Programmes

MSc Politics and Communication

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Media and Communications
  • Application code P4UA
  • Starting 2018

MSc Politics and Communication offers an intensive, year-long exploration of the relations between politics, media and communications.

It aims to give you an advanced understanding of theoretical and applied knowledge in the intersecting fields of politics and communication research. It provides you with 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 programme is ideal preparation for research work and employment in media, politics, communication and related fields.

You will study compulsory courses in Political Communication, Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications, Methods of Research in Media and Communications and Democracy and the Media, and optional courses to the value of one unit. You will also have the opportunity to take courses taught in the Department of Government, in addition to those within your Department.

We attract students from a diverse range of backgrounds, often including those with professional experience of working in media and communications-related fields, offering the opportunity to network and exchange ideas.

Programme details

Key facts

 
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2016 223
Intake 2016 29
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £20,904
Overseas: £20,904
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 26 April 2018)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in social science. Applicants welcome from those with professional experience in the media and communications sectors
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

You take one course on media and communications theories and concepts, a course in research methods, a political communication course and a course on democracy and the media. You will then choose courses from a range of options within the Department and across other relevant departments, such as law and management. In addition, you will submit a dissertation of 12,000 words. 

(*denotes half unit) 

Political Communication*
Examines the relationship between the mass media and political processes.

Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications I (Key concepts and interdisciplinary approaches)*
Addresses key theoretical and conceptual issues in the study of media and communications, within a broadly interdisciplinary social science perspective.

Methods of Research in Media and Communications (including Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis)*
Provides a general training in research methods and techniques.

Democracy and the Media*
Examines the links between the media and democracy in theory and practice.

Dissertation and independent research project of 12,000 words on an approved topic of your choice. 

You will choose courses to the value of one unit from a range of options. 

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Part-time students

Part-time students will normally take and be examined in courses to the value of two units in each year of study. In the first year, these two units, selected in discussion with your academic adviser, will usually include the compulsory theoretical course(s) and one or more option course(s). The methods course(s) and the dissertation are then usually taken in the second year, together with the remaining option course(s). You may be permitted to vary the courses to be taken in each year with the approval of your academic adviser. 

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. 

You will be assessed by written examinations, research assignments, essays and the dissertation, which must be submitted in August. Formal classroom teaching is usually completed by the end of the Lent term. Coursework is usually submitted in January and May, and examinations are generally held in May and June. The remaining months are set aside for you to complete the dissertation, supported by staff supervision. 

An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will be assigned an academic adviser within the Department who will be available to discuss your personal and academic concerns. 

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Careers

On graduating, our students enter a variety of careers in the UK and abroad, including broadcasting, journalism, advertising, new media industries, political marketing, market research, regulation and policy, media management and research in both the public and private sectors.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Kara Dunford

Quincy, Massachusetts

Kara_Dunford_170x230

I was particularly attracted to the in-depth examination of theory behind the world of political communication offered by the MSc Politics and Communication. With a faculty boasting research on just about everything from civic engagements to protest movements to children and the internet, I’ve also gained a diverse perspective of the field. The department are really interested in the development of their students, in particular by encouraging each one of us to pursue personal research interests in our coursework. For my programme, it has been amazing to be at the centre of media, politics, and power and to take advantage of the plethora of opportunities this affords me.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Christian Burke

MSc in Politics and Communication, 2011

 BurkeChristian170x230

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.

Sarah Freytag-Traut

MSc Politics and Communication, 2011

SarahFreytagTraut170X230

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 Department of Media & Communications ; they are all very competent and experts in their fields. LSE offered me a unique studying and human experience. I always felt intellectually stimulated, heard great lectures and talks, and made great friends. In short, I’ve never regretted studying there (or maybe just during exam time!) 

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Politics and Communication

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in social science, or degree in another field with professional experience in the media and communications field. Exceptionally, professional experience alone.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MSc Politics and Communication

UK/EU students: £20,904
Overseas students: £20,904

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. 

However any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a Home (UK/EU) or Overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Please refer to the Fees Office website for further information.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to gradaute students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities

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