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Strategic Communications MA PG Dip

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Students will learn how states and their governments communicate in international politics and how they shape long term strategies in a range of fields from military to diplomatic to aid and development. This includes preparing for conflict between states or with insurgent groups, communicating a path during hostilities, and transitioning through post-conflict situations. It further analyses how states use diplomacy, culture and economics to manage the peace and avoid conflict, and engage in treaty and trade negotiations. Students will also encounter crisis communications: how to shape strategic responses to natural disasters, terror attacks, and military invasions. To appreciate this complex field from multiple perspectives, students will further discover how insurgent and revolutionary movements think about and put into practice their communications strategies with populations and states.

These themes will be taught through a set of challenges that represent some of the most significant that strategic communicators will face in the coming decade. We aim to prepare them with suitable skills.

Along with subject matter expertise, students will develop transferable analytical, research, and practical skills in a dynamic and rigorous, intellectual environment.

The course is associated with the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) - a global network of government agencies, media and marketing companies, and alumni.

Key Benefits

War Studies is a multidisciplinary department devoted to the study of 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 their policies and ideas in these dynamic contexts. We enable you to:        

  • Develop skills for in-depth analytical and critical thinking about international politics. Work with the latest, cutting-edge research in your field.
  • Contribute to a vibrant research community. Our world-renowned staff and international student body come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds.
  • Work with some of the world’s best academics in your field. Our Department staff publish world-leading research and offer outstanding research-led teaching and training.
  • Work with some of the world’s leading practitioners from governments, internal organisations, and strategic communications agencies. We teach not only how to think about strategic communications but how to do it.
  • Build networks. Connect with visiting academics, government ministers, diplomats, soldiers, aid and trade leaders, and journalists who regularly deliver our lectures and contribute to our seminars.
  • Grow your networks with employers, think-tanks, organisations, policymaking bodies in the UK and globally.E
  • Enjoy living and studying right in the heart of London beside the River Thames.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Distance Learning, Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90 (UK 120/ECTS 60 for FT PG Dip students)

Course leaders Dr Neville Bolt

Further details

Course contact for further information

 Dr Neville Bolt

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of War Studies



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MA Strategic Communications

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MA Strategic Communications at King’s examines the fascinating role of communications in contemporary politics, corporate leadership, foreign policy and international development.

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Course detail


The aim of this Masters programme is to enhance your knowledge of national and geopolitics today as seen through the lens of strategic communications.

The course is available to both full- and part-time students.

The MA comprises modules that total 180 credits. You will take two required modules – Theory & Concepts, and the practical Applied Strategic Communications. Each is worth 40 credits. You will take a further 40 credits of optional modules. This can be made up of a single 40 credit module or two 20 credit modules. MA Strategic Communications students are also required to write a 15,000-word research dissertation on a topic of Strategic Communications (60 credits). Students entering the FT PG Dip will be required to complete the above module structure, without a 60 credit dissertation. 

This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is an interdisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.


The majority of learning for this degree takes place at the King’s College London Strand and Waterloo Campus. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.

Course format and assessment


Per 40-credit Theory & Concepts required module, you will typically receive two hours per week over two ten week terms. This can be split into one lecture and one seminar or combinations thereof or one lecture followed by a case study. In addition to this you can expect 360 hours of self-study. 

Per 20-credit module optional module, you will typically receive  two hours per week over one ten week term. This can be split into one lecture and one seminar or combinations thereof. A few options are formatted to run as intensive weekend sessions. In addition to this you can expect 180 hours of self-study. 

Per 40-credit optional module, you will typically receive two hours per week over two ten week terms. This can be split into one lecture and one seminar or one lecture and one case study or combinations thereof. Some options are formatted to run as intensive weekend sessions. In addition to this you can expect 360 hours of self-study. 

For the Dissertation module, you will typically receive 12 hours worth of traning workshops and/or supervision. In addition to this you can expect 588 hours of self-study. 

Typically 1 credit equals 10 hours of work.



Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this programme is a combination of essays, project work, class participation, and/or exams. The dissertation module assessment will be assessed solely on the dissertation (100%).

Regulating body

 King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for part-time, your course will take two years to complete. You will take modules totalling 180 credits.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to date innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. Optional modules are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.

Required Modules

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete.

If you are studying the MA you will take modules totalling 180 credits. Students studying the PG Dip will be required to complete 120 credits. 

You are required to take the following modules:



Optional Modules

You are also required to take 40 credits of optional modules. Our past students of Strategic Communications strongly recommend:

  • Audience and Population Behaviour & Influence module (20 credits) – taught with King’s Business School
  • Political Marketing in the Digital Age module (20 credits) – taught with King’s Business School
  • Or you can choose 40 credits from a list of other War Studies options

Entry requirements & how to apply

Strategic Communications Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements

High 2:1


Undergraduate degree with high 2:1 honours (i.e. overall average of at least 65% across all years of study) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £65 applies.

All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Please note that as part of the evaluation of your application you may be required to undertake a Skype interview.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement Yes  A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). Please explain why you are interested in this particular programme and outline any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional You may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

Please note you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline and places are filled before the final deadlines above and we are unable to process more offers.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: MA: £14,700 per year (2020/21); PG Dip: £9,800 per year (2020/21); PG Cert: £2,450 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: MA: £26,550 per year (2020/21); PG Dip: £17,700 per year (2020/21); PG Cert: £4,425 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: MA: £7,350 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: MA: £13,275 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • library fees and fines
  • personal photocopies
  • printing course handouts
  • society membership fees
  • stationery
  • graduation costs
  • travel costs for travel around London and between campuses.


Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

This year four students joined the UK Cabinet Office as Strategic Communicators after completing the MA programme. Over the last 3 years, 14 of our students have enjoyed internships at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, Riga, Latvia, and several others have interned with and later been employed by communications companies in London.

This new MA course equips students to think conceptually about Strategic Communications in the dynamic world of global affairs, then how to apply particular practices and techniques to working in the field.


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