One of the key competences of communication professionals these days is to understand and successfully employ the relation between media use and communication processes. Our programme will offer you insight into the factors that, in professional contexts, influence the interplay of media, communication processes and language in a globalized world. In our courses, you will study new phenomena in media use and international communication and develop a thorough theoretical understanding of communication.

Old and new media in a globalized world

These days, social media are no longer only used for their original purpose, personal communication, but also employed by businesses for professional purposes. Organizations use Twitter for webcare, Skype or Facetime for meetings and Whatsapp for conversations. Facebook is also used for creating business communities. In the BA CIS specialisation Language and media you will learn how and why organizations apply new (and old) media in business-to-business and business-to-consumer interaction.

You will also discover how applications of new media influence, shape or even define the content and linguistic or visual characteristics of the messages that are exchanged. Tweets, for instance, have a limit of 140 characters, which affects the language that is used. Likewise, a face-to-face conversation differs from a WhatsApp conversation, as a result of the medium used. But it also works the other way around: characteristics of texts , images or conversations may themselves also affect the choice for a particular medium. Our programme will provide you with the skills necessary to analyse various aspects of media design and to investigate effectiveness of specific choices.

Both new and old media are used in an increasingly globalized world, and communication takes place more and more in an international context. Such international communication does not only involve different languages, but also different cultures, even between English-speaking countries. Moreover, all around the world different varieties of English are emerging, each with their own characteristics. In business settings, international colleagues interact using a so-called lingua franca, typically English. This is why several courses in our programme will focus on the role of English as a lingua franca in international communication. And as people communicate increasingly across nationalities, we will make sure to offer you courses that will give you insight into the opportunities and challenges of intercultural communication.

Study Language and Media in Amsterdam

Our programme is taught by a dynamic staff who teach courses on communication science, applied linguistics, media analysis, interaction and intercultural communication. You will work in relatively small seminar groups, where you will be motivated to engage in critical discussions, and where you have the opportunity to follow your individual interests.

If you are interested in doing a BA in Communication and Information Studies abroad, VU Amsterdam is an excellent choice! VU Amsterdam is known as a high-quality university with a social heart. You will benefit from the personal atmosphere and easy access to all facilities due to our campus setting, and still have the vibrant city of Amsterdam close at hand.


Students with a degree in C.I.S.: Language Learning and Language Teaching are typically involved in developing language learning methods and teacher training programs, in designing language proficiency assessments, and in teaching language to groups of learners with special needs. They may also provide language consultancy services for companies, the government or non-profit organizations.


In order to be admissible, candidates must have a Dutch pre-university school diploma (VWO) or an equivalent of this pre-university diploma (for example, German Abitur or an IB diploma).

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated April 23, 2019
This course is Campus based
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2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €8.700 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
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