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London School of Economics & Political Science
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MSc Politics and Communication

MSc Political Communication Home

Overview

This programme offers an intensive, year-long exploration of the relations between politics, media and communications. It aims to provide:

  • an advanced understanding of theoretical and applied knowledge in the intersecting fields of politics and communication research
  • the flexibility to pursue particular topics of interest in the fields of media, politics and communication, culminating in an independent research project in politics and communications
  • the opportunity to take courses taught in the Department of Government, as part of the programme options
  • an ideal preparation for research work and employment in media, politics, communication and related fields

We attract students from a diverse range of backgrounds, often including professional experience working in media and communications related fields. Indeed, the opportunity for cross-cultural meetings and exchange of ideas among the student body is a valuable feature of studying at LSE.

You should have at least an upper second class honours degree or its equivalent in a social science subject. We particularly welcome applications from those with professional experience in the media and communication fields and, in this case, we would accept a degree in other subjects. Exceptionally we may consider professional experience instead of a first degree.

For more details and entry requirements, please check on the School's graduate prospectus page.

Programme director 

Anstead

Dr Nick Anstead

Nick Anstead was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication in September 2010, with a focus on Political Communication. Prior to that, he had worked as a Lecturer in Politics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, after studying for a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London.

His research focuses on the relationship between existing political institutions and new media, covering such topics as: the impact of the Internet on politics and government, especially e-campaigning; electoral competition and political campaigns; the history and future development of political parties; political mobilisation and encouraging participation in civil society.

He also blogs at www.nickanstead.com/blog

LSE Experts
Publications

 
MaggieScammel2016

Dr Maggie Scammell

Maggie Scammell returns to LSE teaching as a Senior Visiting Lecturer. She first joined the LSE staff in 1999 and was the founder of the MSc Politics and Communications programme and its director for several years. Before that she was for five years a lecturer at the School of Politics and Communications at the University of Liverpool, and a Research Fellow at Joan Shorenstein Center for Press/Politics, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She took her PhD at the LSE, investigating the Thatcher government's use of marketing and public relations. Before joining the academy, she worked as a journalist for newspapers, magazines and television, writing and researching on a variety of subjects including general elections, gay politics and sport. 

 

Here are some suggested readings that will prove helpful to you in preparing for your arrival at LSE, and for finding out about courses you may be interested in taking.

Don't feel you have to read everything on the list - the intention is simply to give you an idea of the level and range of material covered.

Some of the books, are expensive: we don't expect you to buy them but you may find them in your library.

  • Allan, Stuart (2005) (ed) Journalism: Critical Issues, Berkshire: Open University Press
  • Bennett, Lance and R. Entman (2001) Mediated Politics. CUP
  • Cammaerts, B. and Carpentier, N. (eds.) (2007) Reclaiming the Media: Communication Rights and Democratic Media Roles. Bristol: Intellect
  • Coleman, S. and J. Blumer (2009). The Internet and Democratic Citizenship: Theory, Practice and Policy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Curran, James and Gurevitch, Michael (ed) (2005) Mass media and society, London: Arnold
  • Esser, Frank and Pfetsch, Barbara (2004) Comparing Political Communications, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Gunther, Richard and Anthony Mughan (2000) Democracy and the Media: A comparative perspective. CUP
  • Hallin, D. and P. Mancini (2003) Comparing Media Systems. CUP
  • Louw, Eric (2005) The Media and the Political Process, Sage
  • Matos, Carolina (2008) Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil, Lanham, New York and Plymouth, Lexington Books
  • McNair, Brian (2007) An Introduction to Political Communications, London: Routledge
  • Norris, Pippa (2000) A virtuous circle: political communications in postindustrial societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Scammell, M. and Semetko (eds.) (2000) Media, Journalism and Democracy. Ashgate
  • Shirky, C. (2008). Here Come Everybody: the Power of Organizing Without Organizations. London, Penguin Press.
  • Swanson,D. and P. Mancini (1996) Politics, Media and Modern Democracy.Praeger.
  • Voltmer, Katrin (2006) Mass Media and Political Communication in New Democracies. Routledge
  • Waisbord, Silvio (2000) Watchdog Journalism in South America: News, Accountability and Democracy, New York: Columbia

Information on graduate destinations can be found in the Media and Communications Department Alumni pages and the LSE Careers Media and Communications Department statistics pages.

For a more exhaustive list of our alumni, please refer to the MSc alumni pages.

BurkeChristian

Christian Burke

MSc in Politics and Communication, graduated in 2011
Senior Strategic Advisor & Executive Assistant, Ontario Public Service
 

After graduating from LSE in 2011 I returned to the Ontario Public Service and was offered the position of Senior Strategic Advisor and Executive Assistant to the Chief Inclusion & Accessibility Officer. As Senior Strategic Advisor to the Chief Officer I provide strategic policy advice on the implementation of the Inclusion Strategic Plan and the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan for the province of Ontario. I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the division, issues management and serve as the liaison with senior decision-makers across the OPS, including Minister’s, Deputy Ministers and the Secretary of the Cabinet.

I chose the Politics and Communication programme at the LSE because it bridged the gulf between public policy and communications. As a public service professional I find it difficult to pursue policy initiatives without thinking about the role of communication and media. Additionally, how citizens deliberate is a key function that government must consider. As such, developing a deep theoretical understanding of communications as it pertains to public policy and political engagement was the driving force behind my decision to pursue my degree. I specifically chose the LSE because of its international character and multi-disciplinary approach to education. I also felt that have a broad international perspective would nicely complement my undergraduate education from two Canadian universities.

 
SarahFreytagTraut

Sarah Freytag-Traut

MSc Politics and Communication, graduated in 2011
Account Executive, Weber Shandwick France

Before my MSc studies at LSE, I had a bachelors’ degree from London Metropolitan and a Higher National Diploma in Corporate Communications. During my Master’s degree at the LSE, I applied for a Blue Book Internship at the European Commission and ended up being selected to work as a speech writer for the Head of Representation of the European Commission in France. While I was finishing my internship at the European Commission, I applied for a second internship at Weber Shandwick France – the Paris office of the international PR agency – I started a 6-month internship and was offered a permanent job approximately mid-way through my internship.

I think LSE definitely helped me opened some doors but what really helped me get through my studies and get where I am today is hard work and passion. I’ve taken on a lot of responsibilities throughout the past 2.5 years and it was not always easy - moving from being the intern to maintaining trustful client relationships and providing them with sound advice is a big and constant learning curve! I chose LSE because of the School’s reputation, the content of my degree, which I thought would push my career in the right direction and the professors in the Media & Communications department; they are all very competent and experts in their fields. LSE offered me a unique studying and human experience. I always felt intellectually stimulated, assisted to great lectures, talks and made great friends. In short, I’ve never regretted studying there (or maybe just during exam time!).

 

 

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