Editor’s note: the track ‘Text & Communication’ (T&C) has changed names to ‘Communication & Cognition’ (C&C)
What master did you do? And where?
The master Communication & Cognition at Tilburg University.
Were there any admission requirements?
I did my bachelor in CIS so for me there were no admission requirements. I did not even have to write a motivation. If you do have any doubts as to whether admission requirements do apply to you, you can always take a look at https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/education/masters-programmes/communication-and-cognition/application
Why did you choose this master?
During my bachelor’s program, I chose courses from all the different tracks (BDM, T&C and HAIT) and in my last year I realized that I had taken most of my courses in BDM and T&C. In that last year, when I had to take a couple of compulsory courses in addition to my minor, I saw that not a single compulsory course of T&C was included so I took the compulsory course in BDM: Branding, Image & Identity. I did not find the course very interesting and I had to put a lot of effort into it to understand the content. From that moment on it became clear to me that I should not choose the master BDM and I should pay more attention to the master of T&C, which was Communication & Cognition, by going to Master Open Days. The subjects of Communication & Cognition really appealed to me because it was a little bit about the human brain. This is where my area of interest lies as I also took courses in Psychology such as Brain and Behavior and Neuropsychology during my minor. Communication & Cognition was the ideal combination of communication/language and psychology/brain.
What courses did you take?
For this master’s program you are expected to choose four courses that are part of the specialization, these were for me: Cognition and Process, Visual Communication, Non-Verbal Communication and Miscommunication and Emotion. In addition, you can choose two courses from other disciplines, such as Business Communication and Digital Media or Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence. Here I choose the courses: Webcare (BDM) and Data Driven Design (CSAI). Finally, you have to choose two Research Skills. My research skills were: Design & Analysis of Questionnaires and Eye Tracking.
Did you live in a dorm?
No, I already lived in a dorm during my bachelor’s program. However, I do not think that it is necessary for this master’s degree. Many of my fellow students did not live in a dorm in Tilburg. You will be at the university for 2 or maximum 3 days a week.
How did you like it?
I think I made the right choice. You work in blocks instead of semesters, so everything goes pretty fast. You have to work in a structured way and keep track of everything on a weekly basis so that you do not fall behind. But do not worry, it is quite nice that you have lectures twice a week because you can remember everything from the last lecture easily. I particularly struggled in my first block because I still had to get used to everything and I had three heavy courses with weekly deadlines. However, in block 2 I had fewer subjects and it was much better to keep on track with everything. I do not think that the master was very difficult, but I do believe that it is a shame that there was no room to do an internship without a delay in my studies.
Was it hard to switch?
During my minor, I had already followed courses that were given in blocks (3 months) instead of semesters (6 months), so I knew more or less how things were going. I also know that I am a structured worker, but I still found it hard to get used to my first block. It was not necessarily difficult to make the switch, but I would not underestimate it either. It is not necessarily harder than a bachelor’s degree, but it goes faster and you are expected to keep track of everything on a weekly basis. For example, I had a course with two tests every week. At the end you already have a summary and you have to do ‘less’ for the examination, but during the course it is sometimes difficult to combine with other subjects and obligations.
Did you know someone else who was also following this master’s program?
I did know a number of people from my bachelor’s program, but I also took part in the TOP Week for masters and I got to know a lot of new people here as well. You quickly get to know people during the classes because the classes are often interactive and not very large.