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Head of the Department - Welcome Note

      

The Department of Communication

and Media Studies


Brief presentation by the Head of the Department,

Professor Dimitris Charalambis

 

The Department of Communication and Media Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was founded in the academic year 1990-1991. Its mission is to develop teaching and research in the field of communication studies, to provide the best scientific education for its students and to contribute to the Greek society in general through its specialization.

In this twenty-year journey, we had to face many difficulties. However, the Department of Communication and Media Studies showed a continuous, stable and intense activity both concerning teaching as well as research, but also through its participation in the public dialogue, both in Greek and in the international arena, through studies and surveys, public lectures and discussions , conferences, awards and art events. With great pleasure we note that many of our graduates excel in the print and electronic media, advertising and public relations, political communication, human resource management, cultural organizations, new media, scientific research, and in other sectors of Greek society and culture.

 

Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication and Media Studies

The primary concern of the Department has been, and remains, to provide high quality education to its students both in the field of theoretical education and in the field of practice and research. The Department and its staff seek to provide diverse scientific education and a culture of free, creative and critical thinking. Simultaneously, we are all oriented to produce rich and remarkable qualitative research, while making systematic efforts to broaden our horizons and scope to the international scientific community. The Department takes initiative to leverage the development of the scientific field of communication in Greece and improve the methods and practices of communication within society.

 For this reason, since its foundation, the Department of Communication and Media Studies decided to offer a study curriculum that builds on the interdisciplinary nature of the field itself. The courses of theoretical and practical orientation in the curriculum are designed to fulfill this exact need. This is due to the fact that the very environment of mass communication is not only multifaceted and multidimensional, but it is also -due to its nature- subject to constant change, especially under the pressure of technological, economic, social, political and cultural developments.

Today our Department staff numbers more than forty professors, lecturers and researchers, who are all active in diverse areas, such as the Theory and Practice of Media, Political Communication, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science, History, Cultural Studies, History of Art, Linguistics, Modern Greek Studies, Law, New Technologies and its applications, Print, Radio, Television and Online Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations, New Media. In other words, the composition of the Department reflects the multidisciplinary outline of communication and media as a whole.

 

Internships and International collaborations

The Department emphasizes the importance of internships outside the Department and the participation of laboratory courses within the department. Since as early as 1993, students of our department have been gaining employment as trainees in companies and organizations of the wider field of communication and media. We take pride in the fact that a lot of our students been employed through the institution of internship that our Department promotes.

During its first few years of operation the Department has already developed and continues to develop in many ways international collaborations with university departments abroad. The Department has partnered with a great number of European academic departments under the framework of the Erasmus Program and is proud to be the Department with the greatest number of international collaborations within the University of Athens. A significant number of our students spend study time at Departments of other European countries in order to complete there a part of their studies, while our Department at the same time welcomes students from these countries. In addition, many professors of the Department of Communication and Media Studies cooperate with respective University departments of most European countries, the USA, China and other countries. The Department occasionally invites foreign colleagues to give special lectures and all of our staff works to ensure that this tradition will continue and expand in the years to come.

 

Postgraduate studies

The Postgraduate Program (MSc) in Communication and Media Studies offered by the Department of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Athens is an evolution of the Postgraduate Program, which was launched in the academic year 1996-97 and was restructured during the academic year 2001-2002. The current MSc, launched in the academic year 2008-2009, is interdisciplinary in nature and consists of five distinct areas:

1. European Communications: Structures and Policies

2. Public Opinion and Public Communication

3. Cultural Studies

4. Conflict: Conflict Management and Communication

5. Digital Media and Interactive Environments

The subjects of the program concern areas of study that the Greek state and society have set as a high strategic priority. The program involves scientific cutting- edge areas (communication, politics, culture, human resources) and offers studies that provide knowledge and skills in the areas of information technology, communication, human resource management and cultural heritage.

Since the academic year 2005-2006, the Department participates jointly with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education of the University of Athens, Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly, and in partnership with the Department of Electronics of Piraeus ATEI in the Interdisciplinary/ Inter-University Postgraduate Program of Study Technology of Communication and Information on Education.

In addition, the Department of Communication and Media Studies, in collaboration with the Music Department of the University of Athens began in the academic year 2007-2008 the operation of a new interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Music Culture and Communication. Anthropological and communicative approaches to music.


Departmental Structure

Since 1993 the Department has founded three Sections and operates six laboratories (Laboratory of Arts and Cultural Management, Laboratory for Social Research in the Media, Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media, Laboratory of Audiovisual Media, Laboratory of Psychological Applications and Communication Planning, Laboratory of Journalism Studies and Communication Applications), which provide rich research and educational work, for which more information can be obtained through the study guide and the websites of the Laboratories.

The Department has established and houses the Institute of Applied Communications, an institute with rich research, publishing and study activity. The Institute of Applied Communication has already produced a number of important surveys. It has organized seminars (eg, the Athens Olympic Broadcasting), conferences (eg, Athens 2004: Post-Olympics reflection), lectures circles, and it has published a sufficient number of books and already since 2004 it issues the first and so far only journal for the study of the communication phenomenon in the country under the title "Matters of Communication". The research and production activity of the Institute is regarded as a paradigm by a number of other important research institutions.


The Library of the Department

The Department boasts one of the most updated libraries in the country in the field of communication and culture, which includes more than 7.000 specialized volumes with the most contemporary issues regarding Communication, aiming at exploring the principles, mechanisms and ideologies that regulate communication and shape developments in the media. The Department invests as much as possible in the development of the library, no matter its scarce resources, thanks to the continuous support of its Institute.


Our graduates

A university Department acquires prestige not only through the recognition and accreditation of its staff, but also from the course and development of its graduates, and its recognition by the wider social, cultural and professional environment. Graduates of the Department are employed by the mass media, advertising agencies and corporations, public relations and communication agencies, polling and political communication agencies, individual political figures, cultural organizations, educational institutions, research organizations etc. In all honesty we can say that we are proud of them. We are and we will always stand by them.


The challenges and problems of today

Despite our long course and our successes, we understand that the environment around us is changing and we must respond to these changes. The challenges and problems are many. First and foremost, a new legal and institutional environment is being shaped in the field of Higher Education. The Department of Communication and Media Studies is focused on the constant improvement of its infrastructure, on the educational quality that provides its students with, the enrichment of its research, the expansion of international collaborations and the direct and indirect contribution to the Greek society, of which the University is an integral part. The criteria in this effort are the scientific validity and academic freedom, the critical approach to issues that concern us, the democratic principles and justice in the relations within and outside the Department, pluralism and tolerance.

Beyond this, we realize that the storm sweeping the labor market plus a number of other problems resulting from the crisis and from chronic pathologies of the Greek society, raise the bar even higher. Although universities are not responsible for the reduction or increase in jobs or for any other consequences of the crisis, with all sense of responsibility and to every possible extent, we process and we will continue to develop proposals and implement actions, scientific and others, aiming at responding effectively to these problems.

 

Professor Dimitris Charalambis

Head of the Department of Communication and Media Studies

of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens