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Political Communication MSc

Course code

POLCOMMFTD

Start date

September

Subject area

Politics and International Relations

Mode of study

1 year full-time

Fees

2020/21

UK / EU £9,370

International £17,355

Entry requirements

2:1

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Overview

Communication has always been integral to politics and politics to communication but the interplay between them is changing dramatically in the social media age and as new forms of politics emerge in spaces as far afield as Trump’s America, Brexit Britain or Modi’s India. Such developments challenge at a global and national level the taken-for-granted assumptions about what is political and how we communicate it. The Political Communication MSc aims to tap into growing interest nationally and internationally in how to make sense of these developments and what they may mean for political communication professionals working in areas as diverse as election campaigns, PR and crisis communication, political satire, or journalism. 

The new interdisciplinary degree is unique in offering a strong practical strand of modules that aim to upskill you within a theoretically robust degree. The academic component of the degree aims to critically examine current developments but also locates them historically and within an internationalised curriculum. You will have the opportunity to take practical modules or theory-practical offering the potential to upskill in different types of writing, technical competencies and presentational elements on practical modules. 

The academic component is grounded in a flagship module in political communication which locates current developments historically, theoretically and critically as well as nationally and internationally. You will not only study conventional political communication topics on elections, but also learn about digital cultures, political satire and fake news. Crucially, in an age where facial recognition, AI, deep fakes and micro-behavioural targeting are creating new possibilities and challenges, you will also study international media ethics.

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

You will learn the theoretical roots underpinning political communication at a national and international level, and learn about the different forms of political communication;

  • Traditional forms i.e. election campaigns, propaganda and PR, as well as what methods are used, how to analyse the effectiveness of a campaign and the importance of context to drawing up a communication strategy
  • How different cultural forms including political satire, blogs and memes create and disrupt politics

You will also learn about seismic changes in the communication landscape and the new ethical issues arising from bots, AI and facial recognition technologies, and deep fakes.

This course can be studied 1 year full-time, starting in September.

Year 1

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Careers and your future

The degree upskills those taking it with a range of critical, technical and communicative skills in demand with

  • campaigning organisations (e.g. NGOs and advocacy, protest groups and movements, parties and members of parliament) looking for people who can strategise and shape content for clearly targeted audiences
  • cultural industries keen to recruit graduates able to produce traditional or digital forms content in political satire, PR or marketing
  • businesses, news outlets or communication organisations that need people training in analysing images, videos and audio content for manipulation
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UK entry requirements

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in Humanities, Social Sciences and Business related subject.

    Other subjects and qualifications with relevant industry experience including journalism, politics and political public relations.

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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 92 (min 20 in all)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2020/21

UK / EU

£9,370 full-time

£4,120 part-time

International

£17,355 full-time

£8,675 part-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

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Teaching and Learning

The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, practical classes, one-to-one tutorials and engagement with the Virtual Learning environment. It also draws on a range of teaching and strategies including:

  • Activity-based strategies that allow you to engage in individual or group learning opportunities through project planning (e.g. Elections & Campaigns) and product creation (e.g. Political Comedy & Satire)
  • Direct-instruction strategies including lectures, guided reading and seminar, discussions/debates (e.g. Political Communication); Socratic dialogue (e.g. International Media Ethics and Fake news, images and websites)
  • ICT-based strategies where you will learn to use software to analyse content and detect manipulated content (e.g. Fake news, images and websites)
  • Independent learning strategies include independent reading and independent study on all the modules but particularly on the dissertation and the Political Communication module.
  • Thinking-Skills Strategies include the analysis of bias/stereotyping, the use of case studies and concept definition/formulation (Political Communication, International Media Ethics, Politics & Digital Cultures).
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Assessment and feedback

Assessments are combination of individual or group written assignments, presentations and exams and which vary between modules. You will also be required to submit a dissertation on a topic of your choosing.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.