About your course
Contemporary mass communications inhabit an increasingly digital landscape subject to cultural, economic and legal change. During this MA Programme you will interrogate the significance of media forms, the systems within which they operate and the challenges they face.
- Provides progression routes for undergraduate students on courses relating to media, journalism, cultural studies, marketing and communications and Humanities and Social Science subjects
- Designed for students from a wide range of academic or vocational backgrounds, including social media managers, public relations and journalism
- Delivered by academic staff with a proven record in research and teaching on mass communications
- Provides rigorous training in postgraduate research skills that will enable you to pursue further postgraduate study at doctoral level
Completing my MA at LJMU was a stepping stone where I learned how to take control of my career choices. The MA - knowledge, methods and skills I learned were immensely valuable for developing the person who then becomes a positive contributor to the community and society in which they live. I have gained better quality of life and can help others as a result improve their life opportunities too.
Introduction to the School
The School of Humanities and Social Science aims to produce research which enhances our understanding of the world and offers new ways of approaching challenging social and cultural issues.
Our dynamic, professional and experienced staff excel in innovative and exciting research which contributes to the teaching and learning methods you will experience here. You will join a warm and friendly learning community, offering excellent learning resources and first class student support.
Our working relationships with Merseyside employers and organisations may benefit you in both academic and personal career development. We are situated in an historic part of Liverpool, close to the Anglican Cathedral and a short walk from cafes, bars and the cultural quarter.
You will be taught, mentored and supervised by academic staff who are passionate, experienced and active in respect of critical social scientific research and the knowledge and skills you acquire will allow you to progress to doctoral research in the social sciences or are transferable to a range of academic, professional and commercial occupations.
The Research Centre for English Literature and Cultural History conducts research in the following areas:
- Representation and identity (particularly representations of gender) and cultural politics
- 17th, 19th and 20th Century British Literature and Cultural History
- Women’s writing
- Critical and feminist theory
- History, including British decolonisation, the British empire, Nazi Germany, labour history
- Criminology, including policy responses to young people in trouble
- Child welfare
- Penal systems
- Illegal and problematic drug use
- Corporate crime
- Night-time economies in the city
An expert academic team
The core teaching team is made up of academics from the Media and Culture teaching group and each member brings many years of academic research experience to their modules.
- Nickianne Moody is Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies and acts as the Convenor for the Association for Research in Popular Fictions and edits the journal Popular Narrative Media. Her publications include work on most popular genres, nineteenth and twentieth-century fiction, popular culture and more specifically cultures of reading.
- Dr Nedim Hassan is Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies and his background is in Popular Music Studies. He is particularly interested in researching the roles of music, media and culture in everyday life and recently engaged in community-based ethnographic research that examined the significance of different musical activities. Ned specialises in teaching ethnographic methods, political economy of the media and music industries, media audiences, fandom and popular music studies.
- Dr Sian Lincoln, is a Lecturer in Media, Culture, Communucation and her research interests include contemporary youth cultures, specifically youth culture and ‘private spaces’, young people and social media and ethnography.
- Dr Joanne Knowles lectures on the New Media: Policy and Practice module and has research interests in popular women’s fiction; popular culture, feminism and femininity; television and film comedy, comic novels; blogging and digital writing; public relations, media and culture.
Why study this course at LJMU?
This MA Mass Communications will enable you to join the cultural workforce with an understanding of how changes in policy and the politics of culture effect communication. You will examine how communications, institutions and media systems connect with contemporary audience experience and participation.
Media industries and their content are often subject to scrutiny and debates concerning their communicative power and influence, professional practice, ethics and law.
The knowledge you will gain on this course will:
- strengthen your ability to create effective messages and forms of communication
- enable you to understand the ways in which cultures are influenced and affected by such transmissions
- allow you to make ethical, relevant decisions for a range of purposes as most relevantly applied to journalism, academia, broadcasting for television and radio as well as PR and internet broadcasting and text for the web
The course will enable you to develop exceptional transferable skills, valued by employers, such as presentation, communication and interpersonal skills, skills in creative and analytical writing, organisation and time management. It will also provide rigorous training in postgraduate research skills that will enable you to pursue further postgraduate study at doctoral level.
Programme outline and structure
Mass Communications at LJMU’s School of Humanities and Social Science considers issues of communicative power in a range of contexts to highlight their historical development and explore their continued relevance within a contemporary digital media environment.
An integral part of this MA programme is the year-long Research Methods module. This module introduces you to important methodological approaches pertinent to the study of mass communications and provides you with a grounding in key skills required for study at masters level.
In addition you will study Theories, Concepts and Debates in Mass Communications which looks at enduring issues such as the impact of mass media (within advertising, radio, print propaganda and TV broadcasting) on audiences.
The production and reception of contemporary mass communications is also explored in depth during the Digital Cultures module in which you will critically analyse research on digital media audiences, paying attention to research on web-based communication and the activities of fans. This module also features a distinctive collaborative project involving Tate Liverpool. Here you will critically review the ways that the Tate Gallery’s current exhibitions are being marketed to the general public, liaising with the gallery’s marketing team and paying particular attention to their online promotions.
You will study the quickly evolving area of new media by analysing contemporary media policies and considering the potential future direction of national and international media regulation. You will also put your knowledge of the contemporary media landscape into practice through the construction of a portfolio of digital writing, which requires you to reflect on the process of online communication in different international contexts.
Finally, your Dissertation study involves original research and enables you to incorporate reflections on your own professional practice, either through conducting a work placement or by utilising opportunities within your existing employment if you so wish.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core modules for further information on what you will study.
- Theories Concepts and Debates in Mass Communications
Discover how academics theorise the relationship between mass media and society, and current issues in the field. This module explores mediation and the treatment of different media forms/technologies
- Mass Communication: Research Methods
Explore important methodological approaches to the study of mass communications on this year-long module, which introduces you to textual analysis and audience research by providing a grounding in key skills for postgraduate study
- Digital Cultures
Critically examine the relationships between people and digital media technologies by exploring the notion that contemporary cultural practices and social interactions often take place online via social media and web 2.0 technologies. The module involves a critical review of Tate Liverpool's exhibition promotions and liaison with the gallery's marketing team
- New Media: Policy and Practice
Explore the shifts in the ethics of media production/consumption in the light of policy and regulation developments, new technologies and changes in media ownership/communication. You will consider the future direction of media regulation by analysing contemporary media policies
Undertake an independent dissertation research project that will make an original contribution to the field of Mass Communications. You may choose to incorporate reflections on your own professional practice
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
You will engage in a range of assessments, from standard essays (both tutor directed and student directed), to presentations, critical reviews of websites, various blog entries and a dissertation.
Staff research interests
Your postgraduate study will be supported by a surrounding framework of expertise, within a scholarly community designed to support the dissemination of research.
In the 2014 REF, 81% of research submitted by Communication, Cultural and Media Studies at LJMU was either recognised internationally, or considered as internationally excellent. This research helps ensure that our postgraduate courses are positioned at the vanguard of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.
The core programme teaching team is made up of academics from the Media and Culture teaching group and each member brings many years of academic research experience to their modules.
Nickianne Moody is Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies. Nickianne acts as the Convenor for the Association for Research in Popular Fictions and edits the journal Popular Narrative Media. Her publications include work on most popular genres, nineteenth and twentieth-century fiction, popular culture and more specifically cultures of reading.
Dr Nedim Hassan is the MA Mass Communications Programme Leader and is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies. Nedim’s background is in Popular Music Studies and he is particularly interested in researching the roles of music, media and culture in everyday life.
Dr Sian Lincoln, is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies and her research interests include contemporary youth cultures, specifically youth culture and ‘private spaces’, young people and social media and ethnography.
Dr Joanne Knowles is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies. She lectures on the New Media: Policy and Practice module and has research interests in popular women’s fiction; popular culture, feminism and femininity; television and film comedy, comic novels; blogging and digital writing; public relations, media and culture.
To complement the MA’s core teaching team and give students the broadest possible learning experience, guest lecturers are invited in to give their own perspective on different topics. So far a number of well-respected academics have given guest lectures on the Programme. They include a lecture on K-Pop (Korean popular music) fandom by Dr Hae-kyung Um (University of Liverpool); Dr David Calvey (Manchester Metropolitan University) gave a lecture on ‘the ethics of covert ethnography’; Dr Yannis Tzioumakis (University of Liverpool) gave a lecture about the ‘Political economy of the Hollywood film industry’; Dr Les Roberts (University of Liverpool) gave a lecture on the use of digital media in the mapping of popular music heritage. Alumni from the School who have graduated from the MRes programmes and gone on to receive doctorates have also come in to speak with students about their own experiences studying at Master’s level and developing research projects.
Entry requirements (Home)
Applicants should have or expect to gain a good second class honours degree or above. Alternative qualifications and/or industry experience considered.
Experience in the field of: Public relations, journalism, information officers, librarians, marketers, social media managers, social scientists and civil servants.
Industry experience: Those without a degree may be considered depending on their circumstances. It is anticipated that since this programme will be of interest to those who are practising journalists, public relations consultants, marketers or social scientists. One possible non-degree entry route will be a minimum of five years work experience. Any applicant who has worked in posts detailed above are welcome to apply for the course.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications and must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, via an IELTS test with a score of 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in each component) or equivalent.
Entry requirements (International)
LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application. In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website.
For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.
6.0 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.
Sources of funding
Postgraduate Masters loans are available for the 2017/18 academic year. The new loans, of up to £10,000, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses, in line with the existing qualification framework for England. Administered by the Student Loan Company, the loans will be available to those under 60 at the start of their course.
Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to: ljmu.ac.uk/postgraduate-funding
LJMU Alumni Award
Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).
Postgraduate International Scholarships
LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.
English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary
A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.
Earn While You Learn
Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.
LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
Support for disabled students
Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.
Council tax exemption
All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.
The varied learning experiences, both creative and analytical, that you will encounter during this course will enable you to foster abilities that will be important for different career options.
Engagement with this vibrant and innovative programme of study will provide you with a portfolio of skills that will be valuable for working in a range of media industries. The postgraduate research training that is integral to this course will also enable you to pursue further study at doctoral level.
Former students who have studied Mass Communications at LJMU have gone on to work in advertising, marketing, public relations, arts administration, publishing, industry, retail, leisure, charitable organisation management, educational administration, accountancy, the social services, teaching and the Civil Service.
You may also pursue a career in broadcasting for radio and television, digital media and public relations.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.
Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.
Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.
Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.
These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.
You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international
Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:
- new international applicants
- current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
- LJMU international alumni
English for Postgraduate courses bursary
A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.
This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes