Political Communication (MA)

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 and the globalisation of media, are shaping politics.

The MA Political Communication will deepen your understanding of political communication in national and international contexts and, where relevant, your skills in this field.

You will:

  • Explore the political content of the mass media
  • Deepen 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
  • Be equipped with the research and study skills necessary to carry out project-based professional and academic research
  • Enhance academic skills and knowledge in preparation for further academic study
  • Develop basic skills in political communications practice

The course explores the rapidly evolving role of communication in political life, both nationally and internationally, and examines how changes such as the increasing importance of new online and social media platforms, image-based politics, 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.

This course is suitable for those interested in an advanced academic study of political communication or a career in political communication, as well as those already working in political communication, political parties, government agencies and bodies, statutory and voluntary organisations and the mass media.

It is also suitable for people looking to undertake PhD research in political communication.

Distinctive features

Studying MA Political Communication will increase your ability to undertake rigorous analytical work, be capable of producing well researched essays, assignments and dissertations to deadline, and you will have refined and improved your practical political communications skills.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMA
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Applicants will need to complete an online applications form which will then be considered by an admissions tutor.

Applicants should possess a higher education degree of at least lower second class honours (2:2), or a non-UK qualification recognised by the University as being equivalent to this. This requirement may be waived for candidates with relevant professional qualifications or experience.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a British Council IELTS score of at least 7.0, or an equivalent English language qualification. However, applicants with an IELTS score of 6.5 will be considered provided they undertake and successfully complete the University’s eight-week pre-sessional English course.

You will be asked to provide references in support of their application, one of which will need to be from previous academic study.

 Applications are considered throughout the year.

This is a year-long Master’s course combining core and optional modules.

Throughout the Autumn and Spring semesters, robust method training will be provided in order to enhance your research skills that will be assessed in your Masters dissertation.

As part of a core Autumn module, you be introduced to the practice of political communication by placing the profession into its societal and media contexts. The dual emphasis on practical matters and their underpinning theory and ethics have been designed to help you develop an appreciation of how political communication practitioners interact with the media and the wider community, and how they have become a significant factor in shaping world events.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars, which complement the academic nature of the course.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs, who is available when needed to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance.

You will be supported by the Student Support services in the school and through wider university resources.

You will have regular tutorials with programme directors/personal tutors as well as the opportunity to meet with module co-ordinators on request.

Feedback

Feedback is provided at each assessment point for summative assessments, formative feedback is provided in practical sessions and throughout teaching.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a range of formative and summative assessments throughout the course. The main method of assessment on this programme is course work.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will develop a range of skills in political communication, useful both for the academic study of the discipline but also more generic ‘employability skills.’

Drawing on written and oral communication skills, the programme will require you to demonstrate an application of the concepts and terminology used in political communication scholarship to identify, evaluate and interpret issues related to both the theory and practice of the discipline.

In doing so, the skills you will practise and develop will involve:

  • presenting ideas clearly and persuasively
  • organising and structuring arguments to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of political communication.

The employability skills honed on this programme can be transferred to practise and develop political communication in a wide range of contexts.

Graduates of this course 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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.