KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Politics and the Media (Module)

Module description

Political communication, propaganda and influence in the era of fake news 

The term ‘propaganda’ is increasingly prevalent in today’s political debates and discourse, alongside other terms such as ‘fake news’ and ‘disinformation’. But what is the history of these concepts? How were they developed and deployed, and to what purpose? And how has the modern media environment, particularly the use of social media, given them a new relevance? This module explores the evolution of political communication, in particular the phenomenon of propaganda. You will explore the theory and practice of propaganda and strategic communication, and case studies from the Second World War to current political debate. You will also engage with the challenges our current information environment poses for politics, society, and security.

The module is taught by King’s academics, and based on a 15 credit King's undergraduate module. It comprises 150 study hours, including teaching time, independent study and group work. A detailed timetable for this module will be available on KEATS from June 2020.

Upon completion of the course you should:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key theories of political communication and propaganda.
  • Have acquired the ability to critically engage with and evaluate case studies of communication and propaganda.
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage critically with the scholarly debates over the nature, role, and impact of various political campaigns.
  • Have developed analytical and critical skills that are transferable to broader political and security related courses.
  • Have developed more confidence and competence in your academic writing and presentation skills, and will have gained team-working and cooperation skill from completing group-based tasks.

Staff information

Taught by the Department of War StudiesFaculty of Social Science & Public Policy, King's College London

Teaching pattern

  • Lectures
  • Seminar discussions
  • Group based tasks

Module assessment - more information

Students will submit:

1 x 1500 word essay. Individual. 60%.

1 x presentation, 5 minute recorded power point concerning a political communication case study. Group task (2/3 per group), accompanied by a submission of a 500 word summary of the presentation. 30 %.

1 x 500 word ‘blog post’ type submission, commenting on a case study. 10%.

Key information

Module code 4ZSS0176

Credit level 4

Assessment coursework oral examination/s

Credit value <p>Classes can often be taken for credit towards degrees at other institutions, and are examined to university standards. To receive credit for King's summer classes, contact your home institution to ask them to award external credit. This class is equivalent to an undergraduate degree module and usually awarded 3-4 US credits or 7.5 ECTS.</p>

Semester summer session 1

Study abroad module No