PRK 3413 Foundations of Communication

Norwegian version

PRK 3413 Foundations of Communication

Responsible for the course
Peggy S Brønn

Department of Communication and Culture

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction
Norwegian and english

This course provides an introduction to the foundations of communication for students interested in public relations and/or marketing communication. The course covers the history of communication study, theories important to all areas of communication, the contexts in which communication occurs, and the issues that must be faced by students of communication. Students receive an introduction to the various types of communication used by organizations: interpersonal, small group, corporate, marketing, organizational, mass communication, and inter cultural communication. It is designed to acquaint students with the broad and exciting field of communication and provide a grounding in the basic concepts that communication practitioners use to help their organizations succeed. The focus of the course is on individuals and communication which provides the basis for exploring effective communication between an organization and its various stakeholders.

Learning outcome
Acquired Knowledge
Students will acquire the basic knowledge enabling them to continue their studies in public relations and marketing communication.

Acquired skills
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Define the fundamental characteristics of communication.
  • Describe the characteristics of various communication contexts.
  • Explain the key theories associated with the communication process.
  • Describe career options in the field of communication.
  • Describe the basic communication functions found in organizations and their differences.
  • Communicate better on a personal level.

Students will reflect critically and empathically on their communication, the communication of diverse others and the communication of organizations with an awareness of corresponding ethical implications.

No particular prerequisites.

Compulsory reading
Wood, Julia T. 2016. Communication mosaics : an introduction to the field of communication. 8th ed. CENGAGE Learning Custom Publishing

Extra articles as needed. Tilgjengelig på its learning

Recommended reading
Brønn, Peggy Simcic og Øyvind Ihlen. 2009. Åpen eller innadvendt : omdømmebygging for organisasjoner. Gyldendal akademisk
Cornelissen, Joep. 2014. Corporate communication : a guide to theory & practice. 4th ed. Sage

Course outline
Communication Foundations
  • Theoretical foundations
  • Historical and contemporary perspectives
  • Stakeholder theory and issues management

Communication Processes and Skills
  • Perceiving and understanding
  • Engaging in verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Listening and responding
  • Creating communication climates
  • Adapting communication to cultures and social communities

Contexts of Communication
  • Personal identity
  • Personal relationships
  • Groups and teams
  • Organizations; managerial, public relations, marketing
  • Mass communication
  • Digital media and online

Computer-based tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Learning process and workload
This course will be based primarily on lecture but part of the learning process will require students to engage through active discussion and through presenting in groups of no more than 3 a topic assigned to them by the lecturer. The lecturer will assign students to a group. 39 hours will be used in the classroom divided between lectures and presentations.

Use of hours
Participation in lectures
Preparation for lectures
Journal preparation
Home work and reading
Exam preparation
Total recommended use of hours

    The final grade in the course is based on following activities and weighting:
    1) Students will present material from the readings assigned to them by the lecturer in groups of 3 to the entire class. All group members must be present for the presentation. Pass/fail
    2) A two-hour Mid-term exam: accounts 40 %.
    3) Project paper: accounts for 60 %. The project paper must be done in a group, the group shall consist of not more than 3 students assigned by the lecturer. Any student wishing to work alone must get special permission from the lecturer.

    A final grade will be given based on all components of the evaluation. It is possible to fail part of the evaluation and still receive a grade for the course.

    A re-sit exam for the mid-term will be given the same semester for those students who have a valid reason for missing the exam. (No re-sit will be given for the final exam or presentation the same semester.)

    Examination code(s)
    PRK 34131 - Process evaluation accounts for 100% of the final grade in PRK 3413 Foundations of Communication, 7.5 credits.

    Examination support materials
    Two-hour mid-term exam - native language-English dictionary
    Project paper - all support materials

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit is held in connection with the next scheduled examination in the course.
    Students who are taking new examination must take the course all over including all parts of evaluation.

    Additional information