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 180 Communication Colloquium (0 sem. hrs.)

    This course gathers the entire department together on a weekly basis to talk about important issues facing communication students and professionals, and to help prepare students for finding and building their careers after graduating, which will be accomplished by bringing in guest speakers from a variety of professions. These sessions will also give an opportunity for students to consider the integration of faith and career. Another goal is to build connections and community within the department and the School of the Arts, Media and Culture.

    Prerequisite(s): None.


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

    This course covers the principles and skills of effective public speaking. It fosters an appreciation of the nature and uses of public speech-making including: surveys of the communication processes, ethical obligations, audience analysis, and principles of informative and persuasive speech-making. 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.)

    In this course, students examine the role of public relations within and among various sectors of society including business, government, and non-profit organizations. Case studies are used to illustrate the profession and practice of public relations. where possible, and ethical standards in public relations are emphasized. Media, consumer, employee, and community relations, as well as ethical standards in the public relations industry are examined.

    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.)

    This introductory course in the art and craft of digital video production familiarizes students with the “classical” approach to cinematic aesthetics and techniques. Students work individually and collaboratively as they produce, shoot, and edit short films. Emphasis is placed on analyzing films from a filmmaker’s perspective.

    NB: Lab fee.

    NB: Fulfils departmental visual creativity competency requirement.

    Prerequisite(s): None. (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 criticism competency requirement.

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


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

    This course is about 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. The need to take into account the dynamic of constant cultural change is also emphasized, and so the course addresses being an agent of change in linguistic, 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 and the role they play in mass media, society, and our personal life. Through course readings, discussions, case studies, guest lecturers, and media analysis, students develop and sharpen their moral and ethical decision-making abilities and pursue questions concerning the role influential moral thinkers and mass media play in shaping our understanding of what it means to be human.

    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 Business and Technical Writing (3 sem. hrs.)

    This workshop course offers students effective techniques for written and oral communication within the fields of business and industry, including key aspects of technical correspondence, report writing, oral communication, and the job-seeking process.

    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 production course focuses on the key components necessary for making creative and compelling narrative and non-narrative short films. Topics include concept and script development, cinematography techniques, effective mise-en-scene integration, and production workflow. A key component also includes writing, producing, shooting, and editing short films.

    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 with Cubase and other Virtual Instrument software.

    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.)

    This historical-critical course helps students understand the role cinematic stories play in both impacting culture and reflecting, their historical milieu. This course examines the chronological development of cinema from its earliest days until the advent of World War II. It includes the pioneering ideas, aesthetics and techniques related to silent cinema, Soviet Realism, German Expressionism, French Surrealism, and realism. The course also considers key pioneers and genres central to the development of American and European narrative cinematic tradition.

    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.)

    This historical-critical course helps students understand the role cinematic stories play in both impacting culture and reflecting their historical milieu, especially as they relate to the events and traumas of World War II and the Cold War. Students explore key post-World War II film movements including neo-realism, the French New Wave, the New German Cinema, the rise of art house cinema, autour theory, and the moral rebellions of the 1960s and 70s.

    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.)

    This practicum provides students with a work-and-learn experience in the field of communications, on 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 Video Games and Culture (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course considers the social and cultural impact of video 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.)

    An exploration of the conception, production and analysis of imagery in graphic communication design, including photos, illustrations, and graphic marks. Imagery-based problems are investigated in multiple design contexts and formats. Specialized rendering techniques, digital studio practices and iconographic style development are considered.

    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.)

    An exploration of integrated conceptual thinking and formal experimentation with type and related symbol systems in graphic communications. Emphasis is placed on type as image, principles of typesetting, hierarchy and structure. The complex interaction of type in relation to other graphic elements in multiple design contexts and formats is considered.

    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.)

    An exploration of integrated conceptual thinking and formal experimentation with the structural and organizing systems at work in graphic communications. Emphasis is given to the development of unified graphic systems spanning multiple design contexts and formats.

    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 Narrative Non-Fiction (3 sem. hrs.)

    Current magazine and newspaper writing employs narrative non-fiction’s creative tools to bring true stories to life. In this advanced workshop-style course, students study examples of the best published memoir, personal narrative, travel writing, and immersion journalism and write several pieces of publishable quality 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 and expression of thought-provoking narrative and non-narrative cinema, including documentary and animation. As such, it focuses on a broad array of filmmakers, styles, and genres as students explore the way cinematic structure, stylistics, aesthetics, and techniques creates a deeper understanding of life. Filmmakers studied include masters from Hollywood, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

    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.)

    Advanced study and practice of the technologies pertaining to professional digital recording.

    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. As a workshop, it involves critical, and applied components. Topics include the multiple roles role of the director, scene and script analysis, creating potent production concepts, creative cinematics and techniques, auditioning, and working with actors. Key components of the course include shooting monologues, scenes, and making a short film.

    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.)

    Students explore the complexities of leadership communication in multi-cultural, non-Western contexts through topics such as gender and social structures, motivation, decision-making, negotiating conflict, and managing projects and change. The course draws on leadership theories, metaphors, and global leadership research to define culturally preferred leadership attributes and behaviors, and effective cross-cultural communication in comparative global settings.

    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 produce 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)

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

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