Courses

Please note that not every course listed is offered each year and that students should consult the following sources for current course offerings:

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

COPP-1013. Introduction to Communications

This course introduces students to the history and evolution of the communications profession, with particular emphasis on communications in the public policy sphere, from the pioneers who sold ideas on behalf of their clients, to the modern world of two-way communications with the public through the internet and social media tools. The course will explore how this evolution is changing the way governments, politicians, non-governmental organizations, citizens groups and corporations interact with the public.

COPP-1023. Introduction to Policy Studies

This course introduces students to the policy making process, how policies are researched, drafted, legislated, and communicated. The course will also explore how non-governmental organizations, citizens groups and corporations influence public policy.

COPP-2013. Fundamentals of Writing

Communicating public policy requires clear and effective writing at every stage in the process. This is a foundational writing course that will help students learn to express themselves in clear, compelling language. Prerequisites: COPP 1013, COPP 1023.

COPP-2023. Policy Making in the Information Age (POLS 2333)

This course will explore how social media and internet tools are transforming the world of communications and public policy. The course will explore cases around the world where social media and the access to information on the internet is influencing public policy and the political process. Prerequisite: COPP 2013.

COPP-2033. Research Methods

This course will introduce students to the methods for gathering and analyzing data through interviews, surveys, focus groups, content analysis, and polls and how this information can be applied to public policy initiatives and planning an accompanying communications strategy. Prerequisite: COPP 2013.

COPP-3013. Rhetoric

This course builds on the skills developed in the Fundamentals of Writing course and applies them to rhetoric, speech writing and debating. Students will read ancient and modern speeches, historical writings on rhetoric and explore the influence of persuasive writing on public affairs. Prerequisites: COPP 2013, COPP 2023, COPP 2033.

COPP-3023. Ethics and Social Responsibility

This course explores the ethical challenges that arise while communicating public policy issues for an organization in the public or private sector. The course will allow students to develop a code of ethics for a communications professional. Prerequisites: COPP 2013, COPP 2023, COPP 2033.

COPP-3033. Public Policy and the Media

This course will explore how public policies are reported in various forms of media and how communications planning can influence the success or failure of these initiatives. The course will examine communications planning and media relations strategies such as proactive and reactive methods of representing an organization in the media. Prerequisites: COPP 2013, COPP 2023, COPP 2033.

COPP-3043. Business Communications and Marketing

This course explores the role of communications in business settings, including professional writing, the power of narrative, the influence of social media, and the connection between communications and marketing.

COPP-3053. Social Media

Social media within the communications environment is becoming the most important way organizations communicate with their publics. In this course we will consider social media platforms, theories of media communications, critical understandings of social media including ethics, as well as practical application of analytics and measurement of social media including search engine optimization, Google Analytics and social media management. This course provides a review of current and emerging digital media, with particular emphasis on social media and its impact on a variety of industry sectors such as marketing and advertising, government and public policy.

COPP-3063. Special Topics

This course consists of an in-depth analysis of a specific topic in communications and public policy. The course will be organized around the special interests of full time and visiting faculty. Topics could include: policy analysis, public management, organizational social media management, organizational communications, and social media and website design including search engine optimization, Google Analytics and basic back end social media training.

COPP-4006. Case Studies in Public Policy

The capstone case study course will require students to spend the fall semester surveying scholarly literature on public policy analysis (regarding policy development, design and implementation) and the winter semester applying this research as they write two case studies that will require students to synthesize the issues encountered in their Focus Areas with their studies in Communications. Course work can be presented in English and French. Prerequisites: COPP 3013, COPP 3023, COPP 3033.

COPP-4016. Internship

Students will complete two supervised professional unpaid internships in a professional communications agency, non-profit organization, or government office and will complete a detailed exit report. Where possible, students will have the opportunity to pursue internships that require them to work in French or in a bilingual office. Prerequisites: COPP 3013, COPP 3023, COPP 3033.