Linguistic and Communication Studies B.A.

 

Key Info

Basic Information

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
6 semesters
ECTS Credits:
180Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.

Language:
German

Admission Requirements

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), subject specific university entrance qualification, or an equally recognized university entrance qualification (HZB)

  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester

restricted
NC for WS 2021

Admission to Higher Semesters

restricted
NC for the 2nd-6th Core Semester

Enrollment Requirements

  • SelfAssessment --- Mehr Informationen ---

    SelfAssessment

    RWTH Aachen self assessments are online advising processes for deciding what to study. Participation in one (rarely two) of these self assessments is mandatory. You can find which self assessment you need to take for this subject in the course of study description under "Prerequisites". You will need to show proof of participation in a subject specific self assessment in order to enroll (not to apply). You can print out the participation certificate yourself.

Dates and Deadlines

 

We use language every day. We speak, write, respond, and communicate in our everyday lives, at work, in personal conversations, by email, text, and online – in both oral and written styles. Linguistics and communication studies deal with the description and analysis of such communication phenomena.

How must a homepage be designed so it can be operated by different types of users? According to which laws does communication function in personal conversations, chat rooms, or emails? Why do some technologies prevail, while others do not? Which arguments are dominant in public discussions and why? How can they be used convincingly in speeches and presentations? How can space be constructed using language?

The Linguistics and Communication Studies program looks at the description and analysis of communication phenomena. Special attention is given to the topics Language and Thought, Internet Communication and Public Use of Language, Culture of Technology, and Sociology of Technology. The spectrum of topics ranges from socially relevant text types to questions of rhetorical communication and medical ethics in media discourse.

Students deal with two subject areas – linguistics and communication studies. In addition, studying at a technical university offers them the opportunity to discover perspectives from the engineering and natural sciences, from which they can take an interdisciplinary look at the phenomena of language and communication.Thus, three disciplinary approaches are interlinked:

Linguistics, with its sub-disciplines of phonology, morphology, and syntax, describes the structure of language – from the smallest to the most complex linguistic units. The fields of semantics and pragmatics focus on meaning and action-related aspects. For example, language use in specific texts or in different contexts and domains, such as politics, business, or advertising, is described.

Communication studies expand this linguistic approach with regard to language as a means of communication. Among other things, they take into account interactions and communication with different media, with interactions between media and their users being of particular interest. In addition, communicative possibilities and limits of different media and application contexts will be investigated.

These interdisciplinary perspectives open up approaches to the phenomenon of language from the perspective of other subjects. Neighboring disciplines from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering offer diverse insights and methods that can enrich the repertoire of linguistics and communication studies

 

Degree Content

At RWTH, knowledge application is highly significant. In a special practical module, students can get to know professional fields, optionally in a national or international context. The networking of the Institute for Linguistics and Communication Studies, for example with the Institute for Industrial Communications and Specialized Media or the Human-Computer Interaction Center, opens up further access to industry – supported by the faculty's own practical and career service.

Soft skills such as presentation and foreign language skills complement the specialized studies with career-relevant competencies.

Curriculum

Semester Study Contents
1-2 Introduction to Linguistics, Introduction to Communication Studies
Oral Communication: Rhetoric of Speech and Conversation, Philology
Dealing with Language I: Grammar, Phonetics/Phonology
Propaedeutics of Academic Work, Interdisciplinary study unit, foreign language
3-4 Dealing With Language II: Semantics and Pragmatics
Methods of Linguistics and Communication Science
Dealing with Media: Communication and Interaction

Internship, elective, and mobility windows:

  • Internship or study abroad program
  • Mandatory elective – courses from other departments – or study abroad program
5-6 Dealing With Texts: Text Linguistics
Oral Communication:
Communication Practice in Orality, Didactics and Methodology of Rhetorical Communication Instruction

Professional fields of application:

  • Medical-ethical problem areas in media discourse and public perception
  • Sociology of technology or sociological systems
  • Language and cognition or history of technological culture
Research Module:
  • Research colloquium, Bachelor’s thesis research conference, Bachelor’s thesis

Detailed information on the course of study can also be found on the website of the Institute for Linguistics and Communication Studies.

Programs abroad

Internships or study abroad programs add important professional and intercultural experience to the skills of prospective communication professionals. Therefore, the program offers a mobility window in the fourth semester. It allows students to take advantage of the worldwide study and internship opportunities offered by the Department of Empirical Human Sciences at RWTH. In this way, students intensify their language skills in the everyday life of the country and at the same time acquire further academic qualifications.

Beyond the faculty-specific programs abroad, RWTH students benefit from the University's strategic partnerships with international universities. For example, they can complete short stays at one of the IDEA League universities as part of their coursework. The UROP Abroad program, which is unique in Germany, offers students the opportunity to participate in research projects at international universities as early as the Bachelor's phase. These stays abroad are partly supported by RWTH-specific financial aid.

All cooperation programs of RWTH are presented on the web pages for international opportunities. Subject-specific offers are published on the website of the Institute of Language and Communication Studies.

 

Prerequisites

1. Personal requirements (ideal entry profile).

The basic prerequisite for studying Linguistic and Communication Studies is an interest in human communication and a willingness to look at everyday phenomena such as speaking and writing – in other words, communicating – on a scientific basis. For this, the willingness and competence to think in clear structures is essential: language and communication are very complex phenomena that can and must be described at different levels of abstraction.

Since this is an interdisciplinary program, students must be prepared to familiarize themselves with related disciplines and technical content. On the other hand, there is an emphasis on empirical orientation, which is why methodological approaches must be learned in addition to theoretical basics.

A strong affinity for media and technology is recommended for the study of communication, human-technology interaction, technology acceptance, and user diversity.

2. Enrollment requirements

RWTH Self Assessment Humanities, Linguistics, and Communication Studies
(Confirmation of having completed the SelfAssessment must be provided at the time of enrollment, not at the time of application.)

 

Decision Aids

The study of linguistics and communication is more than learning grammar and spelling rules and more than interpreting individual texts on a subjective basis. Rather, it requires students to think systematically about the everyday phenomena of language and communication in order to be able to make validated statements about the language system, public language use, communication, and interactions between people and between people and technology, technology acceptance, and user diversity. In order to be able to make validated statements, it is essential to learn the methods of linguistics and communication science. In contrast to many thematically comparable study programs, the focus of this program at RWTH is empirical research into current issues and less on practical media implementations. However, an internship in a company lasting several weeks allows for in-depth contacts in possible areas of application.

If you would like to get to know the subject, RWTH offers you the opportunity to attend lectures before you start your studies.

 

Career Prospects

Linguistic and communication studies prepare students for jobs in corporate communication, media communication, text consulting, public relations, and continuing education. The spectrum of tasks ranges from the design of comprehensible instruction manuals to product and service communication to the sustainable management of relationships with relevant target groups.

RWTH graduates are able to formulate texts in a way that is appropriate to the situation, the addressee, and the media. They are specialists in the appropriate presentation of complex – also technical – issues. They can bring this interdisciplinary competence to editorial fields of activity in which linguistic products such as articles, broadcast contributions, speeches, books, etc. are produced, evaluated, and optimized.

In addition to industry, associations, and the public sector, the media and communication industries offer good opportunities for entry. Here, addressee-oriented communication on the Internet and technically supported interaction with special target groups are particularly relevant. For example, deaf, visually impaired, or elderly people with limited contact options require individually adapted forms of communication and technical aids tailored to their needs. Due to the interdisciplinary aspect of their education, RWTH graduates are well equipped to work with these target groups.

 

Master's Degree Prospects

After completing the Bachelor's program, students can expand and deepen their knowledge in the Master's program Digital Media Communication. Here, they primarily study the use of media in various contexts, human-technology interaction, user diversity, technology acceptance, and corporate communication. Within this set of topics, students can choose from the following specializations: History of Visual Communication, Cost Management, Technology and Culture.

In contrast to many thematically comparable Master's programs, the focus of this program is on empirical research and less on practical media implementation.

A company internship of several weeks enables in-depth contacts in different areas of application.

 

Examination Regulations

Regulations that apply for all Bachelor and Master courses of study as well as detailed information about the necessary documentation of required language skills can be found in RWTH’s Comprehensive Examination Regulation. Examination regulations are only published in German as they are legally binding.

Subject Specific Exam Regulations regulate academic goals, the course of study layout, and exam procedures. The appendix to the regulations contains the description of the modules, from which the course of study is composed.

 

Faculty

The course of study is offered by the Department of Literary Studies, Linguistics, and Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.