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14 January 2018

Announcing new MA Programme in Strategic Communications

A new interdisciplinary MA Programme with contributions from practitioners as well as International Relations experts, marketing scholars, military strategists and social scientists, with Strategic Communications as the core and unifying factor.

A busy crowd, with numbers superimposed
A busy crowd, with numbers superimposed

Unpredictable turbulence is spreading all over the world. And military, political, environmental, and financial upheavals are captured every minute on multiple communications platforms. In the 21st Century messages are transmitted via a host of technologies: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube via TV, Radio, laptop, tablet, and smart phone. Today speed matters; apparently more than ever. 

Political messages sent at lightning speed on these platforms and devices aim to persuade populations. So they must be received positively and embraced intellectually, even more so emotionally, if they are to achieve their desired effect; whether based on fact or lies. Strategic Communications, often described as Information Wars, needs to be understood in the context of many ways that wars are fought and won today.  

War Studies is a multidisciplinary department devoted to studying all aspects of war and conflict, and the broad remit of international relations. In the 21st century we need to understand how states and insurgent movements communicate as well as fight.

In September 2018 the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) launches its new MA in Strategic Communications programme. It offers students with an interest in entering or already engaged in government and military service as well as journalism of international politics and conflict, the opportunity to develop intellectual strengths including critical analysis and historical research, while acquiring a range of key skills practiced in the real world of politics.

The MA in Strategic Communications allows students to study for 1 year full time or 2 years part time. Lectures will be delivered by guest experts from government, marketing agencies, journalism and the armed forces, as well as War Studies and visiting academics. The programme offers regular opportunities to engage with career development, recruitment fairs and internship opportunities. To support students in transferring their skills to the world of employment, an internship has been established with NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia where a number of our students have enjoyed 3-month periods of work experience. In the past our students have also benefited from internships in strategic communications agencies, including the M&C Saatchi Group, and in the strategic gaming team of Shell Oil. Our students are also offered the chance to participate in a weekly policy review process with the Counter-Daesh Cell in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

‘Strategic Communicators work at the sharp end of global, regional, and national politics. Our programme teaches students how to think about Strategic Communications (theory) and how to do it (practice). What distinguishes this form of political communications from any other is how it targets populations and governments with specific campaigns designed to influence and change audience behaviour, usually in the national interest. We blend an understanding of the latest political marketing techniques of the Digital Age with diverse strategies that states like Russia, China, the USA, and insurgent movements like ISIS and Al Qaeda design to project their ideas and policies, and win over populations.’ Dr Neville Bolt, Convenor, MA in Strategic Communications.

MA in Strategic Communications course page -

For more information visit the online prospectus -

The KCSC website contains detailed information about the aims and objectives of the King's Centre for Strategic Communications -