Master in

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

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The Department of Communication and Performing Arts was set up in November 1999, following the success of the Media and Communication Research Institute created by Gianfranco Bettetini in 1982. This Institute carried on the tradition of the Centre for Excellence in Journalism and Audiovisual Media (currently known as "ALMED") established in 1961 by the professor of Philology and drama historian Mario Apollonio, and led also by Virgilio Melchiorre and Sisto Dalla Palma. Francesco Casetti led the research within this department in the centres established in Milan and Brescia from the beginning to 2010. From 2011 to 2013 the department was chaired by Annamaria Cascetta. Currently the department is chaired by Fausto Colombo.


The scientific work is the result of the merging of different theoretical and empirical research trends and expertise, focusing on historical, semiotic, sociological and anthropological guidelines. Six main areas characterise the research, the backbone of the overall department's organization:

  • Media sociology
  • Media anthropology
  • Film studies
  • Radio and television studies
  • Semiotics
  • Drama and Performing arts


The department staff plays a central role in the educational projects of several faculties of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: Arts and Philosophy, Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, Social Sciences, Education and Economics. The department's aim is to develop connections with other research and cultural centres. This is achieved thanks to seminars, meetings and conferences organized both nationally and internationally.

Television, cinema, press and communication professionals are also involved in the research work and lecturing on a fixed term contract for various BA programmes and post-graduate studies. The department is proud to have among its staff some of the leading professionals currently working in the communication field in Italy.

PhD programmes

The department also organizes PhD projects in the fields of both Communication studies and Drama and Performing Arts studies.

Publications and Journals

The series Media, spettacolo e processi culturali is published by Vita e Pensiero, the official university publisher, as a periodic up-date of the analyses carried out within the department. The four-monthly journal Comunicazioni Sociali is characterized by monographic studies reporting on specific research areas. The journal is edited by Prof. Gianfranco Betttini together with some members of the department.

Research Institutes

The department is connected to the activities of the postgraduate school ALMED - Alta Scuola in Media, Comunicazione e Spettacolo and of the following research centres: OssCom - Centro di Ricerca sui media e la comunicazione (Research Centre for Communication and Media), CeRTA - Centro di Ricerca sulla Televisione e l'Audiovisivo (Research Centre for Television and Audiovisual Media) and CIT - Centro di Cultura e iniziativa teatrale "Mario Apollonio" ("Mario Apollonio" Centre for Culture and Theatre).


The International Master in Audiovisual and Cinema Studies (IMACS) is a research-oriented graduate degree programme with a focus on film studies and an interdisciplinary outlook.

IMACS is a program offered by the Master Degree in Business, Media And Organizational Communication (Comunicazione per l’Impresa, i Media e le Organizzazioni Complesse- CIMO), curriculum in Media Management. The CIMO Master Degree stems from the partnership between three Faculties (Economics, Political and Social Sciences, Arts and Philosophy) and aims to provide the theoretical and speculative know-how and skills necessary to comprehend, analyze and create communication processes.

Specifically, the Media Management syllabus, linked to the IMACS programme, provides aesthetic, historical, semiotic, economic and strategic, juridical, psychological and anthropological skills dedicated to the design, critique, diagnosis and strategic production in the audiovisual field.

The IMACS courses at UCSC cover film history, cross-mediality and storytelling, media pragmatics, cinema and media economics, audiovisual media policies and media anthropology.

The syllabus includes a minimum of one/two courses in English per semester.

UCSC International organizes an Italian Language Course, designed for students who want to study and explore the Italian language. The language course is not compulsory but participation is highly recommended.

The IMACS Faculty comprises both scholars and professionals that work in the main areas of media and cinema communication. Courses provide both advanced theoretical knowledge on current debate and the opportunity to apply the theoretical models to specific case studies. For any further information about the IMACS faculty, please contact the IMACS coordinators.


Courses are taught in Italian and English. Usually, two to three courses are held in English. Exams may be taken in both Italian and English. Details should be discussed individually with each professor.