6 ECTS credits
150 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4016221FNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

1st semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
Communication Sciences
Educational team
Tim Raats (course titular)
Ivana Kostovska
Activities and contact hours

26 contact hours Lecture
40 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
84 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

This course consists of a combination of lectures and group discussions. It aims to provide a broad overview of policy initiatives in the media and communications sector in Europe, by setting out from a thematic approach. The central question addressed in the course is how European and national policy institutions are shaping policies for public interest in the market place. This entails, amongst others, issues related to freedom of expression, cultural diversity, quality and trust in media. We tackle these issues by focusing on various cases within European media policies (film support, platform regulation, public broadcasting, etc.). 

The first part of the course provides an introductory overview of EU policymaking and the most important institutions and policy processes. Secondly, we discuss various concepts related to public interest in media and how they can be applied in the various sub-sectors of media policy. Particular attention is given to the discussion of ‘cultural diversity’ and its translation within European and international policies.

The third and main part of the course describes policymaking in specific domains related to media policy. It discusses how European and national institutions are affecting media players’ activities and organizations, what challenges and tensions arise in this complex multi-stakeholder and multi-level environment, and how effective policymaking is in the various domains.

Different thematic building blocks are then explored via thematic case studies:

  • Policies for Public Service Media in Europe
  • Supporting film and creative industries in Europe
  • Policies for audiovisual content: from television to video sharing platforms
  • Dealing with global platforms (Google, Amazon, Facebook): fake news, illegal content and hate speech, and competition
Additional info

Aside from the classes, students have to work on an assignment related to different topical cases in European media policymaking. The assignment serves as an input the thematic discussions. Each student has to sign up for one thematic discussion group (1.30 hours). During the lectures, ample time will be devoted to interactive discussions with the entire group.

The course material consists of slide sets, notes, additional policy documents discussed in class, and scientific journal articles. The Palgrave Handbook of European Media Policy (ed. by Karen Donders, Caroline Pauwels and Jan Loisen) is not obligatory, but highly recommended for students who have no background in European media policymaking.

Teaching Methods

  • Lecture: collective contact-dependent moments during which the lecturer engages with learning materials
  • Seminar, Exercises or Practicals (Practical): collective or individual contact-dependent moments during which the students are guided to actively engage with learning materials
  • Independent or External Form of Study (Self): independent study

This description of the teaching methods is indicative, in order to assess the expected study load.

Lecture: 26 hours (13 x 2 hours)

Practical: 40 hours

  • discussion and testing of study material, after the lecture: 13 hours (13 x 1 hour)
  • Preparatory assignment for the discussion groups + integrate the discussion notes in a report: 27 hours

Self: 84 hours

  • keeping up with the course material during the semester and run through background info, amounting to 4 hours per lecture: 52 hours (13 x 4)
  • preparation exam: 32 hours (4 days of 8 hours)
Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

This course aims at an advanced and critical knowledge about policymaking in the media and communications related domain in Europe. The goals of the course are:

  • To gain critical insights in the policymaking process in Europe, with special attention to aspects of multilevel governance, and specific attention to the complexities of policymaking.
  • Gain theoretical and empirical knowledge of the impact of policy on the national and European level
  • To acquired knowledge of policy initiatives in the media and communications related sector in Europe based on a cases study approach of specific domains
  • Inspire students to develop a critical view on critical debates in press and policy, amongst others through discussions during class.
  • Increase specific knowledge of the workings of institutions and regulatory processes in the European Union and in different member states, with specific regard to EU media and communications regulation

The course contributes to the following learning results of the international master program 'New Media and Society in Europe'

  • Students show in-depth knowledge, understanding and insight within the field of communication sciences and in relation to the latest evolutions and discussions at both the national and international level regarding media, internet and globalization.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to critically contextualise and evaluate current national and international developments and discussions, and are able to independently deepen insights related to complex problems on the basis of an original framework of analysis, thereby expanding the theoretical basis related to their own fields of interest
  • Students show an open and constructive attitude whilst having respect for other views and beliefs.
  • Students act upon an open attitude in a culturally diverse international context. They critically reflect on their own (geographical, social, cultural, local, personal, etc.) position.
  • Students are competent to translate acquired understandings and findings into concrete conclusions, scenarios, advice, policy recommendations and strategies, and are able to communicate and implement these in a professional manner.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 60% of the final mark.
Other Exam determines 40% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Oral Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 60% of the final mark.

    Note: Oral exam with short written preparation

Within the Other Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Assignment + Discussions with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 40% of the final mark.

    Note: Assignment is a preparatory and follow-up exercise used in the different discussion groups

Additional info regarding evaluation

Exams are composed of two (starting) questions and a series of follow-up questions.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Communication Studies: New Media and Society in Europe