UNYP reinvents the Masters Degree in Strategic Communication

After almost a year of meticulous preparations, the University of New York in Prague is proud to announce the renewal of its Master’s in Strategic Communication Program

The revitalized Master’s in Strategic Communication from UNYP is a practically-oriented course, which is designed to help students to solve real-world communication problems and effectively approach different audiences.

The technological advances of the last decade have completely changed the game of communication. Communication is essential to persuading audiences and influencing public opinion, and communication professionals who can use strategic planning to capture the attention of target audiences have a powerful advantage in the ever-evolving global communications environment. However, only a thorough understanding of the available media tools can enable organizations to achieve their goals. 

Dr. Todd Nesbitt (Dean of School of Communication and Media at UNYP) has kindly agreed to answer our questions about the program. 

What makes UNYP an exceptional place for students to pursue their education in the field of communication?

The UNYP Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication program prides itself on unparalleled diversity in the local market. It welcomes a mix of working professionals and high-achieving recent graduates with diverse backgrounds in areas such as journalism, business, international relations, psychology and HR. This range of backgrounds brings diversity to the study of Strategic Communication by giving participants the opportunity to examine the course material from different contexts and perspectives. This diversity does not end with UNYP students; the core nine instructors are of seven nationalities. In addition, the Czech Republic has become a major hub for a vast number of tech and communication companies that have severe problems in finding sufficient qualified employees. With an almost negligent unemployment rate in Prague and a seriously innovative Strategic Communication program, UNYP can now compete with top study destinations around the world.

Can you please provide an overview of the new program? How is this program structured, and what can potential students expect from it?

The program takes place over twelve months, from October to September, starting with a compulsory research and study skills module, with a particular focus on academic writing, which prepares students for the rigor of study at the Master’s level. Following this, the program covers seven modules, one per month from October to April. The modules are presented in an intensive weekend study format: Fridays from 5 pm to 9 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm. The final module – Research Methods – leads into the final component of the program. In the Dissertation/Practicum module, students have an opportunity to choose between a classic academic dissertation and a more practical consultancy project. Potential students should expect an innovative Master’s in Strategic Communications program with an emphasis on application, case studies, and practical problem-solving methodologies to prepare students for the fast-paced, dynamic, and ever-evolving global communications environment.

What makes this particular program different from other Master’s degree programs in the area of Communication and Media? 

The main difference is that the UNYP program was not designed by career academics, who can be out of touch with reality. Instead, it was developed based on the results of our original research into what major communications organizations want to see when looking for new employees. We consulted executives at major corporations such as Microsoft and SAP, as well as global communication agencies such as Havas. Finally, we conducted qualitative research with Master’s students in Strategic Communication to understand what they liked and did not like about their studies, and what they felt they needed. 

What are the core classes in the program?

The first four modules, taught in the autumn semester, are core foundational classes: Organizational Communication in Context, Digital Media: Theory and Practice, Public Communication, and Media Relations. These set the stage for the practical modules:  Communication for Social Change, Brand Management, and Crisis Communication.

What makes this degree a particularly strong option for students today?

In recent years, shifts in technology and media have caused the way in which people and organizations communicate to radically change. Not just some people, not just some organizations, but all of them – no organization has been left undisrupted. This fact has led to a sense of urgency; communications planning needs to be integrated into the very core of organizational life. Everyone desperately needs effective communication to cut through the noise, distractions, and sometimes hostile digital attacks that we are faced with today.

A few short years ago, it was sufficient to simply flood the market with messages – the loudest wins. That no longer applies. Without a strategy, investing in communication is a waste of time and money. It is crucial to understand the characteristics and possibilities of various channels, and the impact and structure of the messages. Strategic communication principles can be applied to any field, from journalism through sales to engineering, and not only by companies, corporations, and NGOs, but also entities as diverse as sports figures, celebrities, educational institutions, hospitals, and even average citizens like you and me. Thinking about your personal brand is a hobby for some, but an imperative for others.  

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