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International Communications and Development - MA

Course Description

This course looks at international development through a communications lens and the role media play in development and policy making.

Who is it for?

This course is for students looking for an opportunity to explore the impact of media and communications on international policy and within sociological context.

The course will appeal to students with a general interest in communication studies and cross-disciplinary interests in development studies, sociology and politics.


Communication is integral to development programmes. 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.

Development is taken as a contested concept that translates into courses for advocating democratic forms of participation, policy initiatives and training activities in media and communications sectors in different geographical regions.

The International Communications and Development MA provides you with an interdisciplinary framework for understanding and critically assessing the role of communications for and in development projects.

It also gives you a broad interdisciplinary overview of developments in broadcasting, telecommunications, the press and information technology drawing on economics, political science, international relations, development theory, sociology and law.

On the course you will develop an ability to participate in policy making and evaluation in the context of changing national and global economic and political relations.

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.

Teaching and learning

The educational aims are achieved 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 their 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 organize source material for your coursework, to 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.


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 nongovernmental 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.

Core modules
-Democratisation and Networked Communication SGM311 (30 credits)
-Research Workshop SGM302 (30 dredits)
-Communication, Culture and Development SGM312 (30 credits)

You must also complete a 60 credit dissertation in order to be awarded the Master's qualification. You are normally required to pass all taught modules before progressing to the dissertation.

Elective modules
-Developments in Communication Policy SGM309 (15 credits)
-Transnational Media and Communication SGM308 (15 credits)
-Celebrity SGM314 (15 credits)
-Development and World Politics IPM104 (15 credits)
-Religion in Global Politics (IPM119) (15 credits)
-Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics IPM118 (30 credits)
-Global Political Economy - Contemporary Approaches IPM116 (30 credits)
-Evaluation Politics and Advocacy AMM420 (15 credits)
-Analysing Crime SGM301 (30 credits)
-Criminal Justice Policy and Practice (SGM303) (30 credits)
-Victims: Policy and Politics SGM305 (15 credits)
-Criminal Minds SGM304 (15 credits)

NB. Elective modules choices are subject to availability.

Career prospects

Graduates have entered a wide variety of careers in the civil service, broadcasting, press and telecoms networks, NGOs, the development sector and consultancies, advertising, marketing, politics, journalism, PR, media management and regulatory agencies. Recent graduate positions include; Fundraising and Communications Officer at Alone in London, Communications Specialist at Government Division of Health and Social Services and Civil Servant at Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Jessica Perrin who recently graduated with an MA in International Communications and Development is now Head of NGOs at Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Students have access to the expert services of our Careers, Student Development and Outreach Office. They regularly receive information about internship and job opportunities and are invited to participate in media fairs and panel discussions with alumni.

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

(Student Profile)

Kawtar Bennouna

Kawtar Bennouna is the Student Representative of the International Communications and Development MA

Why did you choose to study at City University London?

The course offered by City is the perfect match of the two fields I am particularly interested in. And I wanted to enrich my previous undergraduate studies in my home country by studying in London.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

I enjoy studying within a truly international environment and receiving exhaustive feedback on my coursework.

What has been your favourite module and why?

My favorite module has been Social media and engagement. It is an innovative course with interesting case studies and projects.

What has been a highlight of your course so far?

The high standard and enthusiastic teaching, meeting incredible friends, and living in the most beautiful and cosmopolitan city in the world.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I intend to work and want to apply the theoretical knowledge I learned to real-life situations. I am mainly interested in working in communications and sales.

I have enjoyed being the Student Representative of the International Communications and Development MA and the university has provided me with a truly enriching and stimulating environment. Both the program and the activities I engaged in gave me more confidence. I feel prepared for the professional world.


School of Arts & Social Sciences Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme - No. of awards TBC

The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a number of scholarships for postgraduate students. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Worth up to £2,000


In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:
- be a self-funded student and not in receipt of any other scholarships;
- be a full or part-time student;

Application Procedure

Applicants who meet our entry requirements will be automatically considered for a non-means tested scholarship as part of the application process.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You should have a first or second class honours degree in any subject but applications are also welcome from those with experience in the media, information or the communication sectors. An equivalent qualification from an overseas university will be considered.

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Recipient: City, University of London

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