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This course is designed to provide an advanced understanding of the issues and debates surrounding political communication in the twenty first century.

The units are conceptually led, combining discussions of theory with an exploration of current and best practice in society. All units will offer an international perspective and provide insights into the latest developments in political communication research and practice and the impact of recent technological innovations.

Our academic team have wide ranging expertise, grounded in years of research within fields such as political psychology, voter behaviour, international relations and political campaigning. The team have cultivated links with research institutions and universities across the globe, from Massachusetts and Prague to Bogota and Auckland.

The team also enjoys extensive connections with a range of political organisations, including the UK House of Lords, the European Parliament, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and local, national and international pressure groups, charities and communication consultancies.

Please watch the recorded BU webinar ‘MA International Political Communication’. Presented by Darren Lilleker, Associate Professor in Political Communication, this webinar will give you an excellent insight into the MA International Political Communication Master’s degree offered at BU.

Read more about our academics Research on Soft Power.

Core units

  • Social Theory & Political Communication: A contextual grounding for political communication in social, communication and media theory. There will be discussions about globalisation, neoliberalism and democratic theory, considering issues of power, gender, economics, social equality and the environment. You'll also discuss the role of communication within and between societies, the role of mass (online and offline), alternative and ‘new’ media, and new forms of social, corporate and political communication in online and digital environments.
  • The Psychodynamics of Political Culture and Society: offers a new interdisciplinary perspective on the psycho-dynamics of contemporary political culture. The unit applies a psychosocial, interdisciplinary approach that draws on theories and methods in psychoanalysis, cultural and media studies and political sociology to explore the cultural and emotional processes that shape our relationship to politics in the late modern, media age.
  • Political Journalism: Debates around the role of journalism and media with practical studies of journalism, mass media effects and citizen journalism. Alongside understanding the nature of political journalism, you'll be introduced to its forms and practices to develop your skills-base for underpinning your vocational aspirations.
  • Political Marketing & Campaigning: Analysis of the marketisation of political discourse and permanent campaigning, exploring the behaviour and communication of political parties, governments, not-for-profit organisations, lobby groups and guerrilla activists.
  • Diplomacy & International Relations: The contexts, processes and psychology underpinning interactions between nations and the relationships they have with supranational bodies. The unit will draw on historical perspectives of international relations, theoretical models of power distribution and political economy perspectives for a rich understanding of how the world functions and malfunctions.
  • Research Imagination: Drawing on your research knowledge and experience from undergraduate level, this unit challenges your understanding of academic research and applied research in the communications industries. You'll be exposed to cutting-edge research practices and introduced to the opportunities and challenges of conducting applied research using industry data collection and analysis techniques.
  • Final Project: You'll write an academic dissertation of 15,000 words. This unit will end with a student showcase where you'll present your work to peers and academic colleagues.


Students who graduate from this course will:

  • Be equipped with the critical and analytical skills to pursue research within the field of political communication and related disciplines
  • Possess appropriate academic and professional transferable skills
  • Be well-versed in a number of pervasive issues that shape and set the parameters for contemporary international political communications scholarship and practice.

Visit the MA International Political Communication page on the Bournemouth University website for more details!





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