Narrativity in the Media

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Narrativity in the Media

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    1. To get acquainted with a number of narrative principles and techniques often applied in media messages.
    2. To assess those principles and techniques with respect to their advantages and pitfalls when used in different media and genres.
    3. To apply knowledge of narrative principles and techniques by recognizing and analyzing real-world applications.
    4. To be able to predict effects of narrativity in different media and genres and to weigh various dimensions (including ethical) of its use.

    In numerous communication domains, including news, advertising and health communication, message design techniques are applied that we recognize from literary novels and television soap operas. It seems advantageous to turn a message into a good story. A reader or viewer will be more captivated or even transported into a narrative world, becoming more susceptible to certain information and maybe changing their beliefs or attitudes. However, when communicators apply narratives to other domains, they will also encounter problems. For instance, what happens to the truth claim of reliable news when it borrows elements from mythical stories? Or even when the journalist becomes a participant in the news story? Do consumers trust advertisers when they discover that their narratives were meant to persuade them? Will health messages be taken seriously when they read like a story? You will find detailed answers to these questions by analysing the specific narrative techniques used in different genres and media platforms.

    Lectures (2 hours a week) and seminars (2 hours a week).

    Written examination (50%), three assignments (50%). (Sub)assignments need to be delivered and accepted on a weekly basis to get access to the examination. Both parts of the end grade need to have a score higher than five (on a scale to ten). No resit is possible for weekly assignments, but they can be compensated by other assignments in the averaged total assignment score.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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