MA International Political Communication. Image of a chessboard

MA International Political Communication offers a route into PhD study and a solid foundation for careers in lobbying, journalism, public relations and more. The degree is rooted in our ground-breaking research and engages with practical aspects of political communication.

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Overview

What interests and agendas lie behind current controversies such as 'post-truth' politics, 'fake news' and 'propaganda'? What is the relationship between media, public opinion and politics – and reporters and politicians in different countries and contexts? Are the media a force for scrutiny and accountability – or has the contemporary public sphere been undermined by special interests, money and political power? Has the new digital media environment transformed the possibilities for political mobilisation?

Taught by leading researchers in their field, MA International Political Communication (IPC) offers students an advanced understanding of cutting-edge debates concerning media, power and democracy both nationally and internationally. As well as key academic debates, IPC students engage with the practical, 'real world' dimensions of political communication.

This means our Writing for the Media module and a work-based dissertation; weekly research seminars and guest lectures from journalists and professional communicators; and our yearly production week and London field trip which includes visits to the Houses of Parliament and major London media and public organisations.

Our research-active teaching staff have expertise in media and international politics, propaganda and public relations, humanitarian crisis communications, social media and the Middle East, media and conflict, international media law, European political communication, democracy and journalism, journalism history, journalism ethics, EU media policy and data science.

Visit us at a postgraduate open day
Download or request a print copy of our postgraduate study brochure

Modules

The course comprises five core modules and four optional modules. For completing each module successfully, you gain 15 credits (except for your dissertation, which is worth 60 credits). To be awarded the degree you must gain a total of 180 credits.

Core modules

Students must take all seven of these modules.

Semester 2

Media, Politics and Publics
Dissertation or work-based dissertation (extends over summer period)

Optional modules

Students choose four from the following modules.

Course leader

Piers RobinsonThe course leader on MA International Political Communication is Professor Piers Robinson (pictured).

Piers is our Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism, having joined us from the University of Manchester in 2016. He researches communication, media and world politics, with a particular focus on conflict and war, organised persuasive communication (OPC) and contemporary propaganda.

He has received many invitations to lecture and advise on these topics, including at the NATO Defence College in Rome, at Oxford (addressing senior commanders in the UK military) and by the Stop the War Coalition. Piers is regularly seen on TV news, giving a perspective on portrayals of Russia in the western mainstream media.

Follow or say hi to Piers on Twitter at @PiersRobinson1 and view his staff profile for more information.

Career opportunities

The International 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 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 Political Communication you'll need at least one of the following:

  • a good undergraduate degree (we will consider a 2:2 if we are sufficiently impressed by your potential)
  • an alternative qualification approved by the University as degree equivalent
  • 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 an IELTS (or equivalent) qualification with a score of at least 7.0 overall, 7.0 in writing and 6.0 in other elements. 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.

 

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.

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 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.