MA International Public and Political Communication

University of Sheffield Department of Journalism Studies

Full time See Course MA 1 year FT

About the course

Course description

Messages and viewpoints are all around us at all times. Political parties, public and governmental institutions, pressure groups, charities and NGOs shape messages in particular ways, advocating viewpoints and constructing campaigns to influence public opinion, specific audiences and policymakers. Our course teaches you to be an expert in both the analysis and development of such messages.

You'll learn about media relations, political marketing and the scope and significance of political communication. You'll develop skills in communicating with the media (including media training) and using different media outlets to promote ideas through advocacy and lobbying. Our teaching offers a deep and critical understanding of key debates around the intersection of the media

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Entry Requirements

You must have one of the following:

A 2:1 undergraduate degree (we will consider a 2:2 if we are sufficiently impressed by your potential).
An alternative qualification approved by the University as degree equivalent.
Substantial previous work experience in a media-related role.

English language requirements:
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.


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 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Ben Cooper

I've recently started working at the BBC as a Senior Broadcast Journalist with the Reality Check team. It's a relatively new team within the corporation's news and current affairs output, collaborating with teams right across the BBC. We produce fact-checking content for radio, TV and online, on subjects as varied as politics, sport and food.

Shortly after graduating from the journalism department, I got a job in the media office of the Conservative Party's delegation in the European Parliament in Brussels, helping to handle the domestic and continental press operations. I moved back to the UK to work for a small political consultancy ahead of the 2015 UK General Election. My role was focused around research and strategy, and during the campaign, I was also fortunate to attend the seven-way televised leaders' debate as part of David Cameron's delegation. I worked there for a further two years (and another general election) before moving on to the BBC.

It probably sounds cliched, but I'm certain that I wouldn't have had the career I've had (so far) without a postgraduate degree from the department.

I was struggling to find a full-time job for the best part of a year after graduating for the first time back in 2010, so I decided to go back to university to boost my employability. I'd always been interested in some kind of a media career, having been heavily involved in student media as an undergraduate, but found anything more than unpaid placements or sporadic shifts hard to come by. Several friends had studied at the Department of Journalism Studies and having heard good things about their experiences, I decided that this was the place to help get me over the line.

Although my postgraduate degree was focused more towards the theoretical/academic side of journalism, the basic journalistic training we received proved invaluable. A recognised qualification from such a reputable place gave me the boost I was hoping for; those extra few lines on my CV were the difference, ultimately leading me to where I am today.

What I found great about studying in the journalism department was the sense of belonging. Although I spent three years with a different department at the University for my undergraduate degree, this place always felt like home. As a student, I found the academic staff approachable, down-to-earth and very welcoming.

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