Media, Campaigning and Social Change PG Diploma
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
To be accepted onto the course, students require a good first degree from a recognised university, equivalent to at least an Upper Second (2:1) or minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00. The MA in Media, Campaigning and Social Change is an interdisciplinary course and we welcome applications from students with degrees in a range of subjects, as well as from mature students with relevant work experience and / or experience in campaigning for social change. In exceptional cases, work experience may compensate for a lower first degree.
The course requires a high standard of written and spoken English. If English is your second language, you are asked to certify that you have achieved an IELTS grade of at least 7.0 overall in reading, writing, speaking and listening to English, with no individual score below 6.5, or the TOEFL equivalent.
You will be asked to write a brief 300 word essay on social change and the media to help us assess your application: the essay title will be given to you during the admissions process. When possible, we will also interview applicants in person, by telephone or by Skype before offering you a place.
We will be looking for evidence of your interest in and understanding of communication and campaigning, as well as analytical skills and a commitment to post-graduate study. Experience of campaign issues is an advantage.
This new postgraduate diploma from the world ranking Department of Journalism and Mass Communications aims to equip students with the skills, knowledge and strategic approach to develop and analyse social change campaigns, with a particular focus on the role of communications and the media. Now in its second year, this is the only MA of its kind in the UK.
This innovative course builds on our close links with leading campaigners and communicators in London's vibrant social change sector. An advisory panel, with representatives from Amnesty UK, Campaign Bootcamp, FairSay, Friends of the Earth, NCVO, RIBA, WaterAid and Scouts among others, will ensure we always reflect the skill sets in demand and deliver an exciting learning experience. A limited number of work placements and internships will be available.
The course is aimed at those with some experience or interest in social change, the media, and communications or campaigns within not for profit organisations. The course will help you improve your practical skills, develop a deep understanding of the theories and frameworks that underpin and shape campaign communications, and enjoy the space to reflect critically on current and past practice. It is designed to help you start, or progress, a career in charity, pressure group or public sector campaign communications. It may also be of interest to those working in corporate social responsibility.
The course team has extensive experience both in developing social change campaigns and in academic research into the connections between media and social change. The course is jointly led by Michaela O’Brien and Dr Anastasia Kavada. It is taught at our campuses in the West End of London, and also at the Harrow campus.
The course offers a number of delivery modes to suit the different needs of students and can be taken as either part-time or full-time.
There are three core modules. The first develops practical planning and campaign communications skills; the second considers media and activism theories; and the third combines theory with practice, reflecting on applying concepts like power and ethics within the setting of campaign communications. Each module has assessments – e.g. essays, campaign plans, reflective blogs, debates and presentations - rather than exams.
These three core modules make up the Postgraduate Certificate.
Students can take another three modules - chosen from a very wide range of options including practical media and content production skills; diversity issues; development and policy; social media; theories of communication and more - to complete a Postgraduate Diploma.
Students wanting to take the Masters course also complete either a 15,000-word research dissertation, or a professional practice project (which can be work-based).
Details of the individual modules are given below:
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Core modules - Semester One
CRITICAL ISSUES IN CAMPAIGNING
In this module, students will consider the factors that influence social change in the context of current campaigns around the world, and the historical development of campaign techniques and practices. They will apply a critical analysis of concepts such as power, theories of change, ethics, innovation, media representation, narrative and framing to practical scenarios and topical campaigns. This module requires students to monitor and critically evaluate practice in the UK and / or internationally.
Core modules - Semester Two
PLANNING CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS
In this module students will learn how to research and plan a campaign for social change based on the theories of social change examined in semester 1. They will produce communication material such as news releases, e-alerts, tweets, infographics and / or videos to support the campaign strategy. Where possible, students work to live briefs. This is a practical, hands-on module taught through a series of workshops, visits to campaign communication teams in London-based campaigning organisations, and guest talks by leading campaigners and social change communicators.
MEDIA, ACTIVISM AND POLITICS
The module critically investigates the relationship between media, activism and politics. It offers a critical assessment of the role of media in political mobilization, social movements, dissent, wars, conflicts, elections, and political and social crises. The module looks at the impact of the internet and new means of transparency and communications on journalism and activism in a range of circumstances from secure democracies through different kinds of political systems. The module is unique in its combination of traditional academic lectures and seminars with attendance of topical events and visits to relevant exhibitions and institutions.
Students choose three optional modules from the following menu. You may choose to focus on practical skills, on new technologies, on diversity or development, or on media audiences and industries.
Semester One (choose two of the following):
- Approaches to Social and Cultural Diversity
- Global Media
- Media Production
- Media Management and Content Production (PR and the Media)
- Political Economy of Communication
- Reporting Diversity: Gender, Sexuality, Age, Disability
- Social Media: Creativity, Sharing, Visibility
- Technology and Communications Policy
- Theories of Communication
Semester Two (choose one of the following):
- Approaches to Media and Communications Research
- Critical Theory of Social Media and the Internet
- Development and Communications Policy
- Media Audiences
- Online Journalism
- Reporting Diversity: Faith and Religion
- Reporting Migration, Race and Ethnicity
- Sociology of News
- Web Production: Westminster News Online
This course is particularly relevant if you want to start, or to progress, a career in communications and campaigning for social change, whether in a charity or non-governmental organisation; in a public sector body; in a political party or election campaigning setting; or even in a corporate social responsibility role. It could also be a stepping-stone towards a PhD and an academic career in this growing field of study.
Diversity and the Media MA
Media and Development MA
Public Relations MA
Social Media MA
Harrow and central London
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Journalism and Mass Communication - why Westminster?
Students visited several exhibitions during the 2014–15 academic year, including Disobedient Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum (pictured) and Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract art and society 1915–2015 at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Links with employers
Leading campaigners and communicators give guest lectures, run practical training sessions for students, provide live briefs for assessed course work and host visits such as this one to WaterAid's offices.
Our first cohort of graduates
Congratulations to the first cohort who graduated from the Media, Campaigning and Social Change programme in November 2015. Thanks for your glowing feedback on the course and all the best for your careers!