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The curriculum of the Master’s in Political Communication comprises one year of full-time study. You will study how interactions between (non-)governmental actors, politicians, journalists, and citizens take shape, and with what effects. You will learn how (social) media influences political engagement, powerful journalists are in setting the (political) agenda, and take a comparative look at how this differs in different countries.
  • First semester

    You will start the Master’s with the mandatory specialisation seminars: Journalism and the Media and Citizens and Public Opinion. Right from the start of the programme, you will also start your thesis process in the course Thesis Preparation Groups. Towards the end of the first semester, you take the course Research Methods Tailored to the Thesis, in which you will refresh and further develop your research skills before starting with writing your Master’s thesis in the following semester.

  • Second semester

    In the second semester, you choose two electives, allowing you to create a Master’s programme that suits your interests best. There is a range of excellent electives offered. For example electives from Political Communication: Psychology in Political Communication, Political Marketing, The Misinformation Crisis? or Investigative Journalism. Or you can choose electives from the other tracks, for example Persuasive Design in a Digital Era, Digital Analytics, and Sustainability Marketing and Communication. You can find all electives here (selection of electives varies each semester).

  • Master's thesis

    In the second semester, you will complete your Master’s thesis. You will be guided and supervised in the creation, design, conduct, analysis and reporting of an academic empirical study. Previous research topics include:

    • How young people’s attitudes are influenced by watching political satire
    • Whether and why there are cross-national differences in the way media report on the global economic crisis
    • How foreign correspondents see their journalistic roles
    • The role of emotions in political communication
    • What impact news media have on attitudes towards immigration
  • Citizens and Public Opinion
    Period 1
    Period 2

    This course focuses on the uses and effects of political communication on individual citizens and the formation of public opinion. You will analyse how media use shapes political attitudes and behaviour, studying individuals' characteristics and contextual factors. We will include entertainment media and political talk (online and offline). Through case studies and discussions, you will explore the role and power of the media in the relationship between citizens and politics.

  • Journalism and the Media
    Period 1
    Period 2

    This course focuses on the interplay between journalism and politics in modern democratic societies and the production of political communication. It addresses different models and conceptions of political journalism, the role of journalism in society, ethical considerations, issues of freedom of speech, and the question of what represents “good” political journalism today. The course also explores (non-) government communication, e.g.: how politicians, NGOs, and social movements interact with the media and citizens.

  • Thesis Preparation Groups
    Period 1
    Period 2

    This course serves as an introduction to the individual Master’s thesis you will write in the second semester. You will set up an Initial Thesis Proposal: select a core theme, central research question, and research methodology.

  • Research Methods Tailored to the Thesis
    Period 3

    This course builds on your prior knowledge of research methodology and statistics. You will further develop your skills as a preparation for your Master’s thesis. You will focus on the research method you plan to use: content analysis, experimentation, survey, or qualitative research.

  • Elective 1
    Period 4

    In this Master’s programme you choose two electives. The selection of electives may vary each semester. These electives allow you to create a Master’s programme that suits your interests best.

  • Elective 2
    Period 4

    In this Master’s programme you choose two electives. The selection of electives may vary each semester. These electives allow you to create a Master’s programme that suits your interests best.

  • Master's thesis
    Period 5
    Period 6

    For your Master’s thesis, you are linked to an individual supervisor. After passing the extended research proposal, you will continue with conducting your research, analysing your results and writing your thesis.

Compulsory course
Find more information in the online course catalogue
  • Workload

    This Master's programme is a full-time study. A large part of your programme focuses on self-study, e.g. preparing for tutorials or working on assignments (32 hours per week). In addition, you have weekly lectures (4 hours per week) and opportunities for tutorials and group projects (4 hours per week).

Academic staff of Political Communication

Dr. Alessandro Nai
Copyright: Alessandro Nai
How do candidates “communicate” during their campaigns? Why are they going “negative” against their opponents, and with what effects? Dr. Alessandro Nai about the course Citizens and Public Opinion, read more
Frequently asked questions
  • Is it possible to have a side job next to my Master’s?

    It is very personal how you experience the workload and how much effort your side job takes. Keep in mind that the Master’s programme is a full-time study and takes up about 40 hours a week (8 contact hours and 32 hours of self-study). The week before the start of the programme/semester, you can see on which days you will have lectures and tutorials which can help in making your (work) planning.