The Internet has transformed political behaviour, from voting and campaigning, to protest and revolution. Study fake news, digital diplomacy, hashtag activism, tweeting politicians and other developments that shape politics and international relations.
The relationship between politics and communications has never been more dynamic or more important than it is today. Digital media, particularly social media, is fundamentally changing the terrain of politics.
This programme allows you to study those interactions within an interdisciplinary environment, drawing on research and expertise from the fields of politics, international relations, information and communications, journalism and linguistics.
You will study media and communications theory, plus the historical development of international relations and key issues in contemporary global politics, becoming an expert in how new communication technologies shape societies, politics and individual lives.
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is offering scholarships worth £2,000 for graduates with a first class honours or upper second class degree. Excellence scholarships are available to full-time home and EU students for 20/21 entry.
Features and Benefits
An accessible Masters degree – Suitable for many educational and professional backgrounds.
Diverse and exciting coursework – Reports, debates, blog posts, presentations, simulations, reviews – you will never get bored doing your coursework. Real-life communication skills combined with rigorous academic work is guided by tutors and supported by a team of experts in study skills.
Real-world experience – Learn from professional guest speakers from NGOs with political or activist backgrounds, whilst developing your own portfolio of political communication tools.
Interdisciplinary – Study in an interdisciplinary environment, engaging with experts in politics, international relations, communication, journalism and linguistics.
Academic expertise – You’ll be taught by experienced academics with a wealth of expertise in the fields of research, analysis and publication. You will also have regular access to external workshops, seminars and talent days.
Public engagement – Explore opportunities to practice your academic knowledge in real-life scenarios, working with the public, including young people. This will allow you to gain employability experience in preparation for your graduate career.
Study in Manchester – one of the UK’s most exciting digital cities is packed with creative companies on the lookout for talented graduates.
"You will work closely with your teaching team who have extensive expertise in international relations, foreign policy, social media and digital culture. Your coursework will support your academic growth and employability, and will equip you with the most up-to-date knowledge of politics and communications, which will open doors to a broad range of career opportunities."Adi KuntsmanProgramme Leader
Full-time, on campus:
Students on the full-time campus course will study the core and three optional units, detailed below. Please note that while you can choose any optional units, we recommend a balance of at least one choice of “politics” unit and at least one choice of “communication” unit. After successfully completing all taught units, you will work on your dissertation over the summer.
Part-time, on campus:
Students on the part-time campus course will cover 90 credits in Year 1 (all core units and one optional unit of your choosing); and another 90 credits in Year 2 (two optional units of your choosing and Dissertation). A balance of “politics” and “communications” units is highly recommended.
Part-time, distance learning:
Students on the part-time distance learning course will study the full-time core units, plus “Contemporary US Foreign Policy” in Year 1; and “Digital Living”, “The EU in Turmoil” and Dissertation in Year 2.
Recent dissertation topics have included:
Disinformation and Fake News in Myanmar
US War on Terror in Cinema and Computer Games
Digital Diplomacy in Botswana and the UK
Smart cities and citizen rights in China and the UK
Brexit and the Twittersphere
EU discourse on the Ebola Crisis and International Aid in Africa
US government us of social media against ISIS
Core Units include:
Current Issues in Media and Communication
Putting Communication into Practice
History of International Relations
Issues in Contemporary Global Politics
Optional units include:
The policymaking process and comparative public policy
Disasters and emergency planning
Contemporary us foreign policy
Language, culture and communication
Critical discourse analysis
The EU in turmoil
Study and assessment breakdown
10 credits equate to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
Full-time 32% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 68% independent study
Part-time 32% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 68% independent study
Full-time 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
Part-time 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
You will normally have at least an upper second class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, or equivalent academic qualification. If you have a different background you may be admitted if you have proven experience in a relevant field.
English language requirements
Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.
Fees and Funding
UK and EU Students
Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Distance learning fee: £2,834 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Non-EU and Channel Island Students
Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Distance learning fee: £5,334 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Optional estimate: £400
All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop of up to £100 each year for books and printing.
Optional estimate: £50
The programme contains a voluntary work placement. This does not normally require attendance for more than half a day/week over a six-month period. The only cost involved will be travel and all placements are in Manchester.
Graduates may choose to go on to progress to higher research programmes or seek a wide range of roles in government, international political, social and economic organisations, journalism and globally oriented businesses.
Graduates have previously gone into roles including:
TV news presenter (Bulgaria)
Communications officer for HMRC (UK)
Policy and guidance manager OFSTED (UK)
War Room Analyst for the Republican National Committee (USA)