Department of Media and Communication Center for Communication Research

Department of Media and Communication (COM)

COM started to offer the communication programmes at the Ph.D. level and MA level in 1996 and 1998 respectively in the Department of English. The Department of English was renamed to Department of English and Communication in 2000. In 2008, an independent Department of Media and Communication was formally established to reflect and consolidate its vitality as a fast-developing academic unit.

COM has two BA programmes (Media and Communication; Digital TV and Broadcasting), two MA programmes (Communication and New Media; Integrated Marketing Communication), and one Ph.D. programme. It has about 380 students at the undergraduate level, 180 MA students, and around 35 Ph.D. students. COM has established connectivity and partnership with more than 100 media and communication companies, and has academic collaborations with over 20 universities globally such as undergraduate student exchange programme, master’s education programme and joint Ph.D. programme. In 2016, the Department launched a Collaborative Master’s Education Programme with Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Starting from 2019, it also offers a summer school programme in conjunction with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. COM’s undergraduate and master’s graduates have demonstrated their distinction through their roles as industry leaders in different sectors.

COM provides the Ph.D. students with financial support during their study, either from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council via the Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme or from CityU or other sources. Admission to the Ph.D. programme is highly selective. The Ph.D. students have regularly published in renowned peer-reviewed journals, including top-tier Q1 SCI/SSCI publications. The PhD graduates have staged as rising stars in teaching and research when they work as faculty members in local, mainland China and overseas universities such as Michigan State University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Houston in the US, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and University of Leeds in the UK. 

COM’s faculty is an international team with 20 dedicated faculty members who publish in top tier academic journals and play leading roles in academic activities worldwide. Professor Jonathan Zhu and Emeritus Professor Chin Chuan Lee were inducted as Fellows by the ICA at its annual conferences held in 2018 and 2019, respectively. There are five research clusters: computational communication, new media and technology, political communication, health communication, and PR/ads/marketing. COM is particularly known for its computational and interdisciplinary approaches that are supported by the Web Mining Lab and the college-level Centre for Communication Research, respectively.

The 2006 and 2014 Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercises affirmed the Department’s excellence in world-class research and its leading position in the discipline of media and communication in Hong Kong. COM’s accomplishment in communication and media studies was further recognised by QS World University Rankings as the Department was ranked No. 27 in the subject in the world in three consecutive years in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

COM’s international collaboration strategy follows the lead of the University policy to strengthen internationalisation and global partnerships. It has engaged in local and international collaboration to achieve its teaching and research strategies. COM has made persistent efforts to produce research outputs that have significant impact on a variety of beneficiaries, predominantly practitioners and policymakers in media and communication. 

Milestone of the Department of Media and Communication

Year Event
1996
  • The communication programme at the Ph.D. level was first started in the Department of English.
1998
  • Launch of the MA in Communication and New Media programme in the Department of English
2000
  • Department of English was renamed as Department of English and Communication.
2002
  • Professor Chin Chuan Lee was appointed as the Head of Department of English and Communication.
2004
  • Programme for Young Scholars from the Mainland was initiated from 2004-05 at the Department of English and Communication
2005
  • Launch of the BA (Hons) in Integrated Strategic Communication programme in the Department of English and Communication
  • Establishment of the Center for Communication Research (CCR) in July 2005 
2006
  • Dr Joe He was appointed as the Associate Head of Department of English and Communication in charge of Communication Division.
  • The 2006 Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise ranked the Department of English and Communication as No. 1 in the area of media studies and communication in Hong Kong.
2008
  • Establishment of the Department of Media and Communication
  • Professor Chin Chuan Lee was appointed as the Head of the Department.
  • Launch of
    1) The Web Mining Lab
    2) The MA in Integrated Marketing Communication programme
    3) The BA (Hons) in Media and Communication programme
2009
  • Launch of
    1) The MA in Integrated Marketing Communication programme
    2) The BA (Hons) in Media and Communication programme
    3) The BA (Hons) in Digital Media Broadcasting programme with School of Creative Media, Department of Marketing, Department of Management and Department of Computer Science
    4) City TV (the first high-definition student-run campus TV station in Hong Kong)
2011
  • The Department moved in to the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre.
2012
  • Launch of the BA (Hons) in Digital Television and Broadcasting programme
2013
  • Professor Jan Servaes was appointed as the Head of the Department.
2014
  • The 2014 Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise affirmed the Department’s excellence in world-class research and its leading position in the discipline of media and communication in Hong Kong. 60% of COM research were judged to be world leading (4 stars) or international excellent (3 stars).
  • Establishment of the Chinese Visual Communication Archives
  • Professor Chin Chuan Lee received the B Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award from the International Communication Association (ICA).
2016
  • Professor Xigen Li was appointed as the Head of the Department.
  • Launch of the collaborative master’s education programme with Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, USA
2017 - 2019
  • COM was ranked 27th in the world in Communication and Media Studies in three consecutive years (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, 2018 and 2019).
2018
  • 10th Anniversary Establishment of the Department
  • Professor Jonathan Zhu was inducted as Fellow by the International Communication Association (ICA).
  • Emeritus Professor Chin Chuan Lee received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Chinese Communication Association.
2019
  • Professor Yu-li Liu was appointed as the Head of the Department.
  • Emeritus Professor Chin Chuan Lee was inducted as Fellow by the International Communication Association (ICA).