MA International Relations and Global Communications

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply

Overview

This course is available to study online (part-time only) and on campus.

We live in a communications-saturated world where 24-hour news coverage, access to the internet and the use of social media have become the norm for millions of people. Global events are instantly reported by the news media, analysed and interpreted by them and millions of ordinary citizens. These developments challenge the traditionally secretive practices of international diplomacy and the ability of governments to control information whilst also creating powerful new tools for propaganda; they enhance the importance of cultural or ‘soft’ power in international relations and they have also transformed the nature of warfare.

This course is run by the Department of History, Politics and Philosophy in conjunction with the Department of Information and Communication.

This course is available to distance learning students via the internet (part-time only). Teaching and learning is tailored for distance-learning students and includes online discussion groups and tutorials.

Find out more about Postgraduate loans

Features and Benefits

Recent dissertation topics have included:

•Social media and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
•UK-EU relations in the Twitter-sphere
•Media discourse on the Ebola Crisis and International Aid in Africa
•Media coverage of the Somalian piracy issue
•US government use of social media against ISIS

Career Prospects

In combining the study of  international relations and global communications the programme reflects the changing world around us and is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the evolving world of work. Manchester's status as a major digital hub and the presence of organisations such as the BBC means that the communications courses, in particular, have strong links to the professional media which they draw on in the form of visiting speakers and visits to media organisations which allow students to gain real life insights into the world of the contemporary media. Students are also encouraged to attend external workshops, seminars, conferences and talent days to maximize networking and employability opportunities. 

The programme aims to provide the skills to progress to higher research programmes, and to offer opportunities for the acquisition of skills applicable to a range of roles in government, international political, social and economic organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), journalism and globally oriented businesses.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, or equivalent academic qualification. If you have a different background you may be admitted if you have proven experience in a relevant field.

Course details

This programme combines the study of contemporary international relations with that of key developments in global communications and ICTs. In so doing it adds an extra dimension to the study of international relations which provides graduates with deeper insights than those doing traditional MAs in International Relations. We will provide you with the knowledge, methods and techniques to effectively engage with and critically evaluate the interaction between these two areas of study.

 

Students on the part-time distance learning course will study the following units:

  • International Relations Theory 
  • Current Issues in Media and Communication 
  • Social Science Research Methods
  • Digital Living
  • The EU in Turmoil
  • Contemporary US Foreign Policy
  • Dissertation

You will decide which three units you want to study in year 1 and which three units you want to study in year 2. You will take the dissertation unit after you’ve completed the six taught units.

 

Students on the full-time campus course will study the following core units:

  • International Relations Theory 
  • Current Issues in Media and Communication 
  • Social Science Research Methods 
  • Dissertation

You will then choose three optional units, taking at least one from each subject area.

International Relations options include:

  • Contemporary US Foreign Policy 
  • The EU in Turmoil
  • The Policymaking Process and Comparative Public Policy
  • Disasters and Emergency Planning 

Global Communications options include:

  • Globalisation: Media, Culture and Consumption 
  • Digital Living
  • Online Journalism
  • Critical Discourse Analysis 
  • Intercultural Communication

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Current Issues in Media and Communication*

* Core unit for full-time and part-time course

This unit explores how digital media and communication, and especially the Internet and social media, affect society and politics. Digital media (and social media in particular) is fundamentally changing the terrain of politics, due to its widespread use, its reach and speed, and its function in the lives of civilian populations and states alike. You will be studying the field that is in the process of constant transformation. You will be reading academic work that is most recent, with current developments, most relevant to our lives today, and to lives of people across the globe.

International Relations and Global Communications Dissertation*

* Core unit for full-time and part-time course

The dissertation will involve extended independent research into a topic of your choice, with guidance and advice from the unit co-ordinator and from a dissertation supervisor chosen from appropriate members of staff. The subject matter can cover any issue within the field of contemporary International Relations and Global Communications but it must combine areas of study from both subject areas. Successful dissertations will be the product of detailed research, will identify and present a clear thesis, and will communicate a carefully constructed argument grounded in an appropriate methodology or conceptual apparatus. 

International Relations Theory*

* Core unit for full-time and part-time course

The unit will examine the development of International Relations theory throughout the twentieth century, looking in particular at the historically dominant traditions of realism, liberalism and Marxism. It will then go on to consider more contemporary theories such as feminism, post-colonialism, critical theory, and social-constructivism. The unit will have a particular focus on the epistemological and ontological debates that underpin the development of post-positivist approaches. 

Social Science Research Methods*

* Core unit for full-time and part-time course

This unit covers a broad range of social science research techniques. On completion you will have covered the most widely used research methods in social science and will have had a chance to apply both qualitative and quantitative analytic strategies to the examination of empirical data as well as preparing for your dissertation. 

Digital Living*

*Core unit for part-time course

The unit uses a range of thematic frameworks and draws on a broad spectrum of case studies of social and mobile media use in areas such as literacy, citizenship, community, culture, health and wellbeing, and everyday life. Topics include: digital identity from self to selfie; social media in health care, citizenship, family and community; digital engagement and disengagement; digital archives and memory; new cultures of readership; and cultural studies of digital technologies.

The EU in Turmoil*

*Core unit for part-time course

The unit examines both internal and external contexts of European integration. The content is divided into smaller thematic blocks designed to cover the following key topics: the structure of European integration (including institutional architecture, major treaties and decision-making structure), the policy portfolio of the European Union (internal and external policies). Among other things the unit evaluates how effectively the EU responds to such issues as global terrorism, climate change, financial crisis and immigration.

The optional units listed below are for the full-time campus course:

Contemporary US Foreign Policy*

*Core unit for part-time course

This unit examines two dimensions of contemporary US foreign policy. In the first half of the course we look at the process of policy-making and the roles of different actors and institutions, including the president, Congress, interest groups and the media. In the second half of the course we examine the output of that process in the shape of US foreign policy towards different parts of the world in the early 21st century.

Likely Optional Units

Intercultural Communication

This unit introduces concepts and issues in intercultural communication. The unit makes use of both established and in-house research, using approaches and analytical frameworks from pragmatics, discourse analysis and the ethnography of communication. You will reflect on how context may influence negotiation of meaning in a variety of cultural contexts. The unit equips you with a comprehensive set of tools for the analysis of intercultural communication from a language perspective and develops the resources needed to identify features of effective communication with people from diverse contexts. The unit prepares you for carrying out empirical research in the field of intercultural communication, critically evaluating empirical data and presenting research findings

Online Journalism

Online journalism featuring newsgathering, production and distribution, computer assisted reporting, user generated content, multimedia and interactivity, social media, web design and editing. This unit will develop skills in online design and production. In particular, it will develop students knowledge on: Web development including text, graphics, audio and video; principles of design and writing for the web; effective content management; harnessing the qualities and strengths of the online medium; online in context; overview of history and development of web technologies, online and social media; ownership and access including IPR; analysing online journalism; future technological developments.

Critical Discourse Analysis

The unit focuses on the relationship between language, power and ideology. It equips you to use a wide range of analytic techniques, and shows how these can be applied to political, institutional and other persuasive discourses addressing established areas of social conflict such as race, gender and politics. The unit adopts a problem-oriented perspective and encourages students to apply Critical Discourse Analysis approaches and techniques to current data from the immediate social context. It draws on texts from newspapers, television, advertising and other media with the aim of developing a critical perspective on the use of language in society.

The Policymaking Process and Comparative Public Policy

This unit  offers an introduction to the field of comparative public policy. The course material will  consider the aims and methods of comparative inquiry. It will  survey a range of theoretical approaches used to make sense of policy processes and outcomes and  it  will consider the  important issues confronting policymakers, with an eye to making sense of variation and convergence in states policies in these areas. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to consider how theories of policy-making fare in explaining real world outcomes and the degree to which comparison yields insights beyond what might be expected from single country studies. Students will be encouraged to consider how they could apply lessons from the case studies to future careers as policymakers.


Contemporary US Foreign Policy

This unit examines two dimensions of contemporary US foreign policy. In the first half of the course we look at the process of policy-making and the roles of different actors and institutions, including the president, Congress, interest groups and the media. In the second half of the course we examine the output of that process in the shape of US foreign policy towards different parts of the world in the early 21st century.

The EU in Turmoil

The unit examines both internal and external contexts of European integration. The content is divided into smaller thematic blocks designed to cover the following key topics: the structure of European integration (including institutional architecture, major treaties and decision-making structure), the policy portfolio of the European Union (internal and external policies). Among other things the unit evaluates how effectively the EU responds to such issues as global terrorism, climate change, financial crisis and immigration.

Disasters and Emergency Planning

The unit will explore in detail the Cycle of Emergency and Disaster Planning and management. This will include how governments, agencies, businesses and individuals can prepare for this type of situation, how they can mitigate the effects of emergencies and disasters and how they can recover from them. You will be able to identify and describe what is meant by disasters, hazards, emergencies,  vulnerability and risk. You will also be able to identify and describe the types of natural and non-natural disasters and emergencies and the implications for those on the areas in which they work. You will also be able to identify the different groups that may be vulnerable in this type of situation and develop plans to assist each of those groups and reduce the effects of the emergency situation on them.

Digital Living

The unit uses a range of thematic frameworks and draws on a broad spectrum of case studies of social and mobile media use in areas such as literacy, citizenship, community, culture, health and wellbeing, and everyday life. Topics include: digital identity from self to selfie; social media in health care, citizenship, family and community; digital engagement and disengagement; digital archives and memory; new cultures of readership; and cultural studies of digital technologies.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

Study
Assessment

Placements options

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a voluntary placement as part of this course. This will be with a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and we will help you to arrange this.

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

Our Department of History, Politics and Philosophy offers programmes of study alongside a thriving research culture, emphasising a student-centred approach to learning.

With interdisciplinary strengths in many areas, the department takes pride in its approach to research-led teaching and being able to provide opportunities for students to work with academics at the forefront of their disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £945 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £2,834 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £14,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £1612 per 20 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £4,834 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

The programme contains a voluntary work placement. This does not normally require attendance for more than half a day/week over a six-month period. The only cost involved will be travel and all placements are in Manchester.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Up to £10,609 available to students who live in England

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

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.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Office for Students is the principal regulator for the University. For further information about their role please visit the Office for Students website. You can find out more about our courses including our approach to timetabling, course structures and assessment and feedback on our website.

Top