::Taught Masters

New from September 2014: the Masters in Media, Power, and Public Affairs

In September 2014 we successfully launched an exciting and unique new Masters degree: the MSc Media, Power, and Public Affairs.

This new programme replaced our previous Masters, the MSc New Political Communication, which ran successfully from 2008 to 2013.

In designing our new programme we wanted to provide a unique focus on how media shape and are shaped by social and political power.

You can read more about this programme below, and you can apply for a place by following the links.

Places are still available for September 2015 entry. To be considered, please submit your application by June 30, 2015.

About the Masters in Media, Power, and Public Affairs

Founded in 2007 by Professor Andrew Chadwick, the New Political Communication Unit is an internationally-leading centre for the study of media and politics.

We are living through an era of tumultuous change in how politics is conducted and communicated. The great digital disruption of the early twenty-first century continues to work its way through media systems around the world, forcing change, adaptation, and renewal across a whole range of areas: political parties and campaigns, interest groups, social movements, activist organisations, news and journalism, the communication industries, governments, and international relations.

In the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London, we believe the key to making sense of these chaotic developments is the idea of power—how it is generated, how it is used, and how it shapes the diverse information and communication flows that affect all our lives.

This unique new Masters degree, which replaces the MSc in New Political Communication, is for critically-minded, free-thinking individuals who want to engage with the exciting intellectual ferment that is being generated by these unprecedented times. The curriculum integrates rigorous study of the very best academic research with an emphasis on making sense of political communication as it is practiced in the real world, in both "old" and "new" media settings.

While not a practice-based course, the MSc Media, Power, and Public Affairs is perfect for those who wish to build a career in the growing range of professions that require deep and critical insight into the relationship between media and politics and public communication more generally. These include advocacy, campaign management, political communication consultancy, journalism, government communication, policy analysis, public opinion and semantic polling, and public diplomacy, to name but a few. Plus, due to its strong emphasis on scholarly rigour, the MSc in Media, Power, and Public Affairs is also the perfect foundation for a PhD in political communication.

You will study a mixture of core and elective units, including a generous choice of free options, and write a supervised dissertation over the summer. Teaching is conducted primarily in small group seminars that meet weekly, supplemented by individual tuition for the dissertation.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

To read more about this programme and to apply, click here.

About Royal Holloway, University of London

Royal Holloway, University of London is one of the major Colleges of the University of London. The University of London is a federal university, founded in 1836. It comprises over 60 institutions of varying size and profile, from colleges with many thousands of students to small research institutes. It is the largest and most diverse university in Britain and one of the largest in Europe. University of London degrees have long had an international reputation for excellence.

The Department of Politics and International Relations ranked 15th nationally in the 2013 Sunday Times University League Table. It ranked 18th nationally in the 2014 Complete University Guide.

Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway now ranks among the top 200 departments of its kind in the world in the QS World University Rankings. The department is positioned just outside the top 150.

In the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, it was confirmed that Royal Holloway sits within the top 25 per cent of universities in the UK for research that is rated 'world-leading or 'internationally excellent.'

Fully 72 percent of research in the Department of Politics and International Relations research was judged to be world-leading (4*) and internationally-excellent (3*), placing it 18th among Politics and International Relations departments in the UK for this measure. This proportion has increased from 30 per cent since the last assessment exercise in 2008, and reflects our continued successful growth. For research 'outputs', which means the 'originality, significance and rigour' of the research submitted, the department comes out 13th in the UK for 4* and 3* quality. In terms of 'research intensity,' which takes into account the proprtion of staff in each department actually entered into the REF, the Times Higher placed the department an impressive 10th in the UK.

Royal Holloway, University of London currently ranks 88th globally in the rigorous Times Higher's World University Rankings, and 18th globally and 3rd in the UK for research influence.


Internet-accessible communication journals are particularly well catered for in the College Library via EBSCO's Communication and Mass Media Complete journals database, covering 600 titles. Access this via MetaLib (on campus only or off-campus via VPN) at this link.

We can also offer research students the latest technology to assist with their data gathering, fieldwork and analysis. This includes Edirol MP3 recorders for interviews and focus groups, and a wireless conference phone for international interviews; the loan of laptops; a digital camera and hard disk based camcorder for audiovisual work and for recording events; a Canon projector for conference presentations; and memory cards. Together with quantitative and qualitative analysis software available from Royal Holloway Computing Services, these resources enable traditional both and cutting edge social scientific research, with media and communication research particularly well catered for.

The College is a subscriber to BoB, an off-air recording and media archive service. BoB is available to staff and students of member institutions of the British Universities Film & Video Council that hold an ERA+ license. This TV scheduling service allows you to record TV and radio programmes that are scheduled to be broadcast over the next seven days as well as retrieving programmes from the last seven days from a selected list of recorded channels.

Students on the programme have access to ColLab - the Collaborative Learning Lab. This state-of-the-art technology-enhanced learning facility is situated in the Moore Annex and is administered by the School of Management. The ColLab offers high resolution plasma displays, document and video cameras, DVD recorders, SmartBoard, tablet and other interactive surfaces, as well as super-quality video-conferencing with recording and archiving capabilities. Using this technology, students can share documents and archives, prepare team project reports and arrange ad hoc meetings in the virtual project space. For more information, see the ColLab site.

Sources of Funding

Our MSc programme is fully accredited by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of its doctoral training arrangement.

The Department of Politics and International Relations is a partner in the ESRC South East Doctoral Training Consortium. Composed of social scientists from the universities of Kent, Surrey, and Reading, the Consortium funds cutting-edge doctoral students in the social sciences across the South East region and makes high quality training resources, video-conferences, workshops and master classes available to all social science research students in the four institutions. The advanced training element of the consortium’s activities is also linked to the Universities of Essex and Sussex. Accreditation was a highly competitive process, with only 21 consortia securing the status nationally.

If you are considering an application for the MSc as the first year of a PhD and would like to be considered in the Consortium competition for an ESRC 1+3 quota studentship you should contact your potential supervisor no later than January 31, for admission the following September. Please consult the PhD page in addition to this page.

Please note also that there is a range of Masters Scholarships available for international students applying for this Masters programme. Please visit the College's Studentships pages for further information.

Further information

To read more about this programme and to apply, click here.

Further information is available from the administrator for this stream: Dr Michael Bacon, email: michael.bacon@rhul.ac.uk