Media Communication Course Descriptions


ADVT 4190 Advertising Research
This course introduces the fundamentals of advertising research. Students learn basic ad research theory and put it into practice by undertaking an actual research project. They learn the roles and subject matter of ad research including secondary sources and syndicated services. They also learn to conduct both qualitative and quantitative primary research, including planning, designing, sampling, data processing, analyzing, and reporting for an actual ad case study. Prerequisite: MNGT 3510.


EPMD 1000 Introduction to Media Production
Beginning students of all communications disciplines learn a certain level of media production literacy. EPMD 1000 incorporates a combination of applied media aesthetics, theory and hands-on production experience in photography, filmmaking, audio and video production. As a core class, EPMD 1000 is a preparation for subsequent theory and production courses in the School of Communications.


GAME 2000 Introduction to Video Game Theory and Design
This course is designed to give students an overview of gaming and game development, Students wil learn about gaming history, game design, psychological, sociological, physiological, and economic aspects of games and gaming. A strong emphasis of this class will be on deconstruction and critique of popular computer and console games and genres. Students will also examine gaming trends to answer the question, “What’s next?” Prior video game experience is recommended but not required.


JOUR 1030 Fundamentals of Reporting
Students learn the basic forms and techniques of modern journalistic writing. Students write both simple and complex news stories and are introduced to feature writing and other specialized story forms. Basic word processing skills and competence in diction and grammar are required.


MEDC 1010 Introduction to Mass Communications
Students learn the history, development, and impact of the mass media, including print, photography, film, radio, and television and digital media. The course focuses on communication theories and research, media systems, structure and ethics, the relationship between the media and society, and future directions in media communications.

MEDC 1050 Introduction to Media Writing
Students learn the basics of writing for a number of applications as well as the style, structure, and techniques involved in journalism, scriptwriting, advertising, public relations writing, critical writing, writing for interactive and other emerging media.

MEDC 1630 Media Literacy
Students learn to systematically decode, evaluate, and analyze information conveyed through the channels of mass communication. They learn the process, language, and effects of the media and develop a critical awareness of messages conveyed through channels of mass communications, as reflected in children's programming, advertising, journalism, and political communications.

MEDC 2200 Ethics in the Media
Students learn the ethical considerations applied to journalism, broadcast journalism, photography, audio, film, video, interactive digital media, the internet, public relations, and advertising. Students learn to analyze the ethical dilemmas facing media professionals. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010.

MEDC 2800 Cultural Diversity in the Media
Students learn how media images and messages portray people of different races, genders, classes, faiths and sexual orientations and how those images impact our understanding of and attitudes toward those groups. Students also investigate the multiple ways that they have learned about cultural diversity through personal reflection, formal education, as well as the media.

MEDC 3150 Topics
These courses are offered periodically to feature topics in media and journalism not covered by regularly offered courses. Prerequisties may vary with the topic. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

MEDC 3150 Topics: Photo Aesthetics
The course will familiarize students with different styles and concepts of photographic production and touch on important issues from the history of photography. Outstanding photographers who shaped the visual language of their time will be introduced. Students learn to distinguish between different photographic genres like staged photography, documentary photography, photography as means of artistic expression etc. It is the declared aim of the course to increase students´ aesthetic sensibility and provide them with criteria for the evaluation of photographic imagery. The amount and diversity of visual input shared in class shall help students to develop their own styles and give them inspiration for their own photographic works.

MEDC 3150 Topics: Remix Culture, Internet Memes, and Viral Media
By exploring both print and digital texts, this course identifies three major goals. First, the course seeks to demystify the transformative power within digital culture to remix narratives for repetitive popular consumption (such as the story of the hero in Star Wars or The Matrix). Second, students will learn that internet memes are artifacts of digital culture and also tools that are used for humor as well as social and political purposes. Third, the course will enable students to explain aspects of viral media in the context of entertainment, business, politics, marketing, and more. Together, these topics will enable students to critically engage with digital culture.

MEDC 3190 Introduction to Media Research
Students learn how to use qualitative and quantitative media research methodologies, including content analysis, focus groups, and field research. The course provides strategies and methodologies for examining the process and impact of the media. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010.

MEDC 3260 International Communications
Students learn the philosophy, process, problems, and potentials of communication across cultural boundaries by studying the interrelationships between communications and social, political, economic, and cultural factors that affect international communications. Cross-listed with INTL 3260. Students who take the course at the Webster Groves campus may also repeat it for credit if they also take it at an international campus.

MEDC 3260 - International Communications: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Media
On November 22, 2013, five major human rights groups – Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access, and Privacy International – urged the United Nations to provide better protection of privacy from increasingly invasive procedures by governments. The basic human right to privacy is supposedly guaranteed by Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But can the UN do anything about it? Is this all really or even only about Wikileaks and Edward Snowden? What have Wikileaks, Snowden and other whistleblowers actually revealed so far? Is there anything essentially new about the ways in which we are spied upon? What about the search engines, social network providers and other corporations? Is it only about advertising for them? Why, exactly, do governments and corporations spy on people? To what extent are their intentions related? Will it remain worthwhile for them to continue spying? Why exactly did Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World shut down? Should tabloid media be more restricted in the future? What about the quality news media, such as the Guardian or the New York Times? Do the quality news media have a duty to inform us about surveillance by others? If so, do they live up to it? What are the exact relationships between the rights to privacy, to freedom of expression, and to freedom of information? What are some of the latest developments in surveillance technology? Who is listening to and watching you? Does it really matter if you have nothing to hide? What are the limits of freedom of information and freedom of expression? Are you ready to have surveillance devices implanted into your (or your child’s) body? This course will begin to answer these questions.

MEDC 4100 The Law and the Media
Students learn the specifics of First Amendment freedoms and the laws that restrict or regulate the flow of information in American society, libel and privacy torts, information access problems, shield laws, broadcast regulation, copyright laws, and constraints on various means of communication, as well as basic principles of contracts within a variety of media fields. Junior or senior standing is advised.

MEDC 4500 Political Communications
Students learn the role of the media on the American political process. Topics include the history and evolution of political media, the role of the press and its influence on the political process, and how media strategies are created, developed, and produced. Political advertising campaigns are analyzed. Prerequisite: MEDC 1010 or MEDC 5000 for graduate students.

MEDC 4620 Senior Overview
Provides an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their proficiency in a selected area or media. The student assumes responsibility for the production of a project, exhibit or thesis under the direction of a faculty member. Students studying at Webster University Vienna must complete a thesis and register for six hours. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours. Prerequisites: senior standing, acceptance into the major through portfolio review, and permission of the instructor. Students and their instructors must submit a proposal for the overview project for the approval of the department chair.

MEDC 4950 Professional Media Practicum
Provides an internship placement that offers supervised professional experience in audio production, broadcast and print journalism, photography, public relations and advertising/marketing communications, interactive media, animation, video and film. In addition to field placement, students attend regular seminars and write observations and analysis of their internship experience, as well as complete assignments designed to help them make the transition from student to professional. Prerequisties: Students generally do internships during the senior year after passing an initial portfolio review and must have permission of advisor and instructor. (Students may do multiple internships but may earn no more than a total of 8 credit hours for internships during their program at the University.)


PBRL 1010 Fundamentals of Strategic Communications and Public Relations
Students learn strategic and tactical communications skills necessary for the practice of corporate communications and public relations in business, organizational, and non-profit settings. Topics covered include the history and theory of public relations, strategic communications processes, stakeholder analysis and issues management, and communications tactics such as media relations, publications, community relations, consumer relations, employee communications, and online Internet communications.

PBRL 2400 Public Relations and New Media: Content Creation and Management
This course will focus on new media platforms as they emerge and are used as tactical communications tools in strategic communications and public relations. New media such as social media will be identified and integrated into the course. Students will become familiar with the development and use of new media, will learn how to prepare content specifically for these new technological applications and integrate the use of new media into strategic communications plans. Analytics will be used to measure the effectiveness of these tactics in accomplishing organizational goals and objectives. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.

PBRL 4300 Crisis Communications and Issues Management
Students learn techniques for identifying the stages of crisis communications for an organization starting with the process of issues identification and management and continuing through the creation of strategies and tactics necessary to retain and enhance organizational name equity with key stakeholders before, during and after an image crisis hits the organization. The student's ability to integrate social media and media relations tactics is demonstrated with the creation of a final crisis plan for an organization of the student's choice. Prerequisite: PBRL 1010.


PHOT 1010 Digital Basic Photography
This course covers basic concepts and practice of digital photography, including understanding and use of the camera, lenses, and other basic photographic equipment. The course will address aesthetic principles as they relate to composition, space, exposure, light and color. Technological requirements of digital formats will be addressed, such as formats and resolution. Basic digital manipulations of images will be taught in preparation for creating a photo portfolio of images. This course may not count towards the BA in Photography electives.


SPCM 1040 Public Speaking
Students learn the organization, development, and delivery of a variety of formal public speeches. The course includes public speeches and a variety of other speaking exercises to help students adapt to audiences and contexts, solve delivery problems and build confidence. Activities also help the student to develop realistic evaluations of various speaking occasions.

SPCM 1280 Interpersonal Communications
Students learn to apply the contexts and skills associated with interpersonal communication competence, the intrapersonal constructs necessary for effective interpersonal communication, as well as skills and behaviors associated with relating with others. A focus is placed on relational development and dynamics. Topics include: self-disclosure, listening, nonverbal communication, and conflict.

SPCM 4600 Communication Theory
This course brings together speech communication concepts within theoretical units. Students learn the theories and perspectives of communication within which specific concepts interact. Course discussion includes intrapersonal, rhetorical, relational, cultural, and mass communication contexts. Emphasis is placed on models and other illustrations of theories. Prerequisites: 9 credit hours of SPCM coursework OR permission of instructor.