MA Political Communication
Limited places are still available for entry this September 2013
This course explores the rapidly evolving role of communication in political life, both nationally and internationally, and examines how changes including the increasing importance of “spin doctors,” image-based politics, the 24-hour news cycle, the opportunities of Web 2.0, and the globalisation of media are shaping politics.
MA Political Communication looks at the influence of actors in the political communications process, including politicians, journalists and citizens by drawing on cutting edge research and case studies.
Although primarily an academic course, the MA also offers opportunities to acquire some professional skills through practical workshops in Semester 1. In recent years, students have also enjoyed an away day at the National Assembly for Wales, with a tour of the building and the chance to experience the plenary live in session. Part of this included a talk by the Assembly’s Media, Brand and E-democracy Manager and the opportunity for students to discuss the Assembly’s communication strategy and future challenges, as students did in December 2012.
With the support of the MA Director, Dr. Stephen Cushion, students have the opportunity to apply for work placements at relevant political and communication organisations, such as the National Assembly for Wales. Applicants are encouraged to contact the director to discuss the course content specifically.
Who should apply?
- Anyone interested in an advanced academic study of political communication.
- Anyone interested in a career in political communication.
- Those working in political communication, political parties, government agencies and bodies, statutory and voluntary organisations and the mass media.
- Anyone looking to undertake PhD research in political communication.
Principle Aims of the Course
The overall aim is to allow students to deepen their understanding of political communication in national and international contexts and, where relevant, their skills in this field. More specific aims include:
- Exploring the political content of the mass media;
- Deepen students’ academic and practical understanding of the actors and agencies involved in the production of political news and information;
- Examine the impact of media coverage of politics on audiences;
- Explore the interaction between media systems and political systems including government media policy, censorship, regulation and ownership;
- Equip students with the research and study skills necessary to carry out project-based professional and academic research;
- Enhance students’ academic skills and knowledge in preparation for further academic study.
- Develop basic skills in political communications practice.
Students taking this course will increase their ability to undertake rigorous analytical work, be capable of producing well researched essays, assignments and dissertations to deadline, and will have refined and improved their practical political communications skills.
Graduates of the MA programme are employed in a range of occupations, such as campaign and press officers, researchers for political parties and institutions, business management leaders, political consultants, international conference and seminar coordinators and PR officers.
Several graduates have also undertaken PhDs in Political Communication, such as Bo Delp, Jo Cable and Darren Kelsey. The latter is currently a lecturer at Newcastle University. Allaina Kilby is currently a PhD student at JOMEC researching the impact of The Daily Show on young people's political engagement.
"Studying in Cardiff lived up to the university’s international reputation. The MA Political Communication course was varied enough to give me a solid grounding in the broad field of media studies, and yet flexible enough to allow me to focus on those areas of Political Communication which I was most attracted to. The course also combined theory with hands-on practice in a way that allowed me to understand Political Communication as a set of applicable communication and persuasion techniques, and not simply as textbook theories."
Nestor Laiviera – Political Communication, 2011/12
"I found the MA challenging at times, but completely worth it. The various skills and methods that I learnt from the range of different modules have proven to be quintessential, and apply most in my current job on a daily basis. I can almost certainly say that I would not be in my current employment if it wasn't for this course."
Annie Carruthers – Political Communication, 2011/12
"It's a really nice city to live in and the university is a good one. Most of all though, the teaching staff are very helpful. I have really enjoyed being a student here and have felt like I have been given chances to develop my skills and knowledge."
Emma Nilsson- Political Communication, 2008/09
"I chose to continue my studies at Cardiff due to its international reputation. The MA course was flexible and offered a range of modules which ensured I could pursue and deepen my own personal areas of interest. The course has provided me with a deeper knowledge and understanding of the political content of the mass media and the effect this has on audiences."
Kerry Stinson – Political Communication, 2007/08
Further course information
For further information regarding course content please contact the Course Director and for general enquiries contact the MA Administrative Assistant.