Interrogate the status quo with leading academics who don’t just talk and write about politics, but actively campaign to create change in the world
- All around us governments are in crisis, protests are on the increase, dissent and mobilisation is widespread and relayed across the world instantaneously on a screen. Communication is at the very heart of the structures, institutions and actors that give meaning to politics in governments, in parties and on the street.
The questions we ask
- How has the rise of social media changed the way we participate in politics? Who holds the power to influence political decisions that structure our lives? How might democracy be done better? Is “fake news” really that new, or has news always been prone to distortion? Can grassroots political campaigners ever be as successful as wealthy corporate lobbyists, and if so - how?
- We take an expansive view of political communications. You’ll learn about politics and communications at the level of governments and parties, campaign groups, social movements and activists, old and new media organisations, and everyday citizens. The course takes in debates from how to understand the current global crisis of democracy, to the role of emotion, feeling and “affect” in politics; and from whether “populism” can ever be a force for good to how the news industry might adapt to the rise of social media.
How you will learn
- Alongside traditional lectures and seminars, students also have the opportunity to study a number of practical, skills-based option modules including Media and Political Campaigning. As part of this popular option course, students are tasked with working in teams to design and pitch their own political campaigns.
- In 2023-24, for the first time, we ran a pilot initiative called Pol Comms Lab, in which students on MA Political Communications worked together on an optional group project to apply what they learned on the course to a practical project of their choice. Students chose to set up a news website and publish some articles on current affairs and politics. But you may want to create a campaign video, set up a reading group or even organise a conference instead. You’ll get guidance and help on this from your lecturers if you wish to take part.
The approach we take
- We’re active, not passive, so this course isn’t just about having our heads in books, it’s about applying ideas to the real world. We’ll expect you to be reading the news every day because we want you to engage with what’s happening and unravel it. The MA is run by academics who are also experienced campaigners and political strategists. As one recent student says, on this course, “You can be sure that every page of theory presented in MA Political Communications is strongly grounded in years of political practice”.
- There are also opportunities to interact with industry experts, get involved in live campaigns and collaborate with people coming from all over the world. We pride ourselves on fostering a supportive environment and offering an open door throughout your time with us. At Goldsmiths the conversations are always just starting.
- The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies has been ranked 2nd in the UK for 'world-leading or internationally excellent' research (Research Excellence Framework, 2021) and 12th in the world (2nd in the UK) in the 2022 QS World Rankings for communication and media studies.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Jacob Mukherjee.