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Communication and Media

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Master of Research

A Master of Research (MRes) is a research-based postgraduate degree awarded in any academic discipline that offers research training.

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Course overview

The Communication and Media MRes allows you to undertake a one year full-time or two year part-time research project in Communication and Media. You will receive training in research skills and supervision from one or more academic specialists in their subject area.

Introduction

The programme provides excellent preparation for you if you’re intending to undertake a PhD in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, but is also a good choice if you wish to pursue a research project for purposes of professional development or personal interest.

You will become part of a community of active researchers conducting interdisciplinary research on topics including: digital and social media; political communication and journalism; media history and theory; film and screen; strategic communication; cultural studies and cultural anthropology; photography; computer games; television and magazines; global entertainment, and global events. As a research student you will be encouraged to pursue your own research interests in collaboration with an academic supervisor.

Who is this course for?

This programme is designed for those considering careers in, for example, media, journalism, publishing and management.

What you'll learn

  • Develop independent research skills
  • Expertise gained through close one-to-one engagement with a research specialist
  • The ability to draw on and critically evaluate a range of appropriate research resources to an advanced level
  • Knowledge developed as part of an interdisciplinary teaching and research environment

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

You will take ONE only of the following modules: COMM747, COMM523, COMM760, COMM749, COMM742, or COMM755. This will be determined by your research proposal and you will be allocated the module most appropriate to your subject of study.

Compulsory modules

Research Resources (COMM701)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Research Resources is a preparatory module that allows students to develop a body of research materials relevant to their dissertation project. With guidance from the supervisor(s), students will identify the key primary and secondary sources that will inform their work. They will develop detailed knowledge of the existing scholarship and debates in their field, while also beginning to identify the contribution that will be made by their own work. 

By the end of the module, students will have produced a detailed critical bibliography of key primary and secondary sources that will provide the critical foundation for your dissertation project.

Optional modules

Research Methods in Media & Politics (COMM747)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation research. It begins by introducing them to the fundamental aspects of research in the field of media and communication studies, looking at how to find and critique existing knowledge in the field, research project design, and ethical considerations.

Students will then be introduced to a number of approaches in the field of political communication research such as media content analysis, frame analysis, survey design, interview techniques, focus group research, as well as the basics of statistical data analysis and data visualisation. By the end of the module, students will be in a position to present and submit their own dissertation proposals.

Research Methods for Strategic Communication (COMM523)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module gives MSc Strategic Communication students the set of methodological concepts and skills necessary for undertaking scientific research in the field of communication sciences, with special attention to the analysis and evaluation of strategic communication. The module is intended to prepare students for the dissertation and to support them in the different research projects and activities undertaken during the academic year.

Researching Culture and Everyday Life (COMM760)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Researching Culture and Everyday Life provides an introduction to a range of research methods and critical-creative approaches designed to equip students with the relevant skills and methodological tools required for studying media, culture and everyday life. The module is organised around three main blocks. The first, consisting of four lectures, introduces students to the fundamentals of research design, philosophy and ethics. Looking ahead to the final assessment, practical guidance and skills in designing and developing a research project proposal will also be provided. The first block of lectures is delivered as part of wider postgraduate methods training in the Department of Communication Media, and sessions are accordingly shared with students studying on parallel masters programmes. The second and third block of lectures focus on research methods frameworks and approaches that are specific to the Media, Culture and Everyday Life programme. These include ethnographic and autoethnographic methods, the role of archives in cultural research, working with sensory and affective approaches to research practice, visual methods, microhistorical approaches, ‘messy’ and creative/experimental research methods.

Researching Screen (COMM749)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Researching Screen is a research methods module aiming to demonstrate both the fundamental principles of academic research design and the ideas and philosophies that underpin it as well as showcase certain philosophical, theoretical, methodological and analytical approaches that have been utilised in the study of screen media. The module is organised in 3 blocks.

The first block includes sessions that that are broadly about research design across the academic spectrum and delivered to all PGT students in the Department. It will include important introductory sessions and will be delivered by staff across the various research clusters in the department.

Block two and three are subject specific and focus exclusively on research approaches that have been informed by theories, philosophies and disciplinary traditions associated with the field of the arts, humanities and cultural studies. These include approaches that are centred on the study of the visual image as text (semiotics, narrative, style) on relevant contexts around industrial and cultural aspects of screen media (political economy to cultural approaches to industry research), on media specific models of analysis (games and television) and on audiences and fans.

Blocks two and three will be delivered by a number of colleagues in the Screen and Film Studies research cluster who will demonstrate research methods based on their own expertise.

Introduction to computational social science methods (COMM742)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will provide students with skills to understand and apply the building blocks of computational social science. Students will be introduced to cutting edge methods to design, develop and interpret quantitative surveys, as well as to cutting edge methods for collecting and analysing large datasets from digital sources at different levels of granularity.
At the end of the module, students will be able to match techniques to answer research questions such as "What are peoples’ attitudes towards news media and what social factors significantly influence those attitudes?"- , – "How does disinformation spread?" , " What hot topics were debated on social media in the last month?". The module will be taught following "active learning" methodologies where empirical activities as well as group discussions will play a key role.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why study Communication and Media at Liverpool?

  • We have a long-standing reputation for innovative research in media, cultural and communication studies
  • The interest in contemporary communication is at the heart of our enterprise, though always with a focus on how the media deploy their affordances to communicative and social effect
  • There is a strong family-ethos within the department. Personal interaction with our students is at the heart of what we do
  • We have exciting partnerships with industry, arts and key creative venues both in the city and internationally and they collaborate with us as part of the programme offer
  • Ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact, with 100% of our impact classified as either outstanding (4*) or very considerable (REF 2021)
  • Our programmes address a wide range of questions about the modern media industry, news, communication and social interaction in a lively and creative environment
  • Our internationally-acclaimed research is casting innovative light on many aspects of the discipline and engaging with the very latest topics, such as social media, populism, artificial intelligence, global media events, fake news and online harassment.

Careers and employability

The MRes Communication and Media may enhance the career prospects of those working or wishing to work in fields associated with the study of Communication and Media subjects (Film, Television, Digital Media, Journalism, Linguistics, Public Relations, Cultural Industries, etc.). While managerial positions often require the ability to conduct research or project-work and to demonstrate sustained and complex organisational skills in ways encompassed by this programme, its emphasis on oral and written communication skills as well as on IT-based presentation skills will be useful for many types of employment.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

You may want to take this course for personal development as you are interested in the field. Equally, the MRes is designed to prepare you for further research at PhD level, and to enable you to enter postgraduate research, offering a first step towards a career in academic teaching and research.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £4,712
Part-time place, per year £2,356
International fees
Full-time place, per year £21,850
Part-time place, per year £10,925
Please note, the fees shown are for the academic year 2023-24 and will rise for 2024-25. Some MRes courses incur additional bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which applies to you in your offer letter.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

Please note, this programme may have additional costs associated with it depending on your choice of a lab or computational/fieldwork-based project.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

Please note, this programme may have additional costs associated with it depending on your choice of a lab or computational/fieldwork-based project.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

The Aziz Foundation Scholarship

  • Home students

If you’re a British Muslim, active within a Muslim community and dedicated to bringing positive change to society, you could apply to potentially have the full cost of your master’s tuition fees covered by an Aziz Foundation Scholarship.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

Applicants are required to submit a sample of written work (2,000-3,000 words). This can be an undergraduate essay or similar.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MRes, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS other
IELTS 6.5 overall, with writing and speaking at 6.5, and no other component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening, 21, writing 21, reading 22, speaking 23
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with literacy, production and conversation not less than 120, and comprehension not below 95
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with writing and speaking at 61, and no other skill below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with writing and speaking at 70, and no other skill below 60
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit overall, with B2 Pass with Merit in writing and speaking, and no band below B2 Pass
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Our Pre-Sessional English courses vary from 6, 10, 12, 20, 30 or 40 weeks.

You can email us at elc@liverpool.ac.uk for advice on the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require. Please let us know your most recent score in one of the following English languages tests so we can assess your current English language ability:

  • IELTS
  • LanguageCert Academic
  • Pearson PTE
  • Skills for English
  • Oxford Test for English
  • Duolingo English Test

We’ll be in touch to let you know the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require. We’ll also confirm whether you can study Pre-Sessional English on campus or online.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Communication and Media MRes

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.