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Become an expert in journalism and media in the capital of Europe

The Master of Communication Studies: Journalism and Media in Europe is an academic master that prepares you to become a media and communications professional with a profound strategic and interdisciplinary understanding of journalism and media in a European context. You will study changing journalistic business models, journalistic practices in today’s digital age, and the relationship between journalism, politics, lobbying and ideology. With its range of European and international institutions and the many media, journalism and communication professionals working here, Brussels is the perfect place to study media and journalism in Europe. As a student in this master you will be part of a dynamic and diverse group of students from across Europe and beyond. Teaching methods are interactive and designed to make good use of these diverse educational and national backgrounds. 

The Communication Studies Department also organises a second Master in Communication Studies: New Media and Society in Europe, which is focused on business, policy and user aspects of new media. We offer a Dutch-language Bachelor in Communication Studies. And we are also involved in the VUB's English-language Bachelor of Social Sciences, which combines communication studies, political science and sociology. Both of these bachelor programmes give you direct access to the Journalism and Media in Europe master.

 

All facilities are close at hand on our green campus

Brussels: study where the action is

In Brussels you have European and international institutions right at hand. This Master will acquaint you with European institutions, important journalism and media players, lobbyists and NGO’s, and communication and media agencies. The Master includes a yearly lecture series with prestigious speakers from the European media industry, journalism and European institutions. You will also get to know the Brussels reality through organised site visits, and the possibility of a traineeship.

An open, international and diverse university

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a dynamic and modern university with almost two centuries of history. VUB has 15.000 students, 21% of which are international students from more than 120 different countries. 

Being a student at VUB means learning in an international and open atmosphere of tolerance and diversity that will help you to grow into an independent and critical-thinking individual. 

VUB offers high quality English-taught programmes, supported by outstanding research. VUB is known for treating its students as individuals. Professors and teaching assistants are available and open to answer questions from students. Interactive methods ensure close interaction and contribute to students growing into independent and critical individuals.

The Journalism and Media in Europe master is taught on a green campus where all facilities are close at hand: classrooms, student restaurant, library, sports facilities (swimming pool, gym, three sports courts, badminton facilities).

 

Faculty


Social Sciences and Solvay Business School

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The programme in a nutshell

The 60 ECTS programme of the master includes mandatory courses and elective courses. It acquaints you with all perspectives on journalism and media in the first semester. And you choose what you want to focus on in the second semester: you do a traineeship or select two elective courses. Throughout your master thesis research you acquire in-depth knowledge of a topic of your choice.

An interdisciplinary understanding of journalism and media in Europe

In the first semester you have seminar-based courses on ‘Journalism: Trends and Technologies’, ‘Journalism, Politics and Ideology’, and ‘Political Economy of Journalism in the EU’. In each of these courses you look at journalism and media in Europe from a specific perspective. You acquire a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary understanding.

In the second semester, you develop a blueprint for an innovative media project in 'Journalism Practice in Europe' and you write a critical essay related to our high-profile lecture series ‘Brussels Talking: Europe, Media, and Society’, for which you also develop an online communication campaign.

And across the two semesters, you write a master thesis on a selected topic. One of our professors will be your supervisor and guide you through the process of researching and writing the thesis.

Find out more on the compulsory courses below.

Traineeship or elective courses: it's up to you

Building on the knowledge and competences acquired in the first semester, in the second semester, you can choose to follow two elective courses or do a traineeship of between five and eight weeks. You can also combine elective courses and traineeship, at a small extra cost.

Elective courses include:

  • Populist and Radical Political Discourses in Europe,
  • Media, Culture and Globalisation Theories, Data, Privacy and Society
  • European Media Markets
  • Digital Methods and Innovation
  • Influence and Lobbying (taught in English on the campus of our French-speaking sister university Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Find out more about the elective courses and the traineeship below.

Get to know Brussels

As part of the programme, you will visit media organisations. Visits have included the Politico.eu and Euractiv newsrooms, the innovation hub of the Flemish Public Broadcaster, and media start-ups. You also get to know the major European and international institutions. Visits have included the EU Parliament, the European Commission, the European House of History. There is also a tour of historical cinema’s in the centre of Brussels. Apart from the organised visits, you can attend the international workshops and debates that take place on the campus and in Brussels almost every day.

Follow our facebook page and see what is happening in the master.

A tailor-made preparatory programme

Depending on prior studies and expertise, certain students that are missing some of the competences needed for the master will be assigned one or two preparatory courses on top of their 60 ECTS master programme. Most often, these students are assigned 'Introduction to Communication Studies' and/or 'Research Methods in the Social Sciences'.

Zoom in on your programme

Get to know more about the master courses below and start designing your master programme.

Journalism: Trends and Technologies (compulsory)

In Journalism, Trends and Technologies you will learn to critically reflect on current evolutions in the field of media and journalism in Europe, with a specific focus on digital disruption. You will bridge theoretical knowledge and journalism practice by applying theoretical concepts to understand, critically assess and formulate prospective insights on specific journalistic case studies in Europe.

Every week in class, we will discuss a specific trend in journalism, based on academic texts, trend reports and expert insights you collect and read in preparation of the discussion. You will position yourself as an expert in the field of journalism by writing a white paper on a journalistic trend or technology of your choice, deepening your readers' understanding of it and elaborating on the issues at stake. You can find a selection of previous white papers in our collection on Medium. 

Course titular: Prof. Ike Picone.

Journalism, Politics and Ideology (compulsory)

In this seminar-based course you will get to know the concepts and theories to understand and critically reflect on the relations between journalism, the political field and ideology. How does journalism influence how we see the world? Why do journalists focus on certain events and topics whilst they ignore others? How can we understand they way they 'frame' reality? What are the political consequences of news selection and of the way journalists describe the world? What are the differences between mainstream journalism and alternative journalism, and why does this matter?

Through weekly group discussions of academic texts you will develop the vocabulary and critical perspectives to answer these questions. You sharpen your critical-analytical skills by writing two opinion articles, one about journalism and the economy and one about journalism and nationalism and/or war. And you get to show your insight into the relations between journalism, politics and ideology and your ability to use concepts to analyse these relations in an open book oral exam.

Course titular: Prof. Benjamin De Cleen.

The Political Economy of Journalism in the EU (compulsory)

How does journalism function as a business and how does that impact on the content of journalism? Why do states fund public broadcasters? What are the political and economic threats to press freedom and pluralism? And what are the economic and political tools to safeguard press freedom? This course provides students with an in-depth overview of concepts and theories relevant for the study of the political economy of journalism. It sets out from a general introduction to political economy, moves to the political economy of media/communication, and then to the various political-economic systems of the journalism in Europe. Building on this, you move on to a more advanced study of specific sub-aspects of the political economy of journalism that are related to contemporary issues.

You will acquire the tools to understand and critically evaluate current issues regarding press freedom and the relation between the state, citizens and private actors in journalism. You prove your understanding of the political economy of journalism and your ability to critically analyze important cases during a written and oral exam where you discuss your written responses with the professor.

Course titular: Prof. Karen Donders.

Brussels Talking: Europe, Media and Society Lecture Series (compulsory)

The Brussels Talking Lecture Series is prestigious series of two-hour lectures on media and communication in Europe by prominent guest speakers from the European media industry, journalism, academia, NGO’s, and European institutions. Speakers have included Thierry Geerts (Country Director, Google Belgium), Aidan White (Director of the Ethical Journalism Network), Andrew Finkel (Journalist and co-founder of the P24 Platform for independent journalism), Alberto Alemanno (Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, HEC Paris; Global Professor of Law, NYU School of Law in Paris; Director The Good Lobby), and Matthew Kaminsky (executive director of Politico.eu).

You will write a paper on a topic related to the lectures, write blog posts on the lectures, and develop a social media promotion campaign for the lecture series.

Information on the 2017-18 lecture series.

The blog of the lecture series.

Course titular: Luciano Morganti.

Journalism Practice in Europe (compulsory)

How do journalists work today? How has technology changed journalism as a business? How has it changed the work of journalists? How do journalists engage with audiences today? What is digital storytelling? How does data journalism work? How can technology be used to collaborate on large journalistic projects? How do media monetize journalistic content in a digital age? And how do individidual journalists operate as journalistic entrepreneurs in this context?

The course consists of a mixture of lectures, guest lectures and visits of media organisations. You will write an assignment in which you integrate and apply the acquired knowledge into a blueprint for your own innovative media project, which focuses on innovation in an existing media organisation or on a journalistic start-up.

Course titular: Prof. Ike Picone.

Master Thesis (compulsory)

Your master thesis is the perfect opportunity to get in-depth insight into a specific topic of your interest. To give some examples: in the past years students have interviewed female journalists about gender dynamics in the newsroom, analysed the impact of Twitter on journalistic practices, studied how young people read news using new media, analysed the social media strategies of Marine Le Pen, studied the discourse of Alternative für Deutschland, assessed the impact of the Berlusconi media empire on Italian politics.

You will be guided through the process by a supervisor, with whom you will have regular meetings. We make sure there is a good match between your interests and the expertise of your supervisor, to ensure a fruitful collaboration.

You can find some of the professors that supervise theses in the Journalism and Media in Europe master here, but other professors in the department might also be your supervisor.

Data, Privacy and Society (elective)

The course takes an interdisciplinary look at the role and meaning of data and privacy in mediated communication, online platforms and society, from a social, economic, technological and regulatory perspective. You will discuss central theories, research, terminology, current issues, and future challenges in big data, privacy, ethics, media literacy and user empowerment in different fields of society, from the perspective of Media and Communication Studies and STS (Science & Technology Studies). The course incorporates three inextricable and mutually determining components: artefacts, practices and social arrangements.

The lectures take an in-depth look at national and international developments in social media, sharing economy applications and data technologies (e.g. Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Uber, Internet-of-Things, Smart Cities, health apps,…). You apply the knowledge in concrete and interactive class exercises. This is coupled with practical interventions by scientists, government officials, public organisations (e.g. Belgian Privacy Commission), companies, civil society organisations, artists and other stakeholders.

Course titular: Prof. Jo Pierson.

Digital Methods and Innovation (elective)

In Digital Methods and Innovation you will gain advanced knowledge of social science research methods that are used to research new types of data (e.g. hyperlinks, social media networks, algorithms, big data sets, …), learn to use these new types of data to answer existing research questions and learn to formulate new research questions (e.g. on social surveillance, algorithmic trading, … ), that arise as a consequence of the digitalization and interconnectedness of data.

Students will learn the basics of data science, but also critically reflect upon the methodological implications of these changes for the social sciences methodology. Regarding the innovation process of ICTs, students will learn about the management of software development cycles and the interdisciplinary playground when designing, implementing and evaluation of new ICTs.

European Media Markets (elective)

This course looks closely at European media markets. You acquire insight in the characteristics of media and communication goods and services; main revenue streams and main players; and new media trends. Special attention is paid to topical issues and cases related to European media and communication markets, and to the diverging interests of different players.

The course has three kinds of classes: (1) lessons by Prof. Karen Donders on audiovisual production, aggregation and distribution; (2) guest lectures on, for example, radio, mobile telecommunications, film production, social media, and apps; (3) presentation and discussion of topical cases by students.

Evaluation is based on an essay on a current case study, participation in the classes, and an oral exam.

Course titular: Prof. Karen Donders.

Media, Culture and Globalisation Theories (elective)

This course zooms in on the study of media, culture and globalization in media and communication studies.

Course titulars: Prof. Jan Loisen and Prof. Kevin Smets.

Marine Le Pen of the Front National: 'In the name of the people'

Populist and Radical Political Discourses in Europe (elective)

What is populism? How do left-wing and right-wing political movements use populist strategies? What is the relation between media, journalism and populism? This course focuses on populist and radical political discourses in Europe. Drawing on different perspectives in communication and political theory and discourse studies it provides you the concepts to understand and study populist and radical political discourses. The course also look at how mainstream political voices have reacted to populist contenders. In the weekly seminars you discuss academic texts and journalistic texts on populism to analyse of different kinds of populist politics, especially the populist radical right and left-wing populisms in Europe.

You show your conceptual insight into populism in a critical-analytical essay about a selected populism-related topic. Your conceptual insights and ability to apply concepts is also tested in an open book exam.

Course titular: Prof. Benjamin De Cleen.

Influence and Lobbying (elective, at ULB)

In this course you will learn about the what, why and how of lobbying and advocacy.

The course is taught in English at our French-speaking sister university ULB. The ULB is a ten minute walk or a short tram ride from the VUB.

Course titular: Johan Derycker.

Research Methods for Social Sciences (preparatory)

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the research methods that are applied in social sciences and to guide students towards the set-up, execution, analysis and reporting of an empirical social scientific study. 

The first part of the course focuses on the practice of research and covers research paradigms, research quality parameters, research plan and literature review, ethics in research and plagiarism and reporting research and critical reflection. The second part of the course discusses sampling and the main research methods in communication studies, including qualitative research methods, quantitative research methods, experiments, content analysis, case study and mixed methods.

You want all the details on the courses?

Click on the Journalism and Media in Europe link below. That will take you to the detailed information on each of the courses: study time, reading list, exam form, etc.

After graduation

A master degree in Communication Studies: Journalism and Media in Europe opens doors to many positions in a wide range of sectors in Brussels, Europe and beyond.

A wide variety of job opportunities

Our alumni are currently working as journalists and communication and media professionals in Brussels and across Europe and beyond in a variety of sectors and organisations. Positions include: journalists; press officers, communication officials and policy advisors in national, European and international institutions and NGO's; marketing managers and social media strategists; lobbying and advocacy; academic researchers, independent entrepreneurs in the media and communication sector.

Throughout the master year, and especially through your traineeship and/or thesis research, you will develop your own international network. Because of the inherently international student group in the master you will make international friends for life.

Through our facebook page we share relevant job posts, traineeship positions and interesting events for our current students as well as alumni. You can already follow the facebook page to see what is happening in the master.

VUB supports you in your search for a job

A master degree opens doors to many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Alumni testimonials

Our alumni from all over Europe and the world share their experiences with the Journalism and Media in Europe master with you.

Axelle Asmar, Belgium, class of 2017, researcher at VUB research centre SMIT

I graduated from the JME program in 2017 and looking retrospectively I can say without a doubt that this program is the best way to combine theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on experience!

The JME was for me first of all passionate and internationals lecturers, professors on top of their respective disciplines sharing their insight of the journalistic field while at the same time giving their students spaces to explore new ways of thinking. I particularly appreciated the focus of the program on opening discussions on topics that ranged from online journalism and democracy to media discourses and representations of diversity. This program has also provided me with resources, opportunities and skills that extended beyond the limits of the classroom. 

More than that, the JME program was an amazing international experience; this master being an international program, I got to meet such a diverse group of students with different academic and educational background coming from Europe and beyond.

Last but not least least, Brussels may be small and rainy (sometimes), but it is the perfect environment for student life: the city harbors a variety of styles and nationalities combined with buoyant cultural life. My tip for any prospective JEM student: Take advantage of the city.

Arlind Cara, Albania, class of 2016, Project Coordinator Global Minds, International Relations and Mobility Office, VUB

During this academic experience, personally, I learned, interacted, engaged, and grew a lot. Being part of this program was a life-changing experience for me and my student mates from all the corners of the world.  The JME program sets a good example in helping the international students to get adapted to a new challenging and multicultural environment such as Brussels. Our university, together with our dedicated and open-minded professors provide a good stimulating atmosphere for students to develop their scientific and intellectual capacities.

Taking into consideration everything I experienced during my masters I can say that it went beyond my previous expectations. Therefore, I urge all the potential international students to apply for this great program in order to give the chance to themselves to be part of this stimulating and competitive academic program. 

Anna-Katharina Ahnefeld, Germany, class of 2018

What I really like about the program is the interweaving between communication, the international orientation and, therefore, the chance to study with people from diverse countries, which is relevant for my future career path. I am convinced that such experiences have expanded my vision of the world and have opened up opportunities I'd never considered, including a broad range of human interaction. The content is very interesting, up-to-date and challenging, and the supervision of the instructors is the best I have ever had in my university career. I really enjoyed the program and found myself developing greatly. Therefore, I would strongly recommend it for everyone interested in communications and those who are passionate about developing their critical thinking.

Ana Sofía Carbonell, Mexico, class of 2017, communications and policy officer

The VUB’s JME programme embodies research-led education. Our professors adhered to high research and teaching standards, and also made time for our questions and supervising our theses. I got to study how narratives and realities are constructed, perpetuated and dismantled. What I've learned feeds into my job as communications and policy officer for a science and research association, where how we communicate is as important as what we communicate.

Alice Masoni, Italy, class of 2018

The JME Master has been an enriching experience for me as a student and as a person.
The educative approach adopted helped me in enhancing my skills. I appreciated how lecturers carefully follow us students, while at the same time encouraging us to study and work independently, thus increasing our critical thinking.
Studying in an international environment is also an additional value: getting to know new people and having friends from all over the world has definitely made me more curious and and open to different cultures and points of view.

Merve Keçeli, Turkey, class of 2018

The Journalism and Media in Europe MA Program has been a challenging experience for me through which I discovered a lot about the things we usually take for granted. 

Throughout my education, I learned how to reason and how to question with the help of my lecturers. Considering that critical thinking is a must in journalism today, the meticulously set MA program prepared me to be a person who doubts and challenges with a good judgement. 

The multi-cultural environment also broadened my understanding of different cultural backgrounds. Having friends from the different parts of the world sparked my interest towards different ideas and world views. 

Khang Nguyen, Germany, class of 2016, Journalist German Press-Agency dpa

The JME programme provides essential knowledge about international news coverage and how to interpret it, communication strategies and European politics. All of them help me in my daily work routine as a journalist. The program is well structured and demanding. However, you will always find someone who will support you. My supervisor for example, Prof. Ike Picone, has always been an excellent contact person I could ask questions during the courses and about the Master Thesis. Thanks to Prof. Luciano Morganti’s course on Europe and EU institutions I can understand complex topics related to the EU institution much faster now.

In one year, I have made new friends from all over the world. The discussions we had shaped my understanding of how and why other nations think and act as they do. And even after years we are still in touch. This unique network has made it easier for me on several occasions to find quick answers when covering international issues. I recommend the program to everyone who wishes to expand their horizon in a variety of topics and who is willing to see the bigger picture.

Judith Mischke, Germany, class of 2017, journalist in Brussels and Berlin

I was part of the very first year of the JME program. Retrospectively looking at it, I think this program and the Master’s Degree I obtained at the end really helped me to get a foot in the job market in Brussels – and beyond. I would probably not be where I am today if I did not have this experience and additionally made the most out of it while being a student in Brussels.

Through the classes where e.g. we dealt with the history of the EU, the function of its bodies and current challenges the EU faces, I gained a good and deep understanding of this unique union. This knowledge subsequently helped me a lot during my internships with Brussels-based media where I covered EU affairs. Speaking of that, what I also really appreciated about the program was the chance to opt for an internship - or even more than one if personally manageable. This hands-on experience in my opinion is obligatory for anyone who really wants to focus on journalism – and Brussels is a great city to exercise this. If help is needed, the VUB also assists students in finding a good internship.

I also really liked that the program was very international, in terms of us students coming from inside and outside of Europe but also in terms of topics like journalism ethics, practices or media rights which we covered during the classes. Moreover, when it came to writing my final thesis, my supervisor was very supportive and always available for any sort of advice.

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IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE YOUR ACADEMIC CAREER, YOU CAN APPLY FOR A PHD POSITION AT THE VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL. ALL YOU NEED IS A PROMOTER, RESEARCH SUBJECT AND SUFFICIENT FUNDING. ARE YOU UP FOR THIS CHALLENGE?

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Your professors

In the Journalism and Media in Europe master you will be welcomed by a group of young and dynamic professors. Each of them building on specific scientific expertise and teaching styles, they will make sure you will graduate with a nuanced and multi-faceted understanding of journalism, media and communication in Europe.

The master is organized by the Department of Communication Studies. All our professors are academic experts in their field, and they draw on own research in their courses. They are linked to one of three research centers: SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication), CEMESO (Studies on Media and Culture) or DESIRE (Centre for the study of Democracy, Signification and Resistance).

Meet the core team of professors in the master.

Benjamin De Cleen

Benjamin De Cleen is the academic coordinator of the Journalism and Media in Europe master. His research is situated within critical discourse studies, and has mainly been focused on populist radical right rhetoric, and on the conceptualization of populism, nationalism and conservatism.

Prof. De Cleen is an assistant professor at the VUB Communication Studies Department and the international chair of the Centre for Democracy, Signification and Resistance, an international joint research group that brings together researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Ljubljana, University of Essex, Uppsala University, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Prof. De Cleen is also a fellow of the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

Prof. De Cleen teaches two courses in the master: Journalism, Politics and Ideology and Populist and Radical Political Discourses in Europe.

He supervises master theses about populist, nationalist and radical right discourses, and on the relation between journalism and populism, nationalism and right-wing politics.

You can find more information about Prof. De Cleen here.

Karen Donders

Karen Donders is an assistant professor at the department of Communication Studies and a senior researcher at the center for Studies on Media Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) where she heads the Media Unit, supervising all business, policy and user researchers that work on mediated communication.

Her research activities mainly focus on public service media policies and strategies, private television, the interplay between television and distribution platforms, national and European media policy, and the way in which competition policy affects the media sector.

Karen Donders teaches Political Economy of Journalism in the EU in the Journalism and Media in Europe master. She also teaches the elective course European Media Markets.

Prof. Donders supervises master theses on the political economy of journalism and media, media policy, and public and private broadcasting.

Twitter account: @DondersKaren

You can find more information about prof. Donders here

Luciano Morganti

Luciano Morganti is an assistant professor at the VUB Communication Department and a senior researcher at SMIT. His work focuses on the interaction between (new) communication technologies and democratic processes, with particular attention for the concept and practices of a European Public Sphere. His research is dedicated to social, political and communicative aspects of citizens’ participation, citizens’ empowerment and participatory democracy, with a special focus on new media on the backdrop of the EU integration process and governance and the EU information and communication policies. In addition to this, he also works on Internet governance and on foreign correspondents in the EU.

In the Journalism and Media in Europe master, Prof. Morganti coordinates the Brussels Talking Lecture Series. He is also the coordinator of the Master thesis for students in our English-language masters.

He supervises master theses in the Journalism and Media in Europe master on media and the (European) public sphere, and on mediated citizen participation, especially on the level of the European Union.

You can find more information about Prof. Morganti here.

Ike Picone

Ike Picone teaches and researches disruptions on the crossroad of journalism, technological innovations and democracy. The thread within his research is the study of news use practices within the broad field of journalism studies. More precisely, his work focuses on ‘productive’ use of new(s) media, conceptualized within his research as self-publication. His research topics include user participation to online news, the changing relationship between news audiences and journalists, and the role of new media in the emergence of deliberative public spheres

Prof. Picone currently promotes two research projects, Media Clusters Brussels and Kenniscentrum Cultuur- en Mediaparticipatie, and is involved in the international Digital News Report project. As a member of the Council for Journalism, he deliberates with journalists and media professionals about cases of journalism ethics.

Prof. Picone teaches two mandatory courses in the master: Journalism: Trends and Technologies and Journalism Practice in Europe.

He supervises master theses on digital disruption in journalism, news use studies, journalistic innovation.

Twitter account @ikepicone

More information on Prof. Picone is here.

Laurence Claeys

Laurence Claeys is an assistant professor (50%) at the department of Communication Studies and a senior researcher at the center for Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology.

She combines her work at the university with product management work in the Industrial Internet-of-Things company Sensolus. Her research activities mainly focus on Internet-of-Things, distributed systems, algorithmic living, privacy and end-user development.

Laurence Claeys teaches teaches the elective course 'Digital Methods and Innovation in the Journalism and Media in Europe master. She also teaches 'Communication Technologies' and 'Introduction to Social Sciences Methodology' in the Dutch Communication Science Bachelor Program. 

She supervises master theses on the topics of Internet-of-Things, blockchain and distributed networks, as on algorithmic transparency and accountability.

Jan Loisen

Jan Loisen is an assistant professor at the Department of Communication Studies and a senior researcher at SMIT. His work focuses on the analysis of media policy at the intersection of economic and cultural concerns and interests, in national, European and global policy forums.

In the Journalism and Media in Europe master, Prof. Loisen teaches Media, Culture and Globalisation Theories (together with Kevin Smets), an optional course in the programme. He also teaches Introduction to Communication Studies, which is assigned to some students as part of their preparatory programme.

Prof. Loisen supervises master theses on media policy, and on the relations between the cultural-societal and business dimensions of media, and media flows and emerging media organizations in an international context.

You can find more information about Prof. Loisen here.

Kevin Smets

Kevin Smets is assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he teaches courses on media and culture, cultural theory, and visual culture. He is a senior researcher in the CEMESO research center, and has held positions as visiting research fellow at Bilkent University (Ankara), School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), Bilgi University (Istanbul) and Freie Universität Berlin. His research focuses on the relations between media, migration, and conflict.

In the Journalism and Media in Europe master, Prof. Smets teaches Media, Culture and Globalisation Theories (together with Jan Loisen), an optional course in the programme.

He supervises master theses in the Journalism and Media in Europe master on the representation of migration and diversity as well as on media use of migrants and cultural minorities.

You can find more information about Prof. Smets here

Wendy Van den Broeck

Wendy Van den Broeck is an assistant professor at the department of Communication Studies and the head of living labs and senior researcher at the center for Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology (SMIT). 

Her research activities mainly focus on living lab research and user research in the domain of personalised and immersive media, digital television, targeted advertising and smart education. 

In the Journalism and Media in Europe master, Wendy Van den Broeck teaches the preparatory course 'Research Methods for Social Sciences'.  

She supervises master theses on topics related to personalised and immersive media, targeted advertising and smart education.

Admission criteria and procedure

Candidates with a Flemish ‘Bachelor of Science in Communicatiewetenschappen' (VUB or other) degree or with a VUB Bachelor of Social Sciences degree get direct access to the programme.

All other applications are evaluated individually by an Admission Board. Factors taking into account by the Admission Board include:
   - English language proficiency (see below for minimal criteria)
   - Academic degree(s) already acquired.
   - Grades scored in previous studies.
   - Quality of motivation letter. Including fit between your motivation and what we offer.
   - Quality of letters of recommendation.
   - Other relevant experience.

Depending on the content of your previous studies, the Board can assign an individual preparatory programme to the candidate. This preparatory programme can be combined with the Master programme and typically consists of one or two extra courses to be taken during the master year.

More information on how to submit your application file (and what documents to upload) is here.

Language requirements

Good English language skills are an important prerequisite for successfully following the master.

You will have to prove your English language proficiency via one of the following ways:

  1. provide proof of having successfully completed secondary education in the Belgian educational system;
  2. provide a diploma of secondary or higher education where English was the language of instruction;
  3. provide a certificate of one of the following language proficiency tests corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2: 
       - TOEFL with minimum level: iBT 79, PBT 550 or CBT 213
       - IELTS academic module, with minimum level: 6.5
       - Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with at least grade B
       - Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), with at least grade C

Certificates and other proof of language tests may not pre-date the first enrolment by more than two years.

Submit your application request

Apply here

Application deadline

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree. Applications can only be submitted through our website www.vub.ac.be/en/apply

  • All international students need to apply before June 1st. For students with a Belgian diploma this deadline does not apply. If you have questions regarding the deadline contact faces@vub.be.
  • Important note: Do not wait for all your documents to be in order before starting the application. For example, if the proof of English proficiency or APS certificate is not ready before the deadline, you can always submit it later instead of missing the deadline

Frequently Asked Questions

  • More information on how to prepare your stay? >>> Click here
  • More information on finance and scholarship options at VUB? >>> Click here
  • More information on housing facilities at VUB? >>> Click here
  • More information on student visa matters? >>> Click here
  • More information on studying in Brussels City? >>> Click here
  • Go to the general FAQ page >>> Click here

Who to contact regarding what topic?

Questions on application procedure and enrollment procedure? >> Contact central admissions office (mail to: admissions@vub.ac.be)

Questions on programme content? >> Contact the faculty (mail to: faces@vub.ac.be)

Questions on the evaluation of your academic background for admission? ==> Contact the faculty (mail to: faces@vub.ac.be)

Questions on exemptions/credit transfers? >> Contact your future study counselor (mail to: stbfaces@vub.ac.be)

Questions on visa regulations/requirements/procedure or Refugee Programme? >> Contact the International Relations and Mobility Office (IRMO) (mail to: international.relations@vub.ac.be)

Tuition fees

All Flemish universities in Belgium are subsidised by the government, which results in relatively low tuition fees. The general (EEA) tuition fee for our master programmes is €922,30/year. Some master programmes have an increased tuition fee for students with a non EU/EEA nationality. A detailed overview of the tuition fees can be found here.

 

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