Students participating in a lecture

Program and courses Communication and Cognition

Learn how people process textual, visual, verbal, and nonverbal information, and how to translate that knowledge into do's and don'ts for effective communication.

Program structure

This one-year track of Communication and Information Sciences consists of 60 credits (ECTS), of which:

  • 6 core electives (36 ECTS in total)
  • 2 research skills electives (6 ECTS in total)
  • Master’s thesis (18 ECTS)

You can start either at the end of August or at the end of January.

Program content

Core electives

Choose 6 core electives:

To have the Communication and Cognition (CC) specialization listed on your diploma, at least 4 of the courses you choose must have the CC-label. You are free to choose the other 2 courses from the total range of electives offered by the MSc Communication and Information Sciences. This includes electives with the label of the Business Communication and Digital Media (BDM) and New Media Design (NMD) tracks.

  The elective courses of the Communication and Cognition track are:

  • Cognition and Process
  • Cognition of Visual Narratives
  • Digital Health Communication
  • Interactive Storytelling
  • Language Technology & Cognition
  • Language Technology & Society
  • Multimodal Communication 
  • Negotiation Strategies
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Persuasion & (Dis)agreement
  • Psychology of Business Communication
  • Resistance and Persuasion
  • Risk Communication
  • Taalkennis (in Dutch)
  • Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality
  • Webcare
Research skills electives

Choose at least 2 research skills modules from the list below:

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Annotation
  • Survey
  • Eye Tracking
  • Online Data Collection
  • Programming
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Research Interview
Master’s thesis

You start with your Master's Thesis (18 ECTS) in the first lecture week of the third block of your study and complete it at the end of the fourth block.

  • For your Master's thesis, you will conduct research on a subject related to Communication and Cognition.
  • You will be paired with a supervisor with expertise in the area of the topic you have indicated your interest in.

Examples of previous Master's thesis subjects are:

  • The Effects of Visual Metaphor in Advertising at Different Processing Routes. Testing the Pleasure-interest Model of Aesthetic Liking for different metaphor structures at a long and short exposure time
  • Intelligible Infographics. The effect of symbolic and iconic incongruence on the appreciation, comprehension, and recall of infographics
  • What They Said. The influence of opinion leaders on online language change
  • How user and marketer generated content on Facebook influence brand perception
  • Especially for you. The effects of placebo tailoring and the moderating role of processing style in health and safety communication

Watch a trial lecture

Dual Degree with Wirtschaftsuniversität Vienna (+1 year)

Become a specialist in the field of business communication with a special focus on digital and intercultural communication.

This Dual Degree program provides two degrees: one from the Wirtschaftsuniversität (WU) Vienna in Austria and one from Tilburg University. Yo will learn how companies can optimally adapt their communication to the international environment in which they operate, and the opportunities and challenges of today's media society.

  • You will start at the end of September at WU Vienna.
  • One year later you will continue the program at Tilburg University, starting at the end of August.
  • scholarship covers part of your tuition.

More on the Dual Degree with Wirtschaftsuniversität Vienna

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions

Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.

Do you want to know more about this Master’s program?

Find out more during one of our events

Check out our events calendar

Short overview of Communication and Cognition

  • Learn how communication processes work and how digital communication differs from offline and face-to-face communication.
  • Use theories and research methods to determine how information and the form in which it is presented can best be tailored to the target audience and the desired effect.
  • Study the effectiveness of communication in relation to goals such as informing, learning, persuading, engaging, or entertaining.

Interested in the Communication and Cognition track?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application