International Communication Management - English

Have you ever wondered how a BP spokesperson was able to keep his or her cool after at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, or how a corporation like Goldman Sachs was able to regain the public’s trust after the 2008 credit crunch? Well, that’s exactly what you will be capable of after doing the three-year ICM programme. You will learn about sustainable communication, applied research, and, above all, critical thinking. The group projects that you will complete in the first two years will test your ability to advise real companies on their communication strategy. An optional exchange, a five-month internationally orientated internship and a thesis will conclude the International Communication Management programme. And will finalise your development as a communication expert able to operate in a global workplace.

Contact the study

Contact our Study & Career Centre Contact us by phone (+31) (0)70 445 8595 or by email

Structure of International Communication Management - English



hours per week



hours per week



hours per week

Study credits


in year one

Year 1

The first year is the foundation (propaedeutic) year

Rather than focusing solely on communication theories in the first year, like most universities do, at ICM we first sketch the international professional environment. Because ICM students will most likely be exposed to this international environment after graduation. We have an introductory course called Global Issues in which we cover so-called ‘wicked problems’ such as: globalisation, increasing obesity, climate change and immigration. The main question this course tackles is how communication can play a key part in addressing these social changes. It will be your task as a communication specialist to steer the leaders of companies, NGOs and governments from all over the world towards open and transparent communication, thus regaining the trust of external and internal stakeholders. This is something we like to call sustainable communication and it’s one of main principles on which we base our curriculum.

Furthermore, during the second semester of year one you will work on an extensive group assignment called the Design Thinking Project. As part of this assignment you could find yourself working with companies like ING, Adidas, Unilever, H&M or Uber. You will try to resolve a communication issue they might be struggling with. Last year, for example, students helped the Netherlands Nutrition Centre educate ethnic minorities on how to eat more healthily. They researched these minorities, adopted the appropriate tone of voice and created an effective campaign about nutrition.


Block 1
Global Issues, Media and Society
Introduction to Organisational Communication
Critical Thinking Skills
English Foundation Skills I Language Proficiency
English Foundation Skills I Introduction to Writing
Study Skills
November Project
Talk Back
Block 2
Global Issues, Media and Society
Introduction to Organisational Communication
Information Seeking & Processing
English Foundation Skills I Debating
English Foundation Skills II Introduction to Writing II
Study Skills
January Project
Talk Back
Block 3
Communication and Behaviour
Branding and Integrated Marketing Communication
Oral Communication Skills
Design Thinking Project Part 1
Practical Research Skills
Block 4
Digital Communication
Ethical Communication
Digital Storytelling
Design Thinking Project Part 2
Drag sideways

Year 2

Delve deeper

The second part of International Communication Management is all about putting your critical thoughts into practice. Year two revolves around the question of what your added value would be for a large multinational or government body, for example. You will take on the role of a communication advisor and follow courses like Media Relations, Advisory Skills and Public Communication. In addition to attending our acclaimed international classroom, we want all our students to have had the experience of adjusting to an unfamiliar international environment via an exchange. After all, it’s quite likely that you will actually have to do so after landing your first job. But don’t worry; you won’t have to do all the legwork to arrange such an exchange yourself. At THUAS we have a large network with 100 partner universities in Latin America, Japan, Korea, the US, the UK, Turkey, Indonesia, South Africa and Australia. So we will definitely be able to help out.

Year 3

Internship and graduation

Ah yes: year three, the year in which students get to write the ‘dreaded’ thesis. Well, that might be the case if you are writing a 30,000-word literary masterpiece on a subject you don’t particularly find interesting. But at ICM, you will write your final paper in combination with a five-month internship at an international company. We go to considerable lengths to coach our students during their internship, to meet the needs of the students as well as those of the host company. In fact, it’s probably why many ICM students get offered a job after their internship. Last year, for instance, a student wrote a dissertation on how to improve Nike’s communication when processing online returns. We have also had more marketing-inclined ICM students who wrote their final paper about advertising agencies like TBWA or Ogilvy.

Assistance during your studies

Study coaching and advice

We assume your time at ICM will run smoothly. But, if you are experiencing any study problems, we offer personal assistance. A coach can help you keep track of your study progress and further guide your career development. He or she can help you improve your time-management skills for example, or find the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions. He or she will also support you if you have any personal problems that can adversely affect your schoolwork.

Collect ECTS

Binding Study Advice (BSA)

In the first year, you are expected to earn at least 50 of the 60 credits available. In some cases, as part of the 50 credits, you will need have passed a certain subject.

If you fulfil all requirements, the Examination Board will issue a positive study advice and you can continue with your degree programme. If you fail to meet these requirements, you will be issued a negative binding study advice and will be required to leave the degree programme.

The Examination Board may take personal circumstances into consideration, such as illness or participation in professional sports. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The study advice may be deferred, possibly with certain conditions attached that must be fulfilled during the following academic year.

You are personally responsible for your academic progress, so make sure to contact your academic career coach early on if things are not going well.


Shape your degree

A lot of ICM student enter the workforce with some form of specialisation. This is what minors are all about: giving your ICM degree an edge. The list of minoring options at THUAS Communication Management is endless. You might want to learn more about media relations and journalism, either because you want to become a journalist yourself or because you would like to know how to handle questions from the press as a public relations officer. And what about a minor called Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which might help you approach communication issues from an alternative perspective. Over half of ICM students go abroad in the second year to follow two minors at one of our partner universities in countries like Japan, the UK, Korea or the US.

Working methods

Lectures, seminars, study visits, self-study, group activities and project work

Many people might say International Communication Management is something you do at university because it’s so theoretical. And there may be some truth in that. But, with THUAS’ ICM programme you won’t be learning theory for the sake of it. All the theoretical courses can be directly applied to cases that ICM students will have to deal with when they start out as a junior communication manager. It means you won’t just learn about general mass communication theories, as is the case with most universities. As an ICM student you will advocate positive change. This means you don’t  take existing thoughts and ideas about communication for granted. You could, for example, be of the opinion that organisations flood consumers’ social feeds with unnecessary information and what they consider to be ‘cool’ viral campaigns? ICM nourishes this critical mind-set and teaches its student to find new ways of communicating an organisation’s vision to internal and external stakeholders.

Interested in
International Communication Management - English?

Sign up now or try the study for a day with us!