M.A. Political Communications

Goldsmiths, University of London

Tuition fee:
  • £ 6,870 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 14,700 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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This MA offers teaching that is critical, innovative and diverse. It combines theory with practical, applied elements, and draws on a range of research and contemporary examples.

These come from current work in politics, political science and media studies, and also from political sociology, cultural theory and journalism. The curriculum covers political communication, from the national and international down to the local and personal, from governments and parties to NGOs and local activist groups. It engages with cultural, alternative and digital, interactive communication as well as traditional mass media.

This dynamic programme, first and foremost, offers critical engagement. It asks difficult questions about politics, economic policy, society and the media. Taking this course will not just give you an understanding of the the forms and impacts of political communications. It will also help you contextualise that knowledge in relation to the structures, institutions and actors that are at the heart of politics and media.

This course is broadly conceptual in focus, but also offers several practical, applied options as well as skills-based components. All students take a research skills course and are supervised through a dissertation with a research component. There are options, such as Campaign Skills, Social Media Campaigning, Digital News Writing and Media Law, which are entirely practice-based and taught by professionals in the field. There are also several speaker series running each year with guests from the worlds of politics, journalism, business and campaigning coming to talk.

Studying in London

Goldsmiths London location means that students remain in close proximity to a range of national and international political institutions, political parties, interest groups and media centres.

The MA also attracts a stimulating combination of recent graduates and experienced professionals, as well as a mix of UK and international students from across Continental Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Assessment: The majority of modules are assessed by long essay (5-6000 words). Some modules have other assessment elements, such as examination, presentation, project or report. All students also produce a dissertation supervised by a staff member (12-15,000 words).

What you study

You also take a research skills module and produce a dissertation to the value of 60 credits. 60 credits' worth of modules (either two 30 credit or one 30 and two 15 credit) are chosen from the options available in the Departments of Media and Politics. Up to 30 credits of the 60 may be chosen from the departments of Sociology, Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, or the Centre for Cultural Studies.

The programmes core curriculum will address a range of contemporary issues, debates and theory in political communication, including work on:

* comparative media systems
* theories of communication and democratisation
* global media, international governance and transnational communication
* economic, financial and industrial policy
* digital media and online politics
* media sociology and news production
* political parties, party ideologies and party-member dynamics
* public relations, political marketing and spin
* government communication systems and media management
* media audiences, effects and agenda-setting
* public opinion and public sphere debates
* interest groups, social movements and alternative media
* advocacy, civil society and public affairs
* new technologies and the information society
* citizenship and public engagement
* the policy process and government decision-making
* politics and culture
* social theories of power, culture and communications

Theory is usually applied to a number of case study areas on, for example: conflict and war; elections; social and environmental debates; foreign affairs; the economy, finance and business; crime and disorder. Theory and discussion is always related to current events and debates.


Be taught by professionals and industry experts

Teaching draws on the professional and research expertise of the departments highly regarded staff. Research generates global interest with 80% of staff producing research classified as world leading or recognised internationally.

Currently, all core teaching staff are active participants of the Leverhulme Spaces of the News research project, investigating developments in digital news media and politics, the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy and the Media Reform Coalition.

The course also takes advantage of the diverse set of teaching, research and practical resources available to the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths. This large department offers a wide range of theoretical subjects and perspectives.


You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.


Due to the popularity of this programme we ask you for a deposit of £450 to secure any offer made to you after applying for the programme. The deposit will be credited against your tuition fees when you enrol. Please note: You will only be required to provide a deposit if you are offered a place, you do not need to pay a deposit in order to apply.

English language

If your first language is not English, you normally need a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (including 7.0 in the written element) or equivalent.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

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