Communication and Life Sciences (BCL) / BSc

Profile

In the BSc programme Communication and Life Sciences, students learn to apply insights from communication science to current societal issues, problems and challenges in life-science related topics. Graduates of the programme should be able to analyse the role of communication in processes of social change at individual, organisational and societal level. Based on this analysis, they are able to support the design of relevant communication interventions and strategies. The focus on communication in processes of change means that the BCL programme not only contains courses on theories of communication science and on communication practices and processes, but students are also introduced to relevant theories of the neighbouring social science disciplines social psychology, sociology, history and public policy. This knowledge allows graduates to understand the role of communication in a broader context of social change and social intervention and leads to more effective designs and technologies in processes of social and organisational change in life-science-related domains.Students specialise in a life science domain of choice e.g. sustainability, health, climate change, natural resource management, urbanisation or food. The unique combination of education in communication science with solid knowledge in a life science domain allows students to explore life sciences issues through the lens of communication.
This enables graduates to bridge the gap between different disciplines as well as between societal stakeholders.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- understand and critically assess the fundamental ideas, concepts, theories and methodologies of communication science;
- apply the concepts and theories of communication science to assess the role of communication in current societal issues, problems and challenges related to the life-science domains, and to develop solutions;
- use relevant ideas and theories from social psychology, sociology, history, and public administration and policy studies to understand the role of communication in processes of social and organisational change in life-science related domains;
- understand the principles, concepts, theories and methods of a domain of choice in the life sciences;
- understand and effectively communicate scientific approaches and socially relevant knowledge and debates in a life-science related problem area of choice (sustainability, health, climate change, natural resource management, urbanisation or food);
- design (under supervision) a research plan related to issues in the life-science related domain of choice in which the problem definition, analytical framework, research objectives, questions and methods are embedded in relevant communication science literature and in which life science knowledge is visibly integrated;
- apply (under supervision) appropriate communication science research methods and techniques to collect and analyse primary and secondary data to address a communication issue in a life-science related problem area of choice;
- analyse communication problems in a life-science related problem area of choice, in relation to different stakeholder interests and views in different (national and international) social, organisational and political settings and formulate relevant conclusions;
- develop and design relevant communication strategies and interventions to address societal problems in a life-science related problem area of choice;
- assess and evaluate (under supervision) the ethical and societal consequences of communication and reflect upon the various roles of the communication professional in processes of social and organisational change within the domains of the life sciences and a related problem area of choice;
- co-operate in a (multidisciplinary) team to perform project-based work;
- communicate clearly (verbally and in writing) about the results of projects and research and their underlying rationales with a diversity of audiences (e.g., expert and wider public, communication and life scientists, academics and practitioners);
- reflect (under supervision) upon development of personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance, both individually and in discussions with others, and plan an (guided) individual track.

Programme Director

Ir. G.C. van Nieuwenhoven
Email: gerry.vannieuwenhoven@wur.nl
Phone: 0317-(4)82500

Study Adviser(s)

C. Cruijsen, MSc
Phone: 0317-(4)89329
Email: carlotte.cruijsen@wur.nl

Programme Committee

Chair: dr. H.M. van der Horst
Secretary: G.C. van Nieuwenhoven, MSc

Internet

www.wur.nl/bcl

Study Association

Ipso Facto
De Leeuwenborch, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen
Internet: http://ipsofacto.wageningenur.nl/

Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MCH Communication, Health and Life Sciences
MID International Development Studies