The Master of Multilingual Professional Communication (MPC) aims to train students who are able to do research in language, language use and aspects of internal and external communication of business, government organizations and non-profit organizations. The programme also aims to closely connect theoretical insights with the further development of the students’ professional communication skills (in writing and orally). The aim is that the graduates can use their competences in business and other organizations at management level.
The following general objectives are central:
The programme enables the students to broaden and deepen their competence to analyse (strategic) language use and proficiency in professional settings (internal and external communication of business, government and non-profit organizations). This methodological, scientific competence is connected with the skill to improve, coach and evaluate proficiency in different professional contexts.
The programme offers an introduction to and a profound insight in a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methods used in language proficiency and communication research.
The programme enables the students to strengthen their language competence in professional communication in Dutch and in at least one and possibly 2 foreign languages.
The programme enables the studens to put communication in an organizational context and therefore offers a thorough introduction to a number of sub domains of business administration: financial reporting, marketing, organizational psychology and (strategic) management. This way, students acquire an insight in some business aspects of the professional context in which language is used for specific purposes. Students with a bachelor degree in applied economics/business engineering (in information management systems) can specialize in a major of business administration (cf. majors in the master programme of Applied Economics)
These general objectives are translated in the following core competences:
Core competence 1. Analysis of communication in professional settings
At a general level this means that students are able to analyse language use and proficiency in professional settings. This concerns both internal and external communication of business, government organizations and non-profit organizations.
Concretely this means that students use recent theoretical insights to make well-argumented analyses of various forms of communication, orally as well as in writing. Think for instance of communication plans, professional reports, bad news communication, crisis communication or appraisals. This analysis is linked to the operational as well as the strategic level. At the operational level there is attention to choice of medium, choice of genre, content, structure, language and formatting.
At the strategic level students check whether the communication of an organisation is consistent with the vision, mission and values of this organisation and its stakeholders. Students should also be able to give feedback at different levels and to process
received feedback with a critical mind. The insights and problemsolving skills offered are directed at general communication directives as well as at specific genres and the development of a communication strategy.
Core competence 2. Professional communication in practice
Students strengthen their professional written and oral communication skills in Dutch and at least one foreign language. They can choose German, French, English and Spanish. Concretely, this means that students are able to react communicatively and strategically considered in different situations, orally and in writing.
Combination of operational and strategic competences.
Therefore students develop a number of general operational communicative competences (such as conversation techniques, formulation techniques and presentation techniques) but also strategic communicative competences. These are mainly linked to policy development and a long term vision in a changing (organisation) context.
Some examples of concrete communication topics?
- persuasive messages
- informative reports
- bad news conversations
- forms of crisis communication
- visual communication
- communication through social media
- communication plans
Through a focus on general communication insights, a broad orientation in specialist literature and a problem-oriented approach through case studies, the students acquire the necessary learning competences to independently develop skills for situations and genres that were not treated in the programme.
Core competence 3. Multidisciplinarity:communication and management
Since the treated communication practice and research are situated in an organizational context, we consider it important for students to acquire knowledge about this context.
Therefore the programme offers context courses in the main domains of business administration. This way, students can look at the organizational and communication context from different perspectives. They are also able to further their knowledge of a subdiscipline if the situation should require this.
This approach offers our students a sufficiently broad frame of reference to speak and understand the language of their organisation partners. A lot of our graduates are involved in the internal and external communication of financial institutions, multinationals and other big enterprises. In the management courses specific attention is paid to the link between management and communication.
Core competence 4. Qualitative and quantitative research
Students get to know various qualitative and quantitative research methods that are related to language proficiency and communication research. They also learn to apply them.
Concretely, this means that students are able to:
- independently read, interpret and reflect critically on specific scientific literature;
- independently collect and scientifically interpret research data;
- use their knowledge and skills to make an original contribution to the development of new knowledge, insights and future oriented policy;
- use their research skills to do independent research in the broad domain of professional communication.
Core competence 5. Sustainability
To prepare students for a long career in a continuously changing environment, we consider it important to opt for the development of competences that support sustainable thinking. We aim to approach sustainability as a green undercurrent of the programme. We opt for a broad interpretation with attention to the social, ecological and economic dimension of sustainability.
This is most visible in the integrated project "Sustainable communication on sustainable business". We also aim to feed our students' sense of sustainability through cases and through a number of open, problem directed work types and evaluation systems. These invite the students to reflect longterm and to develop attitude more consciously. This way, we hope to better arm them to manage incertainty and transformation.