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Strategic Communications

Key information

Subject area:

Public Policy, Politics & Security

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


5 hours (self-paced)

Available course dates:

From: 09 March 2023 To: 09 March 2025

Course overview

Strategic communications seeks to shift and shape long-term discourses in society. Strategic communicators aim to align their output with their own values and interests, desiring ‘positive change’. While changing the attitudes and behaviour of their target audiences, they pursue strategic outcomes in politics and geopolitics. Strategic Communications is ever present as states seek to gain advantage over other states, or as revolutionary and insurgent groups struggle to overthrow the status quo in their appeal to populations. In the 21st century, strategic communications is increasingly appropriated by state challengers as they prove more agile and persuasive than those states they choose to subvert. Governments are struggling to respond to global challenges––ranging from violent conflict to climate change––that shock the social order. The shaping and control of messages––words, images, actions, and non-actions––is increasingly difficult in a complex and constantly changing environment.

In this course you will be introduced to the core concepts of strategic communications, frameworks of analysis, and different perspectives on strategic communications around the world such as China, Russia, Brazil, and South Africa.

This is a self-paced online course where students can access and work through the material at their own convenience. You will have access to the course for 3 months.

What does this course cover?

This course is divided into five units covering:

  • What is strategic communications?
  • Strategy, memory & storytelling
  • Society against the state
  • Strategic communications around the world
  • The future of strategic communications

What will I achieve?

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand of the scope of the field of study, and the contested definition(s) of strategic communications
  • Explain the historical and disciplinary context of strategic communications
  • Identify the core theories and conceptual frameworks of the field of study, including discourse analysis, complexity, and network theory
  • Understand the tensions between states and their people, the role of strategic communications in justifying or contesting foreign interventions in domestic conflicts, and its use by non-state actors to mobilise populations against the state
  • Engage with the challenges that shifting global economic and political centres of gravity pose for strategic communicators
  • Investigate case studies of historical and contemporary strategic communications around the world.

Who will I learn with?

Neville Bolt

Neville Bolt

Reader in Strategic Communications Education

Who is this for?

There are no formal education or professional requirements, however, all learning will be delivered in English, therefore we recommend minimum IELTS Level 6 for learners to get the most from the spoken and written content.

Course status:


Full fee £450

King's Students, Alumni & Staff £382.50

Terms and Conditions



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