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Master in Communication and Information Studies: Dialogue, Health and Society

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
01 September 2022

About this program

Dialogue, Health and Society

Dialogue, Health and Society is an international track of the master's degree programme in Communication and Information Studies (CIS). It focuses on the theoretical and practical role of language in health communication and medical care. In a world where uncertainty reigns, conspiracy theories are eagerly shared, and citizens and patients grow stronger, dialogue has become indispensable.

You will acquire advanced theoretical knowledge on how language is used in real-life contexts, varying from doctor-patient interaction to online debates on vaccination against Covid-19. You will also apply these insights and learn to design, monitor and evaluate dialogue practices during your internship. And last but not least, you will learn to understand and critically reflect on how the social context enables or limits dialogue practices and when, for example, debate should take place rather than dialogue.

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Admission requirements

Students for this track come from diverse backgrounds. You may have a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Information Studies, Communication Science, Sociology or Psychology, or a bachelor’s degree in Medicine or Health Sciences.

Basic knowledge in the field of Conversation Analysis and of methods and statistics is required, but tailor-made premaster programmes, including flexible MOOCs, are available to overcome these knowledge gaps where necessary.

If you have a degree in communication or language from a Dutch university of applied sciences (HBO), the Admissions Board of the programme will decide whether you are admissible to the premaster programmes with a maximum of 30 credits.

English language requirements

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you have not taken a test yet, we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

  • TOEFL score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 (in each of the subtests).
  • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
  • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website

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Program content

  • Communication Design in Society
  • Dialogue for Health
  • Medical and Health Care Interactions
  • Elective(s)
  • Internship 1: Facilitating Dialogue
  • Internship 2: Applied Research Project
  • Health Communication and Social Media
  • Thesis

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 15,546


Upon graduation, you will have unique knowledge of how and to what purposes professionals and clients, patients and citizens act in the context of real-life conversations about health, and how to facilitate and support these interactions

Career paths

After you obtained your master's degree in Communication and Information Studies: Dialogue, Health and Society, you can work at health institutes such as the Dutch RIVM, Ministries of Health, pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, hospices, addiction care, heart or cancer foundations, patient organisations, international NGOs and the WHO. There is a great demand for academically trained dialogue or conversation specialists in the health area, in their role of:

  • consultant
  • researcher
  • facilitator
  • policy maker
  • mediation expert
  • patient educator
  • social media editor
  • webcare manager
  • lecturer in higher professional education

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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