Political Communication

This programme examines the rapidly changing relationship between the media, politics and the public, and considers how their overlapping relations influence democracy and the distribution of power.

You should apply for this programme if you are interested in media coverage of politics, the role of spin, agenda-setting, public relations, political advertising and new media.

You will work with leading academics in the areas of political communication, political science and journalism studies. You will also be exposed to a range of senior influential guest lecturers.

•To provide students with a conceptual framework to understand the evolution, practice and terminology of political communication;
•To examine the relationship between the media, politics and the public;
•To provide an understanding of how political and public communication informs and sustains democracy and the distribution of power in both national and international contexts;
•To acquire the ability to undertake and communicate original research;

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements
Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent (2:2) but appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may be accepted as equivalent to an honours degree in accordance with the relevant regulations of the University. Interviews may be held.

International Applications
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

Positions held by our graduates include:
•Analyst - LinkedIn; Director of Advocacy - Focus Ireland;
•External Communications - Bank of Ireland;
•Director of News - Storyful; Director - Fleishman-Hillard;
•Senior Public Affairs Manager -Vodafone;
•Media Manager -Connaught Rugby;
•Head of Group Communications - Irish Life Account Director - Murray Consultants;
•Account Director - Insight PR;
•Policy Officer - Department of Justice;
•Financial Education Manager - Competition Authority;
•Account Director - Wilson Hartnell PR;
•Managing Director - Montague PR;
•Policy Director - IBEC; Special Adviser - Government Minister;
•Head of Media - Sinn Fein; Chef de Cabinet - Fianna Fail;
•Press Officer - Labour Party; Head of Media - Fine Gael;
•Parliamentary Assistants with various TDs and Senators;
•Director of Communications - Garda Síochána;
•Press Officer - Department of Finance;
•Press Officer - Department of the Taoiseach;
•Head of Communications - University of Limerick;
•Broadcast Manager - Oireachtas TV;
•Head of Press - Law Society;
•Communications Officer - Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland;

Further enquiries

Kevin Rafter
t: +353 (01) 7005082

Subjects taught

Core modules include:
•Political Communications
•Concepts and Issues
•Media and Politics in Ireland
•Public Relations
•Theories of Communications
•Research Methods
•Communication Policy.

Optional modules include:
•Social Media and Democracy
•Political Economy of the Media

Content will be attractive to recent graduates and also those seeking to develop a critical perspective on an existing career.


Why Do this Programme in DCU?
•Long established & highly regarded nationally and internationally;
•Challenging learning environment;
•Taught by a team of experienced, research active lecturers;
•Experienced guest speakers;
•High employment rates for graduates & excellent career progression.

Recent guest speakers have included: senior political advisors, Fergus Finlay, Gerard Howlin, Ciaran Conlon, Anne Maire MacNally, Mandy Johnson, Sean Dorgan and Mark Mortell.

Other speakers have included:
•James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly in Washington
•Robert Watt, Secretary-General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
•Craig Gordon, Chief Deputy Managing Editor of the Washington based online publisher, Politico
•Chris Mullin, former British Labour MP and government minister
•Peter Horricks, head of global news at the BBC
•British political blogger Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes).

Application date

Dates for Submission of Applications
First round applications will be accepted until Friday 27 April 2018. Applicants will receive a decision within five working days of 27 April 2018 at the latest. Should places still be available, a second round of applications will be accepted from EU students until 31st July 2018 and 10th July 2018 from non-EU students. Applicants are advised that places on this programme are limited given offers made to those who apply by the April deadline.

As part of your application through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( system please submit a personal statement (maximum 1,000 words) - tell us why you want to join our 2018/19 class. You may be asked to attend for interview, or be available for telephone/Skype interview.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!