Trinity Western University

Course Descriptions

Communications

  • Comm 110: Research and Writing in Communications (3 sem. hrs.)

    This writing-intensive course orients students to the demands of academic research and writing within the Communications major. By course completion the diligent student should be able to write lucid, academic, and researched prose in the genres of cultural critique, scientific reporting, and term papers. Central to the course are the twin emphases of critical thinking strategies and research methods in the information age.

    NB: Required of all Communication majors

    Prerequisite(s): None (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 111 Introduction to Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    Designed to provide a framework of foundational knowledge about the nature of human interaction. The course surveys theories and research of communication in various contexts to foster understanding and analysis of communication behaviour and events.

    NB: Fulfils departmental human communication competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 0-0)


  • COMM 112 Introduction to Mass Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to communication media and technology as they affect and are affected by the underlying cultural values of western society. Technological, political, social, and economic factors are surveyed as components affecting development of communication media.

    NB: departmental media studies competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 120 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication RP (3 sem. hrs.)

    Introduces basic self-awareness and interpersonal communications skills. Students learn about the nature of the communications process. The emphasis is on developing and practicing the ability to communicate effectively with others. As part of the course requirements, students are expected to share personal (but not necessarily private) experiences with others.

    NB: Course taught at Redeemer Pacific College, an approved TWU learning centre. Fulfils departmental human communication competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 211 Public Speaking (3 sem. hrs.)

    Principles and skills of effective public speaking. This course, designed to provide an appreciation of the nature and uses of speech, includes a survey of the communication process, ethical obligations, audience analysis, language and delivery, and persuasive principles. Participants develop and deliver several short speeches.

    NB: Fulfils departmental public speaking competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 212 Fundamentals of Writing for Publication (3 sem. hrs.)

    A seminar/tutorial approach to the rudiments of writing non-fiction. Principles of producing effective feature material, along with general editorial requirements, are outlined.

    NB: Fulfils departmental writing competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 213 Introduction to Public Relations (3 sem. hrs.)

    The role of public relations in group communication within and among various sectors of society including business, government, educational, and cultural organizations. Alternative approaches to public relations theory and practice. Canadian examples and case studies are used where possible, and ethical standards in public relations are emphasized.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 0-0)


  • COMM 214 Organizational Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course introduces students to the importance of communication within organizations. Organizational communication theory is discussed as it relates to climate, dyads, small group, public, and mediated communication. Students apply theory in several business writing and speaking assignments.

    NB: Fulfils departmental human communication competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 220 Digital Filmmaking I (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introductory course in the art and craft of digital video production. Students become familiar with television and film processes, equipment, and techniques, with the goal to understand the technical and aesthetic language of images in motion. Students work in creative, collaborative teams to produce several short video pieces.

    NB: Lab fee.

    NB: Fulfils departmental visual creativity competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 112 and second year status. (3-0; 0-0)


  • COMM 230 Computing for Communications (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course introduces visual communication principles through the medium of new technologies. Students investigate classical principles of design, develop a visual communication vocabulary, and sharpen critical, analytical, and perceptual skills. Students apply these skills in photo manipulation, document design, and graphical presentation.

    NB: Fulfils departmental visual creativity competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 240 Acting for Camera (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course introduces students to the theory and craft of acting for camera. Topics include script interpretation, character development, auditioning, casting secrets, performance criticism, actor psychology, working with mise en scene and camera angles, continuity, physicalization, and the differences between television, film, and theatre acting. A key component of this course is working with film directors and shooting digital video scenes.

    NB: Lab fee.

    Prerequisite(s): Instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 250 Communication Theory in Everyday Life (3 sem. hrs.)

    A survey of contemporary theories in communication with an eye to their applicability for observation, explanation, and evaluation of everyday communication. Serves as a gateway course to advanced theoretical studies.

    NB: Fulfils departmental theory and criticism competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 260: Introduction to Film Studies (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course covers the art of cinema as it explores issues related to film history, theory, criticism and practice. A central component of the course is the focus on experimental, alternative, and transgressive cinema and how it compares and contrasts with mainstream narrative cinema. Students gain experience in making short experimental films. Additionally, emphasis is placed upon ethical and spiritual considerations from a Christian perspective.

    NB: Lab fee

    NB: Fulfils departmental media studies competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 270 Introduction to Journalism (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to the field of print journalism. Students examine Canadian media, evaluate the news process, consider the role of reporters in this process, and learn basic news writing.

    NB: Fulfils departmental writing competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 0-0)


  • COMM 301 Classical and Contemporary Rhetoric (3 sem. hrs.)

    The rhetoric of classical Greece and Rome, the medieval era, and modern and postmodern approaches to rhetorical practice are surveyed in relation to political, social, and mass media contexts and practices.

    NB: Fulfils departmental theory and critzicism competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): Third or fourth year standing. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 302 Cross-cultural Communications (3 sem. hrs.)

    The nature of cross-cultural interaction, drawing attention both to the unexpected variations in other cultures as well as to the presuppositions from one's own culture that inhibit cross-cultural communication. Addresses being a change agent in business, educational, and religious endeavours.

    NB: Offered also in Kenya and Guatemala as travel study course. Counts as a Society and Culture course in the University core.

    Cross-listed: ANTH 302, LING 302.

    NB: Fulfils departmental human communication competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): Registration preference given to Communications majors, concentrations, or minors, as well as TESL certificate, Inter-cultural Religious Studies, and International Studies programs. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 307 Relational Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course provides an in-depth look at communication in close relationships. The course begins with models of relational communication and proceeds with self- and other perceptions, verbal and nonverbal strategies and rituals, then the larger processes of communication in developing, sustaining, struggling, and ending relationships. Three featured topics include the role of conflict, verbal abuse, and personal style as factors in close relationships.

    NB: Fulfils departmental human communication competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): Second year standing. (3-0 ; 0-0)


  • COMM 308 Playwriting (3 sem. hrs.)

    A course in the art of structuring action and dialogue for the stage. Students study dramatic theory and "workshop" an original one-act play that is submitted in an approved format by the end of term. Plays from the class may be selected for staged readings.

    Cross-listed: THTR 325.

    Prerequisite(s): Upper level standing. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 309 Ethics, Morals, and Media (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course focuses on understanding the nature of ethics and morals in the media. Through reading, on-going discussion, case studies, guest lecturers, on-site observation, and media analysis, students develop their own framework for moral and ethical decision-making. As well as daily classes provided by the instructor, students visit various media agencies, film and production companies, etc. Through these on-site visits, students gain a greater understanding of the media industry.

    NB: offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): At least third year standing or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3- 0)


  • COMM 310 Technical Writing and Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course attempts to bridge the gap between academic theory and industrial practice through technical writing, which is writing that conveys information about technical subjects in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

    NB: Fulfils departmental writing competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): ENGL 103, 104, and third or fourth year standing or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 311 Digital Film Post-Production (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course examines the art and theory of digital film editing and the post-production process. The goal is to help students understand the role editing plays in the filmic and television viewing experience, especially the way shot selection, pacing, rhythm, sound, etc., impact a scene's development and how various editing techniques and aesthetics relate to dramatic and narrative storytelling. Historical, theoretical, and critical dimensions are addressed as students research seminal examples of film and video editing. This intense workshop offers a real world simulation component as students work under strict deadlines to edit and complete digital film projects.

    NB: Lab fee. Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 220 or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 312 Debate and Argumentation (3 sem. hrs.)

    The study of argumentation theory as applied in the practice of debate for the careful analysis and advancement of propositions regarding important contemporary issues. Students participate in two one-on-one debates and one two-on-two debate.

    NB: Fulfils departmental public speaking competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 211 or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 320 Screenwriting (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course introduces students to the history, art, and craft of cogent short-form film and television writing. It involves theoretical and applied components. Topics include concept, conflict, and character development, writing treatments, structure and plot point crafting, genre considerations, theme and character dynamics, mood and stylistic concerns, etc. Selective scripts from the course may be used in advanced production courses.

    NB: Lab fee.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 212 or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 330 Digital Filmmaking II (3 sem. hrs.)

    This advanced digital film production course focuses on the role of the cinematographer and the art and craft of digital cinematography. It offers students the opportunity to produce and create extended narrative digital film projects. Topics include lighting design, script interpretation, digital aesthetics, dramatic scene design, coverage methods, special effects, image control, and camera mechanics. A key component is writing, producing, shooting, and editing a digital film short.

    NB: Lab fee.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 220. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 334 Introduction to Digital Recording (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to various aspects of the recording arts with emphasis on working within the digital (virtual) studio environment. Through lectures, demonstrations, lab assignments, and projects, students gain a basic working understanding of a studio recording facility: various recording techniques; the role of computers in the recording arts; Cubase software as a digital editing platform; how to record digital audio on a computer; MIDI and the use of sequencing software; and studio hardware such as microphones and mixers.

    Cross-listed: MUSI 340.

    Prerequisite(s): MUSI 226 or instructor's consent. (1-3 or 1-3)


  • COMM 335 Film History I (3 sem. hrs.)

    A historical-critical course that helps students understand the role cinematic stories play in impacting culture, as shaped in their historical milieu. This course examines the chronological development of early to mid 20th century cinema history, including silent cinema, Soviet Realism, German Expressionism, French Surrealism, and Film Noir. The course also considers key pioneers and genres central to the development of American and European narrative cinema.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    NB: Fulfils departmental media studies competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 336 Film History II (3 sem. hrs.)

    Continuing the chronological development of Film History I, this course explores both the radical breaks and the continuation of the cinematic narrative traditions of the early stages of film history. This class explores many of the influential filmmakers and movements that help define contemporary cinema including neo-realism, The French New Wave, the rise of art house cinema, and the au tour theory.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    NB: Fulfils departmental media studies competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 340 Film Genre and Criticism (3 sem. hrs.)

    The history and art of film criticism. Theoretical, historical and applied or practical critical components. The special language of film, the history of key cinematic techniques and story types, film genre analysis, and types of film criticism. Emphasis is placed upon the role of the film critic as social historian. Addresses the ethical and spiritual challenges related to contemporary films, from a Christian perspective.

    NB: Viewing fee; Summer sessions only.

    NB: Fulfils departmental theory and criticism competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None.


  • COMM 350 Selected Topics in Communications (1-6 sem. hrs.)

    Topics vary from year to year.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): Varies with topic.


  • COMM 351-359 Communications Practicum (1-8 sem. hrs.)

    A work-and-learn experience in the field of communications, on-campus or off-campus. In addition to their work experience, practica students meet regularly as a class to discuss workplace issues, communication challenges, and assignments.

    NB: Open only to Communication majors, concentrations, and minors and students working with student media (i.e., student newspaper, student yearbook, student video yearbook). Only 3 sem. hrs. apply toward the major; others go to electives for a maximum total of 8 sem. hrs.
    Communications Practicum courses are pass/fail courses.

    Prerequisite(s): Second year standing or above.


  • COMM 360 Television and Culture (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course is an in-depth look at television as a mass medium with particular financial and cultural constraints. Students examine the decision-making process behind television programming, learn criteria for viewing television critically, and ask how Christians may respond to television responsibly.

    NB: Fulfils departmental media studies competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): Third or fourth year standing. (3-0; 0-0)


  • COMM 372 Online Journalism and Writing (3 sem. hrs.)

    A hands-on seminar that explores the style, format, technique and design of web writing — specifically related to online journalism. The class explores historical aspects, storytelling structures, design concepts, ethical issues, writing styles, and media concerns that affect online news websites. A course project creates and develops editions of an online news magazine that incorporates student-written articles and feature stories.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 230 and 270, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 380 Digital Games as Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course considers the social and cultural impact of digital games in contemporary culture from a Christian perspective. Students play, read about, write about, and critically engage a wide variety of computer and video games.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 112 or instructor's consent; third year standing. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 381 Imaging and Illustration Design (3 sem. hrs.)

    Exploration of enhancing, manipulating and producing images for design, use of raster and vector software technologies, and creative process from concept to final production art. Principles of visual storytelling and strong conceptual image making are investigated. Practical problems of verbal to visual idea translation are directed toward a variety of applications, such as advertising, publications, software, and film. Contemporary and historic imagery trends are also surveyed.

    Cross-listed: ART 361.

    Prerequisite(s): ART 250 or COMM 230, and one of the following: COMM 112; 212; ART 181, 182, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 382 Symbol and Typography Design (3 sem. hrs.)

    A study of the history, theory, and craft of typography and symbol design. Explores the messages inherent in graphics using descriptive, symbolic, and typographic design elements to solve various communication problems. Topics covered include icon development, anatomy of letterform, principles of lettering, logotypes, and information layout. Studio work and assignments emphasize type's relation to image, complex information systems, media forms, and cultural contexts.

    Cross-listed: ART 362.

    Prerequisite(s): ART 250 or COMM 230, and one of the following: COMM 112; 212; ART 181, 182, or instructor's consent. (0-3 or 0-3)


  • COMM 383 Format & Layout Design (3 sem. hrs.)

    Explores the layout elements, principles, and strategies used by graphic designers for print and screen. Topics include composing form and space, using color schemes, designing with type, illustrating with imagery, and organizing content for usability. Assignments consider the layout of books, periodicals, brochures, advertisements, promotional displays, websites and screen devices.

    Cross-listed: ART 363

    Prerequisite(s): ART 250 or COMM 230, and one of the following: COMM 112; 212; ART 181, 182, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 410 Language and Gender (3 sem. hrs.)

    A survey course of the central themes in the study of gender-differentiated language use, such as differences in conversational practice, conversational differences in mixed talk and single-sex talk, as well as the complexity in intimate talk between men and women.

    NB: Currently offered in Summer sessions only.

    Prerequisite(s): LING 210 or PSYC 315 or third or fourth year Communications standing.


  • COMM 411 Media, Culture, and Criticism (3 sem. hrs.)

    A seminar investigating the cultural environment in which we live as the context of all communication. Selected media within contemporary culture are explored in terms of their contribution to the postmodern age.

    NB: Fulfils departmental theory and criticism competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): Third or fourth year standing. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 413 Public Relations Writing (3 sem. hrs.)

    An advanced course that focuses on the style and technique of writing for public relations and corporate communications. Students discover the dynamics of strategic and persuasive writing while creating key pieces such as brochures, ads, newsletters, and press releases. Opportunity is given to create a communications package for a public relations client.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 212 or 213, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 414 Non-fiction Writing Seminar (3 sem. hrs.)

    A workshop building on established writing skills and strong story sense. Students analyze the best contemporary non-fiction work available, in depth, while producing several pieces of publishable quality of their own in a variety of non-fiction genres.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 212 or 270; or ENGL 207 or 208; or instructor's consent (writing samples may be required). (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 415 Editing for Newspapers and Magazines (3 sem. hrs.)

    Building on skills introduced in COMM 212, 270, or 470, students learn the art of editing for magazines and newspapers. Students study examples of published magazines and newspapers (both print and online), write and edit a piece of their own with the intent to publish their work, and apply their knowledge to pieces submitted for publication to a student publication to be created around this course.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 212 or 270 or 470; or ENGL 207 or 208; or instructor's consent (writing samples may be required). (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 430 Persuasive Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course investigates the art, science, and practice of persuasive communication in its many forms and contexts. It examines theories and research in human influence and how language, images, and non-verbal cues can mold people's attitudes and actions. There is opportunity to carry out a social science project in interpersonal or mediated persuasion, and to seriously consider the ethical implications of one's persuasive efforts.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 111 and at least third year standing. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 431 Masters of Cinema (3 sem. hrs.)

    This seminar focuses on key filmmakers who have been highly influential in the development of thought-filled narrative cinema and its structure, stylistics, aesthetics, and techniques. Filmmakers include Jean Renoir, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, Orson Wells and Federico Fellini.

    NB: Summer sessions only.

    Prerequisite(s): None.


  • COMM 432 Women, Communication, and Leadership (3 sem. hrs.)

    This advanced course focuses on central current themes in the study of women in positions of power and leadership in Western society. Students focus on gendered communication patterns and tendencies, specifically concerning women in positions of influence in politics and media.

    Prerequisite(s): LING 210 or PSYC 315, third year standing, and/or permission of instructor. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 434 Advanced Digital Recording (3 sem. hrs.)

    A continuation of COMM 334/MUSI 340. Students gain a thorough understanding of: Nuendo recording/post production software; Reason electronic composition software; MIDI arranging for live musicians; synchronized film composition; and a variety of related topics.

    Cross-listed: MUSI 341.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 334/MUSI 340, or instructor's consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 435 Religious Themes in Cinema (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course explores key films and filmmakers that have presented traditional and controversial religious messages in their work including filmic symbolic creations regarding God, the Church, sin, redemption, and grace. Filmmakers include Krzysztof Kieslowski, Carl Dreyer, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman, Martin Scorsese, and Horton Foote. The course discusses rhetorical ways film conveys spiritual and emotional messages. Of note is the role Christ and Christ-figures play in selected films.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0 or 3-0)


  • COMM 440 Digital Film Directing (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course introduces students to the history, theory, and craft of digital film directing. It involves theoretical and applied components. Topics include the role of the director, scene and script analysis, storyboarding, working with actors, digital movie technology, camera techniques, principles of editing, and personal discipline. A key component includes working with actors, shooting and editing scenes.

    NB: Not offered every year. See Department chair.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 220 or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 450 Directed Studies in Communication (3 sem. hrs.)

    Students are required to produce an outline of the topics to be studied in consultation with the instructor. A course of reading and writing is pursued according to the approved outline.

    NB: In keeping with University policy, students are normally not allowed to do a Directed Study in a course currently offered by the Communications Department.

    Prerequisite(s): 12 sem. hrs. lower level Communications courses and instructor's consent.


  • COMM 452 Leadership Communication in Multi-cultural Contexts (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course builds on fundamental concepts of cross-cultural communication, taking a deeper look at issues raised by the interface of leadership communication and multi-cultural, non-Western contexts. The student explores issues such as cognitive frameworks, motivation, decision-making, conflict resolution, and the management of time, people, and projects. The course studies perception and the enactment of relational leadership behaviour in settings abroad, deepening understanding and sharpening cross-cultural skills, thereby equipping students for maximum effectiveness in a professional multi-cultural setting.

    NB: Also offered as summer travel study to Guatemala or Kenya.

    Cross-listed: ANTH 452.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 302. (0-0; 3-0)


  • COMM 470 Feature Writing for Newspapers and Magazines (3 sem. hrs.)

    Building on skills developed in COMM 212 or 270, students study the best in magazine and newspaper feature writing and produces several pieces of their own with the intent of publishing their work.

    Prerequisite(s): COMM 212 or 270; ENGL 103, 104, and third or fourth year standing. (3-0; 0-0)

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