Riga Stradiņš University Faculty of Communication Department of Communication Studies Academic Master Study Programme



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Riga Stradiņš University


Faculty of Communication


Department of Communication Studies

Academic Master Study Programme


Communication

for the Social Science Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Science



(code 45321)


Materials attached to the accreditation application

The Contents


Introduction

I. THE SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT OF THE ACADEMIC MASTER‘S STUDY PROGRAMME „COMMUNICATION“ 7

1.1. The goals and aims of the programme 8


1.2. The structure and organization of the programme 9

1.3. Synopsis of the study programme description 13
1.4. Assesment of learning 16

1.5. Practical implementation of the study programme (training forms and methods)

18

1.6. Assesment of the study programme perspective 18



1.6.1. Assesment of the programme according to the standards of

academic education 18

1.6.2. Prognoses of the employment of the graduates of the programme

for next six years 19

1.7. Students 19

1.7.1. Number of students 19
1.7.2. Number of the first year students 19
1.7.3. Number of the graduates 19
1.7.4. Student surveys and survey analysis 20

1.7.5. Polls of the graduates and analysis 20

1.7.6. Participation of the students in the improvement of the study process 20

1.8.Academic and administrative staff of the study programme 21

1.8.1. The qualification and professionalism of the academic staff 21
1.8.2. The research work of the academic staff 24
1.8.3. Professional adequacy of the professors and associate professors
on the programme 27
1.8.4. The policy of selection, rejuvenation, training and development
of the academic teaching staff for further six years 28
1.9. Funding of the studies and infrastructure 28

1.10. External relations 29

1.10.1. Cooperation with the employers. 29

1.10.2. Cooperation with other higher educational institutions

implementing similar programme in Latvia and abroad 29

1.11. Plan of the programme development 29

1.12. SWOT analysis of the programme 30


2. THE ASSESSMENT OF THE ACADEMIC MASTER‘S STUDY PROGRAMME „COMMUNICATION“ IN THE CONTEXT OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 31

2.1. The Prospective Assessment of the Academic Master‘s Study Programme

„Communication“ in the Context of the National Interests of Latvia 31

2.2. The Assessment of Conformity to the Specifications of the National Academic

Education Standard 32

2.3.The Comparison of the Academic Master‘s Study Programme „Communication“

with Similar Programmes at other Universities 35

2.3.1. The comparison with the LU Master‘s study programme

„Communication Sciences“ 35

2.3.2. The comparison with other foreign university programmes 37

2.3.2.1. The Westminster University, in the United Kingdom

of Great Britain 37

2.3.2.2. The Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom

of Great Britain 37

2.3.2.3. The Vilnius University in Lithuania (Vilniaus universitetas) 38

2.3.2.4. The Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania]

(Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas) 38

2.3.2.5. Summary 39


3. DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF THE STUDY PROGRAMME 42

4. APPENDIXES 43

4.1. Information approving that at least 50% from the elected academic staff work in

the university and that at least 50% from the elected academic staff at the university

have a PhD degree 44

4.2. CURRICULA VITAE of the academic staff involved in the realization of the programme 45

4.3.Syllabuses of the study courses 115

4.4. Diploma and the example of its appendix 175

4.5. Content of the academical master study programme „Communication“ 180

4.6. List of the academic staff 182

4.7. The decision of the Commission of the Licences of Higher Education

Programmes from February, 1st, 2007 184

4.8. Evaluation form of the teaching staff 185

4.9. List of the courses of the academic master study programme „Communication“

of the Faculty of Communication, RSU, 1st and 2nd study year 186




INTRODUCTION
The Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ has been developped in concordance with the Higher Education Law of the Latvian Republic, The Higher School Accreditation Regulations no.370, issued by the Cabinet of Ministers on the 28th November,1995 and the State Higher Education Standard Requirements..

The Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ has been developped at the Faculty of Communication (further CF) of the Riga Stradins University (further RSU) with regard to the topical problems of public communication, strategic tasks connected with the development of the state and the prospects of the labour market in the context of the development of the social, political and economic environment in the EU and Latvia, such as:

1) the decisive role of various levels and kinds of communication processes in the formation of civic and democratic society in Latvia;

2) the development of new information and communication technologies and new, global means of communication;

3) the challenges of information society in the context of the social problems and education;

4) the specifically outstanding role of mass communication in modern society and culture;

5) the significance and role of communication in the boosting of the local market and entrepreneurship;

and sveral other aspects of the modern social life.


Thus, the Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ at RSU has been created:

- with the awareness of the changing communication processes being behind the changes in all the realms of contemporary society;

- awareness that the lack of education, knowledge and information about communication deepens social, political and economic problems in Latvia

- with the aim to offer an integrated, innovative, flexible and profound study package responding to the challenges of the changing modern world in need of the education of skillful and able, highly qualified, competent and competitive communication specialists ready to work in the fields of public relations, journalism, communiation research, analysis and prognosticating in Latvia and the other European Union countries.

As Latvia has undergone transformation in social, economic and political life within last 20 years, communication processes, especially the field of mass communication have also been changing cardinally. The introduction of private property and the principles of market economics in the media system together with the changes in the basic principles of journalism and the expansion of public relations and advertising, the development of civil society and civic consciousness as well as the corrections caused by globalisation and the development of the new technologies have absolutely changed both the functioning, peculiarities and etiology of the public sphere. The personal lives, daily habits, traditions and culture of the civil population have also been modified beyond recognition.

Even if some of the realms of life have started stabilising recently, the dynamics of various domains of communications and culture are still very prominent, so it attracts special interest. This interest is evident every academic year in the growing numbers of applicants for communications studies in different higher schools of Latvia .
The interest is supported by continuous emergence of new communications study programmes. For all that, media and communications research work is not sufficiently developed. There is not enough longitudional research and such as there is lacks systematic approach. Thus, the short-term campaign-type approach that is evident in many other realms of social life has been applied to communications research as well. Communications field practitioners, media managers and professionals, public relations specialists, members of state administration and non-governmental organisations have often discussed this problem with media research specialists, including the lecturers and students of the Department of Communication Studies of the RSU. They praise the scientific research work that has been done as well as that which is going on at the RSU and follow it with interest.

We still do not have enough of flexible communications research specialists, neither analysts, nor prognosticists that would be able to specificate the fast changing environment. Such specialists should have both fundamentally profound theoretical knowledge and vision. Besides that they should be interested and willing to work in the field of communications and formulate and present their ideas clearly and convincingly. The Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ at the RSU envisages training of just such specialists. It being the priority, education of the new generation of brilliant research scientists and lecturers is not forgotten either, to ensure the sustainability and development of the environment of academic research and discourse in the field of communications sciences.

In the present polical and economics situation in Latvia along with Latvia joining the European Union strategic development, globalization, digitalization, still existing two information areas, not to be avoided in the context of the formation of new social communities and networks, the practitioners of the media and communications fields are facing the following new challenges:

1) to have a good knowledge of the specifics of inercultural and global communications;

2) to be aware of the social processes and innovations following and learning flexibly the evolving communications areas, forms and means;

3) to be able to grasp the changes without delay, reacting by modification of morality norms and rules of ethics;

4)to boost the cooperation between practitioners and theoretitians( so that the cooperation benefits both sides) for reciprocal benefit;

5) to enhance longitudinal development and sustainable renewal of the teaching staff and the traditions of scientific research.

The contents, structure and specific character of the learning process of the Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ have been planned to train specialists that are enabled to achieve the above qualification and work in various fields of communications both nationally and internationally. They should also be aware of the significance of the field as well as their responsibility and accountability to the society.

The field of communications needs academically educated specialists, well skilled in the state of the art/cutting edge techniques, because most of the present-day practitioners working in journalism, public relations and communications analysis have either received dated knowledge or do not have any specialised education whatever. The specialists graduating from universities should improve the situation by using the knowledge acquired during studies.

The above considerations indicate the need for academically educated communications practitioners and theoreticians who could work for further development of communications as an academic science and enhance academic education of communications specialists in Latvia. The RSU Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ which has been developped for this purpose and is in its second year of being implemented is training such specialists along with a similar master’s programme at the Communications Department of the Social Science Faculty of the Latvian University. However, there are distinctions between those programmes both in the contents and structure, as well as in the forms of implementation.
In comparison with the full-time Academic Master‘s Study Programme „Communication“ which is taught at the Communications Study Department of the Social Science Faculty of the Latvian University, the Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ which is being implemented at the Communications Study Department of the CF of the RSU is more flexible and dynamic:

The Latvian University programme envisages more specific lengthy face-to face courses about communications with less ratio of students‘ independent work. than the RSU Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ which tries to balance the theoretical survey with practical analysis of situations. The module system ensures faster completition of separate study courses and more independent work of students with public analysis of the results of studies in the form of presentations and discussions at the conclusion of each course.

It should be observed that there are master’s programmes for training specialists in particular fields of communications at several other higher educational institutions, such as Vidzeme Higher School and Business School ‚‘ Turiba‘.

In the academic year 2008/2009, the Communications Study Department of the RSU also started implementing a new master’s study programme „ Strategic Management and Public Relations“.

In comparison with the above programmes the Academic Master‘s study programme „Communication“ at the Riga Stradins University provides extended and more profound communications studies concerning various modern aspects of communications, not only journalism, public relations or management.
There is a flexible curriculum and cutting edge methods of teaching.
The singularity of the programme is in one of its main priorities – the synthesis of academic knowledge and professional skills. It has been achieved by the improvement of the academic capacity of the teaching staff and inviting highly qualified specialists.



  1. SELF-ASSESMENT REPORT OF THE ACADEMIC MASTER STUDY PROGRAMME „COMMUNICATION“



for the Social Science Master Degree in the Information and Communication Sciences (code no 45321)

Department of Communication Studies

Faculty of Communication

Riga Stradins University
Riga, October 2008

Introduction

The academic year 2008/2009 at the Riga Stradiņš University marked a decade since the first matriculation of the Bachelor Programme students majoring in the Communication Sciences, in which there are two programmes: Journalism and Public Relations.

The survey data show that 30-40% of the graduates wish to upgrade for the Master’s degree, and most of them want to continue their studies at the RSU.

Consequently, to complete the cycle of Academic Communication Study Programmes the Academic Study Programme ‘Communication’ has been developed at the Communication Department of the RSU. Since Latvia joined the EU the demand for highly qualified specialists has been constantly growing, so the students’ desire to upgrade after getting the bachelor’s degree is natural.

The first students on this programme were enrolled in the academic year 2007/2008.

The ‘Communication’ study programme was developed according to the following three principles:



  1. The contents of the study programme is linked to the Bachelor Study Programmes ‘Journalism’ and ‘Public Relations’. It means that the master’s study programme is a logical continuation of the bachelor’s study programme. However, it does not repeat the bachelor’s study programme courses, but it widens and deepens the knowledge acquired on bachelor’s study programmes.




  1. The contents of the study programme deals with the topical problems of Latvian society and media environment. This means that the study subjects on the programme have been chosen with regard of the dynamic changes in the country determining multiple essential changes, such as social integration, the formation of civil society, the development of Latvia in the framework of the EU, social changes caused by development of media technology and so on. Specialists who not only know the theory, but also participate in research and are considered to be communication, public relations, media and advertising experts are taking part in the implementation of the academic programme ‘Communication’.




  1. The Academic Study Programme ‘Communication’ covers all the major aspects of the Master’s Degree level in the Information and Communication disciplines, thus it can be compared to the Master’s study programmes at other Latvian and foreign universities. However, it is not identical to those programmes.




    1. The goals and aims of the programme

The strategic aims of the academic master‘s study programme ‘Communication‘ is to ensure acquirement of more profound theoretical knowledge in the Information and Communication disciplines, as well as accomplishment of the knowledge, and training the skills in research methods for practical application in specific social problem research. The growing significance of communication in society and in the life of every individual, the consequent need for competent and reasoning communication specialists with wide world outlook, profound knowledge and accurate, analytical approach was being carefully considered in the compilation of the disciplines to be studied on the programme with the goal to educate such specialists.

To reach that goal the authors of the programme have attempted to find a specific creative and innovative approach both to the contents of the study programme and the courses as well as the methods of implementation of the study programme.

The emphasis throughout this study programme is on the development of presentation and discussion skills, training the art of argumentation and communication both with professionals and lay people.


The basic goal of the academic master’s study programme ‘Communication‘ is training the students for independent scientific research work by developing their knowledge in the theory of communication, the specialized branches linked to that theory, scientific research skills, as well as providing consultations and guidance in writing the papers for the Master’s Degree.
The targets of the Master’s Programme


    1. training of academically educated specialists in social sciences, capable to apply independently the acquired theoretical knowledge and draw on their research skills in solving issues on ad hoc basis;

    2. enhancing the competitive advantages of the new specialists both in the local and European labour markets, their competitive advantages being based on excellent theoretical knowledge and high skills in the analyses of communication, in the fields of the media, public relations and marketing;

    3. providing the cutting edge knowledge in communication theories and social research methods by concentrating on new theoretical ideas in research and original ways of solving topical communication problems in Latvia and other European countries;

    4. furthering the students interest about the topical social problems in Latvia and other European countries and the ways of solving those problems. .Motivation of such interest by .inviting outstanding research scientists from Latvia and foreign countries in the implementation of the programme as well as by involvement of the students in the research work of the department;

    5. developing creative critical thinking, proficiency in argumentation and substantiation of their viewpoint, thus enriching discussion skills on communication problems in different fields.

The study programme for the Master’s Degree ‘Communication’ has been developed according to the following principles:

1) taking into account the RSU Communication Study Department bachelor programmes ‘Journalism’ and ‘Public Relations’ contents and structure to proceed from those;

2) considering the master’s study programmes in communication science offered at other higher educational institutions of Latvia not to duplicate them, but considering the requirements;

3) analyzing the other European higher educational institution master’s study programmes in information and communication sciences;

4) adhering to the requirements of the Bologne Declaration for openness, comparability and transparency in study programmes.

Thus the study programme is aimed at enhancing students’ acquisition of

- profound and flexible theoretical knowledge in the communication sciences and pertaining social sciences as well as knowledge about the activities and procedures in various communication areas, domains and aspects;

- skills and basic abilities at communication analysis, problem prevention and settlement as well as drawing general conclusions, aggregating information and presenting it publicly;

- mastery, readiness and desire to communicate;

- reasoning and discussion skills;

- striving to settle matters by communication.







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