Strategic Communication MSc
- Programme duration: Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
- Programme start: September 2023
- Entry requirements: You will normally need to have the equivalent of a UK honours degree, at 2:1 level or better in a communication-related discipline such as media, communication, linguistics or management, with aspirations of a communications related career path.
Business firms, public institutions and non-profit organisations operate today in an increasingly complex environment marked by hyper-digitalisation, media fragmentation, ambiguous market and political conditions at global levels, and growing public scepticism. In such context, there is growing market demand for communication experts who can help organisations to (re)build trust, enhance reputation and, more in general, realise their strategic goals.
The MSc Strategic Communication offers a cross-disciplinary education with a distinctive focus on:
1. How corporate leaders, governments, public institutions, NGOs and even celebrities make use of narrative and argument to build consensus and dialogue with stakeholders and to (re)construct their reputation and trustworthiness, especially in crisis situations.
2. The role of digital media, particularly social media, in enhancing strategic communication and informing strategic planning.
3. The contexts and practices of strategic communication (e.g. financial communication and investor relations; political campaigns; crisis management; branding, policy change, takeover and mergers): how they are shaped through discourse strategies and how discourse strategies affect them.
The programme combines a range of conceptual knowledge and practical skills which are crucial for successfully and critically engaging in a variety of strategic communication activities, such as defining and effectively sharing the mission, vision and values of an organisation, responding to a crisis, launching new products and services or supporting strategic initiatives like mergers, event promotions, and campaigns for political elections, health prevention or policy change.
You will learn how to define communication issues and objectives in line with organisational goals; to analyse contexts, situations and audiences; to design spoken and written communication that are at the same time sound, persuasive and compliant with legal and ethical requirements; to exploit the potential offered by established communication technologies and new digital media to effectively engage stakeholders.
Practical projects include a variety of activities like designing and delivering effective public speeches, building digital media campaigns and writing of digital communications for live briefs.
The programme creates many opportunities of interaction with communication experts and leaders enabling you to familiarise yourself with relevant professional contexts and learn more about current challenges in strategic communication practices. Through the final project, you will have the opportunity to develop an empirical or theoretical dissertation or to develop a research project in collaboration with an organisation.
Why Communication and Media?
Communication and Media is a close-knit community of dedicated, innovative teachers and researchers that extend a warm welcome to postgraduate taught and research students. You can benefit from a personalised approach which treats you as an individual and encourages you to become involved in the life of the department. Our approach enables a productive dialogue to be created between and amongst our postgraduate community and our staff, so that we are all engaged in the pursuit of excellent scholarship and research and, more broadly, making a contribution to the development of our field.
The Department of Communication and Media employs over 30 permanent staff who work on a wide range of 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. We have a strong specialism in issues of social media, screen studies, media and everyday life, and gender and sexuality, notably LGBTQ+ inclusivity across television, film, magazines and online media. Another key specialism is multimodal and critical discourse analysis, making use of large datasets and new computational and machine learning techniques to analyse communication patterns across digital platforms.
Our six master's courses draw on the expertise of our staff research groups: the Culture, Space and Memory research group houses cultural/anthropological research around memory and material cultures, photography, everyday life, media arts, mega-events and the spatial humanities, and partners with cultural organisations such as museums and galleries; the Discourse, Data and Society group brings together ground-breaking work in multimodal studies, artificial intelligence and data analytics with expertise in critical discourse studies, language and argumentation; the Media, Politics and Society group responds to urgent political challenges around the spread of misinformation and ‘fake news’, online harms, digital news audiences, democratic deliberation, human rights and climate change; the Screen and Film Studies group boasts an unusually comprehensive approach to film and screen that includes industrial and institutional aspects, stardom and performance, and encompasses Hollywood, American independent cinema, documentary, cult television, animation and virtual reality. There are also shared themes such as populism and politics, gender and sexuality, cultural labour, digital cultures and social inequalities.
These groups run regular research seminar series – currently the Liverpool Film Seminar, the Media and Politics Seminar Series, the Strategic Communication Leaders seminar series and the Keyword Conversations – in which postgraduate students are encouraged to participate.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), we were ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact, and 10th for research environment classified as world leading (4*).
Immerse yourself in a city known as a political and creative force. What better place to immerse yourself in the subject than Liverpool, a city with a reputation as a political and creative force, with a thriving production sector and a unique cultural heritage? The Department has close links to cultural industries and venues in the city, some of which collaborate with us in offering assessed work placements as part of our programme of study.