The notion followed is that tomorrow’s business paradigm is not today’s business as usual.

COMM7130 Globalization of Media & Communication

Since the beginning of the 1990s “globalization” has become an increasingly important paradigm in social science fields. This resonates with the on-going process of globalizing culture and communications. The subject examines the issue systematically, covering a wide range of topics in the framework of globalization, and provides students with a better understanding of the recurring themes and current trends in global communication.

COMM7160 Organizational Communication

The course will examine how communication functions within organizations and how communication behaviors can be managed to improve employer-employee relationships, employee-employee relationships, organizational efficiency, etc. Different theories, concepts, approaches, issues and processes of organization will be discussed and evaluated. The application of current theories and research findings in organizational analysis, diagnosis, and training will be emphasized.

COMM7170 Communication Campaign Workshop

This course aims to provide a framework for students to understand the skills and knowledge needed for the strategic planning of communication campaigns by integrating various elements in public relations, advertising and social media. The objective is to develop students’ capability to execute communication campaigns by working with professionals of different roles and functions in the industry.

COMM7180 Media Law & Ethics

Through the examination and analysis of legislation, case law and media practices, this subject lets journalists and would-be journalists know of the rights they are entitled to and the restrictions and pitfalls they face in their daily newsgathering and reporting activities. It also trains students to understand the importance of protecting and promoting media freedom while respecting the dignity and rights of others.

COMM7190 Issues and Cases in Mass Communication

This course aims to help students acquire up-to-date knowledge on eleven key aspects of journalistic practice and relevant theories. Existing theoretical propositions, evidence, and practices with regard to these aspects will be explored in depth. Comparisons of the roles and functions of routine media practices in different social, political and economic environments are also subject to close scrutiny. The objective of the course is to familiarize students with current issues and cases in the field of mass communication.

COMM7200 New Media Workshop

The course introduces students to new media, with particular focus on multimedia, social media and the internet. The first part of the subject examines the influence of new media technology on communication and social change. Through lectures, discussions, presentations and practical sessions, students learn how to make the best use of the latest communication tools to solve communication problems. Lab sessions are incorporated into the subject to give students hands-on experience.

COMM7210 Project

The Project allows students the opportunity to describe and analyze communication issues by applying various perspectives and skills they have learned in their coursework. Preparing the Project enables them to integrate diverse sources of information and develop critical thinking through the process of constructing ideas and gathering, organising and analysing massive data.  Completion of the Project serves a central role in showcasing the student’s ability to organize knowledge, structure argument, provide evidence and present results within a single piece of research work.

COMM7220 Advertising Management

The course aims to help students understand the managerial and decision-making processes of advertising. Its objective is to develop students’ ability to analyse market and competitive environments, and to develop and present advertising solutions. The application of theories to analyse China and Hong Kong market situations will be emphasized.

COMM7230 Writing for Multimedia in Public Relations

This course provides instruction and writing practice designed to develop the professional-level writing skills expected of public relations practitioners, emphasizing the multimedia approaches required for different audiences and media.” This class will be consist of an introductory section where we will “talk about writing”, followed by a practical section where we will simply write.

COMM7240 Media Markets

This course introduces basic concepts, theories and practices that operate in media markets, and the firms that operate within these markets. The course examines market structures, technologies, regulations, firm interactions (competition and cooperation, especially as codified in contracts), and sociocultural forces at work in media industries. By examining this range of factors and their interactions, students will become better informed and more capable in understanding the decisions that managers make within media firms. Accordingly, the course is aimed to achieve the following:

  1. to provide a basic understanding of media firms as business entities operating in a market where multiple forces interact;
  2. to equip students with the analytical tools to interpret the aforementioned forces and phenomena at work in media markets;
  3. to enhance students’ knowledge of the media markets in both Hong Kong and mainland China.

COMM7250 Strategic Public Relations & Crisis Management

This course will not only examine communication in crises but show what we can do to prevent or minimize the impacts of such crises. Important concepts of strategic management of public relations, issues management, risk communication, activism, crisis communication principles and crisis communication in both traditional and new media will be covered. Local and overseas cases will be incorporated to teach students how to deal with crises in real situations. Different methods and approaches for resolving different types of crisis will be discussed, showing how for example prevention and resolution of a natural crisis and a confrontational crisis should be different, with the former emphasizing in the region’s infrastructure and the latter highlighting the human context of a conflict. As a result, students will not only study and analyze the communication tools for a crisis but discuss an organization’s management. This subject is a multiple-disciplinary course that helps students integrate the knowledge from communication, sociology, psychology and management in dealing crises with complicated contexts.

COMM7270 Media Policies and Regulations

This course discusses the structural constraints as well as the legal and ethical regulations of media operation. The politics of media policy formation, such as political systems, geographical location and socio-economic factors, will be analyzed. The focus is on the current situation in pan-Chinese society within a globalized world context.

COMM7280 Communication Technologies & Media Organizations

The course introduces students to application and impacts of communication technologies with a focus on new media, particularly multimedia and the Internet. It discusses the theoretical aspects of impacts of media technologies on human communication and communication organization, and on social change. Students will learn to evaluate and apply the latest communication technologies to the development and management of media organizations.

COMM7300 Consumer Insights

This course studies how an understanding of consumer behavior informs the development and implementation of communication campaigns in Hong Kong and Asia. It examines the consumer decision-making process and how it varies for different types of purchases; the psychological processes involved, including the consumer learning process; and external factors such as culture, social class, group influences and situational determinants.  Global consumer issues including the effects of social networks and consumer activism on companies’ communication strategies will be examined. Application of current theories and research findings in cross-cultural consumer studies will be emphasized.

COMM7310 International Advertising

The course will help students understand the challenges and difficulties in designing and implementing advertising across different countries and societies. Students will learn about the issues of centralization versus decentralization and standardization versus localization.  They will also learn practical issues such as regulation considerations and social responsibility of international advertising agencies. As an institution, business and industry, advertising has been a major force shaping the worldwide drive toward globalization. This subject is designed to enhance students’ understanding of advertising in the fast-changing global environment and assist them in developing skills necessary to plan and implement international advertising programs.

COMM7510 Public Administration and the Media

The course examines the different perspectives on the relationship between public administration and mass media in a modern society. Media factors affecting or facilitating public administration will be discussed. Cases concerning media-administration relationships and crisis management will be analyzed in the light of local (Hong Kong) and Mainland China settings.

COMM7550 Advertising in China

The course will help students understand the challenges in planning and implementing an advertising strategy in China. Specifically, students will develop the ability to analyze the dynamic and diverse market environment in China and to strategically plan and implement advertising solutions there. Issues relevant to developing advertising solutions in China will be discussed, such as understanding its market structure, culture, consumption patterns, branding issues in international and local business, as well as the opportunities and challenges brought on by the new media. Being an institution, business and industry, advertising has been a major force shaping market development in China. The course is designed to enhance the students’ understanding of the fast-changing market environment there and to assist them in developing the strategic thinking and skills necessary to plan and implement advertising programs.

COMM7560 Political Communication and Public Opinion

The course introduces various aspects of political communication in modern society. It attempts to acquaint students with studies of the nature of news media coverage of politics, the effects of news coverage on the public and policy, and the relationship between news media and policy makers. A good part of the course is devoted to political communication in the digital context.

COMM7570 Youth, Media and Consumption

Young people are a global market for products, services and ideas. “Youth” is defined as the population aged between 15 and 24. This course aims to equip students with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about marketing to young people or to weigh suggestions made about limiting marketing to “youth”. The Course will examine the interplay of the youth segment and the market environment. Based on research evidence, students will identify issues related to youth and media usage, and the roles of personal as well as marketing communication on youth consumption.

COMM7580 Social Media Marketing

The advent of social media and mobile media devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is rapidly changing human interaction, including business models. Millions of people worldwide are living much of their lives on SNS, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blog, YouTube and LinkedIn in the United States, and Renren, Weibo in China. Global Internet users spent more than one fifth of online time on social network sites or blogs. The trend exemplifies that human interaction, including business environment, has being deeply transformed by social media.  This course seeks to address the following four key questions:

  1. What are social media, and how do they transform business models?
  2. What platforms and opportunities do social media provide for business, big or small?
  3. How to analyze and develop social media marketing strategies?
  4. How to cultivate yourself to become a social media researcher and strategist?

COMM7610 Social Services Marketing and Communication

This course investigates the practices and challenges of government or government-related organizations as well as non-profit organizations in the communication of social causes and the marketing of social innovations. The course discusses the characteristics of social services marketing, the design and implementation of social innovations and social entrepreneurship, the strategic marketing communication tools, and the evaluation of marketing communication efforts.

COMM7620 Social Media and Online Social Networks

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the practical applications and the theoretical implications of social media-related technologies. The course is grounded in practice, and students will be required to participate in social networks, forums, Facebook, wikis, micro¬blogs, and more. We will examine their economic, social, and cultural implications, and cover some of the latest developments in the social media area. We will also explore techniques for collecting and analyzing social media data.

COMM7630 Qualitative Research Methods

The course is intended to teach students how qualitative research fits into the social sciences and in particular into Media / Communication Studies, and to enable them to conduct such research on their own. The course will cover the philosophical and ethical grounding of qualitative research, provide an analysis of individual qualitative research methods, and allow the students to practice these methods to prepare them for their own research projects.

COMM7640 Introduction to the Chinese Internet

This course is designed to introduce how the adoption of the internet affects Chinese society at individual, interpersonal, group, and community levels. It will cover multiple perspectives that account for communication processes altered by the rapid development and penetration of the internet in China. Various topics will be covered in this course, including interpersonal relationships, online movements, media convergence, public relations, health communication, and digital societies. Attention will be paid to discussion on distinctive features of the Chinese internet and general patterns of technologically mediated communication. From reading and discussing scholarly work on Chinese internet and theories of computer mediated communication, students will be able to examine how social and technological processes shape the consequences of internet adoption in China. Practical implications will also be discussed through evaluating and critiquing product designs as well as investigations of user experience..

COMM7650 Introduction to Social Science Theories

This subject will provide students with a grounding in Social Science Theory. They will develop an in-depth understanding of the major strands of social theories, and of their importance and effect on the conduct of research in Media or Communication Studies. The course will focus on the emergence of different theories from specific contexts and communities, and provide students with an overview over their use in research. Students will study the advantages and disadvantages of the application of such theoretical constructs as Functionalism, Marxism, Interactionism, Postmodernism, Feminism, Behaviourism, Phenomenology. Students are expected to engage in critical appraisals and appreciation of theoretical and meta-theoretical issues and debates in social science, with particular reference to investigating the nature of understanding, the relationship between theory and research, the micro and macro link, and the relationship between theory and praxis in Media and Communication research.

COMM7660 Qualitative Research Methods

The course is intended to teach students how qualitative research fits into the social sciences and in particular into Media / Communication Studies, and to enable them to conduct such research on their own. The course will cover the philosophical and ethical grounding of qualitative research, provide an analysis of individual qualitative research methods, and allow the students to practice these methods to prepare them for their own research projects.

COMM7750 Using Social Networks: For Communications Professional

The course introduces the science and theory of social networks, and the artful process of communicating through them. Social networks refer to the collective structure of human relationships through which we communicate. Recognizing and understanding this relationship-based structure is essential for crafting a communications strategy. Operative strategies can be developed for quickly getting a message to a target audience or thoroughly harvesting messages from them, be it through word-of-mouth, traditional media channels, or through new media technology. The communications professional must be skillfully adept at assessing the social structure of a target group and evaluating the influence specific individuals have within the structure.

COMM7760 Advertising and Society

This course provides an in-depth examination of advertising as a form of social communication in contemporary society. The course focuses on the meanings and functions of marketing communication in modern culture and the psychological, ideological, and sociological implications of advertising and other promotional tools. Relevant ethical dimension and responsibilities would also be discussed.

COMM7770 Data Visualization

This course will introduce students to the field of data visualization. Students will 1) learn basic visualization design and evaluation principles, 2) be tutored on how to find and download datasets of interests, and 3) develop programming skills to create a good variety of common charts for effective data exploration and visualization. By the end of the semester, students are expected to become educated critiques of data visualization and comfortable programmers who are able to acquire, explore and visualize large datasets. They will also become familiar with the self-learning resources on R to continue to sharpen their skills beyond this course.

COMM7780 Big Data Analytics for Media and Communication

This course aims to introduce the fundamental knowledge and hands-on skills of big data analytics in the field of media and communication. Special focus will be placed on techniques for searching, collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing data. Technical details include, but not limited to, web crawling, data storage, data analysis, text mining, social network analysis, and data visualization, based on open source software packages. Through a variety of teaching learning activities, such as class demonstrations, individual exercises, quizzes, collaborative projects, and guest lectures, by the end of the semester, students are expected to become capable to collect big data from different data sources, i.e., social media harvesting, web scraping, online archiving or indexing data retrieving, with open source software packages. Students are also expected to produce socially, culturally, or commercially meaningful data-driven narrative outputs, such as data-driven journalistic report, data visualization, data-driven business analysis, and computational social science research reports. Meanwhile, critical reflection on the overuse and abuse of big data and relevant ethical and legal controversies will be discussed throughout the semester as well.

COMM7790 Communication and Technology

This course is designed to introduce theories and evidence that describe and explain how technologies affect communication occurs at individual, interpersonal, group, and community levels. It will cover multiple perspectives that account for communication processes involving technologies. Students will be exposed to research on communication technologies in interpersonal relationships, online groups, political movements, business practices, and health contexts. Practical implications will also be discussed through evaluating and critiquing designs of communication technologies.

COMM7800 New Media Design & Communication

The aims of this course include teaching students the required design (e.g., user interface design and user experience design), prototype creating, usability research, and students will also be taught critical thinking and analysis skills to understand how well designed new media, in reverse, affect human communication and interaction. At the end of the semester, students will create dynamic and interactive projects (mobile app prototypes) by they own. This course positions the students for a broader scope of career in interactive, and user experience design for the digital marketing, mobile, entertainment and corporate design.

COMM7810 Branding

This course is built upon the experience and the knowledge gained from creating world class brands and through an in-depth mastery of brand positioning. Knowledge gained in this course can be put to use immediately and has the potential to greatly improve the student’s success globally, particularly in China, as the country moves from a manufacturing-centric economy to a consumer- centric economy.

COMM7820 Privacy, Data Protection, and Surveillance in the Communication and Media Context

This course explores two prominent aspects of the big data age and the social media era – rising privacy concerns of citizens and increasing surveillance threats posed to them. Basic concepts, key historical developments and emerging issues of privacy, data protection, and surveillance, and their impact on communication and media operations will be examined. Case studies from Europe, the United States, and Greater China are enlisted to highlight the interplay of advances in communication technologies, rights and freedoms of citizens, economic interests of media enterprises, and laws and policies of governments.

COMM7830 Media Communications and Psychology

This course aims to discover and examine how individuals interact with media on the psychological level. Through exploring (1) media users’ motivations, (2) media processing theories, as well as (3) media effects, this course provides students with an overview of both the theories and methods in the field. In addition, students will go through the complete process of designing and conducting a media psychology study, and apply their findings to solve real-life issues. Topics such as human-computer interactions (HCI) and user experience (UX) will also be covered.

COMM7840 Algorithmic Culture

The course aims to offer students the latest knowledge as well as critical and reflective perspectives on how “algorithm,” i.e., a finite sequence of rules operating on some input yielding some output after a finite number of step for computer programmes, are shaping, and shaped by, humans’ culture and society. Algorithmic culture is defined as the extent to which people, places, objects, and ideas are ranked, classified, and hierarchized by algorithm-based computational processes. Nowadays algorithm is a crucial component in all aspects of digital communication practice, such as recommender systems, search engines, social media bots, automated content generation systems, immersive media such as virtual reality and augmented reality, and AI-assisted news production systems. This course interrogates how these algorithm-driven media technologies are casting cultural, social, and political impacts on the society, and aims to reveal the power and control hidden behind the algorithmic systems. Special focus will be placed on an array of highly controversial and timely topics, such as the algorithmic discrimination on gender and race, algorithm-confounded cultural values and tastes, censorship, political ideologies, and identities.

COMM7850 Qualitative Research Methods

This course approaches the objective from two folds: For Technology and By Technology. It is highly likely the students will report technology company, event and trend upon graduation. Or they may be PR specialists for a technology company. The duly acquired knowledge about the latest technology from this course can make them more accurate and more confident in the communication process. This is the "for technology" part of this course. Once the students become technology literate, they can create new product, new business model and new workflow, with the help of the new technology. This is the "by technology" part of this course. With the two folds exercises, we expect the students to be serious thinkers and thought leaders in the changing world, not only understanding technology and its influence on communication, but also constantly reflecting the power, its misuse and social implications.

COMM7860 Communicating Data

This course is not just about dreary numbers or dull statistics. The aim of the course is to nurture communication workers with necessary data literacy at its core through case studies and hands-on practice of data skills. Throughout the course, students will learn how to work with data, including finding data, identifying and evaluating data, analysing data, visualizing data, and reporting data. Students will end the semester by producing data-based projects via a concrete process of conceptualization and realization of data for a specific topic of interest.

COMM7870 Deceptive Communication

The course provides insights about perspectives on lying and deception, truth and knowledge, by teaching the science, motivation, and evidence of deception formation process and techniques in various human interactive situations. Key concepts, theories, research findings and ethics of conduct will be taught and discussed for students to form realistic expectations and come up with solutions when countering deception in daily life and the media.

COMM7880 Advanced Quantitative Communication Research Methods

Effective communication is data-driven. This course advance students’ knowledge and understanding of quantitative methods for their communication research projects upon graduation. This course will help students develop the research skills through practices in quantitative research design, implementation, analysis, and result reporting and discussion. Students will learn the most commonly used quantitative and computational methods in communication science – content analysis, surveys, experiment, big data analysis – and gain experience with data analyses.

COMM7890 Communication Research Thesis

This course engages the student in independent research. Under the guidance of the adviser, students generate a research idea, contextualize it within the current literature, collect and analyze research data, and cogently present the work in a well-documented research report. This course allows students the opportunity to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills acquired throughout the MA study to systematically and critically analyze a communication issue. Completion of the course serves a central role in showcasing the student's ability to organize knowledge, structure argument, provide evidence and present results within a single piece of work.

COMM7900 Media Convergence: Theory and Practice

Media convergence is a relatively new phenomenon in the evolution of communication technology. Similar to other forms of modern-day information dissemination, media convergence is not merely a phase in technological advancement. Rather, it is immersed in cultural, social and political reality in people’s immediate life space. Optimists and technological-determinists believe that the advanced technologies will transform the society and empower individuals in the democratic process. Yet, both critical scholars and empirical researchers contend that technology is the main source of new problems such as digital divide rather than a solution to social inequality. This course traces the trajectory of media convergence and reflects on its profound impact on the everyday life of the self, media industries, political systems, and academic research. The main micro- and macro-theoretical concepts include: multiplicity in social media self-presentation, pseudo-community, interactivity, multi-mediality and cyber identity, platformization and regulation, new news value and media routines, online materiality,the network society, digital labor and digital divide.


注:科目簡介只有英文版