Five Areas of Study in University Communications Departments

  • Technology
  • Health
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

If you’re fascinated by communication methods and the effects they have on society, you may enjoy doing graduate-level research while pursuing a Master’s in Communication. Communication students study the processes and consequences of communication between individuals and society. The five most important areas of study in the field of communication all have the potential to reveal surprising truths about the nature of people and cultures.

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1. Technology

As communication becomes more dependent on electronic media and new forms of technology are developed to increase the efficiency of communication, researchers have plenty of material to analyze for clues about human nature and how to organize society. Master’s students of communication can choose to specialize in communication technology for a chance to study the emerging platforms and devices that shape the way people share ideas with each other. Technological developments have had more of an impact than any other communication trend in recent years as social media has grown and taken on more importance in society.

2. Health

Communication majors closely study the ways in which communication affects people’s health. This field of study is not the same as the field of communication within the health care industry. Graduate students of communication are interested in how public health is affected by the forms and messages of communication experienced by the typical person. This area of specialization focuses on physical health as opposed to mental health, which is a subject of study within the specialization of communication psychology.

3. Politics

Political consequences may be an obvious subject of interest for graduate students studying the intricate ways in which people communicate ideas with each other. Communication majors want to understand how forms and patterns of communication affect the political views of people in a society. For example, an unintended consequence of social media is the increasing polarization of politics as users respond to the confirmation of their biases and to partisan outrage designed to attract readers to news websites with dwindling audiences, according to Digital Trends.

4. Sociology

Sociology is an area of research that looks at the population-level trends of a society and the interactions between groups of people. Communication is one of the most important factors affecting cultural trends at the societal level, and researchers want to understand the social dynamics created by various forms of communication. One practical goal of this area of study is to improve the social fabric by understanding the evolving forms of communication used by a society and their impact on individuals’ satisfaction with life.

5. Psychology

The connection between communication and human psychology is significant because it describes a sort of feedback loop of behavioral influence on individuals and society as a whole. Human psychology is affected by many factors that arise from new modes and patterns of communication. Happiness, aggression, religiosity and depression are all psychological states that are influenced by the ideas shared by people communicating with each other on a daily basis. Studying the connection between communication and psychology gives researchers insight into the risks and rewards presented by various forms of human interaction.

The field of communication is complex and challenging, and many smart, creative people are needed to work on the problems present in different modes of communication. If you like thinking about the intricate interaction of people and ideas in society, you’ll enjoy conducting original research for a Master’s in Communication.