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Modern democracies are increasingly shaped by the relationships between politicians, mass media and citizens. This interdisciplinary programme applies ideas from a range of approaches to give you an insight into the context and production of political journalism and communication.

Core modules will introduce you to political communication in established and emerging democracies worldwide, exploring the ethics and power dynamics at play. You’ll ask questions around media freedom, the responsibilities of journalists, ‘spin doctors’, the impact of emerging technologies and whether elections really are decided on TV.

Course content

Throughout the year you’ll study two core modules that cover the foundations of the programme, exploring the role of communications in contemporary politics.

You’ll look at different models of contemporary democracy and compare the relations between political actors, the media and citizens. From there you’ll move onto recent innovations sparked by cultural, technological and political change. With this in mind, you’ll then design a political campaign that incorporates some of these developments.

On top of this, you’ll build specialist knowledge through your choice of optional modules. These vary every year, but can include topics such as television narrative, media and globalisation, urban narratives, and media and democratisation. The optional modules allow you to focus on topics that suit your own interests or perhaps reflect your career plans.

Throughout the year, you’ll also be preparing for your dissertation through the Dissertation and Research Methods module. Your dissertation is a major independent research project on a topic of your choice, which you submit at the end of the year.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Political Communication MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Political Communication MA Part Time in the course catalogue


Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation and Research Methods
  • Innovations in Political Communication
  • Keywords in Political Communication

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Public Relations Theory
  • Feminism, Identity and Media
  • Understanding the Audience
  • The Media and Democratisation: Global Perspectives
  • The Reporting of Politics
  • Popular Music and Society
  • Communication and Public Opinion
  • Journalism Practice and Policy
  • Identity and Culture
  • The Cultural History of Promotional Communication
  • Stylistic Aesthetics of Chinese Language in Media and Communication
  • Rhetoric and Public Speaking
  • Managing Business Across Cultures
  • International Organisations: Context, Theory and Practice
  • Writing for Professional Purposes
  • Cultural Policy
  • Researching Inequality in the Media
  • Reality TV: Truth or Fiction?

Learning and teaching

MA modules will use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, group learning and project work, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, as an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the subjects introduced in lectures and seminars, and to develop your skills in analysis and research. You should anticipate spending at least 20 hours per week on independent study associated with your modules.


Assessments also take different forms so you can develop diverse skills. These are likely to include essays and exams as well as group presentations, projects and reports, as well as campaign analyses and case studies.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read Language for Communication and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Communication and Society (10 weeks).

How to apply



Documents and information you need

  • Your degree certificate and transcripts, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying
  • Your most recent CV
  • If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English language qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


  • UK/EU: £8,500 (total)
  • International: £19,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Tuition Fee Scholarships

The School of Media and Communication offers three tuition fee scholarships to UK/EU students, each worth the full tuition fees. We also offer three tuition fee scholarships to international students, each worth half the tuition fees.

To see all our scholarship and funding opportunities, visit the School of Media and Communication scholarships page.

Career opportunities

This programme isn’t a practical training course, but it does give you an in-depth understanding of the role and importance of political communication – a sector which is constantly growing.

Our graduates have entered a wide range of related careers in political journalism, government communications, communications analysis and advisory roles for political parties. Others have gone on to work for international organisations and pressure groups.

You’ll also be prepared to continue with further research at PhD level and pursue an academic career.

Visit the Political Communication MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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