Master of Communication Studies (Research) | Communication

Master (Research)

Programme Type

Full-time, Part-time

WKWSCI Graduate Research

[email protected]

Call for PhD and Master’s by Research Programme Applications: January 2025 intake

Please apply from 1 June to 31 July 2024 by clicking here

If you are interested to apply for NTU Research Scholarship, please indicate your interest in your application for admission.


The research programmes in WKWSCI are specially designed for students to work with faculty members with diverse research interests in the fields of communications and information studies.

Research students have the opportunity to present their research work at regional and global conferences. In addition, they get the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on numerous publications in top academic journals.   

Students typically conduct research in the following areas: 

Communication Studies: Health communication and information, marketing communication and public relations, media arts and cultural studies, computer-mediated communication, journalism, international/intercultural communication, communication law and policy, political communication. 

The minimum requirements for admission for the Master’s by research programmes are: 

  • Bachelor's degree with Honours (Distinction) and CGPA of 4.25/5.00 and above  
  • Ability to pursue research in the proposed field of advanced study 
  • English language competency* 

*For degree not awarded by an English-medium university or is awarded by an English-medium university but the language of instruction was not English, you must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement (ELPR) of having at least an IELTS (academic) score of 7.0 (min sub-score of 6.5). The score must be obtained within the last 2 years at point of application. TOEFL is not accepted in place of IELTS. 

GRE Requirement 

GRE is not a mandatory requirement for both local and international applicants. An interview will be conducted for applicants who have graduated from overseas universities to assess the applicant's language competency and potential to pursue independent research. 

Admission Procedures 
Please upload all relevant documents during application. No hardcopy documents are required to be submitted to our school. 

Applicants may check their application or result status online after receiving the acknowledgement receipt of your application via email. 

Research Topic and Proposal 
A research topic and a 1,500-word research proposal is required upon application. You are free to propose any topic in the fields of communication or information studies. However, as the programme requires that the student work closely with the supervisor, the student should ensure that his or her field of research is aligned with the interests of the potential supervisor. You may visit the School’s faculty profiles to find out about the faculty professors’ publications and research interests. Students are encouraged to approach individual faculty professors to discuss their research topic and possible supervision. 

The proposal should contain the following: 

  • Statement of research question 
  • Significance of research question  
  • Literature review  
  • Methods 
  • References list 
Sample of Works 
Although it is not required, applicants are encouraged to send in their sample of works, including published or unpublished research, various types of writing, multi-media products, or any other forms of portfolio that would accurately represent your abilities. 

Other Supporting Documents  
You may visit the admissions webpage at this link on the supporting documents required for submission when you apply for admission. 

Referee Reports 
Please submit email addresses of two (2) academic referees via the online admission system. The system will auto-trigger an email to your referees to request for their reference letters.  

There will be an application fee of $54.00 for research programmes. 

Coursework Requirement  
  • 3 courses to be taken from graduate programmes offered by the School, other Schools in NTU or NIE 
  • 3 Courses to be fulfilled by the 12th month of candidature.  
  • Students must attain a minimum TGPA and CGPA of 3.00 in any term of study 
  • Students must attain at least a GPA of 2.50 for any course 
Other Mandatory Courses  
  • HWG703 Graduate English (unless exempted) 
Qualifying Examination 
  • Masters students are expected to pass qualifying exam (QE) at the end of 12th month of their candidature 
  • The qualifying exam comprises of submitting a confirmation report and giving a formal presentation to the review panel. The presentation is subject to a Q&A from the panel 
  • The panel will evaluate the student’s progress, research work, and recommend his confirmation of candidature 
Thesis Examination 
  • Masters students are required to submit the final thesis by the end of 2nd year from the start of candidature 
Candidates may apply either for full-time or part-time. To be awarded the degree, students will need to complete their programme requirement within their candidature period. A minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.00 is required to successfully complete the programme 

For more information on Grade Point Average (GPA), please click here

Full-Time Candidature 

Part-Time Candidature 





2 semesters 

6 semesters 

2 semesters 

6 semesters 

(Note: 1 academic year is equivalent to 2 semesters.) 

Not all courses listed in the curriculum will be offered in a semester. Courses offered are subjected to availability of instructors and resources. 
Core Courses 

CI7011 Philosophy of Research  
This course provides two foci. One focus is the philosophy of scientific research. This includes development of insights into the logical and epistemological foundations of empirical science, specifically the nature of theory and the relationship of theory to research design and method. This focus will be very useful to students who are preparing their own original research ideas and proposals, in order to help them discover, explicate, and theorize important relationships in their own domains of interest.  

CI7012 Communication Theory  
This course focuses on both macro and micro aspects of communication. On the micro level, students will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches in studying individuals’ uses of media, as well as socio-psychological effects of media on individuals. Students will be privy to the latest social scientific research on attention, media selection and choice, information processing, persuasion and social/behavioral effects of communication. At a macro level, the course introduces theories and concepts focusing on the interactions between media and societal institutions, where topics include public opinion, political economy of the media, international communication, and the like. Students will discuss current research and public debates about the role of different communication media in a society, including print, broadcast, and online media.  

CI7013 Conceptual Foundations of Information  
What counts as information? Understanding information disciplines as the product of the desire for universal knowledge and the reality of repetitive information explosions will be a key issue in this course. Students will be exploring epistemology and information science, and Bourdieu’s theory of distinction as just some of the various disciplines. At a deeper level, the course will cover how we organize information via technologies of collecting and storing information over time as students delve into the anthropology of classification. Students will be introduced to famous classifiers such as Aristotle, Linnaeus, Otlet, Dewey, in making comparisons to modern technologies of classification. Other topics will include censorship and information privacy through the ages ¬– Who gets access to information and how? – as well as the development of public information facilities – from traditional print newspapers to the creating encylopedic knowledge on the Internet (and no, not just Wikipedia). Finally students will be exploring the concept of information in the 21st century: what are the key issues today?  

Method Courses 

CI7014 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods in Communication and Information 
(Prerequisite: Students must have read or audited an undergraduate statistics course.) 
This graduate course introduces students to advanced quantitative research methods most frequently used for dissertations and applied research in the social and behavioural sciences. The course aims to deepen the understanding of quantitative research methods and to develop skills for applying these methods in the broad range of communication and information disciplines. The course covers the development of research ideas, measurement procedures, design, data collection and analysis. Both traditional and new modes of data collection which involve new technologies will be covered in this course. Students will have hands-on experience in the process of conducting empirical investigations, learn the appropriate ways to analyze and interpret data, and present the findings in both oral and written formats  

CI7015 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Communication and Information 
(Prerequisite: Students must have read or audited an undergraduate research course (such as COM2008 Fundamentals of Research or COM442 Advanced Research Methods) before taking A9015. A9015 would assume that students have foundational knowledge of qualitative research.) 

This graduate course is designed to provide a working knowledge of qualitative research methods suitable for application in graduate research. Students will learn the fundamental logic of qualitative research, and understand the appropriate times to use qualitative research methods on its own, or to complement mixed methods research design. The methods covered in this course include qualitative content analysis, document analysis, case study, interviews, ethnography, and grounded theory. 

Elective Courses 

CI7016 Independent Study in Communication  
This course is designed as an independent study for Master’s research and PhD students in Communication. The student will explore and critically examine an area of interest relevant to communication studies. Topics include but are not limited to: 
  • Communication Law & Policy  
  • International/Intercultural Communication  
  • Health Communications Theory and Foundations  
  • Visual Communication  
  • Communication Technology  
  • Critical & Cultural Studies  
  • Marketing Communication & PR 
  • Political Communication & Public Opinion 
  • Journalism  
  • Interpersonal Communication & Social Psychology 
CI7112 Health Communications Theory & Foundations  
The interdisciplinary field of health communication merges the theoretical with the applied, in which case all areas of health and medicine will serve as communication contexts for this course. These areas include provider-patient relations, health promotion campaigns, health policy, and manager-provider relations. Emerging frontiers such as new technologies in health and medical information, health inequalities, genetic testing, and evidence-based medicine will be studied from a communication perspective. In addition, the ethical component of each area studied will be discussed in the course.  

CI7122 Intelligent Information Retrieval  
The concept of 'intelligent' information retrieval was first proposed in the late 1970s, but lost standing within its community by the early 1990s. Yet with the rising popularity of 'intelligent agents', it appears that the idea of intelligent information retrieval is back in general vogue. What, then, is true intelligence in information retrieval? Where can intelligence be manifested in an information retrieval system? Students will learn the fundamental and advanced issues in information retrieval, and analyze the approaches to adopt and/or revise for intelligent information retrieval systems.  

CI7101 New Media and Society 
This course addresses selected traditional and “frontier” issues confronting communication theorists in the context of converging new media environments. Core thematic issues will reflect contemporary efforts to understand how new media/communication technologies, society, and people interact with one another and what difference this makes for communication theory and research. As a period of massive transformation affecting change in the very definition of “new media”, for course purposes, “new media” encompass Internet and/or technology-based forms including mobile phones, computer games, blogs, and social networking websites. Although all perspectives are encouraged, the primary focus will be on behavioral and social psychological approaches to new media and communication technologies.  

CI7102 Human Information Behaviour  
Information behavior refers to the range of user behaviour in relation to information and information systems, which include information need generation, creation, giving, assessment, management, use and impact. These will be studied in the context of different kinds of tasks (work, everyday, play) and social/organizational environments. The course will hence focus on applying the concepts, theories and models of information behaviour to information science research. 
Additionally, topics covered include: types and models of information behavior, including the information search process, and interactive information retrieval; fundamental concepts of information need, serendipity, relevance, tasks, etc.; user browsing and searching; collaborative information behavior; application to the design of information systems, services and policies; user evaluation; information world of specific populations; and research methods.  

CI7103 Mind and Media
Advanced survey of socio-psychological consequences of human interaction with media and computers. Key themes are 1) how mind has evolved to interact with media and computers in certain ways, 2) how media form and content influence mind, 3) how mind socially responds to computers, 4) how media and computers create sense of “being there” and/or “being together with someone,” and 5) how properties (e.g., emotion, arousal, attention, memory, attitude) of human cognition and affection are affected by the form, content, and use of media and computers. Although all perspectives are encouraged, the primary focus will be on behavioral and social psychological approaches to mind and media. 

CI7104 Network Analysis: Theory and Methods 
This course introduces the core concepts of network theory and methods and discusses theoretical and analytic issues associated with network analysis. It consists of three major parts: the theoretical foundations of network analysis, the review of seminal and recent works on social and communication networks, and applications of network theory to real-world problems. The course focuses on (but not limited to) the following topics: homophily and community structure, tie strength and structural holes, diffusion and network effects, small-world phenomena, random graph model, large-scale empirical networks, and computational approaches to network analysis. Students will learn and use programming languages for data collection and analysis. All the programming skills necessary for the course will be taught in a step-by-step manner. Prior knowledge of linear algebra and calculus will be helpful, but is not required. 

CI7105 Bayesian Statistics 
This course introduces the core concepts in Bayesian statistics and discusses various issues with data analysis and scientific research with the emphasis on statistical theory. Most importantly, it will offer a critical review of the Fisherian approach to hypothesis testing and statistical inferences and ritualized practices in social scientific research. The course consists of three parts: (1) the theoretical foundations of statistical analysis, (2) the logic behind Bayesian inferences and its applications (e.g., generative hierarchical models, MCMC sampling, machine learning, and computational methods), and (3) data collection and analysis with computational programming languages. Students are expected to be competent in O-level calculus (differentiation and integration), which will not be covered in the course. 

CI7106 Communication Neuroscience 
This course introduces students to the exciting area of communication neuroscience, which using techniques for brain imaging in order to answer questions in the field of communication. It first introduces the premier technology associated with this area, namely functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), with a focus on providing a conceptual understanding of how the technique operates and how the data are analyzed, rather than a detailed technical description. Then, it builds upon this background by focusing on recent papers from the communication literature that have used a variety of fMRI analysis techniques to demonstrate how communication researchers are actively answering communication questions using this approach 

CI7107 Advanced Quantitative Analysis for Communication and Information Research 
This course introduces students to structural equation modeling. After reviewing fundamental statistical analyses, students will learn the process of conducting structural equation modelling. 

The course content is divided into three thematic groups:  
  • Theme 1 – Analytical and statistical fundamentals: This theme involves class discussions, activities, and assignments about several common statistical analyses. 
  • Theme 2 – Conducting structural equation modeling: This theme introduces key concepts and the process of conducting structural equation modeling. 
  • Theme 3 – Special topics: This theme focuses on special uses of structural equation modeling, which researchers can use to answer many different research questions. 

CI7108 Media Influence and Persuasion

This course provides an introduction to classic and influential theories and research on media influence and persuasion. The readings and class meetings will be guided by the major theoretical approaches to understanding how and why media messages have intended and unintended effects on individuals and society across a variety of contexts (e.g., media violence, health, political, entertainment media, news media, etc.). Within the context of these theories, students will review empirical applications of the theories and develop skills in operationalizing theoretical concepts for empirical testing.

Specific objectives of the course include classic media effects theories such as Social Cognitive Theory, Cultivation Theory, Agenda-Setting, Elaboration Likelihood Model and Social Judgement Theory. It will also cover key concepts in persuasion research such as Attention, Selection, Perception, Priming, Desensitization, Framing, Emotions and Resistance.

CI7109 Advertising Theory & Consumer Psychology

This course introduces students to the essential theories and research on media influence and persuasion and equip students with skills needed to test those theories in empirical studies.

After reviewing the philosophical and structural foundations for theory construction with specific models and topics, with focus on the concepts, theoretical issues, theoretical soundness, and methodological choices made by the authors of the articles used in class, each student is expected to develop a research paper/proposal by the end of the semester.

The paper/proposal should consist of a literature review, hypotheses and/or research questions, and methods. The goal is for each student to have the experience of writing a critical review of the literature and develop a new model/theory of their own.


Academic Integrity

Wee Kim School of Communication and Information is committed to pursue research excellence and ensures the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour in all academic and research endeavours. It is fundamental that assignments, projects and proposals for coursework and research programmes submitted by students are of the highest integrity, and plagiarism will not be condoned. 

Plagiarism is defined as having used or passed off one’s own writings or ideas of another, without acknowledging or crediting the source from which the ideas are taken. It includes the following: 
  • The use of words, images, diagrams, graphs, or ideas derived from books, journals, magazines, visual media, and the internet without proper acknowledgement 
  • Copying of work from the internet or any other sources and presenting as one’s own; and 
  • Submitting identical work for different courses or to different journals and publications. 
Students are expected to observe academic integrity when writing and submitting assignments, projects or proposals for their coursework or research programmes, and provide references when citations are mentioned in their works. 

For more information on NTU Academic Integrity Policy, please click here

Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures for Declaration of Authorship 

In view of the University’s implementation of the academic integrity policy and code of conduct, publications of research done at NTU, including written assignments, theses and dissertations, must adhere to responsible reporting practices​. For more information, please refer to the Research Integrity website. 

Course Fees

Tuition fee is waived for students who are full-time and under scholarship. Fees are only applicable to students who are self-financed. Information on fees can be viewed here.

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete 9 Academic Units (AUs) or 3 courses as part of the coursework requirements for graduation. A minimum CGPA of 3.00 & above for the coursework component.  

Grade Point Average Requirements 

The university adopts a Grade Point Average (GPA) system of calculating the overall academic performance of a student in a particular semester and for the whole programme. Letter grades obtained for courses are assigned grade points of 0 to 5.0.  

Letter Grade 

Grade Point 


















For more information on Grade Point Average (GPA), please click here

For students who wish to convocate during the year, they must adhere to deadlines for fulfilling all requirements and passing of oral exam. The deadline is usually around May of the year, in order for them to be convocated in July-August. 

Research Programme 

Academic Warning 

Termination of Financial Aid and/or Candidature 


  1. TGPA or CGPA < 3.00 in any term of study; 


  1. Any course with Grade Point less than 2.50 (below C+) 

  1. Fail to complete all course requirements within the confirmation period; 

  1. TGPA < 2.50 in two consecutive terms 

  1. TGPA < 3.00 in three consecutive terms 



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