Political Communication (MA)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
This is a conversion course. No prior knowledge or specific degree is required but you need to demonstrate interest and understanding of the subject.
Why study this course
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.
You will improve your practical communications skills, boost your ability to undertake analytical work and deliver project-based research.
This degree is ideally suited to those interested in advanced academic study including those looking to undertake PhD research.
You’ll be based in Cardiff’s media quarter, close to BBC Cymru/Wales, the UK’s government hub in Wales and a stroll away from the Senedd.
You will study in one of the UK’s leading schools for communications research, classed by the Government as the 2nd best in the UK.
MA Political Communication will deepen your understanding of political communication in national and international contexts and, where relevant, your skills in this field.
You’ll explore the political content of the mass media and deepen your academic and practical understanding of the actors and agencies involved in the production of political news and information
The course examines the impact of media coverage of politics on audiences and explores the interaction between media systems and political systems including government media policy, censorship, regulation and ownership
You’ll be equipped with the research and study skills necessary to carry out project-based professional and academic research.
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.
Where you'll study
School of Journalism, Media and Culture
We provide a scholarly environment to help you acquire both the knowledge and skills needed to enter your chosen area of the media.
This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.
Typically, you will need to have either:
- a 2:2 honours degree, or an equivalent international degree
- a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification
- or relevant professional experience evidenced by a reference.
English language requirements
IELTS with an overall score of 7.5 with 6.5 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent.
Other essential requirements
You will also need to provide two references, at least one of which should be academic.
We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible.
We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
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 modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/24 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Introduction to Political Communication||MCT506||20 credits|
|Putting Research into Practice 1||MCT533||20 credits|
|Putting Research into Practice 2||MCT534||20 credits|
|Electoral Behaviour, Public Opinion and the Media||MCT535||10 credits|
|Debates and Concepts in Media and Communications||MCT565||20 credits|
|Media and Political Understanding||MCT566||10 credits|
|Project Based Dissertation||MCT444||60 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Media Law||MCT467||10 credits|
|Global Crisis Reporting||MCT494||10 credits|
|Reporting Health and Science||MCT498||10 credits|
|Politics of Global Communication||MCT532||20 credits|
|Social Media and Politics||MCT540||10 credits|
|Public Relations, Offline and Online||MCT567||10 credits|
|In the Editor's Chair||MCT588||20 credits|
|Reporting Business, Finance and Economics||MCT589||20 credits|
|Citizen Media: Digital Storytelling||MCT590||20 credits|
|Communicating Causes||MCT591||20 credits|
|EMERGING JOURNALISM||MCT592||20 credits|
|Datafied Society||MCT593||20 credits|
|East Meets West in Popular Culture||MCT602||10 credits|
|Civic Media||MCT603||10 credits|
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.
Learning and assessment
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 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.
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 is provided at each assessment point for summative assessments, formative feedback is provided in practical sessions and throughout teaching.
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.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Learn how we decide your fee status
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
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.
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.