The Bachelor's programme in International Business Communication (BA IBC) is a specialisation within the Communication and Information Studies programme (Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen, CIS). The BA IBC programme focuses on the interaction between a foreign language (German, English, French or Spanish), communication and culture within the context of international labour organisations. Communication in international organisations in which German, English, French and/or Spanish is spoken, is the central theme for both the academic and research components of this programme. An additional focus is the internal and external communication of organisations and the multilingual and intercultural contexts in which they operate.
A foreign language is a useful communication tool for organisations. The increasing internationalisation of the business sector highlights the importance of intercultural communication and a mastery of languages such as German, English, French and Spanish. The BA IBC programme meets the growing demand for experts in the field of international communication.
In addition to foreign language proficiency, organisational communication calls for a mastery of various communication skills. Some of these skills are general in nature and applicable in all communication situations, while others are associated with specific work situations and objectives. The targeted application of communication strategies in organisations requires a comprehensive understanding of business topics, such as organisational structures and objectives and situational conditions.
In addition to offering thorough academic training on the implementation of organisational communication strategies, this programme provides students with a scholarly reference for analysing, improving or optimising the internal and external communication of organisations. As an IBC student, you will learn to master a foreign language (German, English, French or Spanish), gain a thorough understanding of the international communication strategies applied by organisations and learn to critically reflect on issues and theories of relevance to the field. You will also learn how to assess and conduct independent research in the field of business communication. Additionally, you will develop the ability to apply the acquired knowledge, insights and skills in a social or academic position.
The ultimate objective of this programme is to deliver IBC graduates whose knowledge of at least one foreign language allows them to operate internationally in the field of consultancy, communication management, communication research, training and education. The IBC programme explicitly takes into account the labour market position of its graduates. The curriculum is based on the demands of specific market segments on one hand, and the specific expertise of the Faculty of Arts on the other. Instead of training its students, IBC prepares its students for the future profession. This means graduates possess the qualities required for a wide range of positions in various fields. IBC focuses on a variety of different sectors, including trade and industry, business services and both for-profit and non-profit organisations. Organisations increasingly recognise the importance of communication, which in turn influences the demand for language and communication experts.
IBC distinguishes itself from other language and communication programmes by focusing on the international context of business communication. You will become intimately acquainted with different languages and cultures, with the issues surrounding intercultural communication and with the corporate culture in the countries where these languages are spoken.
The IBC Bachelor’s programme has three learning pathways, each with its own exit qualifications.
1. Language, Communication and Organisation
Students have knowledge of and insight into the communication processes of organisations, particularly the contextual and linguistic factors that play a role therein. They are capable of analysing the communication process in terms of communication models and strategies, and can apply their knowledge and insights in real-life cases.
2. Intercultural Communication and Foreign Language
Students understand how culture influences the communication processes of international organisations and can apply these insights in real-life, international cases. Students have gained the necessary skills to communicate in the foreign language, as well as a sufficient understanding of the sociocultural and economic aspects of the countries in which that language is spoken in order to evaluate, modify and develop organisation-specific communication products in the relevant language.
3. Academic and Research Skills
Students possess the knowledge, insights and skills to apply qualitative and quantitative research methods in the field of organisational communication and are capable of applying these skills to select the best research method for a specific research question. Students possess general academic skills, particularly in the field of communication, collaboration and IT.