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Different course options

Full time | Waterloo Campus | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Communication Studies Business Communication Skills Policy / Strategic Planning

Course type


Course Summary


Students will learn how states and their governments communicate in international politics and how they shape long term strategies in a range of fields from military to diplomatic to aid and development. This includes preparing for conflict between states or with insurgent groups, communicating a path during hostilities, and transitioning through post-conflict situations. It further analyses how states use diplomacy, culture and economics to manage the peace and avoid conflict, and engage in treaty and trade negotiations. Students will also encounter crisis communications: how to shape strategic responses to natural disasters, terror attacks, and military invasions. To appreciate this complex field from multiple perspectives, students will further discover how insurgent and revolutionary movements think about and put into practice their communications strategies with populations and states. These themes will be taught through a set of challenges that represent some of the most significant that strategic communicators will face in the coming decade. We aim to prepare them with suitable skills. Along with subject matter expertise, students will develop transferable analytical, research, and practical skills in a dynamic and rigorous, intellectual environment. The course is associated with the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) - a global network of government agencies, media and marketing companies, and alumni.

Course detail

The aim of this Masters programme is to enhance your knowledge of national and geopolitics today as seen through the lens of strategic communications. The course themes will be taught through a set of challenges that represent some of the most significant that strategic communicators will face in the coming decade. We aim to prepare them with suitable skills. These challenges will be subject to change from year to year. But students might cover such themes as the genealogy of Strategic Communications; similarities with and differences from political marketing, commercial marketing, branding, public relations, and propaganda; and topics such as the return of Great Power politics; environmentalism and new social movements; future insurgency and revolution; Big Data and micro-targeting; the dominance of the image and visual culture; and empathy and emotions. All are examined through the lens of Strategic Communications.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this MA and Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) is a combination of essays, project work, class participation, and/or exams. We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Career prospects

This year four students joined the UK Cabinet Office as Strategic Communicators after completing the MA programme. Over the last 3 years, 14 of our students have enjoyed internships at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, Riga, Latvia, and several others have interned with and later been employed by communications companies in London. This new MA course equips students to think conceptually about Strategic Communications in the dynamic world of global affairs, then how to apply particular practices and techniques to working in the field.


The aims of this module are: To offer students a comprehensive theoretical study of Strategic Communications. To locate political communications in their historical and disciplinary contexts. To offer a critical understanding of conflict-related communication by examining the role of strategy in Strategic Communications. To use conceptual frameworks for discourse analysis and complexity, network and diffusion theories. To expose students to expert practitioner guest speakers and academic lecturers. To offer students with an interest in entering, or who are already engaged in, government and military service, as well as would-be journalists of international politics and conflict, the first Masters module in the theory of Strategic Communications.
Dissertation (60 Credits)

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree with high 2:1 honours (i.e. overall average of at least 65% across all years of study) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.