MA in Intercultural Communication and International Development

Imagine that you were responsible for arranging the funding for a project, and you find out that the project organisers spent the funds on something which wasn't planned for. How would you feel?

at Mbara

Researching project in Mbara, Kenya

The world has moved a long way since the days of ‘aid’ . This interdisciplinary MA provides students with the opportunity to develop their expertise in both intercultural communication and international development, and is the first programme of its kind in the UK. It responds to a recognised need for international developers with a high level of intercultural communication knowledge and skills, as well as professional interculturalists who can advise international developers in their work. In an unequal world it can be easy for power to play a large role in decision-making and planning; international developers with a critical understanding of the role of culture and communication in international development are better placed to make a real difference in contributing to a more just society of the future.

The MA in Intercultural Communication and International Development is one of our five Translation and Intercultural Communication programmes. Designed for those who wish to become highly effective intercultural communicators in international and social development, it covers the main theories and concepts of intercultural communication as well as the changing theory, policy and practice of international development, considering their combined practical application to real-life international development contexts. At the same time, you can shape the programme to suit your personal career needs and interests, choosing between various language, development and other subject options.

Students are required to take part in a compulsory field class to places such as Tanzania, Nepal or India (this will be arranged during the first semester).  These field class costs are included in the tuition fees.   Details on the fieldwork class can be found here:

Shared between the School of Languages and Cultures and the Department of Geography, the programme builds on the successes and expertise of two MA programmes which have been running for a number of years (MA in Intercultural Communication and MA in International Development) to provide a unique professional focus which will help you stand out in the intercultural and development field. It is also part of the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) which unites expertise and input from a range of subjects spanning politics and public health to music and sociological studies, and experience with working with a range of NGOs, public organisations and companies. You will learn invaluable research skills of participant observation which you can apply in your dissertation and future career.

One of the unique features of this programme is the Placement with Dissertation.  Our students are placed with some of the world's leading international agencies. Please note that the majority of our placements are in the Global South. We have some in the UK, and even a few in Sheffield, but unless you have overriding reasons (such as caring responsibilities or scholarship restrictions) you should expect to do your placement outside the UK.  Costs vary depending on the location of the placement – whether overseas or in the UK. You will need to think about the cost of flights, accommodation, food and transport, which can add up to around £1,500 in addition to your tuition fees.

Please be aware that this is a compulsory part of the programme.

Left-hand quotation mark
     There is a lot of conflict and issues that arise...when...Western planners go into a developing country, and both of those cultures try to create positive change... I think in Intercultural Communication one of the biggest issues is managing cultural expectations; it’s a matter of understanding how to approach those different cultures and different people that we’re working with. And this is something that people working in International Development and Planning do on a daily basis.Right-hand quotation mark

(Aliya Sorgen)

Click on the above tabs to find out more...