Experiences with Masters

Students talk about their masterstudies

In the tabs you will find stories of students who did a master at Tilburg University or at another university. These students speak about their experiences with their master. Do you want to know more about what masterstudies you can do in Tilburg or in another city? Go to our page: Other Minors/Masters.

Bram Scholten

Business Communication & Digital Media at Tilburg University

What master did you do? And where?
I do the de master Communication and Information Sciences, the specialization Business Communication and Digital Media in Tilburg.

Were there any admission requirements?
I did the bachelor CIS, that means, that I can do this master too.

Why did you choose this master?
I did the bachelor Communication and Information Sciences in Tilburg. For me, I was a logical step to do the master there too. I thought, that the specialization in the bachelor was nice and that was possible in the master too. That was, for me, the reason to stay in Tilburg.

What courses did you do?
In the first part of the master, I did the courses Social Media at Work and Webcare. In the second part, I did the courses Negotiation Strategies and Online Public Relations. I’m in the third part now and I do the courses Corporate Social Responsibility Communication, Mobile Media & Society and the research skill Design and Analysis of Questionnaires.

Did you live in a dorm?
When I started the master, I moved to a dorm. I didn’t do that especially for the master, I was already planning to live in a dorm. The master is a lot busier than the bachelor, so I’m happy that I’m in a dorm now and that I don’t have to travel two hours per day anymore.

How did you like it?
The master is satisfying up to now. The work load is bigger in comparison to the bachelor, because you have four parts instead of two semesters.

Was is hard to switch?
The subjects are not difficult, you build on the knowledge you obtained in the bachelor. The amount of articles stays the same.

Did you know someone else who did this master?
In the first half of the year, I knew only a few other students, but it is very easy to make new friends because the group projects where you meet other students. The lectures are also very interactive.

Iskander de Lange

Human Aspects of Information Technology at Tilburg University

What master did you do? And where?
I did the master Human Aspects of Information Technology in Tilburg, and I focused on Business Communication and Digital Media too.

Were there any admission requirements?
I did a CIS bachelor at Tilburg University too, so the admission process was no problem. I didn’t have to hand in an admission request.

Why did you choose this master?
Tilburg and her university pleased me, the HAIT track too. I did BDM too, to broaden my horizon and to spread my chances.

What courses did you do?
Computer Games, Negotiation Strategies, Research Skills: Eye Tracking, Research Skills: Online Data Collection, Social Intelligence, Social Signal Processing, Mobile Media & Society and Corporate Social Responsibility Communication.

Did you live in a dorm?
Since the start of my time as a student in Tilburg, I lived in a dorm.

How did you like it?
I like the master. However, HAIT is not the direction I want to find a job in. I always thought a lot of things in our study were interesting, and last year I was already searching for something that I really liked. On paper, I study HAIT, but in practice I want to do other subjects too. For example, I did an internship at the embassy in Washington. That has nothing to do with HAIT. It is most of the time writing texts, deliver social media content, take pictures at events, and tasks nobody else has time for.

Was is hard to switch?
The switch from bachelor to master was not hard for me. The subjects are possibly more difficult, but more fun too. Lectures are more frequent, but you have less courses per period. So that is balanced really good. I didn’t have any difficulties with that. The master is more fun in general, because everything is more specific and you are more busy doing things that have to do with real case scenarios (mostly with the research skills).

Did you know someone else who did this master?
Yes, a lot of people. I’m from Tilburg and I study the master CIS after the bachelor. I still see friends and students whom I know from that time.

Arnold van der Werff

Communication Design/Teacher Dutch at Tilburg University

What master did you do? And where?
I did the master Communication Design at Tilburg University. After that, I did a post master to become a teacher in the Dutch language, also at Tilburg University.

Were there any admission requirements?
For the master Communication Design were no admission requirements, because the master program is in line with the bachelor CIS. For the post master there were admission requirements, because you have to follow certain courses of both Online Culture and CIS. I did follow these courses within my bachelor and I did an educational minor. That means, that I have to do the post master in just half a year, after the master Communication Design.

Why did you choose this master?
I wanted to immerse myself into communication and because I couldn’t do some courses in the bachelor, because I did have to follow courses of Online Culture, I thought Communication Design was a good solution. On top of that, I had some side jobs at the university that I wanted to keep doing and that was possible in this way.

I firstly chose the post master to have an extra option. It is only half a year or a year extra, but you can do a lot of things once you have the authority to teach. However, I thought teaching was really fun and I wanted to do this as a job.

What courses did you do?
For Communication Design I did Communication Strategies, Negotiation Strategies, Cognition & Process, ANOVA, Web Analytics, DEOT, Visual Communication, and Understanding Cooperation in Communication. For the post master I didn’t have to do courses anymore because this exists of an internship of half a year, some meetings about teaching where you share experiences with your fellow students and two reports you have to write.

Did you live in a dorm?
I didn’t live in a dorm, because I lived with my parents before too. I didn’t think it was a problem. Last summer I did move to Tilburg, but that didn’t have to do a lot with my study, because I had an internship in Bergen op Zoom.

How did you like it?
A lot! The master was doable, good options for courses and a lot of possibilities to write a thesis about. There were a lot of subjects and finally I was able to choose a subject myself. For the post master applies the same. I like to teach and that is the main point of the study. You have to ask yourself if you like to be in front of the class, because that is what it is about. If you will do the post master at once, that means in one year, you will be in front of the class a whole year. You have to realize that!

Was is hard to switch?
I had more difficulty with focusing on just Communication Design and not on teaching. The post master didn’t give any troubles. During the three years in the bachelor, I was busy with teaching and literature courses and then you have to do communication courses – that was hard. The switch from a CIS bachelor program to a master program was not hard.

Did you know someone else who did this master?
Actually not. I did these studies because I was interested in it, like my bachelor. I did courses with two other CIS students, my friends chose the standard CIS master. I saw them less than before, that was a pity. However, I do not regret my choice, because I now have four degrees instead of two, and a lot more choices in my career.

Arjen Traas

Data Science: Business & Governance at Tilburg University

What master did you do? And where?
Data Science: Business and Governance at Tilburg University.

Were there any admission requirements?
For me, there were no admission requirements. I went to the master directly from the bachelor CIS. As far as I know, you have to do a pre-master when you did higher professional education before, and possibly when you did an academic study that has too little overlap with Data Science.

Why did you choose this master?
I chose this master, because I did a course in my bachelor about computer programming (Seminar Data Processing) and I thought it was very interesting. Thereafter, I searched for more information about it and by chance a new master Data Science started that year. For me it was a logical decision to choose this master. Besides that, I didn’t know yet what other CIS master was interesting and finally, the improved job opportunity contributed to my choice.

What courses did you do?
I did the following courses:
• Data Science Regulation & Law (620087)
• Research Skills: Data Processing (880254) – I already did this course in the bachelor, but it is compulsory in the master Data Science
• Social Data Mining (880022)
• Research Skills: Text Mining (880091)
• Governance and Policy making (620089)
• Research Skills: Statistical Programming with R (880256)
• Business Analytics and Emerging Trends (320091)
• Research Skills: Data Processing Advanced (880082)

Did you live in a dorm?
I already lived in Tilburg during the bachelor.

How did you like it?
At the moment that I am writing this, I’m midway the master, but I like it. You learn practical skills that you can use later on (programming languages and specific programs) and theoretical background from company and law perspectives too. I think it’s a lot more fun than the ‘normal’ CIS master; it actually does not have a lot to do with communication. Therefore, I always say that I study Data Science, not communication. In the CIS bachelor, I often thought that it was interesting, but I didn’t have any idea what I would have to use when I had a job.

Was is hard to switch?
I think, Data Science is harder than other CIS masters. The difference in level with the bachelor is clear too. You have to keep up your work every week, otherwise you will drop behind. The speed some professors maintain in the lectures is very high too. With the programming courses, I had the benefit that I had a little bit of experience with it. Some people who did other bachelors, had a tough time during the courses.

Did you know someone else who did this master?
I knew someone who I knew because of Flow and the study. We often do projects together, that is easier and more fun. Besides that, you get to know other people spontaneously when you are discussing projects. I’m also not a person who finds it hard to do things alone. That could have helped too, I was never afraid of it.

Kim Tenfelde

Research Master: Language & Communication in Tilburg and Nijmegen

What master did you do? And where?
The research master in Language & Communication at Tilburg University. This master is in cooperation with Radboud University in Nijmegen. That means, that you can choose courses on both universities, so the number of choices is twice as big. We have also some courses together with the students in Nijmegen.

Were there any admisson requirements? 
Yes, there were. To get admission for the research master, you have to have at least a 7.5 in average for the bachelor, and you have to have at least an 8 for your bachelor thesis. Furthermore, you have to write a motivation letter. I had an average of a 7.4 for my bachelor (CIS at Tilburg University too), but luckily that was not a problem. When you have a strong motivation letter, the chance is really big that you get admission!

Why did you choose this master?
During my bachelor, I realized that I like doing research. I realized that first during Research Practical HAIT in the second year of the bachelor. That is the first time that you are setting up and doing a research and I thought that was really interesting to do! Furthermore, I liked writing my thesis. For me that was the most important reason to do the research master. I also liked the personal aspect of the master a lot. It is really important that you can do something with your personal interests. It is, for example, possible to do courses at different faculties if your interests are in that field of study.

What courses did you do?
I am doing this master just for half a year now, and I had two compulsory courses: Corpus and
Experimental Methods and Foundations of Language and Communication. These courses are compulsory and are with the students from Nijmegen too. Corpus and Experimental Methods is a statistics course, because it is of course important to have knowledge about statistics in this master. Foundations of Language and Communication is a course where you learn the basics of language and communication. This course is mainly important for students who do not have a language or communication background and do this master.

My only two elective courses until know, were Webcare and Learning Across the Life Span. I chose Webcare, because I am a research master student and instead of studying for an exam I like writing papers more. For Learning Across the Life Span I did together with another research master student an assignment more extensive than the other master students. Furthermore, I did the Research Skill Text Mining.

Next period, I will do Lab Rotation. This is not a typical subject, the teacher is not just transferring knowledge to the students, it is more like an internship. For Lab Roation, you choose a professor at the university (of Tilburg or Nijmegen) in your area of interest. Subsequently you work the whole semester on a (new) research and finally it will be published or may be even presented at a conference! Wat I furthermore like about Lab Rotation is that you can choose by yourself what you are going to do. You really get to know the academic world.

Did you live in a dorm?
I already lived in a dorm, because of my bachelor in Tilburg, so I didn’t have to move! About the courses you have to do with the student from Nijmegen: you don’t have to worry about the travelling. There are two courses and these will be given on the same day. One week in Tilburg, the other in Nijmegen.

How did you like it?
It is really fun! I think Tilburg is a nice city. It feels more like a really big town, because you always come across someone you know. I really like living in a dorm too, it is really handy because you are always near the university. At this moment, my master is not yet really busy, but next year that will probably change and then I am happy I live in a dorm! Then I am able to go to the university really quick, when it’s necessary.

Was it hard to switch?
I didn’t think it was really hard. Because of my thesis at the end of the bachelor, I was in a really busy time then, so the master could only be easy. The courses in the first two periods do not differ a lot from the normal master. And for some courses, you have to do some extra things, but in the end, you don’t have to spend a lot more time on it. Until know, I think it is really good doable. Finally, the master will be busier, certainly during Lab Rotation, but then you will be switched over from a bachelor student to a master student!

Did you know someone else who did this master?
The research master is study with a few students, so it feels really cozy. This year, for example, only four student from Tilburg did the study! I was lucky that I chose this master with three other CIS bachelor students. Of course, it is nice to know someone, but there are just a few students which means that you get to know your fellow students really fast (and very well). I know all the students form Nijmegen (20 students) now. Because of the personal aspect of the study, you get to know the students very fast, but you also get to know the teachers at a personal level!

Patty Sondagh

New Media & Digital Culture at Utrecht University

What master did you do? And where?
The master New Media & Digital Culture at Utrecht University.

Were there any admission requirements? 
– You have to show some experience with designing, analyzing, presenting and reporting by writing a motivation letter and an essay (summary + criticism based on the chapters of a book that is predetermined by the admissions committee) and possibly an interview.
– You have knowledge and insight into (New) Media and Culture theories and discussions, you can prove this by following courses in this field of at least 15 EC.
– You followed courses in research methods (qualitative or quantitative) of at least 7.5 EC.
– You are proficient in English in speaking and writing.
– You have to hand in at least two letters of recommendation, a short cv, a grades list and a list of courses you are following (of are going to follow).

It was quite some work, but certainly worth it! They are very strict, and they have to be, because there were 120 registrations but only 40 were approved.

Why did you choose this master?
This study was exactly what I was looking for. It brings students from different disciplines together (students CIS, Cultural Studies, but also Philosophy, Dutch, English and other Humanities bachelors are permitted) which means that the discussions during the lectures are exposed to different perspectives, which is very interesting.

Besides that, this master gives you the freedom to develop yourself and to specialize in the field (within New Media) that you are interested in. This freedom means that you can write a paper about a subject of your own choice for every course (I wrote, for example, a paper for the course Game Studies about identity and representation of female gamers and how they see the representation of women in fashion magazines).

On top of that, in your thesis you are free to choose a subject. For this, we did a course in the second period, of which the biggest part of the work was searching for and reading of literature. This is a preparation for the thesis which we are going to write in the third period.

Finally, I think that it is a big advantage that it is possible to do an internship within this study. The teachers are aware of the fact that most of their students are not going to work as a scientist, and take that into account when they are preparing the lectures.

What courses did you do?
• New Media Theories
• Game Studies
• Research Lab I
• Research Lab 2
• Thesis
• Internship
• Transmedia
• The Mobile, the Social and the Urban
Extra courses:
• Fashion
• Trend Watching

Did you live in a dorm?
I lived in another city, I chose to stay in Tilburg for a year. The travelling is okay; three courses per period is doable.

How did you like it?
I really liked it, thanks to the freedom they give you and the possibility to be a real individual student within your own specialization. All thirty students who possibly graduate in September 2017 are very different, and that is what I really like about this master.

Besides that, I really like the setting in which the courses are being taught, it is really motivating. Although, we are only with thirty students, we are being separated into two groups during the lectures, so you are in class with only 15-20 students. That means, that you will always actively participate during the lecture and discuss about the compulsory literature (for the participation during the lessons you will be graded).

Was is hard to switch?
It needed to get used to the master, but because I did some minor courses of Online Culture for which I had to write papers, the switch was less hard. However, the investment they ask of you for a master study is a lot more than for a bachelor study.

Did you know someone else who did this master? 
No, I knew nobody, but that was not an obstacle. We had two informative and cozy introduction days in which we got to know the study and each other (students and teachers). Besides that, it is the case that we can act to each other like adults and we are being places in groups. The collaboration is good.

Barbara Verstappen

Communication, Policy & Management at Utrecht University

What master did you do? And where?
The (Dutch) master Communication, Policy and Management at Utrecht University. This is a track/part of the School of Governance.
Were there any admission requirements? If there were, what were these?
To get admission, you, as a CIS student, have to do a general minor program about management and organizational sciences. That means, you have to do four courses in one or two semesters. You do courses about governance, policy and management, and you have to do a qualitative research. If you did do this minor, the selection for the master begins, it is really strict. You have to write a motivation letter, you have to do an interview, you need two references and they evaluate your cv and grade list. During the interview, the focus is primarily on you motivation for doing the master, what you bachelor thesis was about and if you already thought about a subject for your master thesis. For this track, there are every year less registrations than for the other tracks. That means, that there is a chance of one in two (other tracks: one in four). In our year, we were “lucky” because there were only 27 registrations and 25 places. There was a really big chance to be chosen, but even though they are really strict about your admission, so they can still reject you.

Why did you choose this master?
I noticed that I was missing something in our study. I did do a master HAIT to challenge myself, and because I was done with social media and online marketing. Still I missed the “purpose” of our study. I knew that I wanted to work in the public sector, and this study focused primarily on communication in this sector. Besides that, you can do a lot of skill courses, what means that you gain a lot of experience in management and policy. It is the perfect combination between communication and management sciences.

What courses did you do?
In the first semester, I did courses about sharing knowledge and collaborating in organizations, and changes in policies. In the first course we got a lot of theory about how different actors have to work together with various social issues. During the second course we had to analyze a public campaign and we got theory about how public institutions try to influence people. This subject is similar like a lot of different subject in CIS, so it was easy. Besides these courses, I did a few skills courses. These are courses like management skills, advisory skills, project management, policy skills and coaching in organizations. These subjects are focused on practice. I did a subject about management skills, there we practiced performance interviews, interviews in which bad news has to be told (with actors) and we had to give a workshop about a subject that had to do with management. The second course I did, was coaching in organizations. I learned a lot about interview techniques by doing, both by coaching and by being coached.

Did you live in a dorm?
No, I travel between Tilburg and Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn. In the first period, I had to go to the university four times a week. In the second period only two or three times. It is about one and a half an hour by train, so it is doable. I didn’t want to leave Tilburg yet because I have everything and everyone there.

How did you like it?
It is a really interesting study. It is interesting to look to certain social issues from a communication perspective. There are a lot of guest lectures and excursions to interesting institutions like municipalities or schools. The skills courses make that you are being very practical and that you have the feeling that what you are learning is applicable in the work field.

Was is hard to switch?
I do think it was hard to switch. The lectures are a lot more intensive than in CIS. It is expected that you read all the articles and that you are able to join the conversation. It often is your turn unexpectedly and then you have to tell something about an article. The work load is very heavy, but the subjects are not that difficult. Furthermore, you get a lot of feedback by your fellow students, but you have to give a lot of feedback too. You get to know your fellow students very well in this way. That is something that I wasn’t used to in CIS, where you are a lot more anonymous.

Did you know someone else who did this master?
During the introduction day, I saw, by chance, someone who I already knew, and it is really nice to have a travel and study mate. But, like I said, you get to know a lot of fellow student in a really intense way. That means that you will always have someone to talk to.

Anne Raijmakers

Media Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam

What master did you do? And where?
Media Studies in Rotterdam.

Were there any admission requirements?
-You have an academic bachelor’s degree in the social sciences or humanities.
-You have the required basic knowledge in the field of media and communication and social sciences research methods.

I had to collect several forms for the selection process, like a grade list and a motivation letter.

Why did you choose this master?
After visiting a lot of master information evenings, I thought that this master would suit me best. It is partly in line with my bachelor, but I learnt a lot of new things. I thought it was fun that this master focusses on different topics, like marketing. I thought it was interesting too to know more about other types of media, not only about digital media.

What courses did you do?
I did the following courses: Methods of Media Research I and II; Social Media; Management of Media and Cultural Industry; Participating Audience; Media, Culture and Globalization;
Media Entertainment and Marketing Strategy; Master Class and Media and Policy. In the second and third part of the master, it is possible to choose between different courses.

Did you live in a dorm?
In Tilburg, I lived in a dorm. But I didn’t get student grants anymore and my parents live in Delft, so I’m back living at my parents’.

How did you like it?
Rotterdam is a very cozy and diverse city! What I thought was really cool, and what I didn’t know beforehand, were the many guest lectures. We got a guest lecture of, for example, Dan Blazer (of Blazhoffski), Bert van der Veer (program creator) and Dirk de Lille (Paradisofilms).

Was is hard to switch?
I didn’t find it hard to switch at all. There are many moments where you can meet your fellow students. At the beginning, you have to get used to the busy weeks, but you have no exams. On top of that, we had to use different research methods than we had to use in Tilburg, but you learn these in the first few weeks.

Did you know someone else who did this master? 
The master Media Studies is a small master. In my year, there were only 22 students, so you get to know people very fast. Besides that, like I wrote before, there are several opportunities to meet your fellow students.

Danique Rietman

Communication & Influencing at Radboud University

Which master did you take? And where?

I am currently studying for a Master’s degree in Communication and Influencing at Radboud University in Nijmegen.

Were there any admission requirements?
The only admission requirement is that you have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in CIW. It does not matter which university you obtained it from. Based on this, you can submit an application to the board of examiners for an admission declaration. The website clearly indicates how to do this: http://www.ru.nl/opleidingen/master/communicatie-en-beinvloeding/toelating/

Why did you choose this programme?
I have been to different master’s programmes in different cities. I really wanted to stay in Tilburg, but the master’s degree in Tilburg didn’t appeal enough to me to continue studying there. The Communication and Influencing master’s programme in Nijmegen, on the other hand, does. Within the master’s programme, as with the bachelor’s programme in Tilburg, you have the freedom to choose a certain specialisation. These relate to ‘Health Communication’, ‘Marketing Communication’ and ‘Organisation & Innovation’. You are not obliged to choose a certain direction, but if you follow 30 ECTS or more of the 60 ECTS to be obtained in a certain direction, this specialisation will be mentioned on your diploma. Furthermore, there are four compulsory subjects and a thesis, you have to follow one optional subject and there is the option to do an internship. You can do this instead of a professional project. I found the option of gaining practical experience very interesting, because it is difficult for me to determine what I can and want to do with it from a theoretical point of view. However, this practical experience is not only offered on the basis of an internship, but also through group assignments that are part of the compulsory subjects, with which you will draw up an advisory report for an existing company. You will then visit the company to ask what the wishes or shortcomings are and together with your group you will then come up with a suitable solution and finally present it to the company.

Which subjects did you follow?

Communication, behaviour and influence: This involves, among other things, how we can influence the behaviour (health behaviour, traffic behaviour, behaviour in favour of the environment, purchasing behaviour, etc.) of people by means of communication
Data collection and analysis: Explanation about the different SPSS tests and how the output should be read and interpreted. Very handy for the thesis.
Fundamental research: Researching a certain form of communication (such as films or stories) that you eventually write an article about.
Communication, identity and reputation: These include communication strategies during a crisis, how companies can improve their reputation and which factors influence the reputation, the influence of CSR activities, how companies keep employees satisfied, etc.
Thesis: In the middle of it
Internship: Next year
Optional subject: Next year

Did you get a room there?
I didn’t get a room there because for the study especially, because I don’t live very far from Nijmegen. I really wanted to get a room myself, so I chose to do so voluntarily. Instead of Nijmegen I went to live in Arnhem and this is a great place to travel.

What was it like?
The content of the training so far is really good. The master’s degree certainly fits in well with the bachelor’s degree CIW in Tilburg and I didn’t feel for a moment that I was lagging behind the students who had followed the bachelor’s degree in Nijmegen. I also had very nice teachers who, despite the large number of students, always gave me a quick response to questions and help when needed.

Was it difficult to switch over?
I didn’t really have to get used to the content and layout of the courses. A university in a new city has also been very easy for me. What I did have to get used to was the difference between the bachelor and master in the amount of work that was planned each week. It was a tough time and it is therefore important to keep track of everything from the start in order to avoid stress just before the exams. If you do this, then the exams and assignments are certainly doable.

Did you know anyone else who also followed this master’s programme?
I didn’t know anyone who had followed or was going to follow this master’s programme. This is, of course, a pity at first, but it should certainly not be a reason not to choose a course. In the end, you always get to know new people, and that was the case now as well. In addition, you can travel anywhere with your public transport and it’s extra fun when you see your friends from Tilburg again.


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