Political Communication MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£11,250 (total)
International fees
£24,750 (total)

Course overview

Students talking

Modern democracies are increasingly shaped by the relationships between politicians, mass media and citizens. This interdisciplinary course applies ideas from a range of approaches to give you an insight into the context and production of political journalism and communication.

Core modules will introduce you to political communication in established and emerging democracies worldwide, critically exploring the ethics and power dynamics at play. You’ll ask questions around media freedom, the responsibilities of journalists, the impact of emerging technologies and whether elections really are decided on TV.

You can tailor the course to suit your personal and career interests, choosing from optional modules on topics such as digital media, climate communication or arts activism. Content of the course modules is informed by the research interests and practice of academic staff who teach them.

Please refer to the application deadlines.

Course details

Throughout your studies you’ll study two core modules that cover the foundations of the course, exploring the role of communications in contemporary politics.

You’ll look at different models of contemporary democracy and critically examine the relations between political actors, the media and citizens. From there you’ll move on to recent innovations sparked by cultural, technological and political change. With this in mind, you’ll then design a political campaign that incorporates some of these developments.

On top of this, you’ll build specialist knowledge through your choice of optional modules. These can include topics such as communication and public opinion, digital platforms, global migration, rhetoric, and identity. The optional modules allow you to focus on topics that suit your own interests or perhaps reflect your career plans.

Throughout the course, you’ll also be preparing for your dissertation through the Dissertation and Research Methods module. Your dissertation is a major independent research project on a topic of your choice, which you submit at the end of the course.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll complete the course over two years, instead of one, taking fewer modules each year.

Have a look at some student work produced on this course.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Political Communication MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Political Communication MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation and Research Methods 60
Innovations in Political Communication 30
Keywords in Political Communication 30

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, group learning and project work, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

Independent study is crucial to this degree, as an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the subjects introduced in lectures and seminars, and to develop your skills in analysis and research. You can anticipate spending at least 20 hours per week on independent study associated with your modules.

You'll be taught by active researchers in the field of communication and media. The research interests and practice of your tutors inform the content of the course.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Assessments also take different forms so you can develop diverse skills. These are likely to include essays and exams as well as group presentations, projects and reports, as well as campaign analyses and case studies.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in: politics, media or communication studies. Applications from those with degrees in other subjects may be considered on an individual basis.

Relevant professional experience will also be considered. We may request additional documentation to inform our decision. Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

International qualifications

To see equivalent entry requirements for your country, check our international entry requirement directory.

For more information contact the School of Media and Communication admissions team.

Applying from China

Due to the large numbers of applications we receive, we’re only able to offer places to applicants who have attended selected Chinese institutions. With regret, any applications we receive from applicants awarded a qualification in China from an institution that isn’t on this list will be rejected, and we recommend applying elsewhere.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Communication and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Communication and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

We operate a staged admissions process for this course with application deadlines throughout the year.

If you don’t receive an offer or a notification that your application has been unsuccessful in a particular stage, your application will be carried forward to be considered in the next stage.

If you intend to apply for funding, we advise you to submit an application for your chosen course as early as possible and at least one month before any scholarship deadline.

Please see our How to apply page for full details and for application deadlines for each stage.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • Your degree certificate and transcripts, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying

  • Your most recent CV

  • If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English language qualifications.

Applicants are not required to submit a supporting statement, though one may be requested if further information is needed.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Media and Communication

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Team

Email: mediapg@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £11,250 (total)

International: £24,750 (total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Head of School Masters Scholarships

We offer scholarships to applicants holding an offer to study a Masters at the School of Media and Communication in the form of tuition fee waivers.

To find out how to apply and to see all funding opportunities, visit our scholarship and funding opportunities page.

Career opportunities

This isn’t a practical training course, it will give you an in-depth understanding of the role and importance of political communication – a sector which is constantly growing.

Our graduates have entered a wide range of related careers in political journalism, government communications, communications analysis and advisory roles for political parties. Others have gone on to work for international organisations and pressure groups.

You’ll also be equipped to continue with further research at PhD level and pursue an academic career.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.