Politics is not merely about power. Sophisticated politics involves communication, strategy and manipulation of the political agenda.
MA Political Strategy and Communication
Politics is not merely about power. Sophisticated politics involves communication, strategy and manipulation of the political agenda. Whether it be a political leader motivating people to follow, a government seeking allies for a policy in the international arena, a campaigner mobilizing supporters, or a high-priced corporate lobbyist explaining a client’s policy to legislators, all political ideas ultimately depend on them being communicated to an intended audience, with precision, efficiency and above all credibility. What are the appropriate forms of communication for a politician? What forms of ‘spin’ can work, and which do journalists see through? What are effective ways of framing a client’s perspective for government officials, and what are the entry points in the decision-making cycle that makes their communication strategy most effective?
Brussels has emerged as the largest centre for international media, measured in the number of foreign correspondents, which has now exceeded the number in Washington DC. Brussels is also home to thousands of political lobbyists, engaged either as public relations specialists, political strategists, or corporate communications advisors. A recent study of graduates from BSIS who stay in Brussels shows that political communication is among their primary career destination.
An MA in Political Strategy and Communication engages students in the practical issues of political delivery. The areas of political communication, political leadership, strategy, crisis management, political branding, and public relations are all the leading vocational aspects of a developed academic understanding of politics and international relations, and it is an area of growing importance that distinguishes BSIS graduates as policy-relevant, engaged thinkers in the political arena.
Standard programme: One year full-time or two years part-time
Extended programme: 18 months full-time or three years part-time
Start: September or January.
The aims of the MA in Political Strategy and Communication are to:
provide students with a research-active teaching environment which provides a good grounding in the study of Social Science in general, in political strategy, and in the communication of political positions in particular;
offer a critical perspective of the interplay between International Relations and European Politics as they relate to the process of creating a strategy for dealing with political issues, and communicating effectively the issues and positions on the basis of that strategy, in order to influence outcomes at the European and national levels;
ensure that students acquire a solid understanding of methodologies for the study of Social Science in general, and in the application of those understandings to the study of political strategy in particular;
ensure that students acquire a solid understanding of major theoretical approaches to policy making and policy analysis, the historical development of the contemporary European policy landscape, and the application of theoretical and historical knowledge to the analysis and understanding of contemporary issues and cases in the field, with particular emphasis on the manner in which policies, positions, perspectives, and attitudes are communicated;
ensure that students acquire the necessary skills for advanced assessment of contemporary problems in European politics, society, and economy, and their solutions;
develop students’ general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills).
The MA in Political Strategy and Communication is offered in both the Standard (90 ECTS) and the Extended (120 ECTS) Programme format.
The Extended Programme allows students to broaden their knowledge and experience within the programme by taking more options whilst at the same time affording them a greater opportunity for internships. Students can also benefit by taking parts of the programme in Canterbury as well as in Brussels.
To be awarded a standard MA in Political Strategy and Communication, students must take 6 taught modules, the methodology module 'Fundamentals, Dissertation and Research' and then submit a dissertation on a topic in Political Strategy and Communication. For the extended programme students must take an additional 3 taught modules.
The programme is divided into a number of blocks called modules. Each module carries 20 credits (10 ECTS). The dissertation carries 60 credits (30 ECTS).
Candidates who complete 6 taught modules and the dissertation are eligible for the MA in Political Strategy and Communication (90 ECTS). Students who complete an additional three modules are eligible for the MA in Political Strategy and Communication (120 ECTS).