MSc Media, Communication and Development

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Media and Communications
  • Application code P3U2
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • UK/EU part-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Overseas part-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MSc Media, Communication and Development offers an intensive, year-long exploration of a wide range of contemporary issues in media, communications and development.

The main aim of the programme is to offer an advanced interdisciplinary education and training in contemporary theory and research in the field of media, communication and development, and their application in the Global South, with a particular emphasis on low income country contexts.

The programme will enable you to critically examine the intersection of the fields of media and communications and development research. You will develop an understanding of a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of development, media and communication. The programme will provide you with research training, which will prove valuable if you wish to go on to pursue MPhil/PhD research in the media, communication and development field, and will prepare you for work in a variety of media, communication and development related careers.

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Media and Communication and Development
Start date 28 September 2020
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2018 270
Intake 2018 36
Tuition fee UK/EU: £22,608
Overseas: £22,608
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement 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
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.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Media, Communication and Development

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.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

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)
- statement of academic purpose
- 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. 

Personal statement requirements

Write a short personal statement (up to 800 words) about why you want to do the programme. This might cover, for example, what suits you to the programme: your experiences and skills in relation to social justice, development or communication; what attracts you to this particular programme and where you see yourself in ten years after the programme.

Also answer the following questions (your answers should be approximately 250 words each)*:

  • explain what media, communication and development means to you
  • how will studying theory help you to understand development and communication practice?
  • why do you think we need to be critical of aspects of contemporary communication and development?

*The total length of your personal statement, including the answers to the above questions, should therefore be between 1,000-1,500 words.

Programme structure and courses

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

(* denotes half unit) 

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.

Critical Approaches to Media, Communication and Development*
Addresses the history of and tensions between 'media for development' and 'communication for development', while challenging mainstream perspectives on the role of media and communication in low income countries.

Methods of Research in Media and Communications (including Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis)*
Aims to provide you with a general training in research methods and techniques including research design and the collection, analysis and interpretation of data.

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

Courses to the value of one and a half units from a range of options. 

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

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.

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 dissertations supported by staff supervision. 

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 mentor, 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 mentor.

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.


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 summatively assessed by written examinations (seen and unseen), research assignments, essays and the dissertation, which must be submitted in August. 

Academic support

You will be assigned an academic mentor 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.


On graduating, our students enter a variety of careers in the UK and abroad, including NGO communications, 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

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.

Preliminary reading

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.

Most of these books are available in the library and we do not expect you to buy these.

  • Artz, L. and Kamalipour, Y. (eds.) (2003) The Globalisation of Corporate Media Hegemony, Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Baaz, M. E. 2005. The Paternalism of Partnership: A Postcolonial Reading of Identity and Development Aid. London and New York, Zed Books
  • Bailey, O., Cammaerts, B. and Carpentier, N. (2007) Understanding Alternative Media, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Banaji, S. (ed.) (2010) South Asian Media Cultures: Representations, Audiences, Contexts, London and New York: Anthem Press.
  • Comaroff, J. and J. L. Comaroff (2012). Theory from the south, or, how Euro-America is evolving toward Africa. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
  • Downing, J., with Ford, T. V., Gil, G. and Stein, L. (2001) Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements, London: Sage.
  • Eagleton, T. (1991) Ideology: An Introduction, London: Verso.
  • Escobar, A. (1995) Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  • Fanon, F (1965) A Dying Colonialism, New York: Grove Press. 
  • Freire, P (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed, London: Penguin Books.
  • Galeano, E. 1973. Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. New York and London: Monthly Review Press.
  • Guijt, Irene, and Meera Kaul Shah, eds. 1998. The Myth of Community: Gender Issues in Participatory Development. London, UK: Intermediate Technology Publications.
  • Hall, S. (ed.) (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifiying Practices, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.  
  • Hemer, O and Tufte, T (2003) Media and Glocal Change: Rethinking Communication for Development, Gšteborg and Buenos Aires: NORDICOM and CLASCO.
  • Hickey, S and Mohan, G. 2004. Participation: From Tyranny to Transformation? Exploring New Approaches to Participation in Development, London and New York: ZED Books.
  • Kapoor, I. (2008). The Postcolonial Politics of Development. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Lukes, S. (1974/2005) Power: A Radical View, London: British Sociological Association.
  • Manyozo, L (2011) Engaging Communities Using Radio: Sustainable Development in Africa, Penang, Malasia: Southbound.
  • Manyozo, L. (2012). Media, Communication and Development: Three Approaches. London: Sage.
  • Melkote, S. R. and Steeves, H. L. (2001) Communication for Development in the Third World: Theory and Practice for Empowerment, 2nd Edition. London: Sage.
  • Mody, B. (ed.) (2003) International and Development Communication: A 21st Century Perspective, 2nd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Mohanty, C. et al. (eds.) (1990) Third world women and the politics of feminism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Nyamnjoh, F. B. (2005). Africa's media, democracy and the politics of belonging, London: Zed Books.
  • Roy, S. (2005) Globalisation, ICT and Developing Nations: Challenges in the Information Age, New Delhi: Sage.
  • Quebral, N (1988) Development communication, Laguna: UPLB College of Agriculture.
  • Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. London: Penguin
  • Servaes, J (Ed.) (2008) Communication for Development and Social Change, New Delhi, Thousand Oaks, London and Singapore: Sage.
  • Wieringa, S. and Sivori, S. (eds) (2014) The Sexual History of the Global South: Sexual Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America. London: Zed Books..
  • Wilkins, K. G. (ed.) (2000) Redeveloping Communication for Social Change: Theory, Practice and Power, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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 2020/21 for MSc Media, Communication and Development

UK/EU students: £22,608
Overseas students £22,608

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.

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.

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 £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate 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: 27 April 2020.

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. 

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

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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