Communication sciences, by some seen as Mickey Mouse disciplines, are increasingly important and needed nowadays. The ULB offers two Master’s programs in Communication sciences, with several options within each. But what is exactly the difference between them? And most importantly, which one is a good fit?
The Master’s degree in communication has three different sections: Corporate Communication and Marketing, Political communication & lobbying and Communication research. The main difference between the two Masters is the focus in language development. As can be deduced from the name, the Master in communication focusses on competences in communication sciences, management and research, whereas the Masters in multilingual communication is centred around getting a profound insight into multilingual and multicultural environments.
“The main reason that made me choose the corporate and marketing masters program is that each course specializes in a certain aspect of the field and isn’t too broad.”
– Farah (student in the Masters of Corporate Communication)
As shortly explained above, the Master’s degree in multilingual communication is an interdisciplinary program which combines communication sciences, languages, and a specialisation (International Relations, Multiculturalism, or Human Resources). In order to enrol, you need to have a good command of English (C1 level) as well as a second language (B1 level). Find the full entry requirements of the program here. Currently, seven second language choices are available: German, Spanish, Italian, French as a foreign language, Dutch, Russian, and Chinese.
“I chose the masters in multilingual communication because it gave me the opportunity to combine my love for languages and communication sciences. With this program, I hope to end up in a position where multilingual interactions will be part of my daily work and where I can help avoid misunderstandings between cultures.”
– Anna (student in the Masters of Multilingual Communication)
|Multiculturalism||International Relations||Human resources|
|Mandatory specific courses||• Multicultural discourses|
• Introduction critique aux religions contemporaines
• Géohistoire du tourisme
|• Europe in the Twentieth Century|
• International relations
• Problèmes actuels de politique internationale
|• Communication corporate|
• Gestion des ressources humaines
• Psychologie interculturelle du travail
|Elective specific courses (choose 1)||•Communication politique|
• Union européenne et sociétés européennes
• Migrant Integration Policies in Europe
|• Histoire des colonisations|
Histoire croisée de l’Amérique du Nord et de l’Europe
• L’Europe et le Monde : approche historique
• Analyse de l’actualité et enjeux déontologique
|• Structure de l’entreprise, relations du travail et théorie de la négociation|
• Relations collectives du travail
• Psychologie du travail et des entreprises
You’ve decided multilingual communications is a better fit for you, and you have chosen your second language, now it’s time to choose a specialization. All three have different core courses, summarized in the table below.
Because the three specializations are all centered around facilitating multilingual communication, it might be difficult to see the differences. Three students give you their opinion about why they made their decision and what their view into the future looks like.
|Multiculturalism||International Relations||Human Resources|
|Ilaria (graduate class of 2019)||Aylin (graduate class of 2022)||Lucie (graduate class of 2020)|
|Why did you choose your major?||This is the specialization in which I felt most at ease, the syllabus was very interesting to me. Being a person who loves other cultures and religions, it was evident for me because I had the chance to study different topics.||I’ve always had a tremendous interest in global affairs, I’ve always wanted to understand the interactions that happen on a global scale and I felt compelled to work in diplomacy as well.||I chose a specialization in HR because I felt like it was the most concrete one. I thought it would help me find a job more easily.|
|What was your favorite class? Why?||I really liked Contact des cultures. It was an extremely passionate course which even gave me my final thesis idea (stereotypes). I adored this because it helped us understand how other people think and live completely different lives because they have a different reference point.||The course International Relations provided us with a basic understanding of the notions in the IR-field. I think much of the reason why I like this course is because of the professor. Even during the COVID pandemic, he was able to make matters very interesting for us. It is a very multidimensional and diverse study, and I’m absolutely fascinated by it.||My favourite class was Psychologie interculturelle du travail. I was already aware of the importance of cultural differences while working within an international team, but this class helped me see other cultures from another perspective and accept their differences easier.|
|Are you looking to specifically work in a company/field related to your major?||I think that the multicultural discipline would add to my interest because it shows open-mindedness and interest in others. Why not, for example, use this to work for NGOs.||Yes, my biggest dream would be to represent Belgium abroad, working in diplomacy would be my ultimate goal.||I am currently working in a startup and even if my main role isn’t related to HR, I can feel that it has an impact on my professional skills.|
|Would you choose the same again? Why?||Yes, I would choose this specialization again because in my opinion it was the most interesting one and the one that matched my expectations.||Definitely, IR has broadened my horizon in terms of general knowledge but also personal development. I can really see myself working in that field and I would choose the same specialization if I got the chance.||Yes, I would. Mainly because it matches my personality as I am an open-minded and outgoing person!|
All three disciplines have their own specialization with strengths and advantages. It is a very personal choice to make, but don’t forget that the internship you choose (as part of the second year) as well as the Master’s thesis will also shape your academic trajectory. The internship will give you a strong inside look into the workforce and will define your master’s experience. If you need any inspiration or tips, check out these links.