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Social Communication (Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization)

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Program description

Social communication explores how information is perceived, transmitted and understood. It also looks at the impact on society of various means of communication. Social communication includes the cultural, political and sociological aspects of communication.

Offered by the Faculty of Human Sciences, the Social Communication undergraduate program equips students with a range of communication tools to help them understand our world and interact with it.

In addition to the foundational courses,* the program provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of the multiple aspects of communication: the history of media and communications, globalization and social media, social marketing, ethics and organizational communications. Students are also given an opportunity to explore specific subjects in greater depth.

A student enrolled in the Social Communication program (Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization) may add a complementary minor in Human Relations and Spirituality, Philosophy, Philosophical Theology, Ethics (Theology), Conflict Studies, Group Intervention and Leadership, Public and Private Ethics or Theology, according to the student’s particular interests and requirements.

*The foundational courses are a compulsory part of every bachelor’s degree program offered at Saint Paul University.

What you’ll learn

During your studies you will acquire a solid foundation in planned communications, acquire excellent analytical skills, and broaden your understanding of communication theory. You will also learn how to express your point of view in professional-calibre writing, and how to develop and assemble multi-platform audiovisual productions.

Why choose Saint Paul University?

  • For its small class sizes and close student-teacher ratio
  • For its safe, secure and friendly campus with personalized services
  • For its bilingual setting in the heart of the national capital
  • For its diverse student population and international vision
  • For its solid reputation, experience, history and Catholic tradition

Career opportunities

  • Advertising manager
  • Columnist
  • Communications officer
  • Facilitator/presenter
  • Filmmaker
  • Journalist
  • Lobbyist
  • Media relations specialist
  • Multimedia scriptwriter
  • Philanthropic communications consultant
  • Press secretary
  • Public relations officer
  • Radio, TV, video producer
  • Reporter
  • Researcher
  • Web content manager

Click here to find out more about Admission Scholarships at Saint Paul University.

Other programs that may interest you

Applications: A step-by-step guide

STEP 1: Choose a program of study
STEP 2: Learn about admission requirements
STEP 3: Submit your application
STEP 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application
STEP 5: Assessment of your application
STEP 6: Accept your offer of admission
STEP 7: Choose your courses

STEP 1: CHOOSE A PROGRAM OF STUDY

Undergraduate programs:

STEP 2: LEARN ABOUT ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 



Ontario applicants

From secondary school
Have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with at least six 4U or 4M level courses, including one 4U level course in English or français.

From Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT)

  • After one year of studies
    You are eligible if you have completed one year of a college program and have obtained the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with one language course (English or français) at the college or 4U level.
  • After a two- or three-year program
    If you have completed a two- or three-year college program, you can obtain up to 30 credits of advanced standing (transfer credits).

Our transfer agreements
Saint Paul University has developed a number of transfer agreements with colleges, allowing applicants to receive up to 30 equivalency credits. Find out more by consulting the tab entitled College Credit Transfer.

Quebec applicants

From secondary school
Have a Secondary School Diploma with an average of 84%, including one course in English or français at the Secondary V level.

From Cégep
Have completed 12 courses of general studies (not including physical education and refresher courses), including English (603) or français (601). Applicants who have successfully completed 12 courses of general studies may obtain up to 15 credits of advanced standing, and those who have successfully completed more than 12 courses of general studies may obtain up to 30 credits of advanced standing.

Applicants from the Atlantic and Western provinces

Have a Secondary School Diploma, including one course in English or français at the Grade 12 level.

Applicants from other universities

Applications from other Canadian or international universities will be assessed based on the applicant’s previous secondary and post-secondary studies. University equivalency credits may be granted depending on the studies completed and the program into which the person is admitted.

International applicants

Have a diploma attesting to 12 years of education equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Persons who have completed a secondary diploma attesting to 13 years of education, such as the Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire français, can receive up to 30 credits of advanced standing. 

Mature applicants

When the applicant’s academic record does not meet normal conditions for admission, it is possible to apply as a mature applicant, provided that the person has not been enrolled in full-time studies for at least two consecutive years. In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have experience that can be considered sufficient preparation for pursuing undergraduate studies.

STEP 3: SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

 

You have two options

 

OPTION 1

If you are applying for admission to an undergraduate program at more than one Ontario university, including Saint Paul University:

 

Apply through OUAC

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because Saint Paul University is federated with the University of Ottawa, you will find programs offered by Saint Paul University listed under the University of Ottawa.

OPTION 2

If you are applying for an undergraduate program at Saint Paul University only, or if you are applying for a master’s or doctoral program:

  • Complete the following form.

 Apply Now

 

STEP 4: GATHER THE DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF YOUR APPLICATION

 

In order for us to assess your application, you must submit official transcripts for all of your previous studies (secondary, college and university). These transcripts must be sent directly from your academic institution to the following address:

 

Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4
CANADA

 

However, to expedite the assessment process for your application, you can scan your documents and e-mail them to the Office of Admissions at admission@ustpaul.ca and then send your official documents through the mail.

 

STEP 5: ASSESSMENT OF YOUR APPLICATION

Once the Office of Admissions receives all the required documents, it will begin to assess your application. One of the following decisions will be sent to you at the email address you gave us, as well as to your postal address.


Possible decisions

  • Offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will send you an offer of admission (unconditional).  
  • Conditional offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will make you a conditional offer of admission, with specific conditions that you must meet by a certain deadline. You can still proceed to registration (course selection).
  • Deferred decision
    The Office of Admissions can inform you that some information is missing and therefore the University is unable to make a decision regarding your eligibility. If applicable, the Office will tell you which documents to send and by what date.
  • Refusal
    The Office of Admissions will inform you of the reasons for the refusal.

 

STEP 6: ACCEPT YOUR OFFER OF ADMISSION

To accept an offer of admission and a scholarship offer, if applicable, you must sign the form entitled Admission acceptance form that accompanies your offer of admission and send it to Saint Paul University by email, before the deadline, to the following address admission@ustpaul.ca or mail it to:

Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4
CANADA

 

STEP 7: CHOOSE YOUR COURSES

With your offer of admission, you will receive all the information you will need to choose your courses. You will also receive the contact information for our academic advisors; you can meet with them one on one or during information sessions for guidance and to help you finalize your course selection.

Foundational Courses (24 credits)

Compulsory Courses: 21 credits

  • HTP1101 Trends in Western Thought
  • HTP1102 Artistic and Literary Imagination: Expressions of the Human Experience
  • HTP1103 People, Politics and the Planet
  • HTP1104 Faith, Justice and the Common Good
  • ISC2309 English Composition
  • ISC2314 Public Speaking
  • PHI2181 Human Knowledge

Optional Courses: 3 credits from

  • MIS2103 World Religions
  • THO1306 Exploring the Sacred
  • THO1307 Understanding the Bible

Discipline Specific Courses (60 credits)

Compulsory Course: 36 credits

  • ISC1308 Introduction to New Media
  • ISC1310 Communication Research and Methodology
  • ISC2301 Communication and Organizations
  • ISC2306 Media and Ethics
  • ISC2307 Introduction to Communication
  • ISC2326 Print Media 1: Writing Principles
  • ISC2328 Communication Plan
  • ISC3300 Theories of Mediated Communication
  • ISC3327 Theories of Social Communication
  • ISC3339 Introduction to Public Relations
  • ISC4300 Argumentation and Persuasive Communication
  • ISC4306 Stakes Analysis

Optional Courses: 24 credits

Nine credits from (2000 level):

  • ISC2313 Electronic Journalism
  • ISC2315 Sound and Radio Production
  • ISC2317 Video 1: The Basics
  • ISC2329 Interpersonal Communication
  • ISC2331 Conceptions of Society
  • ISC2337 Special Topics in Social Communication 1
  • ISC2342 Strategic Communication Tools

Six credits from (3000 level):

  • ISC3301 Social Marketing
  • ISC3302 Media and Great Social Debates
  • ISC3305 Psycho Sociology of Mass Communications
  • ISC3318 Content Analysis
  • ISC3331 Knowing the Media

Three credits from (3000 level):

  • ISC3303 Professional Ethics in Communication
  • ISC3309 Creating Media Programming
  • ISC3312 Photography: Semiology of Image
  • ISC3313 Video 3: Advanced Production
  • ISC3319 Special Topics in Social Communications 2
  • ISC3320 Internship 1
  • ISC3350 Contemporary Journalism Practices
  • ISC3354 Video 2: Documentary

Six credits from (4000 level)

  • ISC4302 Social Communications and Social Media
  • ISC4304 Media and Religious Traditions
  • ISC4305 Communications for Sustainable Development
  • ISC4314 Communication and Anthropology
  • ISC4320 Internship 2
  • ISC4330 Research or Directed Study

Elective Courses (36 credits)

Students choose 36 credits or complete a minor (30 credits) and 6 credits.
6 credits must be of 3000 or 4000 level.

HTP 1101 - Trends in Western Thought

This course addresses multiple aspects of the evolution of western thought, from Antiquity to current times, and the impact of major events and thinkers, and the influence of other civilizations on the contemporary understanding of human nature, culture and society.

HTP 1102 - Artistic and Literary Imagination: Expressions of the Human Experience

This course addresses the following themes: the notion of aesthetics and its application in art; the study of important works of art and literature with emphasis on the understanding of ‘Self’ in relation to the ‘Other’; the power of symbolic expression in the quest for meaning in a globalized and interconnected world.

HTP 1103 - People, Politics and the Planet

This course addresses personal, social and ecological challenges facing humanity today. We will examine issues at three levels – personal, political and planetary – in terms of community building and efforts towards global transformations for a hopeful future.

HTP 1104 - Faith, Justice and the Common Good

This course investigates faith, justice and the common good from religious, philosophical and human science perspectives. The course draws on classic and contemporary resources, in particular those from the Christian intellectual traditions.

ISC 1308 - Introduction to New Media

Initiation to the techniques of communication and to the study of media. Trough basic exercises initiation to the laws of image from the perspective of the communication studies, to design and to photography. Audiovisual editing (image and sound), computer software and new technologies of communication.

ISC 1310 - Communication Research and Methodology

Basics of methodology in communication. Distinction between argumentation and empirical research. Distinction between qualitative and quantitative research.  Key principles of qualitative and quantitative work.

ISC 2301 - Communication and Organizations

Definition of an organization. Usual approaches to communication within the organizations: functionalist, strategic, critical, and cultural. The change management issue. Impact of technology.

ISC 2306 - Media and Ethics

Constitutive elements of ethical behavior. Basic ethical criteria in media communication. Rights in communication situations. Deontology codes in use in several institutions. Case analysis in media praxis: persuasion communication and fiction.

ISC 2307 - Introduction to Communication

Initiation to the language of communication. Main concepts. Most usual models in communication studies. Functions of communication. Communication scales from the personal interactions to mediated communication.

ISC 2309 - English Composition

This course is dedicated to the improvement of writing skills in order to become an effective communicator in several contexts.

ISC 2313 - Electronic Journalism

Initiation to news gathering. Verification procedures. Initiation to writing for electronic media. Initiation to news presentation. Initiation to radio and TV interview.

ISC 2314 - Public Speaking

Learning the techniques of efficient public speaking. Introduction and training to personal impression making in electronic media. Development of a professional attitude and self-confidence.

ISC 2315 - Sound and Radio Production

Sound in communication. Qualities of sound. Sound recording techniques. Sound editing. Implementation to radio production. Introduction to program direction and production.

ISC 2317 - Video 1: The Basics

Introduction to the television lexicon. Imaging and its composition. Sound recording, lighting and editing. Basic exercises with the camera. Production of a short story. Prerequisite to the other video courses.

ISC 2326 - Print Media 1: Writing Principles

Rules in information writing. The course will clarify the links between the apprenticeship of press writing and press reading. The course will also present the press writing rules in a broader theoretical context. Basic techniques concerning news gathering, story processing and diffusion of information in written press. News, reportage and editorial. Lectures and praxis.

ISC 2328 - Communication Plan

Definition of campaign, objectives, target audience, channel, public environment, etc. Planning of strategic communications. Development of a communication plan; evaluation processes. Project management.

ISC 2329 - Interpersonal Communication

Main theories and techniques of analysis in the process of interpersonal communication. Conditions for successful interpersonal communication. Experiential learning in professional contexts as in other situations. Non-verbal communication.

ISC 2331 - Conceptions of Society

Great traditions in social thought. In particular: the functionalist tradition; the conflictual tradition; the interactionist tradition; the economical conceptions of social reality.

ISC 2337 - Special Topics in Social Communications 1

Study of a topic from a specific analytical or theoretical perspective.

ISC 2342 - Strategic Communication Tools

Initiation to the use of basic tools required for successful strategic communications.  Research and analysis tools. Writing messages and integrating them to images, photographs and video. Press and media relations. Exhibits and promotional items. Use of social media.

ISC 3300 - Theories of Mediated Communication

Theories on the nature and the psychological, social and cultural influence of mediated communication. Introduction to the understanding of "magic ball" theories, of selective influence, of social differentiation, of indirect influence, of social organization, of the social construction of reality, etc.

ISC 3301 - Social Marketing

Marketing in general, social marketing and advertising and related communication tools. Basic concepts; application of the marketing and advertising approaches to the promotion of social ideas, values and causes: product and audience analysis, identification of marketing and communications objectives, campaign evaluation.

ISC 3302 - Media and Great Social Debates

This is a course on key social debates concerning media and new media. In particular: information and the public sphere; status of minorities; great culture VS popular culture; great fears (sexuality, rumors, violence, consumption, death and religion).

ISC 3303 - Professional Ethics in Communication

Professional Ethics in Communication Overview of approaches to professional ethics covering different subject areas of social communications including: news journalism, public relations, advertising and marketing. Ethical codes and regulation. Case studies.

ISC 3305 - Psycho Sociology of Mass Communications

Main theories and concepts in social psychology useful for the understanding of following phenomena: communication, progression of the information and their effects. Classical concepts: attitudes, attribution, persuasion, cognitive dissonance. Mains concepts of contemporary social cognition theories: bias, heuristics.

ISC 3309 - Creating Media Programming

Television, radio and cross media genres. Stages of production: from the original project, to creating the show, to scriptwriting, to the multiplatform strategy.

ISC 3312 - Photography: Semiology of Image

Introduction to the language of images within the study of communications.  Expressive value of the image and communication. Cultural iconic codes. Semiology of the image. Image as a language in relation to discourse and the weight it carries in a media context.

ISC 3313 - Video 3: Advanced Production

Exploring different types of television production. Design: idea, script, storyboards, planning. Exercises: sets, staging, direction, advanced techniques for sound and image production.

 Prerequisite: ISC2317.

ISC 3318 - Content Analysis

Different theories and techniques to analyze content. Critical study of different types of messages: information, entertainment, advertising, etc.

ISC 3319 - Special Topics in Social Communications 2

Study of a topic from a specific analytical or theoretical perspective.

ISC 3320 - Internship 1

Practical application of acquired knowledge. Activities monitored by a supervisor in a professional communication setting. Writing of practicum report.

ISC 3327 - Theories of Social Communication

In depth presentation of several theories. Particularly on the following:  technologies and their impacts; networks and systems; culture and symbolism; conflicts and ideologies; critical theories; contributions from neurosciences.

ISC 3331 - Knowing the Media

Evolution and future of great media. Commercial logic and business models. Understanding media issues in specific social contexts. National media reality and globalization.

ISC 3339 - Introduction to Public Relations

History and basic models of public relations.  Main approaches, tools, audiences, work environment. Management, marketing, advertising, public affairs. Case studies.

ISC 3350 - Contemporary Journalism Practices

Journalism in the Internet age. Traditional journalism and new intermediaries of information. Integration of new means of collecting, processing, selecting, prioritizing and broadcasting information.

Prerequisite: ISC2326

ISC 3354 - Video 2: Documentary

Historical survey of Canadian produced content and global trends. Learning the methodology of research, scripting, shooting and editing of a documentary. Production of a documentary video.

Prerequisite: ISC2317.

ISC 4300 - Argumentation and Persuasive Communication

Elements of the theory of argumentation. Concept of arguments in communication. Writing and public intervention exercises.

ISC 4302 - Social Communications and Social Media

Concept of social communication. Evolution of the Web and advent of social media. Types of social media and their main uses. Social media and current practices in communication.

ISC 4304 - Media and Religious Traditions

Historical clashes between the media and religious traditions. Culture, religious traditions and the media. Possible divergences and convergences. Religious traditions and new technologies.

ISC 4305 - Communications for Sustainable Development

Evolution of the concept of sustainable development and its different definitions. Role and responsibility of social communications in sustainable development. Communication strategies for implementation.

ISC 4306 - Stakes Analysis

Skill development in the analysis of social and socio-political situations. Several key concepts: situations, actors, problem framing, stakes, constraints. Identifying social and communication issues. Case analysis.

ISC 4314 - Communication and Anthropology

Notions of culture and socialization. Myths and rituals. Imagination and rationality. Social construction of meaning. Types of human being in media culture, types changed through modern experience of social communication. Institutionalized communication.

ISC 4320 - Internship 2

Practical application of acquired knowledge. Activities monitored by a supervisor in a professional communication setting. Writing of practicum report.

ISC 4330 - Research or Directed Study

Individual or small group study on a topic corresponding to the needs or particular interests of students. Record of accomplishments. Possibility of recognizing a relevant professional activity in the communication or information sectors.

MIS 2103 - World Religions

Introduction to the world religions with an emphasis on Christian faith in interaction with other living faiths.

PHI 2181 - Human Knowledge

From Lascaux’s cave paintings to mythology, history, philosophy, and the experimental sciences,  human knowledge is the product of diverse approaches.  The course aims to show the diversity of human knowledge, its evolution and transmission, as well as the central role philosophy plays in the structuring of this knowledge in different types of discourse.

Print the Course Sequence

 

Bachelor Components (120 credits)

 

Foundational
8 courses
(24 credits)

Main Program
20 courses
(60 credits)

Elective Courses**
12 courses
(36 credits)

1st Year

HTP1101
HTP1102
ISC2309
ISC2314

ISC1308
ISC2307
ISC2328

3 courses

2nd Year

HTP1103
HTP1104
PHI2181
MIS2103 ou THO1306 ou THO1307

ISC1310
ISC2301
ISC2306
ISC2326

2 courses

3rd Year

 

ISC3300
ISC3327
ISC3339
3 courses from: ISC2313;ISC2315;ISC2317;ISC2329;ISC2331;ISC2337;ISC2342

4 courses

4th Year

 

2 courses from: ISC3301;ISC3302;ISC3305;ISC3318;ISC3331
1 course from: ISC3303;ISC3309;ISC3312;ISC3313;ISC3319;ISC3320;ISC3350;ISC3354
ISC4300
ISC4306
2 courses from: ISC4302;ISC4304;ISC4305;ISC4314;ISC4320;ISC4330

3 courses

*This recommended course sequence can be modified depending on Saint Paul University's annual course offering or a student's choices.

**Students can choose a complementary minor as part of the elective courses.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions, Registrar and Student Services
Room 154
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4
CANADA

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014
admission@ustpaul.ca

Hours of Operation

August 15 to May 31

Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

June 1 to August 14

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.