Mass Communication and Public Health | RIC 305

Instructor: Antonis Gardikiotis

Course Description

The course provides a comprehensive overview of the topics and the areas of health communication research. It discusses on the theories employed in the field and focuses on the processes through which communication influences health outcomes. It reviews studies of campaign effects and discusses when and how media campaigns can be effective in changing attitudes and behaviors regarding health-related issues. It focuses on the application of theory and research to campaign design.


Course Objectives

  • Understand the concepts and theories of health communication.
  • Understand the processes through which media affect health behaviors
  • Understand the design of health campaigns
  • Understand the obstacles that health campaigns face


Learning Outcomes

  1. Define core concepts and theories of health communication.
  2. Identify different kinds of health communication effects.
  3. Explain the processes underlying health communication effects.
  4. Analyze and synthesize relevant research
  5. Write about health communication campaigns.


Class/Learning activities

Lectures, group work, in-class presentations, independent study, written assignments.



Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Independent study Study of class materials and readings 40-50
Readings presentation Presenting and leading a discussion on three relative topics 45-60
In-class presentation Conference type presentation of final paper 10-20
Final paper Design of a health communication campaign (3.000-3.500 words) 110-120
Total workload 244-289



Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in group discussion 1-2 10% On a regular basis
Reading presentation 1-3 30% (3X10%) On a regular basis
Presentation 1-4 10% 12th week
Written assignment (final paper) 3-5 50% 13th week


Required Reading

Hornik, R. (Ed.). (2002). Public health communication: Evidence for behavior change. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rice, R. E., & Atkin, C. K. (Eds.). (2013). Public communication campaigns (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

National Cancer Institute. (2001). Making health communication programs work. Available online at: http://www.cancer.gov/pinkbook


Suggested Reading

Crano, W. D., & Burgoon, M. (Eds.) (2002). Mass media and drug prevention: Classic and contemporary theories and research. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (Eds.). (2004). Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McKenzie, J. F., Neiger, B. L., & Smeltzer, J. L. (2005). Planning, implementing & evaluating health promotion programs (4th Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson.

Thompson, T. L., Parrott, R., & Nussbaum, J.F. (Eds.) (2011). The Routledge handbook of health communication. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.

Witte, K., Meyer, G., & Martell, D. P. (2001). Effective health risk messages: A step-by-step guide. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email