Courses at DCU
School of Communications

MA in Political Communication

PAC Code:
DC631(Full Time), DC604(Part Time)
Course Type:
Postgraduate
NFQ Level:
9
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Part-Time
Minimum Points:
Duration
(FT - 1 Year), (PT - 2 years)
+353 (0) 1
700 5082

We are happy to announce that we will be delivering this programme as a blended online/in-classroom experience in 2020-2021. See further details under the Programme Tab.

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).

This programme is being offered as a blended online/in-classroom experience for the 2020-2021 academic year. Most lectures will be delivered in on-campus classrooms equipped with live-streaming technology or via the Zoom video platform. These will be supplemented with online discussions and on-campus small group seminars, as well as individual and group assignments. Teaching will be facilitated through DCU’s online learning environment, LOOP, the Zoom video platform, and other tools.

In order to join the programme, students are required to either be on campus or be able to participate remotely via online means, and all students must have access to a desktop or laptop computer and a reliable internet connection. Prospective students may avail of the blended offering from the beginning, or alternatively have the option to begin their study in Semester 1 through online engagement and, pending the lifting of health, travel and visa restrictions, join activities on campus in Semester 2, or continue to access classes online if necessary.

Subject to public health advice, should the restrictions around on-campus delivery of teaching change, some components of the programme could take place entirely online or in a mixed mode combining in-class and online engagement. However, students who are unable to join on-campus activity will be able to complete their degree fully online.

The blended programme is delivered by the same high quality and experienced staff who traditionally delivered on campus. Lecturers will provide feedback on your assignments and you will have access to staff via email or Zoom video calls to discuss your work.

The above conditions are subject to government and public health advice with regard to restrictions and social distancing measures and may be modified or adapted as the situation changes.

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 for Full-time, Year 1

View the current course structure for Part-time, Year 1

View the current course structure for Part-time, Year 2

This information is provisional & subject to change.

Explanation of Terms/Frequently Asked Questions

“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

Fees

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.

 

Make an Application

To apply for this programme

All applicants should apply through www.pac.ie

Search for course code DC631 for Full-Time or DC604 for Part-Time.

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 include your CV.

 If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml.

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 17th July 2020.
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 23rd August 2020.

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

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 October 2020.