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Political & Public Communication

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. For further information on international applications click here.

Dates for Submission of Applications
Applications will be accepted from EU students until 31st July 2017 and 10th July 2017 from non-EU students. Applicants are advised that places on this programme are limited given offers made to those who applied by the previous deadline.

Queries to Prof Kevin Rafter at mailto:

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 2017/18 class. You may be asked to attend for interview, or be available for telephone/Skype interview.


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

Careers or further progression

Positions held by recent graduates include: Director - Fleishman-Hillard; Account director - Murray Consultants'; Account Director - Wilson Hartnell PR; Account Director - Insight PR; Managing DIrector - Montague PR; Policy Director - IBEC; Special Adviser - Minister for Education; Head of Media - Sinn Fein; Chef de Cabinet - Fianna Fail; Press Officer - Labour Party; Head of Media - Fine Gael; Parliamentary Assistants - various TD's; Director of Communications - Garda Siochanna; Press Officer - Department of Finance; Press Officer - Department of the Taoiseach; Head of Communications - Houses of the Oireachtas; Broadcast Manager - Oireachtas TV; Head of Press - Law Society; Director of Advocacy - Focus Ireland; Education and Training Officer - Young Social Innovators; PhD Student - UCC; PhD Student - DCU; Communications Officer - Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

Further enquiries

Declan Fahy
t: +353 (01) 7007027

Subjects taught

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;

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, Mandy Johnson, Tony Heffernan, RIchard Moore and Mark Mortell. Other speakers included 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; and the British political blogger Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes).

Application date

How to Apply and Closing Dates
Make an Application

EU Applicants
Please apply through PAC ( by 31st July 2017

Non-EU Applicants
Please apply through PAC ( ) by 10th July 2017. Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised to apply as early as possible. If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Applying through the Postgraduate Applications Centre

To apply for this programme use the PAC code DC604 (part time) and DC631 (full-time) .

Queries on Completed Applications

Queries on completed applications can be made by e-mail to

Research areas

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.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!