In teaching, the department is particularly concerned with the areas of public relations, crisis communication, international strategic communication, communicator research as well as media change and social media.
Bachelor's programme AMW
For the Bachelor's degree in Applied Media and Communication Studies, we offer various seminars and lectures in the department. These include for example:
Introduction to the technique of scientific work
The professional field orientation PR as well as various practical workshops in the field of Public Relations offer practical insights into the professional world.
Master's programme MCS
Both research modules and specialisation modules are offered to students in the Master's programme Media and Communication Science. These include:
Research Module: International Crisis Communication Research: Cross-Cultural Crisis Communication
Specialization Module: Managing Strategic Crisis Communication
Here, exciting research projects are carried out or PR campaigns are developed for international clients and practical experience is gained.
Vocational field orientation PR
The professional field orientation PR is offered annually at the beginning of the winter semester for students of the 3rd semester in the Bachelor's programme Applied Media and Communication Studies and runs over two semesters. In the first half of the seminar, students receive an initial insight into the professional field of public relations from their seminar leaderElisabeth Wagner-Olfermann, and learn about relevant methods and instruments that they will need in PR practice. Step by step, they practice how to develop a successful PR concept using examples, write their first press releases and listen to guest lectures by PR professionals who report on their career paths and everyday professional life, impart additional know-how and give the students important tips along the way.
In the second half of the seminar, students apply what they have learned and put it into practice. They set up junior agencies and develop strategic communication concepts for two real clients from the region, which they present in a celebratory PR pitch at the end of the seminar. They work here very independently and under real conditions (real assignment, given budget, time pressure) and are actively supported by their lecturer and, since 2018, also by Ninette Pett, founder and business owner of the first specialized consultancy for strategic communication management in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) "MITTKOM".
In the past, the seminar participants have already been able to inspire numerous different clients such as the Thuringian Climate Agency, GB Neuhaus GmbH, Regional Management Kreis Gotha & Ilm-Kreis, Schmitz Cargobull, Flight Design and SAE Schaltanlagenbau Erfurt with their concepts and give them many ideas for PR work to take with them. For the students, the career orientation is an excellent opportunity to gain initial practical experience in their future field of activity and to establish contacts with potential future employers.
As part of the specialization module "Public Relations and Communication in the Context of Globalization", students of the Master's program Media and Communication Science have also been able to gain exciting practical experience on a regular basis for several years. Due to the international orientation of the English-language course, the students come from many different countries and continents around the world. In small groups, they set up junior PR agencies and, over the course of a semester, develop PR concepts and international campaigns for clients such as the KI Bundesverband e.V. under the guidance of Andreas Schwarz, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or Robert Bosch GmbH. The aim of the seminar is to dovetail teaching and research on the topic of international PR and make it tangible.
VEDIAS - PRTK involved in DAAD project for the digitization of the Master's program "Media and Communication Science"
The Corona pandemic has massively hampered the cross-border mobility of students. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is therefore providing short-term funding for the digitization of internationally oriented master's degree programs. To this end, 18 German universities have received a total of around eight million euros until the end of 2022 - including the TU Ilmenau with the highest funding share.
Over the next two years, three existing and successful master's degree programs are to be further developed so that in the future they can be studied purely digitally as well as in person. The research group for Public Relations and Communication of Technology (PRTK) is also involved in the international master's program "Media and Communication Science". In addition to innovative online courses, social virtual reality applications are planned that will allow students to meet in virtual spaces and experience student interaction alongside teaching. Digital-only study will be available for the first time starting in the winter semester of 2021/22. PRTK will primarily offer online seminars on risk and crisis communication and international public relations.
The experience gained from the first cohort will be used to gather long-term expertise for the development of further digital study programs. The flexibilization and digital hybridization of study programs will make the course offerings even more interesting for prospective students from Germany and abroad in the future. PRTK is actively involved in the development of the new online courses and will offer the research module "International Crisis Communication Research" and the seminar "Public Relations in the Context of Globalization" as part of the digital curriculum.
Project start date: January 2021