MA Intercultural Communication (MAIC)

Quick-fix solutions to questions of cultural difference are no longer suitable in today's globalised world, where interactions in multinational organisations, international projects and multicultural communities occur daily. As a result, intercultural communication is an exciting field of study.


The MA in Intercultural Communication will let you create a bespoke course within a clear structure that reflects your unique interests and ambitions. The programme also allows you to specialise in Digital Information or Audio Visual Media, if you wish. 

The study of intercultural communication is designed to meet your needs for communicating across a wide range of cultural groups. You will critically engage with the major intercultural questions and issues relevant to your future profession. The course combines the study of theory and practice with critical thinking and reflection and as a result, intercultural communication is an exciting field of study.

You will develop practical, ethnographic research skills, an ability to make complex decisions with real outcomes, and the professional confidence to last you a lifetime in the intercultural field. We enable you to develop your intercultural knowledge and skills and apply them to your area of interest, whether you have a background in languages, social sciences or science and engineering. Those who have high-level intercultural knowledge and skills are highly employable in industries such as human resources, international business, audio visual media, education, digital information or international project management.

This course will enable you to develop the professional and transferable skills you need to progress to a career in this field, or for further study through a PhD.

Elena, MAIC graduate and European Marketing Manager at Papa John's Pizza: 

Course description 

The MA in Intercultural Communication is one of the first MA programmes in intercultural communication in the UK. It will develop your intellectual, analytical and reflexive abilities which make you indispensable in a wide range of careers with an international and/or intercultural perspective.

  • Ethnography, Reflective Practice: Essential research skills, intercultural lens on world’s pressing problems; work placement opportunities;
  • Intercultural Communication in Practice: Hands-on intercultural problem-solving; finding creative solutions to problems; mediation in conflict situations;
  • Take an intercultural perspective on your personal and professional interests – solve problems which others don’t know how to.

Students can also choose to study a specialisation on this programme. Choose between Digital Information and Audio Visual Media. Whichever specialisation you choose, you will have flexibility in your choice of 3 optional modules, enabling you to build your own route responding to your particular interests and needs

Module Credits

Concepts and Approaches in Intercultural Communication

This module aims to develop an understanding of the main concepts and approaches to the study of intercultural communication and develop the ability to analyse and evaluate their relative significance.  You will consider the concept of culture from a variety of perspectives (including applied linguistics, ethnography, essentialist and non-essentialist approaches), and will study topics such as stereotyping and prejudice, identity, culture shock, and the role of language in intercultural communication. A wide range of real-world examples will be examined, such as media reports, international communications, multicultural situations, and intercultural problems raised by students.


Intercultural Communication in Practice

This module is designed to develop your intercultural competence with a view to becoming an intercultural mediator and effective communicator in an international/multicultural workplace. It requires participants to combine their knowledge of approaches to intercultural communication with real-time situations, thus enhancing their awareness of the values by which they and others operate. Emphasis will also be placed on the centrality of language in the intercultural communication process. You will take an active role in seminars; these are designed to develop intercultural learning through consideration of critical incidents, materials analysis and multilingual discussion. You will: understand the value and limitation of cross-cultural analysis; function with increased awareness and effectiveness in intercultural encounters of direct relevance to the workplace; evaluate existing resources available for developing intercultural competence; and propose, select and/or create activities/courses/materials for intercultural interventions.


Research Methods in Modern Languages

This module will introduce and explore a range of methodological approaches and techniques that are relevant to students of Modern Languages and Cultures. It will enable students to consider the philosophical underpinnings of research and its design, identify, assess, exploit and create sources and data, and adhere to data protection, intellectual property and ethics requirements. Students will engage with different theoretical models and debates, and a range of tools for accessing information. Students will be required to attend generic research methods sessions as well as those which are of greatest relevance to their research topic(s).

Reflective Practice: Ethnography 30
Dissertation 60

Further Ethnography or Key Issues in Intercultural Communication

Induction and Transition: SLC MA Study Support 0
Teaching and learning

MA Intercultural Communication consists of a variety of teaching and learning methods, including staff- and student-led seminars, small group work, and one-on-one consultations with staff. Independent learning and assessment methods include essay writing, project work and oral presentations. Students will have the opportunity to be evaluated and given feedback from an intercultural professional.

Most of your teaching will take place in small groups, meaning that you get to know other students and your tutors really well. You will find we have a wide range of assessment methods, designed to suit the demands of different modules. Alongside traditional written and oral exams, you might find yourself doing a group presentation, writing a blog, creating a portfolio or a video, or doing a translation project. All of these provide you with valuable skills for future employment. 

Visit us to find out more about the course from the Programme Leader, see our facilities and study spaces, and much more.


Our MA in Intercultural Communication opens up a wide range of career paths in a multitude of industries.

Graduates have entered careers as:

  •     Communications officers
  •     Journalists
  •     Intercultural trainers
  •     Consultants
  •     University teachers
  •     Project managers
  •     Company regional directors

Companies and organisations our graduates have gone on to include:

  •     Sheffield International College
  •     University of Leeds
  •     Together for Regeneration
  •     Communicaid
  •     Tesco
  •     Lambson Fine Chemicals (Yorkshire)
  •     Landrover (China)

Some of our graduates have also set up their own companies, or continued onto postgraduate research degrees.

Students on the International Project Management module were asked to create a video to promote intercultural communication at Sheffield: 

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 23 March 2021

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