Global Political Communication MA

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
1 year
Not available
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for Media & Film Studies

Guardian University Guide, 2018


in 2014 Research Excellence Framework


in the UK for Communication and Media

The Complete University Guide 2018


Our Global Political Communication MA focuses on political communication in a fast changing global context, looking at message production, transmission, and reception across nations, as well as the key theories, themes and controversies central to the academic study of political communication.

Communication lies at the heart of politics and is essential to understanding political culture in contemporary media saturated countries.

The Global Political Communication programme is delivered by a diverse interdisciplinary team with a strong profile in, for example, digital culture, media, sociology, anthropology and communication studies. All of our world-leading scholars are research active and use their research to develop and deliver cutting-edge teaching.

The Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC) brings together Loughborough University’s world leading researchers in media, communication and culture. This MA draws on the enduring strength of political communication and media studies research in Centre for Research in Communication and Culture and is taught by leading international scholars who have been at the forefront of election communication research in the UK for over 20 years, examining protest movements, radical politics and democratic deliberation.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, our research in this area was ranked second in the UK. In 2017, the QS World rankings rated the University among the top 40 universities in the world for Communication and Media Studies.

In collaboration with the English Language study Unit we have designed a bespoke package of study skills support, which is run through the dissertation module in the first term. It will support you in using and interpreting academic literature, referencing, critical thinking and developing your own writing style.

You will have the opportunity to undertake a four-week placement over the Easter vacation (April) – this experience can be recognised as part of your dissertation research project. You will be given information about the process of finding placements in the ‘employability skills’ taught sessions in Term 1 which forms part of the dissertation module.

If you wish to take up this opportunity you will be supported through the process by the department placements advisor and the careers and employability team. Support from our award-winning careers and employability centre is not restricted to placements and work experience – they provide a variety of services to students on-demand and throughout the year.

The centre's facilities for media and communications research include the Loughborough Qualitative Digital Research Lab (LiQUiD Lab) where qualitative research involving the use of digital and audio visual methods and media take place.

You will have the opportunity to get involved in the Loughborough Student’s Union media centre, which houses television and radio stations, a magazine and photographic editing facilities. The centre is run by students for students, and gives those wishing to augment their academic degree the opportunity to develop their vocational media skills.

What makes this programme different?

  • Opportunities for work placements
  • Taught by world-leading researchers
  • Gain vocational media skills

Who should study this programme?

The Global Political Communication MA degree is designed to enhance specialist knowledge and methodological expertise of relevance to professionals working in communications, to students interested in global political communication and to those wishing to progress to a research degree in these fields.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent overseas qualification in the social sciences or humanities. Applicants with appropriate professional expertise will also be considered.

English Language Requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in all elements.

What you'll study

You will learn from inspiring academics, pioneering researchers and leaders in global politics and communication, so that you can be exposed to the latest theories and developments from across the discipline.


Global Political Communication covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

Compulsory modules

The Politics of Representation

The aim of this module is to develop a critical understanding of current debates and advanced research about the politics of representation and to develop the skills relevant to the analysis of the involvement of media and cultural forms in social inclusion and exclusion.

On completion of the module, you should be able to deploy the major theories and concepts relevant to the understanding of the politics of representation in historical and contemporary media and cultural forms. You will also be able to critically discuss competing arguments about the politics of representation.

Global Communications

The aim of the module is for the student to become familiar with the different theoretical perspectives underpinning the study of the media in the international environment; analyse and summarise existing arguments and critically evaluate evidence provided in course material on global communications; acquire knowledge of key concepts, issues and debates within the literature.

On completion of the module, you should be able to identify the structures and processes involved in global communication environment and describe contemporary media developments in this context. You will also be able to discuss and critically evaluate a range of theories and concepts such as cultural imperialism and hybridity, and identify their strengths and shortcomings.

Production and Reception Analysis

The aim of this module is to become familiar with a range of methodologies for the analysis of media and cultural production and reception.

On completion of the module, you should be able to:

  • Conduct random and non random sampling, focus group interviewing, thematic analysis of qualitative data, and statistical analysis of quantitative data.
  • Discuss and critically evaluate research methods applicable to the study of media and cultural production and reception, whilst identifying their strengths and shortcomings
  • Situate particular social research methods in relation to other research practices
  • Show through explanation and/or discussion the tensions that divide particular research methods and the benefits that can be derived from their combination.

Marketing Politics

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the marketing of politics by exploring and analysing election campaigns from a contemporary as well as an historical perspective.

A major focus is on appreciating and understanding the increasingly important role of advertising, public relations and market research techniques, approaches and personnel in attempts to win and maintain voter support for candidates vying for public office. This will be done through close analysis of developments in countries with some of the most high profile elections, notably the United States and United Kingdom.

The US hosts a large and globally influential industry of campaign consultants and their impact both at home and abroad will be reviewed and scrutinized. Here particular consideration will be devoted to the ethical and democratic consequences of the growing use of this kind of 'packaged politics'.

Online Research Methods and Media Analysis

The aims of this module are for you to develop a critical understanding of a range of online methods and textual media analysis research techniques, whilst also developing a comprehensive understanding of the difficulties and possibilities of doing research using traditional and digital media. You will discover how to apply this understanding in your own, independently-designed research.

Key Debates in Global Political Communications

The aim of this module is to introduce students to key debates and issues relating to contemporary political communication. Using current real-world examples of political communication drawn from a range of national contexts, and current regulations, reports and guidelines relating to current political communication, the module will allow students explore the challenges and problems faced by citizens, political actors and communications professionals in these contexts.

Dissertation in Global Political Communication /
Dissertation (Placement Experience)

Dissertation in Global Political Communication

The aim of this module is for you to develop employability and academic skills relevant to conducting an individual research project and to undertake a piece of research on a communication or cultural topic of your choice, in depth and with rigour. The final project should build on methodological skills developed in earlier projects.


Dissertation (Placement Experience)

The aim of this module is for you to develop employability, academic skills relevant to conducting an individual research project and to undertake a piece of research. The research topic will draw on an approved work experience placement, and will demonstrate the link between academic knowledge and skills, and professional activity. The final project should build on methodological skills developed in earlier projects.

Optional modules

Media and Modernity

The aim of this module is to develop a critical understanding of contemporary arguments and advanced research on the nature of modernity, the role of media and communications systems in its constitution, and the relations between social change, media and culture.

On completion of the module you should be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the major theories and concepts relevant to the understanding of modernity and the role of the media in modern developments. You will also be able to critically discuss competing arguments about modernity and mass communication.

Media & Cultural Industries: Political Economy & Public Policy

The aim of the module is to outline the major conceptual and empirical questions raised by work on the political economy of the cultural and media industries and on the sociology and anthropology of cultural and media production, to examine the changes that have taken place in the cultural and media industries under the impact of technological change and marketisation since the 1970s and to explore the questions these changes raise for public policy.

Digital Futures: Explorations in New Media

The aim of this module is to consider contemporary approaches to the economic, social, political and cultural impact of digital technologies. On completion of the module, you should be able to identify and deploy the major theories and frameworks of inquiry relevant to digital technology; evaluate critically the conceptual and methodological strengths and weaknesses of contending positions, and understand and apply the research methods relevant to the module topics.

Media and Cultural Work: Inequality and Discrimination in the Creative Industries

The aim of this module is to acquire an understanding of the major conceptual and empirical questions raised by research of media and cultural work; the changes that have taken place in media and media cultural work under the impact of technological change, marketisation and internationalisation since the 1970s; the extent and nature of inequalities and discrimination in media and cultural work.

Digital Economies

This module aims to examine the relationship between new social practices and old economic structures, whilst offering an introduction to the economic sociology of digital media. On completion of the module you should be able to critically discuss the socio-economic roles involved in the delivery/consumption of culture and media over the Internet and the ways in which these are changing in response to a mix of social, technological, and economic factors. You will also develop an understanding of the central theoretical perspectives of economic sociology as these relate to the contemporary Internet economy. Finally, you will have the ability to explain the relationships and tensions between old and new socio-economic practices and structures in the digital environment.

Digital Cultures

This module fosters students' ability to critically analyse current research and advanced scholarship about digital cultures. It familiarises students with major debates, theories and latest studies on issues, such as young people and digital media, social networking, identities, communities and relationships and online consumption.

Cultural Memory and the Heritage Industries

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the politics of cultural memory and cultural heritage in the modern period. The module examines debates around the temporal structures of modernity and the manner in which the past is used as a rhetorical and commercial resource in the cultural industries. The module will critically evaluate the rise of the heritage industries from national and global perspectives.

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework plus a dissertation of 10,000 words on an agreed topic.

How you'll study

Independent study
Group work
Practical sessions

Your personal and professional development

Loughborough University prides itself on the high calibre of graduates it produces, and provides great opportunities for students to develop the skills and attributes they need to progress successfully in their chosen careers.

Future career prospects

Employability is an important part of the curriculum across all of our MA programmes. All students will take taught employability sessions which cover finding employment in the media and cultural industries, finding placements, writing CVs and preparing covering letters.

In the second term students will take a Media Landscapes class as part of the dissertation module. In this class visiting speakers from across the media and creative industries will give guest lectures to students, providing insights into the sector and roles in which they work. This is also an excellent networking opportunity for keen students.

Your personal development

On successful completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • critically evaluate a range of academic and industry sources
  • communicate effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • deploy qualitative and quantitative research techniques
  • plan, organise and manage, with appropriate supervision, a significant self-directed project
  • work flexibly, creatively and independently, displayhing a high degree of self-direction and initiative
  • deploy your independent learning ability required for continuing professional development

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our academics

Our master's programmes in the Department of Social Sciences are delivered by an internationally renowned interdisciplinary team, through the use of contemporary case studies and research-informed applied teaching and learning.

Professor Dominic Wring

Professor of Political Communication

My primary research interest in political communication involves work on how different news media cover British politics particularly campaigns.