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Social Media and Political Communication MA

Loughborough University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    Loughborough University

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    OCT-21

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

On this exciting and unique master’s programme you will gain advanced knowledge of how social media shape how political power is exercised in today’s turbulent world. The curriculum blends world-leading scholarly research with case study analyses of how political communication works in the real world.

The digital age has produced some of the most remarkable developments in modern history. The Arab Spring, Occupy, Brexit, the #MeToo movement, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the growth of online misinformation and automated propaganda, fierce debates over online "filter bubbles" and fake news, the resurgence of the populist right and a new populist left, the growth of online hate speech, mass microtargeting of political messages via email and social media, and concerns about the growing power of social media platforms, algorithms and big data over the lives of citizens. These developments have sent shockwaves around the world.

Amid the chaos there is now an urgent debate about whether the mass use of social media is leading to new types of politics. Do social media help concentrate power in the hands of a small elite? Or do they help decentralise power and engage ordinary citizens in democratic citizenship? Do social media enable individuals and organisations to express themselves, exchange opinions and coordinate with others? Do they encourage the diffusion of propaganda, false information, incivility and hatred? How do social media shape how political beliefs are formed among mass publics?

On our innovative Social Media and Political Communication master's degree you will conduct advanced, in-depth analysis of the complex relationships between social media, political influence and power. You will weigh up the consequences for democracy by critically examining how social media shape citizens’ knowledge, participation and empowerment.

Taught by pioneering scholars who are genuine world leaders in the field, the programme is ideal if you want to build a career in advocacy, campaign management, digital engagement, political communication consultancy, journalism, government communication, policy analysis, digital advertising, marketing and public relations, or political research, to name but a few.

Alongside the Loughborough Doctoral College training programme, the modules on the MA Social Media and Political Communication also form the perfect foundation for research training during the first year of a PhD in this field funded either by Loughborough’s Online Civic Culture Centre (O3C) (led by Professor Andrew Chadwick), a School of Social Sciences and Humanities Doctoral Studentship, or an ESRC +3 Studentship.

Application deadline

06 September 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 19,950per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Loughborough University

  • University League Table

    6th

  • Campus address

    Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 97 3

    24th out of 110 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 190
    152 75%

    9th

    5
  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    79 79%

    9th

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.27 85%

    2nd

    28
  • Entry standards

    / Max 236
    148 62%

    33rd

    6
  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    93 93%

    10th

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.30 86%

    5th

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