TaRC Master Class 2020 - Health and Media

NB! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will organise this year’s course entirely online and only for students. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

NB2! The course programme is subject to change. This page will be updated as more information becomes available. Latest update: 5 October 2020.

Course: Health and Media (3/5 ECTS)

3rd International Master Class in Tampere

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 a new online course Health and Media organized by the Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC) 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, debating and 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 courses 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 and movie screenings 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 2 November 2020 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 7 December 2020. All the assignments are to be returned by 31 December 2020.


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

Julie Chen (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Kan Chen (Fudan University, China)

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 40 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 JOMS04e 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 enrol online at the University’s SISU system. Students of TaRC’s partner universities and other HEIs can enrol by filling in and submitting the application form online.

The enrolment for all applicants is open 9 September–12 October 2020.


The first option (3 ECTS) requires the completion of all the thematic lecture sets and movie screenings, plus the related weekly assignments. For the second option (5 ECTS), the student is also required to 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 November 2020.


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


TaRC coordinator, University Instructor Svetlana Pasti (svetlana.pasti@tuni.fi)


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 https://research.tuni.fi/tarc/.

TaRC’s Master Class 2019 is funded by the C. V. Akerlund Media Foundation sr.