MA in Global Communications, Development Communications Track

Well-crafted communications strategies are central to the positioning of international organizations, national governments听and the diverse range of actors composing civil society. As civil society's importance grows globally, understanding its dynamics is increasingly central for anyone who wishes to intervene on its terrain.

The Development Communications Track within the MA in Global Communications explores how civil society actors use communication to achieve their goals. A cutting edge curriculum offers a combination of practical branding, PR, production听and social media courses complemented by crucial theoretical and analytical courses treating actual cases.

I knew I wanted to use communication for a good cause, to contribute something to the rest of the world.

Rieke Weel '12
Expanding experience, introducing ideas

This track is designed for both professionals seeking broader academic training and new students seeking a range of specific training and broad understanding. Students study specific issues of global civil society relating to broad categories of freedom and expression, advocacy, governance and the rule of law. The theoretical part of this degree examines issues of power, political as well as institutional agency, discourse听and mediated communication. Current trends in governance, non-state and civil society organization will also be studied.

Hands-on training

In addition to equipping students with new or expanded communications skills, the hands-on practical courses and modules enable students to think critically, on the basis of case studies, about interaction between the State, private business and the third sector. Themes studied include both internal and external communication in organizations.

Practica have been run outside France in Morocco and India. Students will gain insight into communication between NGO members, within the NGO world and civil society, between NGOs, donors and governments, and between NGOs and the corporate world.

Coursework and Research Masters

The MA in in Global Communications, Development Communications Track is a 48 credit Coursework and Research Master's that can be completed in one calendar year. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however听many students choose to take additional time for these components. The program offers an extensive range of classes blending theory and practice. Students develop precision in their problem-solving skills through challenging hands-on modules and the choice of an internship or a personalized research project.

Alongside the core modules of the Global Communications course, students taking the Development Communications Track will choose from additional electives on topics including:

CM5001 Global Communications

This course introduces students to major theories and practices of communications research, particularly those dealing with the globalization of media and culture. Students learn a mixture of approaches: rhetorical, quantitative, ethnographic and textual. They learn how various disciplines鈥攅conomics, political science, anthropology, sociology, and rhetoric鈥攄eal with these issues. They also study a variety of research methodologies, learn how to create research projects and develop thesis-writing skills.

PO5012 Civil Society: Internat'l & Comp. Persp.

鈥淐ivil society鈥 is one of the more elusive entries in the social science lexicon, and not a few have argued that we could do well without it. In a critical but appreciative spirit, this seminar introduces to the various meanings and uses that have been attributed to, or made of, civil society across time and national contexts. A constant in its various meanings is the reference to an elementary capacity of social self-organization beyond states and markets. This has made civil society an attractive alternative to diminished states and unfettered markets in the era of globalization, interestingly for the political left and right alike.


PO5025 Communication & The Global Public Sphere

This course focuses on the concept of the/a public. Discusses how media and political actors rhetorically constitute the public; how they (and occasionally governments) constitute 鈥減ublic spaces鈥(virtual and material) in which public discourse takes place, and how institutional and technological forces constitute 鈥減ublic opinion鈥 and articulate 鈥渢he public interest.鈥 On the other hand, we will consider how political economy of media and social practices facilitate or stifle spaces, political actors, and publics. The course will also compare contemporary manifestations of public-making with Habermas鈥檚 theory of the public sphere, which he thought was an area of social life vital to a legitimate democracy. The potentiality, control, and use of new communication technologies are explored in relation to the existence and future of a global public sphere.

CM5053 Development Communications

This course provides an introduction to 鈥楧evelopment Communications鈥 and to the communication practices that promote development, material change and social justice. The course explores the historical development of the field and the fundamental theories and figures and disciplines- from international development to mass communications-that have defined it as a distinct area of communications study and practice. Through numerous case studies, students explore intercultural and interpersonal communication on local, regional, national and global levels and examine numerous examples of development communications campaigns and civic media focusing on issues of public health, education, women鈥檚 empowerment, fair trade, and environmental, economic and cultural sustainability.

CM5063 Sustainable Development Practicum

How does communication work as local government bodies, civil-society actors and NGOs put together sustainable development initiatives? How can communication be made to work better? Cutting across disciplines, this practicum allows students to see individuals, groups and communities in collaboration (and sometimes conflict) in a South Asian context marked by the 2004 tsunami. Based in the international eco-community of Auroville (Tamil Nadu, south-east India), students will explore substantive areas including micro-credit, health care with special reference to HIV/Aids, socially responsible business and environmental management. On-site visits and team-work are central to the course, leading to the production of multi-media reports on the interface between communication, development and sustainability. This course has an extra course fee - to guage an estimated cost, the fee was approximately 1600 euros.


CM5068 Ngo Practicum

The NGO practicum is a course that prepares students to engage with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field. It will introduce students to several important tools necessary to be reflective and responsible agents of social change. The course includes a series of preparatory sessions, which may include lectures, workshops, visits, and individual research assignments, followed by a period of overseas fieldwork in which students will collaborate with local NGOs to help create various project management tools or media projects.

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