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
700 5082

NEW FOR 2023/24:

Please note as part of changes for 2023/24 (subject to University approval) this programme will include a guaranteed work placement to all students (part-time students in employment may opt for a reflective research project). New core modules in 2023/24 (subject to University approval) will include ‘Political Communications 2: Campaigns & Strategies’ and ‘Information, Manipulation and Democracy’.

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.
This programme will interest those looking to work in the wider communications sector – in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors – as well as those currently in employment who want to advance their existing careers.

You should apply for this programme if you are interested in media coverage of politics, the role of spin, fake news, disinformation, 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.

Why do this programme?

  • Work with leading research-active academics in the areas of political communication, political science and journalism studies.
  • Engage with a range of guest lecturers from national and international industry backgrounds.
  • All modules that are 100% continuous assessment with assignments including ‘real-world’ projects.
  • Undertake a supervised research dissertation on a topic of your choice in the area of political communication.
  • Complete an industry work placement with a leading organisation in the communication sector in Dublin (new for 2023/24).
  • Study on a MA programme with high employment rates in leading national and international workplaces.

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.

New for 2023/24:

Please note as part of changes for 2023/24 (subject to University approval) this programme will include a guaranteed work placement to all students (part-time students in employment may opt for a reflective research project). New core modules in 2023/24 (subject to University approval) will include ‘Political Communications 2: Campaigns & Strategies’ and ‘Information, Manipulation and Democracy’.

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 four/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 2022/23

(Please note this programme structure for 2023/24 will vary from the outline provided below) 
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.
 

The MA in Political Communication programme will interest to those looking to work in the wider communications sector – in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors – as well as those currently in employment who want to advance their existing careers.

Graduates of the programme currently 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.

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
€7,400
Non EU Fee
€16,000

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
€4,000 Per Annum
Non EU Fee Part time
€7,800 Per Annum

Next Steps

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 upload a CV under the "Supplemental Items & Documents" section.
  • 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 1st July 2023.
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2023.

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 internationalapplications@dcu.ie

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2023.