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MA Media, Communication and Global Development

Course overview

Start date

September 2018

Subject area

Arts and Digital Industries





On campus

Course summary

Are you a journalist or communications professional keen to learn more about contemporary global development issues? Are you a development practitioner or NGO staff needing to update your understanding of the media? Have you ever wondered how today’s NGOs are responding to the digital media revolution? Do you want to enrich your understanding of global development issues and produce informed yet critical news and information?

Are you interested in engaging with some of the most important topics in today’s globalised world while enhancing your analytical and media production skills? We will provide you with a conducive environment to learn about and participate in debates such as:

● What is the role of citizen journalists in mediating development news?
● How can ICTs contribute to development and development communication?
● How can we better understand and communicate the realities of globalisation and sustainable development?
● How can media production practices be critically informed?
● What are the dynamics linking conflict, religion, displacement and human insecurity?

● How does the media represent environmental issues?

 The course will be headed by Susannah Pickering-Saqqa and Abel Ugba

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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Career opportunities

Acquire the knowledge, skills and qualifications to initiate a career change or to take your career in the media, journalism, NGO or global development to a higher level.

Get involved 

Contribute to important contemporary debates such as: how can journalism and NGO professionals generate interest among the public in global development issues? What responsibilities does the media have in reporting migration, faith and conflict? How does the media intersect with global development and religion?

Multiple resources

Our course gives you access to a broad range of expertise in the School of Arts and Digital Industries and the School of Social Sciences, both at UEL. We have a wide network of industry professionals and researchers.

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How you'll learn

We believe you learn best through applying your ideas and new skills. We also recognize that everyone learns differently. So we offer a wide variety of approaches in our courses. You will have some lectures and participatory seminars. You will also make presentations to seminar groups. These will be complemented by workshops, small group projects and discussions, role plays and simulated activities.

We will make use of case studies throughout the course to help you reflect on how practice and theory relate to each other and encourage critical reflection on your own professional practice - a fundamental attribute of any postgraduate study. The experience you bring to the classroom will be vital to the group learning experience. You will, of course, be supported to work independently, culminating in your final research project - your dissertation.

We encourage you to extend your learning beyond the classroom. You will have opportunities to attend conferences and guest Lectures by media, journalism and development thinkers and practitioners. You will be able to access scholarly and professional networks such as C4D, Development Studies Association, National Union of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists and One World.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.2 Honours in a Relevant Subject
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and maths (See below for accepted equivalences)


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

Applicants without a first degree but with years of professional practice in relevant fields may be considered in special circumstances, but they may have to complete an oral interview or written test.
Overall IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).
You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

Our course will give you a comprehensive, advanced and critical understanding of the relationships between the media and global development sector and practitioners. It will also equip you with the knowledge to analyse and communicate development information journalistically and academically. Your study will provide a platform to engage in and contribute to current and historical debates about globalisation, mediatisation, international development and the media.

The course offers the technical know-how and resources to produce development news and information in various multimedia formats. You will learn how to write for social media and policy briefings, blog and present complex ideas in ethical and creative ways. You will have opportunities to extend your networks, meeting and interacting with industry players in media, international development and the NGO sector. You will learn how to plan and undertake your own research project and to communicate your research findings.

You will have the option to study for a postgraduate certificate or diploma.
● Postgraduate Certificate - This will be available to students completing 60 credits of programme modules: Critical Approaches plus Development Management in the International Context.

● PG Diploma - This will be available to students completing 120 credits from the course but not the 60 credit dissertation. Modules taken will be the above two core modules + two optional modules.

What you'll study and when

Core modules are:

- Critical Approaches to the Media, Communication and Development

- Development Management in the International Context

- Research Methods for the Social Sciences

- Dissertation

Optional modules are:

- Documentary Cinema Production

- Sustainability and the Commons

- Conflict, Displacement and Human Security

- Global Environmental Politics

- Introduction to Forced Migration

For further details on the course content and credits please download the course specification.


There is no placement

How you'll be assessed

Work is assessed by essays and reports, writing for the media, media production, exam, policy briefing and blogs and a dissertation. The final award takes account of all module marks.

Students with disabilities and/or particular learning needs should discuss assessments with the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service to ensure they are able to fully engage with all assessment within the programme.

Course specification

Your future career

Increasingly, the development sector needs those with a sound understanding of the way the media works and the practical skills to develop and implement communication strategies. Likewise, journalists are required to cover complex global issues with knowledge and empathy.

This course responds to these challenges as it focuses strongly on employability. It is designed to enhance the critical understandings of global development by those already working as journalists and to provide development professionals with the opportunity to enhance their media and communication skills.

The course will enhance your abilities to grow your networks among professionals in your field, moving you towards to a new role that is aligned with your new skill set and interests.

The course will equip you to work in the media, policy institutions, development agencies, NGOs or communication roles in government or international organisations. Those who enjoy and thrive on research may wish pursue a PhD or MPhil.

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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