HCCK03011U COG Communication Theory and Research Design

Volume 2021/2022

The Master’s Programme in Cognition and Communication, 2019-curriculum: 

Communication Theory and Research Design: HCCK03011E

The master’s elective study in Cognition and Communication, 2019-curriculum:

Communication Theory and Research Design: HCCK13011E


The course aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of key communication theories. It also aims to provide an introduction to applying these theories in empirical research related to communicative and cognitive processes. Students are introduced to the dominant research strategies (i.e. qualitative and quantitative) and common research designs within social science. The course also introduces the key stages in small-scale research projects, common methods for sampling, data collection and data analysis, and the academic genre of research proposals. In connection hereto, advantages and limitations of various designs and methods are discussed.

Learning Outcome

The academic targets for the course are:


Knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts and issues in communication theory
  • common research strategies within applied social science and communication research (qualitative, quantitative and mixed)
  • common research designs within applied social science and communication research
  • common sampling strategies within applied social science and communication research
  • common methods for data collection and data analysis within applied social science and communication research.


Skills in:

  • identifying and formulating research questions
  • choosing research strategies and research designs in accordance with one or more research questions
  • employing data collection methods in accordance with various research strategies and research designs
  • employing data analysis methods in accordance with various research strategies and research designs.


Competencies in

  • planning, devising, and writing up a realistic research proposal for a small scale research project
  • identifying, critically reflecting upon, evaluating, and taking into account relevant connections between theoretical frameworks, research ethics, research questions, overall strategy, and research design.

The course literature consists of an introductory textbook in social science research, select chapters and excerpts from textbooks and works in communication theory, and classic and contemporary research papers.

No background in communication theory or empirical research is assumed.
The course involves weekly lectures, and individual and group exercises. The method of instruction is typically a mixture between lectures, class discussion, group work, individual presentations, and exercises.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Exam registration requirements

The active class participation consists of:

  • Minimum 75 % class attendance.
  • Approval of 3 written exercises of each 2-4 standard pages.
  • Student peer feedback on 2 of the written exercises.