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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

What is Communication and Digital Media Studies?

Communications and digital media are everywhere and in everything. Journalists, public affairs officers, content creators, entertainment makers, branding experts, digital storytellers, social media influencers, consumers, activists and citizens use all kinds of media every day to produce, send, and receive digital messages and images about the world, to change it in some way. In our Communication and Digital Media Studies (CDMS) program, you will learn about the fast-changing communication and digital media environment in which we live, work and play; analyze the social dimensions and impacts of many media forms; and hone professional communication and digital media skills linked to thousands of new careers and core to 21st-century success.

For more information, visit the Communication and Digital Media Studies page on the Academic Calendar, take a look at our program maps, and view our CDMS postcard, our Creativity, Digital Arts and Entertainment Industries postcard, and our Strategic Communications, Social Media & Society postcard.

What will I learn? The CDMS advantage

Everyone can send a message, but not everyone can do it effectively. Most messages get lost. In just one second, 10 000 tweets are sent, 1100 Instagram posts are uploaded, and one hour of video content is shared on YouTube. In order to rise above all of this digital noise and break through, strategy, aesthetics, and intention must all come together. CDMS will help you stand out from the crowd.

In the CDMS program, you will:

Develop your professional communication know-how in courses such as Professional CommunicationPublic Speaking and Multimedia Presentation for Web 3.0, Knowing your Audience: Audience Studies for Media Professionals and Creators, Writing for Society, Media, Identity and Intercultural Communication, Communication Ethics: Making Media for Social Good, Researching Communication and Digital Culture, and The Capstone Creator Project.

Cultivate your creativity and understanding of the entertainment industries in courses such as The Creative Industries: Ideas, Art, Tech, Money, Power, Designing Hits: Storytelling in a Digital Age, Online-Creator-Entrepreneurs: YouTubers, Influencers and Streamers, Entertainment Goes Global: From Hollywood to the World, Television, Pop Culture and Entertainment, The Media, Creativity, and Culture in Canada, Ways of Seeing: Visual Communication Arts and New Media, and Governing Communication and Digital Creativity: Policy for an Era of Digital Disruption

Master your communication strategies and tactics in courses such as Strategic Communications for Influence: Rhetoric, Persuasion and Propaganda, Public Relations:  Social Power, Social Media Platforms and Social Responsibility, Advertising as Social Communication, Political Communication, Digital Media and Democracy, Communication for Social Change, Community and Development, Media, War & Conflict, Media Activism and Protest, International Communication, and Environmental Communication: Media and Tech for Sustainability.

Step into experiential learning about the transformation of work, life and play in our global digital age in courses such as Living Digitally: Social Media, Culture & Society, Communication and Digital Media Theory: Keyworks, Social History of Communication and Media Technologies, AI, Ethics and Communication, Work in Creative and Tech Industries, Video Games, Media and Culture, Global Media, the Internet and International Relations, and The Struggle is Real: Transformation for Communication, Conflict and Peace.

The CDMS program’s innovative curriculum and award-winning professors will:

  • Build your knowledge of the fast-changing communication and digital media society in which we live.
  • Strengthen your professionally relevant communication skills: spoken, written, interpersonal, intercultural, digital, and critical.
  • Enhance your 'soft skills' so you can adapt to the disruptions of and succeed in the digital economy.

Learn about our specialized Bachelor of Arts in Creativity, Digital Arts and Entertainment Industries and Strategic Communications, Social Media and Society. Check out our CDMS courses! 

The CDMS distinction: 'Tech with a conscience' and experiential learning

Tech with a conscience

Although communication and communications platforms are at the forefront of the digital revolution, in our program, we put ethics back at the centre of innovation. As such, we believe in innovation for good, not innovation for innovation’s sake. Here at CDMS you will learn to apply this lens to be successful for the long term, not just for right now.

We also believe that in many cases, we learn best by doing — so we offer exciting, new experiential learning opportunities that will help you hone your skills in real-life settings where you are free to experiment, observe, test, pivot and learn.

The CDMS program is very socially conscious about the role that communications and digital media can play in making the world a better or worse place than before. We embrace Ontario Tech University’s 'tech with a conscience' ideal and our Faculty of Social Science and Humanities’ 'social justice' mandate. As such, CDMS teachers and learners explore the positives and negatives of all kinds of media with help from a variety of ethical frameworks. We connect what we teach and learn to the values of democracy, diversity, equity, environmental sustainability, and a good and meaningful life, for all. We ask and try to find ways of answering a wide range of socially and technologically conscientious questions such as: Is the Internet changing society for better or worse? What intercultural knowledge do we need to make multicultural societies like Canada flourish? How can social media and smartphones support and stymie social movements for democracy, freedom and equality? Can popular culture create and challenge hurtful stereotypes? Why are ads so effective at persuading people to buy so much, and what might be some more sustainable ways of producing and consuming to stave off climate change? What opportunities and challenges do communications and digital media professionals face in the ‘gig economy’?

Experiential learning

Our program is also unique because it synthesizes the rigor of leading academic research on communications and digital media in society with the joys and challenges of creating new media to say something about the world. Our program strikes a balance between traditional pedagogical approaches and new and imaginative ways of teaching and learning, doing and making. CDMS students learn to do research and analysis and write argumentative essays. They also learn how to communicate what they’ve learned in a variety of creative media forms, such as blogs, zines, podcasts, mini-Ted Talks, in-person and online debates, social media campaigns, TikTok and YouTube videos, and so much more.