International Communication and Media

International Communication and Media (ICM) is an international programme, fully taught in English, of the Institute of Communication which is part of the Faculty of Communication and Journalism. This Faculty of Communication and Journalism (FCJ) is one of the six faculties of Hogeschool Utrecht (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht). The majority of these faculties is situated at The Uithof, the University campus at the east side of the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

 The ICM programme trains students for the position of international cross-medial consultant or specialist in a company, public office or agency. Our students can occupy various functions in the area of internal and external communication and media for all kinds of organisations. The focus of the programme evolves from the fact that in this professional field the context is more and more international and/or intercultural.

The study programme takes four years to complete and all lessons are taught in English. There is one foreign language incorporated in the programme and this can either be French, German or Spanish. In the first and second year, a fair amount of attention is given to a mix of communication management, digital communication and business communication courses. During the second year of studies the student expands on the first year's basis with blocks on corporate communication, marketing communication, corporate magazine and cross media skills.

The third year of studies is devoted to a study abroad period/profiling space and an international work placement period of 5 months each. In the fourth year students focus on subjects relating to their chosen study route, which is either Communication or Media. Students round off their studies in the fourth year by doing a graduation assignment. In their graduation assignment students individually attempt to find an answer to real communication or media problems. Graduated students receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Communication Systems, fully recognised by the Dutch government and the European Union.

The workplacement

The work placement period of 20 weeks is a substantial part of the third year of the ICM programme. This work placement period should preferably take place in the second semester of the third year (February- July). Based on the need for graduates to be able to cope with the increasingly complex demands of a rapidly changing society, a supervised work experience at an internationally operating company is required for all ICM undergraduates. Students are required to carry out a specific project or assignment both in nature and in substance which will be mutually beneficial and which fits the department’s profile. The assignment has to be approved of by the ICM work placement management co-ordinator.

Possible assignments
Please note: Many of these activities are just a part of the total work placement assignment. One activity does not usually constitute an entire work placement.

Marketing communication

  • assisting in various activities, e.g.fairs
  • designing an advertising briefing
  • writing an advertising report
  • research into product awareness
  • promotion marketing plan
  • direct mail
  • positioning.

Media

  • reader’s research of various magazines
  • desk research of printed media
  • target group identification
  • media research.
  • social media
  • webdesign

Public relations

  • assisting in various activities, e.g. writing press releases, organizing press conferences
  • setting up a new system for press documentation, information systems, newspaper cuttings
  • research into the relation between organisation and target groups
  • image research
  • (integrated) communication plan
  • communication research internal/external.

Event management

  • assisting in setting up and organizing events (profit and non-profit), fairs, conferences
  • writing a publicity plan for a conference, fair or event
  • setting up a social programme, study tours, pre-conference and postconference tours
  • destination marketing
  • bid procedure and site selection

The objectives

For the employer

  • the primary objective is the  execution of significant and useful assignments relating to the field of communication
  • to be the link between theory and practical experience
  • to attribute to the social responsibility of companies towards education
  • gaining more in-depth knowledge
  • recruiting young international management staff
  • student is a potential employee
  • theoretical feedback and interaction.

For the student

  • learning to translate the acquired theoretical knowledge into practice
  • how to perform in a professional environment
  • acquiring more in-depth knowledge
  • coping in corporate cultures
  • to gain intercultural awareness
  • practicing social skills in a working relation
  • developing social and communication skills.

For ICM

  • to see whether our educational programme meets the professional needs
  • to see whether our educational programme meets the European and international market
  • to see if the student is able to put theoretical knowledge into practice
  • assessing the professional attitude of our students
  • keep a close connection with the professional field.

The graduation advisory report

In the middle of their fourth year, students apply, by way of a graduation assignment for a real organization, what they have learnt in the preceding years. The assignment is not a work placement, every student operates as an independent consultant and conducts the required level of research and writes the report in his/her own environment. The organization is not responsible for providing an office within which the graduate works on the assignment, nor is it the organization’s responsibility to provide the student with a supervisor. The graduation department of the Hogeschool Utrecht allocates a suitably qualified supervisor to the student.

The only responsibility of the organization is to provide the student with an organizational problem, which needs to be solved by means of research, plus one meeting with the student at the start of the graduation, in which the student is briefed on the problem to be investigated. At the end of the graduation periode (after approx 20 weeks), the completed advisory report should be ready for submission. In the graduation periode the student attends weekly discussion groups and conducts research in a systematic and scientific manner, to solve the given problem. The problem should be on organizational level and should be focused around communication and media . To merely create, or update an existing website is not sufficient.

Some examples of suitable organizational research problems include the following:

  • “We seem to be losing customers because our competitors are using social media as marketing tools and we are not.”
  • “Competitors in foreign markets are applying a new type of communication training tool, which has proved to be very successful. We need to investigate and implement such tools ourselves before we lose our market share.”
  • “Our web shop attracts potential buyers, but we miss turn-over and profit, because our customers do not convert to loyal customers”
  • “Our Department is the result of a recent merger of five departments, but employees seem to lack motivation and drive, which has resulted in dissatisfied customers and a drop in profit.”

 

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