MA International Public & Political Communication. Image of President Obama at a press conference

Interested in a career in public campaigning, political communication, government or media? Or looking towards researching these topics at PhD level? MA International Public and Political Communication is a fascinating degree combining rigorous academic content with vital practical skills.



MA International Public and Political Communication

1 year full time

Messages and viewpoints are all around us, in public spaces, at all times. Political parties, public and governmental institutions, pressure groups, charities and NGOs shape messages in particular ways, advocating viewpoints and constructing campaigns to influence public opinion, specific audiences and policymakers. Our MA in International Public and Political Communication (IPPC) teaches you to be an expert in both the analysis and development of such messages.

Join us on the degree and you'll learn about media relations, political marketing and the scope and significance of political communication. You'll develop skills in communicating with the media (including media training) and using different media outlets to promote ideas through advocacy and lobbying. Our teaching offers a deep and critical understanding of key debates around intersection of the media and public and political communication internationally.

The IPPC course combines a rigorous academic foundation with strong practical content. Taught by both research-active staff and practitioners who are proven experts in their field, our students analyse public and political communication activities both internationally and historically – and then put their findings to practical use, developing their own political and public communication campaigns or marketing tools.

After completing the course you'll be a media and communication expert who can analyse, manage and design campaigns, market and communicate ideas, and undertake effective media relations and lobbying. If you're looking for a career in national or local government, international agencies, NGOs, trade unions, political parties, charities, media organisations and lobbying, it's ideal preparation. The degree also offers a route into further academic study.

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This degree was previously titled MA International Political Communication


The course comprises seven core modules and a dissertation.

Core modules

Students must take all seven of these modules.


The dissertation is undertaken in semester 2. Students can choose to focus the project in one of the following ways:

Dissertation (International Public and Political Communication)
Work-Based Dissertation

Course leaders

Jared Ahmad Bill Carmichael

The course leaders on MA International Public and Political Communication for 2018-19 are Dr Jared Ahmad and Bill Carmichael (pictured).

Jared joined the department in September 2017 as a Lecturer in Journalism, Politics and Communication, after teaching politics, international relations, media studies and political communication at the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool.

Jared's primary research interests are situated at the intersection between cultural studies, poststructuralist theory and political communication, and focus on the changing nature of contemporary media discourses and representations of terrorism. See his full profile for more details.

Bill Carmichael has been with the Department of Journalism Studies since 2005, joining us to lead on the teaching of web journalism to postgraduate students. In an 11-year stint as news editor of the Yorkshire Post, he played a key role in the switch to digital. He worked as a reporter and editor with various newspapers and continues to write for the Yorkshire Post. Read Bill's profile in full for more information.

All staff in the Department of Journalism Studies

Career opportunities

The International Public and Political Communication masters provides a solid grounding for those wishing to pursue research at PhD level and careers in political or public communications, marketing, lobbying, public relations, political campaigning, NGO work with development and advocacy – and, of course, journalism.

Recent graduates are working in media and public organisations across Europe and Asia in particular. Roles include media relations analyst, lecturer, journalist, website and media manager, and political reporter. Employers include the European Commission and European Parliament, South China Morning Post, the Pakistan government, the Tokyo Foundation and University of Sulaimani.

Our most recent survey data from MA International Public and Political Communication Journalism graduates shows:

  • 100% positive outcomes (the proportion of graduates who were available for employment and had secured employment or further study)
  • 100% graduate prospects (the proportion of graduates who were available for employment and had secured graduate-level employment or graduate-level further study)

See what Sheffield's postgraduate journalism alumni say in our career case studies section.

Portrait of Yida Ma"Sheffield has been vital in developing my career in Shanghai... The extensive communication skills and a dynamic analytical mind acquired at Sheffield University helped me find a job in this intense competitive job market"

Yida Ma
US Correspondent, Oriental Morning Post, Shanghai
MA International Political Communication graduate

Applying and
entry requirements

To apply for MA International Public and Political Communication you'll need one of the following:

  • a good undergraduate degree (we will consider a 2:2 if we are sufficiently impressed by your potential); OR
  • an alternative qualification approved by the University as degree equivalent; OR
  • substantial previous work experience in a media-related role

If English is not your first language, or your first degree was not taught in English, you'll need to demonstrate your aptitude in the language. Our requirement is for an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6 in each component, or the equivalent scores in another qualification.

If you have not yet obtained an English language qualification, you can still apply. We may give you a conditional offer based on you obtaining the English qualification later. You can do this by taking a course at the University's English Language Teaching Centre.

Visit us at a postgraduate open day


When you're ready to apply

Use the University's online application form to apply for your place.

Apply now

There are no specific deadlines for receipt of applications, but we recommend you apply early as courses fill up quickly.

The online application form allows you to upload files. Please use this to send us information such as course transcripts, language certificates (if your first language is not English) or references. If you do not include these initially, we will ask you to do so later, which may delay the processing of your application.

Fees and funding

Use the University's postgraduate fees calculator to find the current tuition fee for this course. This includes the costs for your field trip to London, which is paid for by the Department of Journalism Studies.

Postgraduate student loans are available for UK and EU students to a current value of £10,280.

Several scholarship funding awards are also available to MA International Public and Political Communication students. These include the following.

  • The Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship (for UK and EU students) is worth £10,000 and open to high-achieving students and those from groups that are underrepresented in higher education. More info
  • Sheffield scholarships for international students are designed to support talented applicants from all over the world. More info

Please see the Department of Journalism Studies' taught postgraduate funding page for more general details on the above, including an overview of deadlines.

Other sources of funding may be available – please see the University's postgraduate funding pages to investigate.