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Course content

Who is it for?

This course is for students looking to explore international development through a communications lens and the role media play in development and policy making.

At a time when ideas about freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and access to natural and material resources guide development projects across the world, the question about the role of media and communications for social change becomes ever more pertinent. As a result, this MA will particularly appeal to you if you have an interest in communication studies and cross-disciplinary interests in development studies, sociology and politics.


The International Communications and Development MA provides will help you to:

  • Gain an overview of the main issues in the field on International Communications and Development.
  • Develop a broad interdisciplinary overview of developments in broadcasting, telecommunications, the press and information technology.
  • Conduct detailed analysis of sectors or issues of your own choice, drawing on economics, political science, international relations, development theory, sociology and law.
  • Analyse the main directions of media and communication issues in Britain, the USA, the EU, and countries of your own interest.
  • Develop the ability to participate in policy making and evaluation in the context of changing national and global economic and political relations.
  • Gain the relevant skills for employment in government information departments, communications regulatory agencies, mass media organisations, public relations, advertising, academic and professional research.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a combination of lectures, interactive sessions, practical workshops and small-group classes supported by a personal tutorial system. You are encouraged to undertake extensive reading in order to understand the topics covered in lectures and classes and to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the subject. In the course of self-directed hours, you are expected to read from the set module bibliography, prepare your class participation, collect and organise source material for your coursework, and plan and write your coursework.

The Department also runs a personal tutorial system, which provides support for teaching and learning and any problems can be identified and dealt with early.

During the second term the Department offers a Dissertation Workshop to guide you on your dissertation outline.

Assessment and Assessment Criteria

You will submit a 2,500-word essay for each 15-credit module and 3,000-word essay for each 30-credit module. You will also submit a dissertation.

Assessment Criteria are descriptions, based on the intended learning outcomes, of the skills, knowledge or attitudes that you need to demonstrate in order to complete an assessment successfully. This provides a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured.

Grade-related criteria are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment. This provides a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to help you complete assessments. These may be provided in programme handbooks, module specifications, on the virtual learning environment or attached to a specific assessment task.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback will be provided in line with our Assessment and Feedback Policy. In particular, you will normally be provided with feedback within three weeks of the submission deadline or assessment date. This would normally include a provisional grade or mark.

For end-of-module examinations or an equivalent significant task (e.g. an end-of-module project), feedback will normally be provided within four weeks.  The timescale for feedback on final year projects or dissertations may be longer. Take a look at the full policy for more information.

Assessment Regulations

In order to pass your programme, you should complete successfully or be exempted from the relevant modules and assessments and will therefore acquire the required number of credits.

The pass mark for each module is 50%.


The course focuses on the relationship between communication, development and democracy. Over the course of the year you will develop your knowledge of media and communication studies within the context of globalisation, Political communication and the work of international organisations and non-governmental organisations in development communication.

Your will also cover more specific areas, such as media representation (national and trans-national) and audiences and the communications policies that affect them.

You will take three 30-credit core modules and either two 15-credit modules or one 30-credit module elective modules.

The Department of Sociology at City offers you an extensive range of module options. This enables you to specialise in your particular areas of interest, developing your critical skills and advancing your knowledge, culminating with you undertaking an extended piece of original research.

Core modules

  • Democratisation & Networked Communication SGM311 (30 credits)
  • Research Workshop SGM302 (30 dredits)
  • Communication, Culture and Development SGM312 (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules

  • Research Design, Methods and Methodology
  • Rationale and Philosophical Foundations of Social Research
  • Introduction to Qualitative Inference
  • Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics (30 credits)
  • Global Political Economy - Contemporary Approaches (30 credits)
  • Analysing Crime (30 credits)
  • Criminal Justice Policy and Practice (30 credits)
  • Developments in Communication Policy (15 credits)
  • Transnational Media and Communication (15 credits)
  • Celebrity (15 credits)
  • Development and World Politics (15 credits)
  • Religion in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • Evaluation Politics and Advocacy (15 credits)
  • Victims: Policy and Politics (15 credits)
  • Criminal Minds (15 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Survey Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Multivariate Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Statistical Modelling (15 credits)
  • Mediating Gender and Sexuality (15 credits)
  • Digital Cultures

Career prospects

Graduates of this MA have entered a wide variety of careers, including:

  • The civil service
  • Broadcasting
  • Press and telecoms networks
  • NGOs
  • The development sector and consultancies
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • PR
  • Media management
  • Regulatory agencies

Visit the International Communications and Development (MA) page on the City, University of London website for more details!






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