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MA International Political Communication

  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

This course is designed to provide an advanced understanding of the issues and debates surrounding political communication in the twenty first century. The units are conceptually led, combining discussions of theory with an exploration of current and best practice in society. All units will offer an international perspective and provide insights into the latest developments in political communication research and practice and the impact of recent technological innovations.

Our academic team have wide ranging expertise, grounded in years of research within fields such as political psychology, voter behaviour, international relations and political campaigning. The team have cultivated links with research institutions and universities across the globe, from Massachusetts and Prague to Bogota and Auckland. The team also enjoys extensive connections with a range of political organisations, including the UK House of Lords, the European Parliament, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and local, national and international pressure groups, charities and communication consultancies.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2016, September 2017

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

1 year full-time

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as Media and Communication, Politics, Public Relations, Journalism, Sociology and Social Policy. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information see our full entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Core units

  • Social Theory & Political Communication: A contextual grounding for political communication in social, communication and media theory. There will be discussions about globalisation, neoliberalism and democratic theory, considering issues of power, gender, economics, social equality and the environment. You'll also discuss the role of communication within and between societies, the role of mass (online and offline), alternative and ‘new’ media, and new forms of social, corporate and political communication in online and digital environments.
  • Political Psychology & Sociology: A foundation for understanding the psychology of leaders and citizens, where you'll debate the understanding of humans as rational and emotional beings and contextualise this in political behaviour. You'll discuss socialisation and the links between psychology and sociology, the interrelation between individuals and political structures and institutions, political ideas and how the conditions for political participation develop. These are loosely defined from voting through to political consumerism.
  • Political Journalism: Debates around the role of journalism and media with practical studies of journalism, mass media effects and citizen journalism. Alongside understanding the nature of political journalism, you'll be introduced to its forms and practices to develop your skills-base for underpinning your vocational aspirations.
  • Political Marketing & Campaigning: Analysis of the marketisation of political discourse and permanent campaigning, exploring the behaviour and communication of political parties, governments, not-for-profit organisations, lobby groups and guerrilla activists.
  • Diplomacy & International Relations: The contexts, processes and psychology underpinning interactions between nations and the relationships they have with supranational bodies. The unit will draw on historical perspectives of international relations, theoretical models of power distribution and political economy perspectives for a rich understanding of how the world functions and malfunctions.
  • Research Imagination: Drawing on your research knowledge and experience from undergraduate level, this unit challenges your understanding of academic research and applied research in the communications industries. You'll be exposed to cutting-edge research practices and introduced to the opportunities and challenges of conducting applied research using industry data collection and analysis techniques.
  • Final Project: You'll write an academic dissertation of 15,000 words. This unit will end with a student showcase where you'll present your work to peers and academic colleagues.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MA International Political Communication.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A good Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as Media and Communication, Politics, Public Relations, Journalism, Sociology and Social Policy.
  • The course is also aimed at practitioners seeking to further develop their critical skills in order to advance in a career related to political communication including special advisors with a particular focus on international field, NGOs and so on.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the AskBU Enquiry Service for more information.

International entry requirements

  • ​IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our study postgraduate entry requirements page.

Careers

Students who graduate from this course will:

  • Be equipped with the critical and analytical skills to pursue research within the field of political communication and related disciplines
  • Possess appropriate academic and professional transferable skills
  • Be well-versed in a number of pervasive issues that shape and set the parameters for contemporary international political communications scholarship and practice.

Industries worked in*

  • Politics
  • Communications
  • Media.

Further study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU pages.
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Additional Information

Your career and development

Your career and development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.