Programme structure and content (PolCom)
The Master's Programme in Political Communication runs over two years and consists of six courses worth 15 or 30 credits. Some courses are offered by JMG and some in cooperation with the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The Master's Programme in Political Communication (PolCom) has a structure of courses of 15-30 credits. The courses are given at full pace and combine theory with the appliance. The purpose is to prepare the students for professional work within the field of political communication.
The courses take place at the campus and are built on the active involvement of the student.
There is one mandatory core course running the whole first semester: Political Communication in the Digital Age. The course introduces political communication as a research area and social field. The student will become familiar with central scientific concepts, theories and research in the field, as well as obtain more in-depth understanding specifically of strategic communication and opinion analysis. Throughout, emphasis is on societal and democratic perspectives.
A particular focus is on digitalization and how it changes the conditions for political communication. Various media, e.g traditional news media and digital communication channels such as social media, are essential in political communication. Therefore, the conditions in which the media operate, as well as media effects, are at the centre of attention in the course.
Furthermore, the course provides tools for planning, carrying out and analyzing opinion research. In order to influence or analyze opinions, one must understand them. How do individuals and groups take positions in different issues? How do opinions change over time? These and similar issues are discussed during the course. Strategic communication with respect to political goals is also highlighted in the course. Here the course directs the spotlight towards questions about how governments and organizations communicate as well as how actors try to shape opinions or directly persuade power holders through lobbyism.
The second semester consists of two mandatory courses:
- Citizens, Politicians, and the Media
- Politics of Crisis Communication
The course is offered in collaboration with the Political Science Department and deepens the perspectives introduced in the first semester, with a special focus on parliamentary processes and the interaction between citizens, politicians and the media. The course highlights various aspects of this interaction; voting behavior, political psychology, political participation and representation, media effects, political journalism, and news surveillance, based on the question of how democracy can be improved based on the research in the field.
MK2202 Crisis communication, 15 hec
The aim of the course is to provide a broad introduction to a rapidly growing area of crisis communication. It takes off from an overview of organizational perspectives on crisis communication focusing on dominant rhetorical and interactive approaches. Furthermore, the importance of a citizen's perspective is emphasized on the basis of current research carried out at the department. The course will analyze crisis communication in different cultural contexts and address the diversity of the student group in a critical analysis of crisis cases from all over the world. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to use their theoretical knowledge in a simulated crisis situation.
The third semester consists of one mandatory course — Advanced analyses in Media and Communication Studies — and a choice among four method courses:
- Applied Statistical Analysis
- Applied Qualitative Research Methods
- Applied Research Methods, Problems, and Design
- Quantitative Methods for Journalism, Media, and Communication Studies
The course outlines a map of the media and communication research field and offers deepening of selected parts of this. The focus is on current media and communication research, to train students in advanced literature search and processing, as well as academic writing.
SF2321 Applied Statistical Analysis, 15 hec
SF2322 Applied Qualitative Research Methods, 15 hec
SF2323 Applied Research Methods, problems and design, 15 hec
MK2301 Quantitative methods for Journalism, Media and Communication studies, 15 hec
Depending on interest and future orientation, the student may choose to study a qualitative or quantitative methodology course. These are given in collaboration with other departments at the Faculty of Social Sciences. MK2301 is our own course given here at JMG.
The fourth semester is dedicated to your master’s thesis. The thesis work is carried out individually, but may be done in collaboration with a research project when available.
The Master's Programme ends with a full semester master’s thesis. The course involves independent research work where the student carries out an empirical study within the political communication field. The student choses the topic for the thesis in consultation with a supervisor. Researchers at JMG may occasionally suggest suitable thesis topics that are relevant for ongoing research projects at the department. There may also be opportunities to carry out a study in cooperation with an external organization.
The study is written up in the form of an academic thesis, which is presented by the student and discussed at a final seminar. At the seminar each student also acts as a discussant of a thesis authored by someone else.