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Course content

The global era has stimulated transnational cultural flows (of people, practices and products) and local cultural complexities that were inconceivable even a generation ago. Nowadays, it is necessary to function effectively in culturally-diverse contexts ranging from organisations and workplaces, to neighbourhoods and cities, and to societies and regions. As a consequence, intercultural awareness and communication skills are an advantage in many areas of employment. This MA programme run by the School of Arts, Languages & Cultures explores the cultural diversity of our current times, inviting students to further develop their intercultural awareness and skills. The degree is designed for a broad range of students who are interested in intercultural matters, both international and UK / EU students. Some knowledge of a foreign language is preferable although not a prerequisite. Those successfully graduating from the degree should find that it enhances their opportunities to gain employment in fields where intercultural competence is valued, for example in many multinational organisations, in international projects and NGOs, and in multicultural and immigrant communities. Here are some examples of posts obtained by MAIC alumni: officials in the United Nations agencies UNEP and UNHCR, university study abroad administrators, and administrative officers in cultural organizations with an international outlook.


Staff research comprises a wide range of areas of relevance for this degree. In the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures we have interests in intercultural studies, intercultural training, translation, communication, linguistics, and modern languages and cultures. These interests allow us to offer a comprehensive programme whose chief aims are to provide students with a cutting-edge critical approach to the field of intercultural communication, to provide a rich range of language and cultural studies oriented options, and to enhance students' intercultural awareness and communication skills. Participation in the programme is, in itself, a valuable intercultural experience.

Teaching and learning

All course units are taught on a seminar basis, with group sizes varying depending on the course unit. Seminars offer opportunities for developing group work and presentation skills.

Coursework and assessment

Most course units are assessed by assignments and other marked work, rather than by written examination.

Course unit details

The programme consists of core and optional course units and a dissertation:

Core modules

  • Introduction to Intercultural Communication
  • Developing Researcher Competence in Intercultural Communication

Optional Modules

Students take five options, at least three of which must be taken from the electives the programme offers, whilst two may be taken from the wider menu offered in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.


  • A 15,000-word dissertation is undertaken during Summer with individual supervision by staff members.

Through their choice of course unit options available on the programme and their choice of dissertation topic students will be able to undertake specializations in areas such as intercultural relations, intercultural training, translation, language studies and migration, depending on their preferred career paths and/or research interests.

For enquiries about the programme content, please contact the programme director, Dr Siobhan Brownlie,  


All postgraduate students on this programme can make use of the purpose-designed Centre for Graduate Studies within the Ellen Wilkinson Building. The Centre is located in one of the University's most interesting architectural spaces, highlighted in Pevsner's guide to Manchester for its `Corbusian external stairs and a curving rooftop pavilion ... the interior of which is an exciting space with big circular rooflights and very narrow window slits on one side only.' Care was taken to enhance those features while providing state-of-the-art facilities for postgraduate study. These include 30 computers (several with dedicated translation studies software), LaserJet printers, `hot-desk' facilities for around 50 students (including workstation facilities for students with disabilities), and 132 secure lockers. The Centre also houses a collection of past theses and dissertations from all subjects studied in the School at PhD, MPhil and MA level, which students can access to inform their own research and writing.

In addition to the Centre for Graduate Studies, the University has five major computer clusters, together with many smaller clusters. In total there are more than 10,000 PCs and workstations across the campus. All provide access to standard office software as well as specialist programs, and all are connected to the campus network and internet. Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division Manchester Computing can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

The University Library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and is widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries. We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research. 

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Visit the Intercultural Communication (MA) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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