Health and Media (5 ECTS)

This online course focuses on questions of health and illness, and the role that media in China and Russia play in them.

Page updated Tuesday 24 August with a working link to the enrolment form for prospective students who are not from Tampere Universities.

What is the role of media in shaping our understanding of health and illness and how are these perceptions of health and illness changing in Chinese and Russian contexts of traditional and modern medicines? How do we understand health and illness in the age of social media? Has the COVID-19 pandemic boosted the digitalization of health and health care communication and influenced our perception of health and illness? How can information limit or intensify the corona virus outbreak?

These and related questions will be discussed during this online course Health and Media organized by the Communication Sciences Unit of Faculty of Information Technology and Communication at Tampere University.

The course is multidisciplinary and intended for students of different fields from undergraduate to postgraduate levels. The main requirement for participation is interest in the course themes.


Students will gain new knowledge about health and communication and the role of media in the time of a pandemic. Students will improve critical and analytical skills in such research methods as visual analysis and content analysis of media reports. They will strengthen their skills in cross-cultural communication by working in groups and, for instance, discussing individual and collaborative projects and preparing presentations.

The methods and skills acquired during the course will help students to analyze the narrativization of the COVID-19 pandemic and how this narrativization interrelates, aligns and differs in China and Russia. They will be able to analyze questions of censorship, propaganda and privatization in mainstream and alternative media. The course will also offer tools for discussing the cultural representations of death in media as well as by state health authorities. In addition, students will attain skills to analyze how geopolitical and commercial interests play into the mediation of health, illness, pandemic, and death.


The course explores questions of health, illness, and media in the context of three thematic streams: well-being, e-health, and death.

The course themes will be explored entirely online on Tampere University’s Moodle e-learning platform. The programme consists of thematic lecture sets that will appear on Moodle with related tasks – individual and group work, written and oral assignments – on a weekly basis.

The course appears on Moodle 7 September 2021 when the first lectures and tasks will be made available. The last lecture set that also includes the final course assignment will be revealed on 5 October 2021. All the assignments are to be returned by 13 October 2021.


The course will be taught and supervised by renowned international experts:

Julie Chen (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Dale Hudson (New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Sari Kivistö (Tampere University, Finland)

Olga Logunova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Sergei Mokhov (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Patricia Zimmermann (Ithaca College, USA)

You can find more information about the teachers here.


The course is available free of charge for up to 20 students of Tampere University, TaRC’s partner universities, and other higher education institutes (HEIs).

The course will be beneficial for participants with a background in Russian studies, China studies, health sciences, medicine, politics, communication, media, journalism, intercultural communication, and film studies. However, participants with backgrounds in other disciplines are also welcome. The course is mainly targeted at students completing their Master’s studies. Doctoral students can also apply for the course, as can students who are at an advanced stage in their Bachelor’s studies and have sufficient competence.

At Tampere University, the course is offered under Journalism with the code JO.215-2021-2022-1 Health and Media. However, it can be used for a number of units in different disciplines, including Russian Studies, Russian Language, and Media Studies. Please consult your teachers to find a place for this course in your curriculum. Students of TaRC’s partner universities and other HEIs are also advised to negotiate with their teachers about the position of this course in their curriculum.


Enrolment happens in two ways. Students of Tampere University enroll online at the University’s SISU system. Students of TaRC’s partner universities and other HEIs can enroll by filling in and submitting the application form online.

The enrolment for all applicants is open 1 August–27 August 2021.


To complete the course, the student is required to study all the thematic lecture sets, do the related weekly assignments, and write an individual essay on a course-related theme.


Graded 0–5.


Quality of all tasks and assignments completed and submitted by the given deadlines.


The participants will be granted access to the study materials via the University’s Moodle e-learning environment in September 2021.


The course will be taught entirely in English; no knowledge of any other language is required.


University researcher Svetlana Pasti (


Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC), founded in 2017, is an international meeting place that brings together novel forms of teaching, research, and events. For further information about the centre, please visit

The realisation of the course is funded by the C. V. Akerlund Media Foundation sr.