Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

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.
  • From 2024-25, students will be able to apply to take part in a research partnership placement with either media outlet Declassified or the research organisation Autonomy. Successful students will work with a partner organisation on their MA dissertation, collecting data and producing a report on a theme prioritised by that organisation. It will be a great way to gain skills in applied research as well as develop contacts for employment in the sector of political communications, research and media. 

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 16th in the world (3rd in the UK) in the 2024 QS World Rankings for communication and media studies.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Jacob Mukherjee.

An introduction to your programme playlist

What you'll study


The programme’s core curriculum addresses the interaction of media and political power in the context of a multifaceted global crisis of democracy and communication. Topics covered include:

  • The impact of social media of electoral politics, protest mobilisation, new production, and citizen campaigning
  • Interest groups, social movements and alternative media
  • Misinformation, disinformation, “fake news” and conspiracy politics
  • Who controls the news?
  • Political parties, party ideologies and political organisation
  • Public relations, political marketing and spin
  • Media audiences, effects and agenda-setting
  • Politics and popular culture
  • Race, migration and rise of authoritarian populism
  • Social theories of power, culture and communications, from framing theory to the politics of affect, and from hegemony to the propaganda model

Theory is applied to a number of case study areas on, for example: conflict and war; elections; ecological crises; protests and riots; social movements. Theory and discussion is always related to current events and debates.


The MA in Political Communications is built up of modules that must count up to 180 credits. The programme comprises:

Compulsory modules

Module title Credits
The Structure of Contemporary Political Communications 30 credits
Critical Perspectives on Political Communications 30 credits
MA Political Communications Dissertation and Research Methods 60 credits

Option modules

Media options

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Popular options for MA Political Communications students include:

  • Media and Political Campaigning
  • Social Media in Everyday Life: A global perspective
  • Race and Technology
  • Promotional Culture
  • Contemporary Feminist Media Cultures
  • Social activist film [practical module] 

For more information, please refer to our list of Media modules.

You can also choose to take option modules from other departments including Politics and International Relations, Sociology and Visual Cultures.


The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. Students also complete a personal dissertation research project of 12-15,000 words on a topic of their choice within the broad field of political communications, media and communications or cultural studies.

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

What our students say

Hynek Halakuc

A fresh perspective

I was somewhat disillusioned with academia before applying to study MA Political Communications at Goldsmiths.

Its focus on individual learning needs, coupled with a student body whose diversity is not just a mere tokenised marketing gimmick but is achieved by a deep commitment to creating a learning space that is safe, radical, and emancipatory in equal measure.

This space is strongly co-created by our lecturers who bring to the table an amazing variety of political and professional experiences.

Learning from experts

The teaching team on the course had an impressive breadth of political experience, ranging from Stop the War Coalition, The World Transformed, Hacked Off to London Renter’s Union, Media Reform Coalition and the UCU. One can therefore be sure that every page of theory presented in MA Political Communications is strongly grounded in years of political practice.

Life after Goldsmiths

I am currently working as the secretary of a left-wing political party in the Czech Republic and a project manager at the Czech Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions.

Studying MA in Political Communications at Goldsmiths has given me not only the confidence to navigate political and media spaces but most importantly a hope that could be paraphrased by a quote from Mark Fisher on a wall in one of the campus courtyards:

A hope that a truly emancipatory politics can “reveal what is presented as necessary to be a mere contingency” and in doing so “make what was previously deemed impossible seem attainable”.

Advice for future students

Go for it! As the neon sign on the front of the Amersham Arms on New Cross Road (the best pub around!) says: Take Courage!

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £10350
  • Home - part-time: £5175
  • International - full-time: £20460

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.


Find out more about funding opportunities by using our scholarships finder.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online. Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from 1 October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Final admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.



Be taught by professionals and industry experts

Teaching draws on the professional and research expertise of the department’s highly regarded staff. Research generates global interest with 80% of staff producing research classified as ‘world leading’ or ‘recognised internationally’.

Currently, all core teaching staff are active participants of the Leverhulme Spaces of the News research project, investigating developments in digital news media and politics, the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy and the Media Reform Coalition.

The course also takes advantage of the diverse set of teaching, research and practical resources available to the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths. This large department offers a wide range of theoretical subjects and perspectives.

Find out more about our key research projects:

Find out more about research in the Department of Media and Communications


We know that political organisations relish thinking graduates. It’s why we focus on delivering a programme that’s rooted in a critical perspective. By the time you leave we want you to feel transformed so that you can go forward and transform the world. 

Our graduates go on to work within government organisations, political parties,  NGOs and news media and across the public and private sectors - from the Houses of Parliament and BBC World Service to Google, Greenpeace and the UN. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

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