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Course content

On this programme you will explore a variety of themes in areas related to mass media, politics and communication. You will seek to understand flows of information and their political consequences both domestically and internationally, across a diversity of platforms, structures, and systems.

Why this programme

  • This programme is designed for those who want to pursue a career in political communication, offering you a range of theoretical insights and analytical tools and skills that will be beneficial for a broad range of careers.
  • You will engage in discussions about the role of mass media and new media in society, the ways in which politicians and citizens use media, and the quality of public deliberation.
  • You will also explore themes such as the effects of media and communications on public opinion and public policy, the ways in which political parties communicate their messages, and how digital media shapes politics.
  • You will engage with a range of perspectives from political science and communications especially, but also psychology, sociology, computing science and big data analytics, and economics.
  • Our programme is unique in Scotland and one of few political communication programmes based in a Politics department in the UK, rather than in communications or media studies.
  • We have a diverse and vibrant student body with students from all over the world. You will share courses with students from other programmes in the school, which enriches the liveliness and breadth of experience for all. Like our students, research staff come from many different places.

Programme structure

You will take three core and three optional courses. You will also write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a specialist member of staff.

Core courses

  • MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY
  • Political institutions and communication
  • Research design OR Qualitative methods for social scientists OR Quantitative data analysis.

Optional courses may include

  • China's international politics
  • Chinese politics and society
  • Crime, media and popular culture
  • Critical perspectives on human rights
  • Environmental problems in China
  • European Union in international politics and development
  • Generalised linear models
  • Global security: Theories and concepts
  • Human rights and global politics
  • Humanitarian intervention
  • International organisations
  • International relations and development
  • International relations research
  • International relations theory
  • International security and strategic thought
  • Introduction to social theory for researchers
  • Internet and civil society
  • Media and democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Media, security and war
  • Researching audiences and the media.

Induction and pre-arrival information

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Our graduates have found opportunities across the globe, for example working with political parties, campaigns, charities, NGOs, civil service, journalism, business, academia, public relations, public affairs, national or local politics, and more. They are working in careers in Scotland, the UK, and beyond. This programme also helps prepare you to go on to PhD work in the field.


Visit the Political Communication (MSc/PGDip) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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