2020 start

International Public and Political Communication

Department of Journalism Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

Become an expert in media relations, political marketing and how organisations shape their messages to persuade, inform and sometimes mislead. Sharpen your knowledge by designing a campaign of your own.
Journalism lecture

Course description

As places on this course are in high demand, we will give preference to applicants with grades above our minimum entry requirements.  

Messages and viewpoints are all around us 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 course teaches you to be an expert in both the analysis and development of such messages.

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 the intersection of the media and public and political communication internationally.

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

After completing the course, you'll be a media and communications 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.

Teaching and learning changes for 2020-21

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we have made some changes to teaching and learning for this course in the 2020-21 academic year.

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Core modules

Semester 1

  • Media, Society and International Crises
  • Research Methods
  • Comparative Perspectives of Public and Political Communication
  • Introduction to Political Communication

Semester 2

  • International Visual Public and Political Communication
  • Communicating with the Media
  • Public Diplomacy and Soft Power Statecraft
  • Dissertation (International Public and Political Communication)


Your dissertation is undertaken in semester 2. You can choose between a traditional-style project and a work-based dissertation.


We teach through lectures, seminars, workshops and research exercises.


You’re assessed by essays, examinations and a dissertation.


1 year full-time

Anyone who studies in Sheffield will be assured of the following: the best student experience in the UK; resourceful tutors; workshops and seminars to give you practical experiences; being fully equipped for the job market; a network of friends from all over the world; and the satisfaction of having a very useful degree. Plus, Sheffield is a lovely, calm city with lots of get-away destinations that gives me the best study environment.

Laila Abubakari
MA International Political Communication

Entry requirements

To take one of our MA courses you must have one of the following:

  • A 2:1 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.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Fees and funding

There are a number of bursaries for students on the journalism, magazine and broadcast courses, from the Scott Trust (owner of The Guardian), Journalism Diversity Fund and others.

Funding opportunities for MA degrees in journalism


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

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+44 114 222 2500

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.