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Programme overview

from autumn 2017
In Sweden the academic year consists of an autumn and a spring semester - 30 ECTS respectively (60 ECTS for the full academic year). The autumn semester last from the start of September to mid-January, but there are no teaching activities during Christmas and the New Year). The spring semester lasts from mid-January to the beginning of June.

Semester 1 (autumn)

The first semester consists of four courses. In addition to the core curriculum of the courses, particular emphasis is placed on training students’ presentation and academic writing skills.

Introduction to Strategic Communication | 7.5 credits

The students are introduced to the research field and the practice of Strategic Communication and Communication Management. Students acquire different theoretical perspectives, models and concepts as a starting point for further understanding and for specialised study within the field. Students are also introduced to practical Rhetoric and oral presentation techniques. Industry professionals and alumni contribute as visiting lecturers on the course, providing an insight into future career paths and current issues.

Organisational Communication | 7.5 credits

The aim of the course is for students to acquire specialised knowledge within the research field of Organisational Communication. Students gain understanding of the complex relationship between organisations, organisational processes and communication. The course addresses various areas such as identity, culture, leadership, power, change, intelligence work, ICT, intercultural communication and ethics. In addition, students are introduced to issues such as gender and diversity as related to organisations, management and communication.

Philosophy of Social Sciences | 7.5 credits

The course introduces the students to the philosophy of science and particularly to an analytical and dialectic perspective on the philosophy of social sciences. In the course central debates and dichotomies in the philosophy of social sciences are treated, for example objectivism, realism, rationalism, interpretism, intentionalism, and nomologism. Special emphasis is given to treat the legitimacy of social sciences in the context of philosophy of social science. The course prepares students to critically reflect about methodological and epistemological questions, especially in relation to the master thesis.

Public Relations | 7.5 credits

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the research field of public relations on the basis of an international perspective. In addition, the course broadens the students' knowledge of different dominant and alternative theories in the field. The course deals with key theories and practical issues defining public relations as a discipline of scholarly enquiry and practical work. Among the subjects addressed in the course are ethics and efficiency, for example in campaigns, and how they are related. Furthermore, the course introduces organisation and management theories on corporate social responsibility (CSR), stakeholder management and legitimacy that have affected public relations as an academic discipline. Finally, the course also deals with campaign planning within public relations.

Semester 2 (Spring)

The second semester consists of four courses. In addition to the core curriculum of the courses, particular emphasis is placed on training students’ abilities to solve complex, realitybased assignments in teams.

Strategic Brand Communication | 7.5 credits

The course considers the strategies by which brands are created and circulated – not only through channels such as promotion and distribution, but also how for example employees are utilized for the purpose of communicating a consistent brand message. The students will critically analyze the underlying ideas that inform how brand messages are constructed, and how for example stereotypes or normative ideas of gender are reproduced in those messages. Starting from situating branding in the context of the development of industrialized production with a perceived greater need for differentiation, the course covers how ideas of communication have changed from providing a distinguishing marker for products to becoming concerned with the management of meaning as a mode of governance. This leads us to question to which extent brand communication finally can be managed, given that meanings are dynamic and contested.

Qualitative Methods | 7.5 credits

The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the epistemological underpinnings of qualitative research and to develop knowledge of a variety of research methods of qualitative data collection and analysis. The course covers collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. It pays particular attention to in-depth interviewing, observational and ethnographic approaches, text analysis as well as alternative methods in strategic communication. The course will give the students’ practical experience of research and enable the students to design and undertake an independent research projects in the future.

Research and Evaluation for Practice: Planning and Controlling | 7.5 credits

This course focuses on evaluation research and its utility in strategic communication practice. Students are introduced to communication controlling as a key concept in strategic communication. After the course the students should be acquainted with the theoretical framework for communication controlling as well as its practical implementation. Special attention is paid to the alignment of strategy planning and controlling.

Crisis Communication | 7.5 credits

This module introduces students to the theory and practice of crisis communication, i.e. approaches the topic as a field of research as well as an area of practice. The course develops the students' analytical understanding of processes typically leading to crisis, acquiring them with the characteristics of acute and ongoing crisis, and provides tools and strategies to cope and negotiate crisis. Furthermore it increases the students' sensitivity to crisis preparedness and its limits. The course exposes students, in role-plays and simulations, to acute crisis situation, thus challenging them to develop tactics and strategies of crisis-response and to make managerial decisions under time preassure and uncertainty.

Semester 3 (autumn)

The third semester of the Master of Science Programme in Strategic Communication provides the students with two different options. The first option consists of courses at Lund University (Option A). The second option consists of exchange studies at a partner University of Lund University (option B). The two options (A and B) are mutually exclusive and cannot be combined.

Option A: Studies at Lund University

Students that choose this option will study courses at Lund University. There are two different choices within this option. The students can choose either to take the course Internship (15 credits) and complete a placement at an organization (option A1), or take elective courses at Lunds University, 15 credits (option A2). Both option A1 and option A2 need to be combined with the courses Quantitative methods 7.5 credits and Strategic Communication Theory 7.5 credits held at the Department of Strategic Communication.

Option A1 Internship | 15 credits
During the first part of the third semester in the programme, the students complete a placement in a company, organization, municipality or government agency. The time is spent on placement, but students are required to work with assignments continuously during the course. The placement can be completed in Sweden or in any other country. The aim of the course is to make the students prepared for future working life and help them to establish contacts with potential employers. The placement has to be approved by the course director. To be accepted, the placement-provider must sign a Letter of Intent in accordance with standards of the Department of Strategic Communication on relevant, varied and qualified work tasks in the field of strategic communication. The responsibility for finding an internship ultimately rests with the student, but the department offers some support in the application process

Option A2: Elective courses

Instead of completing a placement, students can choose to take elective courses which broaden or deepen the students’ academic profile, and consequently increase their attractiveness for future industry career, or application for position as a Ph. D. Candidate. To be accepted as elective courses in the Master of Science Programme of Strategic Communication, the courses have to be approved by the programme director.

Quantitative methods | 7.5 credits
This module trains the students in designing an individual research project based on quantitative methods. The course covers research design, survey methods, and different statistical methods such as cross tabulation, multivariate analysis, correlation, regression analysis and factor analysis, and learns how to use them in SPSS. The course will give the students’ practical experience of research and enable the student to design and undertake an independent research projects in the future.

Strategic Communication Theory | 7.5 credits
The purpose of this course is to provide the students with an opportunity to further their understanding of theories and perspectives on three central themes in strategic communication: identity, democracy , and place. Supported by lectures and seminars the students will write an individual paper where they target and explore a relevant issue in strategic communication related to the three areas. The purpose of the module is thus also to develop the students’ analytical skills and writing abilities in order to prepare them for the master thesis on the fourth semester.

Option B: Exchange studies at an international university

Instead of studying courses at Lund University (option A, see above), students can apply for exchange studies at a partner university of Lund Univerity, and spend the complete third semester abroad (option B). Exchange studies at an international university hone the students’ academic profile. In addition to taking 30 credits at a foreign university, the students get an opportunity to learn about a new country, a new culture, and not least an opportunity to improve language skills.

Exchange studies demands careful planning. Students who wish to study abroad need to start planning in the autumn they start the programme. Students at the Department of Strategic Communication can apply for exchange studies once a year. The Department organices information meetings before the current calls and gives advice on course selection. You can also apply for university studies abroad as a free-mover. To be accepted as elective courses in the Programme, the courses have to be approved by the programme director. For more information about Study Abroad, please read here. Exchange studies through Lund University's agreements are sought via the Faculty of Social Sciences in a call every autumn. For further information about the Guidelines on the Elective semester, please find out more here.

Semester 4 (Spring)

Master Thesis | 30 credits

During the course, the student acquires in-depth knowledge in the field of strategic communication, methodology and methods by carrying out scientific and subject-relevant research. The student designs independently an academic research project in an area of own interest. Since strategic communication is an inter-disciplinary field, research can be approached from a variety of perspectives. The student learns how to conduct research that makes a meaningful contribution to academia and/or practice relevant to strategic communication. The research is conducted in consultation with a supervisor appointed by the department. The student meets the supervisor regularly during the process. The supervisor's task is to give constructive feedback and guide the student through the work process. Responsibility for implementation as well as the finished thesis rests, however, on the student.

Page Manager:


Lena Rolén

E-mail: master [at] isk [dot] lu [dot] se
Tel: +46 (0) 42-35 66 59

Programme Director

Åsa ThelanderÅsa Thelander

E-mail: master [at] isk [dot] lu [dot] se
Tel: +46 (0) 42-35 66 28

The Department of Strategic Communication
Lund University | Campus Helsingborg
Visiting address: Universitetsplatsen 2 Helsingborg
Postal address: Box 882, 251 08 Helsingborg, Sweden
 +46 42-35 65 95
Email: info [at] isk [dot] lu [dot] se

Faculty of Social SciencesCampus Helsingborg