MA in Strategic Communications
King's College London - Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
London, United Kingdom
1 - 2 year
Full time, Part time
GBP 27,996 / per year *
10 Mar 2024
Earliest start date
* UK students: £13,380 per year | International students: £27,996 per year
Strategic Communication is a term that has been used and abused in recent years. As an academic field, it is quite recent and has been explored mostly in the context of Marketing and Business. However, the concept is broader and represents an important tool for governments, agencies and institutions. In this programme, students will learn how states and their governments communicate in international politics and how they shape long-term strategies in a range of fields from military to diplomatic to aid and development. This includes preparing for conflict between states or with insurgent groups, communicating a path during hostilities, and transitioning through post-conflict situations.
It further analyses how states use diplomacy, culture and economics to manage the peace and avoid conflict, and to engage in treaty and trade negotiations. Students will also encounter crisis communications: how to shape strategic responses to natural disasters, terror attacks, and military invasions. To appreciate this complex field from multiple perspectives, students will further discover how insurgent and revolutionary movements think about and put into practice their communication strategies with populations and states.
These themes will be taught through a set of challenges that represent some of the most significant ones that strategic communicators will face in the coming decade. Along with subject matter expertise, students will develop transferable analytical, research, and practical skills in a dynamic and rigorous intellectual environment.
- Develop skills for in-depth analytical and critical thinking about international politics. Work with the latest, cutting-edge research in your field
- Contribute to a vibrant research community. Our world-renowned staff and international student body come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds
- Work with some of the world's best academics in your field. Our Department staff publish world-leading research and offer outstanding research-led teaching and training
- Grow your networks with employers, think tanks, organisations, and policymaking bodies in the UK and globally
- Enjoy living and studying right in the heart of London beside the River Thames
Strategic Communication (StratCom) is one of those expressions that became a sort of buzzword in the context of governments, military, NGOs, businesses, and companies. But what exactly does Strategic Communication mean? This Master's programme aims to explore in depth the polysemic meaning of StratCom, understanding its importance in the contemporary geopolitical context.
The course themes will be taught through a set of concrete situations that represent some of the most significant that strategic communicators will face in the coming decade. We aim to prepare them with theoretical, critical and practical skills that will be instrumental for a professional approach to communication at a strategic level.
These concrete situations will be subject to change from year to year because the programme will be constantly updating in connection to real-world issues in the context of communication. But students can expect theoretical and practical discussions on themes such as the genealogy of Strategic Communication; and similarities with and differences from political marketing, commercial marketing, branding, public relations, and propaganda.
The programme will cover topics such as the return of Great Power politics and the role of communication for the projection of their interests; communications in environmentalism and new social movements; future insurgency and revolution; the contemporary role of Big Data and micro-targeting; the dominance of the image and visual culture in reaching broader audiences; and the role of empathy and emotions in rhetoric.
Duration: One year full-time, September to September, two years part-time
Courses are divided into modules. You will take modules totalling 180 credits.
- Strategic Communications: Theory & Concepts (30 credits)
- Applied Strategic Communications (30 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits)
You are also required to take 60 credits from a wide range of optional modules that may typically include:
- Propaganda (15 credits)
- Power-Sharing Agreements in Deeply Divided Societies (15 credits)
- Cyber Security: Privacy, Ethics and Human Rights (15 credits)
- The United States and China (15 credits)
- The War on Terror: Anglo-American Foreign and Security Policy Since 9/11 (30 credits)
- Gender in International Politics and Security (15 credits)
- Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)
- Negotiation, Mediation and Dialogue (30 credits)
- Russia and the World (30 credits)
Please Note: The optional modules available change each year and are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.
King’s College London reviews the modules offered regularly to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, the modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.
Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place for all students who elect to study this module.
Program Tuition Fee
After completing the MA programme, students have joined the UK Cabinet Office as Strategic Communicators, have enjoyed internships at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, Riga, Latvia, and interned with and later been employed by communications companies in London. Students have also been employed in Strategic Communication teams at museums, NGOs, and other civilian and military governmental agencies.
This MA course equips students to think conceptually about Strategic Communications in the dynamic world of global affairs, and then how to apply particular practices and techniques to working in the field.