Postgraduate Programmes

MA in Social Media Communications

Programme overview

Degree Information

MA in Social Media Communications How are social media linked to the economy? What role do they play in politics? How different is a life lived in and through social media? This MA addresses these and similar questions that have emerged out of the rise and rise of social media, and their increasing domination of the media and communication field. The MA in Social Media Communications offers a critical examination of the history, operation, ramifications, functions, use and embeddedness of social media in all spheres of life. It is aimed at people who look for a critical reflection on social media, who wish to understand their uses, and also learn how to analyse and mobilize them strategically. The emphasis of the course is on a social scientific understanding and analysis of the emergence and functions of social media in a globalized networked society.

The course addresses the ways in which social media become involved in and change personal lives, habits and identities; social lives, the way in which we relate to and coexist with other people; the way in which we work and live our everyday lives; and political life, which changes as a result of the ongoing engagement with social media by politicians, journalists and publics. The main idea behind this programme is that social media leave nothing untouched, introducing changes, sometimes subtle sometimes more apparent, that must be mapped, studied and understood. Successful use of social media is premised on a deep understanding of their roles and functions and on the ability to analyse current and emerging practices and trends.

Aims and Objectives

  • To introduce students to theories, critical concepts and methods relating to social media
  • To investigate and relate institutional, technical and social factors shaping social media practices
  • To critically examine social media practices by a variety of actors, including politicians, businesses, journalists and publics
  • To learn the appropriate methods through which to analyse the impact of social media in politics, socio-cultural and economic life
  • To enable students to develop effective social media communicative strategies

Programme Structure and Content

The programme may be taken full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Students are required to attend lectures and seminars and will engage in individual as well as group-based learning activities. The programme consists of taught modules for two semesters followed by a dissertation (completed over the summer months). The MA modules provide students with up-to-date knowledge of social media processes, and their impact on a variety of areas, with an emphasis on communication and socio-political life. All students are required to take instruction in research methodologies which enables them to collect and analyse data from different social media. Students are required to conduct their own research and write a dissertation on a subject in the area of social media.



  • Understanding Social Media
  • Communication Theory and New Media
  • Research Methods
  • Best Practice in Social Media
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Dissertation


  • Digital Communication
  • Social Media, Journalism and Democracy
  • Online Journalism
  • Publication design
  • New Media Literacies
  • Media Innovation and Enterprise
  • Communications and Information in International Relations
  • Media Audiences and Consumption

Programme content is subject to review and amendment.

Why choose DCU

The DCU School of Communications has been the leading provider of taught courses in media communications in Ireland for almost three decades. The School pioneered the development of teaching in communications, journalism and multimedia and has developed a considerable knowledge base through original research and collaboration with other universities and networks worldwide. The School also has excellent working relations with media organisations throughout Ireland, which ensures that our programmes remain relevant and up-to-date.

Career prospects

Graduates of the programme can be confident of finding employment in a variety of media related industries, in communication-related roles in other industries, or of broadening their horizon and prospects in their existing career. The programme will have immediate relevance for those interested in updating their knowledge and skills; for those who seek further specialization in an increasingly important field of communication; and for those looking for a shift in their career towards a more social and communicative role. In addition, the MA in Social Media Communications offers an excellent route for further academic progression.

Further Information

Programme Chair: Dr Eugenia Siapera
Tel: +353 (0) 1 700 6119

Full Prospectus

Details such as module outlines, application processes and contact information available on the full prospectus for the MA in Social Media Communications .