School of Communications

MA in Political Communication

MA in Political Communications
Course Code:
DC631(Full Time), DC604(Part Time)
Course Type:
Postgraduate
NFQ Level:
9
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Part-Time
Duration
(FT - 1 Year), (PT - 2 years)
+353 (0) 1
The University has launched a new student application portal. For applications to this programme see the Make an Application section below.

Introduction

The MA in Political Communication examines the rapidly changing relationship between the media, politics and the public, and considers how their overlapping relations influence democracy and the distribution of power.

Why apply for DCU’s MA in Political Communication?

You should apply for this programme if you are interested in media coverage of politics, the role of spin, fake news, agenda-setting, public relations, political advertising and digital media. All taught modules combine political communication theory and practice. Students also prepare a dissertation as a piece of independent academic research in a political communication subject area of their choice.

Distinguishing features of DCU’s MA in Political Communication

  • You will work with leading research-active academics in the areas of political communication, political science and journalism studies.
  • You will also be exposed to a range of guest lecturers from national and international industry backgrounds.
  • You will work in taught modules that are 100% continuous assessment with assignments including ‘real-world’ projects.
  • You will prepare a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice in the area of political communication.
  • You will study on a MA programme with high employment rates in leading national and international workplaces.

Modules

Modules offered in 2020/21 include: Political Communication: Concepts and Issue; Media and Politics in Ireland; Social Media, Journalism & Democracy; Political Economy of the Media; Public Relations: Issues and Principles; Data Communication; Communicating Leadership; The Political Campaign; Media Audiences; Gender & Sexuality in Digital Culture; Research Methods.

Our Graduates

Graduates of the MA in Political Communication hold senior positions in the worlds of politics and public relations as well as in government, national and multinational companies, and the not-for profit sectors.

Our School

The School of Communications is an internationally-focused centre for excellence in teaching and research in media, communications and journalism. With a tradition stretching back to 1982 – and a long-established reputation as Ireland’s leading centre for communications – the School has been consistently ranked in the top 200 of almost 4,500 universities worldwide in the area of communications (QS World Rankings by Subject).

Programme Content and Structure

The MA in Political Communication examines the rapidly changing relationship between the media, politics and the public, and considers how their overlapping relations influence democracy and the distribution of power.

The Programme deals with major issues in the contemporary political communication arena including media coverage of politics, the role of spin, agenda-setting, public relations, political advertising and digital media.

Modules examine the impact of different political communication strategies on the political process, government policymaking and in the non-governmental area.

Participants are also exposed to the history of the media in Ireland and elsewhere.

Delivery

The full-time programme is delivered over a twelve-month academic year from mid-September in three parts: two twelve-week teaching semesters (mid-September to mid-December; late-January to late-April) consisting of five modules per semester; completion of a research dissertation for submission at the end of August.

The programme is also offered on a part-time basis over two academic years.

Timetable

Core modules in the two teaching semesters are timetabled from Monday to Thursday, generally between 4pm and 9pm.

Please note this is not an evening programme – attendance outside these core hours is occasionally required but prior notice is provided.

Modules 2020/21

Semester One: Political Communication: Concepts and Issue; Media and Politics in Ireland; Social Media, Journalism & Democracy; Political Economy of the Media; Research Methods.

Semester Two: Public Relations: Issues and Principles; Data Communication; Communicating Leadership; The Political Campaign; Dissertation Preparation; (One of Media Audiences or Gender & Sexuality in Digital Culture).

All taught modules combine political communication theory and practice. Students also prepare a dissertation as a piece of independent academic research in a political communication subject area of their choice.

View the current course structure

“It's young, gifted and on track. DCU gives students vital experience and skills to augment their academic studies and is instrumental in producing an exceptional calibre of graduate, primed and ready to face the future. They also perform better at interview." – The Sunday Times.

DCU is a young, dynamic and ambitious university with a distinctive mission to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation. Since admitting its first students in 1980, over 50,000 students have graduated from DCU and are now playing significant roles in enterprise and business globally. 

The School of Communications is an internationally-focused centre for excellence in teaching and research in media, communications and journalism. With a tradition stretching back to 1982 – and a long-established reputation as Ireland’s leading centre for communications – the School has been consistently ranked in the top 200 of almost 4,500 universities worldwide in the area of communications (QS World Rankings by Subject).

Graduates of the MA in Political Communication hold senior positions in the worlds of politics and public relations as well as in government, national and multinational companies, and the not-for profit sectors.

Graduates of the MA in Political Communication hold senior positions in the worlds of politics and public relations as well as in government, national and multinational companies, and the not-for profit sectors.

Our graduates are found in political, policy and media advisory roles in all the main political parties in Ireland – and in the European Parliament – and also work as senior officials in many government departments. They are also pursuing successful careers in leading public relations companies and across the not-for-profit and corporate sectors.

Examples of positions held by MA in Political Communication graduates include:

  • Analyst - LinkedIn
  • Director of Advocacy - Focus Ireland 
  • External Communications - Bank of Ireland
  • Director of News - Storyful
  • Senior Director - Fleishman-Hillard PR 
  • Senior Public Affairs Manager -Vodafone
  • Secretary-General – government department
  • Media Manager - Connaught Rugby
  • Head of Group Communications - Irish Life
  • Account Director - Murray Consultants
  • Account Director - Insight PR
  • Policy Officer - Department of Justice
  • Financial Education Manager - Competition Authority
  • Account Director - Wilson Hartnell PR
  • Managing Director - Montague PR
  • Policy Director - IBEC
  • Special Adviser - Government Minister
  • Head of Media - Sinn Fein
  • Chef de Cabinet - Fianna Fail
  • Press Officer - Labour Party
  • Head of Media - Fine Gael
  • Parliamentary Assistants with various TDs and Senators
  • Director of Communications - Garda Síochána
  • Press Officer - Department of Finance
  • Press Officer - Department of the Taoiseach
  • Head of Communications - University of Limerick
  • Broadcast Manager - Oireachtas TV
  • Head of Press - Law Society
  • Communications Officer - Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

Requirements

General Entry Requirements

For admission to the MA in Political Communication programme, successful applicants will have - 

  • A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, OR
  • Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.
  • International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.  More information about the English language requirements of DCU School of Communications can be found here.

 

Fees

Full time

EU Status Fee
€6,750
Non EU Fee
€15,000

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
€3,600 Per Annum
Non EU Fee Part time
€7,400 Per Annum

Next Steps

Make an Application

To apply for this programme

  • All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here.  Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.
  • Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.
  • A personal statement of 500-750 words (maximum) outlining:

  (i)  suitability for the programme (why you want to study political communication)

  (ii)  recent work and/or extra-curricular experience directly relevant to the MA Political Communication programme.

  (iii) the impact that you expect the programme will have on your future career

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 16th July 2021.
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 15th August 2021.

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Queries

Queries from EU applicants should be directed to postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie.

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to international.office@dcu.ie.

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2021.