Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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Loughborough University

Programme Specifications

Programme Specification

MA Strategic Communication

Academic Year: 2020/21

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if full advantage is taken of the learning opportunities that are provided.

This specification applies to delivery of the programme in the Academic Year indicated above. Prospective students reviewing this information for a later year of study should be aware that these details are subject to change as outlined in our Terms and Conditions of Study.

This specification should be read in conjunction with:

  • Summary
  • Aims
  • Learning outcomes
  • Structure
  • Progression & weighting

Programme summary

Awarding body/institution Loughborough University
Teaching institution (if different) N/A
Owning school/department School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Details of accreditation by a professional/statutory body


Final award MA
Programme title Strategic Communication (CXPT54)
Programme code CXPT54 (FT)
Length of programme 1 year full-time
UCAS code N/A
Admissions criteria

MA - http://www.lboro.ac.uk/SSPT54

Date at which the programme specification was published Tue, 04 Aug 2020 16:11:45 BST

1. Programme Aims

  • To enable students to gain a systematic and critical awareness of current issues and debates in strategic communication and related disciplines; 
  • To develop students’ skills and competencies in a comprehensive range of research methods and techniques relevant to the investigation of strategic communication and related disciplines; 
  • To enable students to interpret, evaluate and apply advanced knowledge in the discipline in an innovative way; 
  • To prepare students for employment in diverse professional environments through a combination of independent work and industry exposure; 
  • To foster students’ ability to critically analyse current research and advanced scholarship about strategic communication in relation to a range of corporate and non-corporate organisations; 
  • To foster students’ ability to critically analyse current research and advanced scholarship about communication strategies in relation to particular places and controversial issues.

2. Relevant subject benchmark statements and other external reference points used to inform programme outcomes:

  • UK Quality Code for Higher Education, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Part A: Setting and Maintaining Academic Standards, especially: 
    • The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies, QAA, October 2014
    • Master’s Degree Characteristics Statement, QAA, September 2015
    • Higher Education Credit Framework for England, QAA, August 2008 
  • UK Quality Code for Higher Education, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Part B: Assuring and Enhancing Academic Quality
  • Subject Benchmark Statement for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, QAA, October 2016

3. Programme Learning Outcomes

3.1 Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of:

K1        The major traditions, theories and frameworks of inquiry relevant to the analysis of strategic communication and associated disciplines;

K2        The historical expansion of communication media, the institutionalisation of media systems, various audiences’ use of the media, and the implications of digital media for socio-economic and cultural life;

K3        The range of relevant research methods employed in the analysis of media, communication and culture;

K4        The major arguments and issues in contemporary debates about the strategic use of communication by a range of social, economic and political actors;

K5        The relationships and tensions between old and new socio-economic practices and structures in the global, digital environment.

3.2 Skills and other attributes

a. Subject-specific cognitive skills:

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

C1        Independently organise, classify and critically evaluate information gathered in the course of their projects and assignments; 

C2        Use advanced concepts and theories drawn from the field of strategic communication and related disciplines to analyse relevant empirical evidence; 

C3        Critically reflect upon their research and the issues that it raises, drawing on insights from the field of strategic communication and related disciplines; 

C4        Analyse and interpret communication practices by actors and organisations in and across a range of socio-economic and cultural environments.

b. Subject-specific practical skills:

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

P1        Engage with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field of strategic communication and related disciplines, productively employing the insights gained in their own work; 

P2        Demonstrate their capacity to develop appropriate research strategies to address the issues they have selected for sustained investigation in self-chosen projects; 

P3        Analyse new and emerging trends and interrogate both common sense understanding and received wisdom in relevant areas of inquiry;

P4        Generate research data according to set procedures and methods within the discipline of media, communication and cultural studies.

c. Key transferable skills:

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

T1        Critically evaluate a range of academic and industry sources; 

T2        Communicate effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences, both working independently and as part of a group; 

T3        Employ qualitative and quantitative research techniques; 

T4        Plan, organise and manage, with appropriate supervision, a significant self-directed project; 

T5        Work flexibly, creatively and independently, displaying a high degree of self-direction and initiative; 

T6        Demonstrate skills and abilities learned in relation to their own continuing professional development.

4. Programme structure



COMPULSORY MODULES (Total modular weight 120)


  Module title

Modular Weight



Understanding Modern Media




Introduction to Strategic Communication




Researching Communication 2: Texts and Digital Platforms




Researching Communication 1: Media Users and Cultural Institutions




Key Debates in Strategic Communication




Dissertation in Strategic Communication




MA students must also attend SSA306, a media landscapes module. 


OPTIONAL MODULES (combined modular weight 60)

One optional module must come from semester 1 and three must come from semester 2.                                                  


  Module title

Modular Weight



Media & Cultural Industries: Political Economy & Public Policy




The Politics of Representation




Social Media and Political Communication




Data, Power and Democracy




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




Digital Economies




Digital Cultures




Marketing Politics






5. Criteria for Progression and Degree Award

In order to be eligible for the award, candidates must not only satisfy the requirements of Regulation XXI but are also required to obtain the following:

(i) PGCert – 60 credits from modules other than CXP394.

(ii) PGDip – 100 credits from modules other than CXP394 and not less than 40% in remaining modules.

(iii) MSc – 150 credits and not less than 40% in the remaining modules.

With the exclusion of module CXP394 (Dissertation), provision will be made for candidates who have the right of re-assessment to undergo re-assessment in the University's Special Assessment Period (SAP).

6. Relative Weighting of Parts of the Programme for the Purposes of Final Degree Classification

This section relates to UG degrees only.

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