16 What are the differences among the MSc programmes?
All of our programmes offer a multi-disciplinary and theoretically-oriented approach to media as well as a broad social science foundation in research skills, while allowing students to take a specialist degree according to their interests.
All programmes include the compulsory courses, Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications (either as a full or as a half unit) and Methods of Research in Media and Communications. Additionally, each programme offers a distinctive range of optional and compulsory courses to allow for a greater specialisation in either globalisation, new media, politics, development or regulation. For the course lists for each programme check the individual programme pages from the Graduate Prospectus. They are distinguished as follows:
MSc Media, Communication and Development: The main aim of this programme is to offer an advanced interdisciplinary education and training in contemporary theory and research in the field of media and its application in low income country contexts and provides an opportunity to critically examine the intersection of the fields of media and communications and development research.
MSc Media and Communications: A broad-based understanding of the development and forms of media systems in relation to political economy and power, production and organisation, processes of mediation and influence, communication content and audience response. This programme offers the greatest flexibility of course choices in and outside the department.
MSc Global Media and Communications: Two year Dual Degree with University of Southern California or Fudan University. This programme offers a critical exploration of mediation in the global context, examining processes of globalisation in relation to organisation, production, consumption and representation in media and communications. It is a preparation for high level employment in media and communications related professions anywhere in the world. It offers the opportunity for internships in Los Angeles or Shanghai.
MSc Politics and Communication: This programme offers an intensive, year long exploration of the relations between politics, media and communications. It provides an advanced understanding of the theoretical and applied knowledge in the intersecting fields of politics and communication research as well as an ideal preparation for research work and employment in these fields.
MSc Strategic Communications. The main aim of this programme is to offer an advanced theoretical and applied understanding of the ways in which communication by organisations and institutions shapes our understandings of the world and our place within it. The programme provides an opportunity to critically examine the ways in which organisations use all kinds of communication as strategic tools to engage with audiences in a globalised and digitised landscape. The impact of strategic communication on society and culture is a key focus, as is the effect it has on different dimensions of inclusion and exclusion at a local, national and global level.
For the specific core and optional courses available on each programme, check our Study pages.
17 What is the difference between an MSc and its research track?
The Research Track provides students with advanced research training, enhancing their methodological and statistical skills. These programmes are particularly recommended for those who may wish to continue to PhD study or a research-oriented career.
18 Can I study a programme part-time?
All programmes, except the MSc Global Media and Communications, can be studied part-time. Full-time programmes run for 12 months, part-time programmes for 24 months. Please note, however, that part-time students must attend courses timetabled during the day and that evening classes are not available.
19 Are your Handbooks available online?
Yes, you read the MSc Student Handbooks online.
20 Are there any preliminary readings I am expected to do before the beginning of my programme?
Although not required, it may be a good idea to undertake some reading to prepare for the MSc programmes, although none are compulsory.
21 Why are statistics and methodology courses compulsory for all programmes?
It is the aim of all our programmes to provide students with a robust social science background in research methodologies which includes quantitative as well as qualitative approaches. We consider this to be an essential requirement for overcoming the gap between theory and social research and a prerequisite for the conduct of the students' dissertations. Furthermore, it provides our students with the necessary critical and analytical skills that are highly rated by the media industries and research groups in both public and private sectors.
22 How is the academic year structured?
The academic year at LSE is made up of three terms, Michaelmas (October - December), Lent (January - March) and Summer (April - June). All teaching takes place in the Michaelmas and Lent terms.
At the beginning of the Summer Term, there will be revision classes for some courses, followed by examinations in May/June. Dissertations are supervised intensively during the Summer Term and are written up over the summer vacation in time for submission in mid/late August.
Students are required to be in London during term-time, but not during vacations, and many students return home to write up their dissertations. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that hard copies of your dissertation arrive at LSE on or before the submission deadline.
23 Will I be assigned an Academic Mentor?
At the start of the term all students will be assigned an Academic Mentor who is a member of the staff of the department. Academic Mentors take a personal interest in the student's welfare as well as in their academic studies and progress. The onus is on you to make arrangements to see your Academic Mentor and you should aim to do so at least twice each term, or more frequently if you are having particular difficulties. Students should regard their Academic Mentor as the first port of call in relation to both academic and welfare matters.
Early in the Lent Term, after submission of the first dissertation plan, each student will be allocated a Dissertation Supervisor. From that point onwards, your Dissertation Supervisor will take over the role of Academic Mentor.
24 When will my examinations take place?
All MSc examinations with the Department of Media and Communications take place in May/June. The timetable is published to departments and on the LSE website at the end of the Lent term in each year. Many students who wish to depart London, or book flights home ask for this timetable much earlier in the year. Please note that the Examinations Office, which timetables each department's exams, is not able to start work on the exam timetable until after students' final course choices are established in January of each year. Timetabling examinations for the whole School is a complex undertaking and you will therefore appreciate that it is impossible to produce final dates any earlier. Students should therefore avoid booking any flights at all during the examination period.
25 What are the links with the University of Southern California, Fudan University and the University of Cape Town, as far as the MSc in Global Media and Communications is concerned?
The MSc Global Media and Communications is a two-year programme. The first year of studies takes place in London, LSE, whereas for their second year applicants can choose to continue their studies in either The Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles, Fudan Journalism School in Shanghai or The Centre for Film and Media Studies in Cape Town. On completion of their studies, students will have obtained both an MSc from LSE and an MA from either the Annenberg School of Communication Fudan University or the University of Cape Town. For more information on the programme and the schools, please check MSc/MA Global Media and Communications.