Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc

Communication, Behaviour and Credibility Analysis

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

This course has been designed with professionals in mind: in particular, professionals who need to be able to communicate effectively, and make critical judgements respecting the credibility of what their interlocutors are saying and displaying.

  • A particular focus on interpersonal communication: the reading of self and others, in respect to feelings and motivations as well as meaning(s), using one or more of the communication channels (face, voice, body, language, ANS).
  • The course is designed to be delivered in block weeks (to ensure a strong cohort identity for the group), and online classes (many of which are recorded so that you can work though them – and return to them – in your own time).
  • You will be trained to become a skillful researcher-practitioner. You will be encouraged to draw upon and share your own relevant professional experiences in each of the units; and to undertake a project, which has direct relevance to your profession/ career aims in the Research Project. 

About the course

Students entering the MSc with 60 credits of accredited prior learning (APL) typically take 20 months to complete the programme of study. They commence their studies in January. 

There is also the option of those entering the MSc with 60 credits to commence studies in September on a 12 month course. It should be noted, however, that this particular avenue is an intensive one, requiring students to be able to study almost full time.

Students entering the MSc with 90 credits of accredited prior learning (APL) typically take 12 months to complete the programme of study. They commence their studies in September.

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

On the part-time route from January, you study:

  • The Linguistics of Interpersonal Communication (20 credits)
  • Using Technology to 'read' People: The Possibilities and the Limitations (10 credits)

Full-time students will go straight into Year 2.

Core Units
The Linguistics of Interpersonal Communication

This unit explores the ways in which individuals exchange information, feelings, and meaning(s), with their interlocutors, using the verbal, non-verbal and/or written mode(s) of communication. Special emphasis is given to:

(i)                 assessing demeanour indicative of credibility and deception;

(ii)               the techniques of linguistic persuasion and manipulation;

(iii)             techniques associated with getting to the truth;

(iv)              the examination of ‘emergent phenomena’ in discourse (humour, faux pas, embarrassment, face threatening acts, etc.), and its impact upon interpersonal relations; and the potential shaping effects of culture

Using Technology to 'read' People: The Possibilities and the Limitations

This inter-disciplinary unit explores the different technologies that have been developed to measure emotion, and to detect indicators of credibility and deception.  You are given opportunities, throughout, to critically assess the validity of such technologies. You are also given 'hands on' experience of using – as a means of critiquing – some of the technologies when applied to different datasets.

Year 2

On successful completion of the above, part-time students can progress to the 'second year' of study. The 'second year' commences in September, and involves a Research Project (60 credits) and TWO options, chosen from the following:

  • The Psychology of Interpersonal Communication (15 credits)
  • The Sociology of Interpersonal Communication (15 credits)
  • Digital Interactions and Behaviour (15 credits)

If you enter the MSc with 90 credits of accredited prior learning (APL) it typically takes 12 months to complete the programme of study. You will commence your studies in September, and complete the course alongside the part-time students. 

The final research project is designed to develop your own independent and reflective approaches to learning. You will identify, plan and complete a scholarly research project relating to communication, behavioural and credibility analysis, from first ideas through to proof-reading and presentation.

The options offer the opportunity to explore interpersonal communication from a social psychological and/or linguistic perspective, with emphasis on emotion, influence, and credibility; to study communication behaviours and interactions in relation to self and society; and to study information seeking and digital interactions along with our intentions and motivations. 

Core Units
Research Project

The overarching aim of this unit is to facilitate the development of an independent, proactive and reflective approach to learning. This is achieved by testing students’ proficiency in identifying, planning and completing a scholarly research project relating to communication, behavioural and credibility analysis, from first ideas through to proof-reading and presentation. More specifically, students must demonstrate an ability to: 

  • Formulate a detailed research proposal. 
  • Match appropriate research method(s) to research aim(s). 
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of current problems and issues in the practice and theory of the related subject discipline(s). 
  • Identify a range of strategies for data collection and analysis. 
  • Use/evaluate the research methods adopted in the process of knowledge creation. 
  • Conduct a sustained critical argument with precision, originality and thoroughness, and articulate advanced ideas in clear written form. 
  • Present/critique their findings (against current research findings), in ways that adhere to scholarly conventions/satisfy the standards expected of publicly distributed scholarly documents. 
  • Critically reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of their project, and the skills developed, and refine their own research practice in discussion with others. 
Likely Optional Units
Digital Interactions and Behaviour

This unit provides a critical exploration of contemporary research on the effect of digital communication technologies on our lives, and introduces the theoretical frameworks and practices for understanding our interactions and assessment, motivations and engagement with digital information in multifarious mediated contexts. 

The Psychology of Interpersonal Communication

This unit explores the psychology of interpersonal communication from a social psychological perspective. Interpersonal communication refers to reading self and others, in respect to feelings and motivations as well as meaning(s), using one or more of the communication channels (face, voice, body, language, ANS). Special emphasis is given to: 

  • Assessing demeanour indicative of credibility and deception 
  • Understanding emotions in self and others. 
  • The psychology of influence. 
The Sociology of Interpersonal Communication

This inter-disciplinary unit explores the sociology of interpersonal communication across a variety of formal and informal settings. Interpersonal communication captures the exchange of information, feelings, and meaning(s) between two or more people, which makes use of the verbal, non-verbal and/or written mode(s) of communication. The unit draws upon the sociology of social interaction, sociology of emotions, and sociological psychology. 

Special emphasis is given to: 

  • Examining the rules of social interaction 
  • Assessing performances of self 
  • Examining ‘spoiled’ performances of self 
  • Interpreting formal and informal meaning within social interaction 
  • Exploring the role of socialisation upon social identity 
  • Assessing the importance of setting within social interaction 
  • Examining the influence of culture upon social interaction 

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

This course is assessed through coursework. 

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/infocomms/staff/

Typical entry requirements

The MSc has been specifically designed to admit students who have previously completed a postgraduate certificate or diploma (up to a maximum of 90 credits) in related programmes on human communication and emotional intelligence, and where accredited prior learning can be demonstrated. Typical examples of relevant accredited prior learning (APL) include the courses offered by the EIA group.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for full- and part-time taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Career options after the course

This programme is designed, primarily, for those career specialists who want to engage in life-long learning in a way that benefits their chosen career paths. In many professions knowledge of interpersonal, linguistic, and other communicative behaviour are recognised to be essential in evaluating and communicating in multifarious formats (including digital).  Professionals who are likely to be attracted to the course will have a diverse range of backgrounds in academia, business, coaching, counselling, digital publishing (and web design), human resources, intelligence, investment, law enforcement, library and information, management, medicine, negotiation, security, sales, sport and social services.

On successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to: 

  • apply skills of critical analysis to real world situations within a defined range of contexts; 
  • demonstrate a high degree of professionalism characterised by initiative, creativity, motivation and self-management; 
  • express ideas effectively and communicate information appropriately and accurately using a range of media including ICT
  • develop working relationships using teamwork and leadership skills, recognising and respecting different perspectives; 
  • manage their professional development reflecting on progress and taking appropriate action; 
  • find, evaluate, synthesise and use information from a variety of sources; 
  • articulate an awareness of the social and community contexts within their disciplinary field.

Course Enquiries

For general enquiries, entry requirements, fees, accommodation and more, please contact the course enquiries team.

Questions about the course content can be directed to, postgradcbca@mmu.ac.uk.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.