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Graduate Diploma in Media & International Conflict

Full Time (Z193) and Part Time (Z194)    APPLY

“Studying in the Clinton Institute was a wonderful experience. The classes are small, which means you really get to know everybody, and there is a very comfortable atmosphere. A wide range of topics ensured that everybody got a chance to study and discuss areas that they are passionate about. Lively debates were the norm!. This MA was a fascinating journey through history, current affairs, politics and media. It offered a great opportunity to build strong research, writing and presenting skills, with the help of diligent and engaging staff of the Institute . I would do it all over again if I could!” – Karen Dunne

This Graduate Diploma in Media and International Conflict is designed to enable students to develop understanding of the ways in which media interact with war, international conflict and security.  It analyzes the complex roles played by the media in the enactment and representation of international conflict and addresses the relationships among media, governments, the military, and NGOs in framing perceptions of international conflict.

It provides an interdisciplinary approach that considers both cultural and political dimensions of media responses to international conflicts, focusing on issues such as : public diplomacy as soft power, human rights and representation, distinctions between information and propaganda, the ethics of depicting human suffering, the role of new and social media in perceptions of conflict, the visual economy of the production, circulation and reception of imagery of conflict, and the effects of news reporting on government policy and NGO activity.  Modules in this programme are taught by resident UCD faculty and by external speakers, both academics and practitioners, who will broaden intellectual discussion and speak to examples of media work.

The programme will interest those seeking a career in international communications, professionals seeking more critical understanding of the international dimensions of their industry, and those wishing to prepare for advanced research in this area.



Applicants for the MA should hold one of the following qualifications:

  • A first class or second class, grade 1 degree
  • A US or Canadian degree with a GPA of 3.5
  • If an applicant doesn’t meet the normal entry requirement of a Level 8 degree, in exceptional circumstances they would normally present another qualification or award along with extensive work experience in order to be considered.


The curriculum is kept under review and modules may change from year to year. This is a 60 credit programme, of which 50 come from core modules and the remaining 10 from a list of optional modules available in other schools

The is a provisional list of core modules and are subject to final confirmation. Each module tutor will provide students with documentation setting out the structure and content of the module. 10 credit modules normally consist of weekly two-hour seminars. These are group discussion classes where students are expected to bring up issues arising from their independent study.

Public Diplomacy and Soft Power AMST40130 (10 credits)

This module will analyse historical and emergent roles of public diplomacy as the’soft power’ wing of American foreign policy. It will consider the ways in which the power of the American state is manifested in its operations across national borders, and examine the implications for cultural production and knowledge-formation shaped by the operations of this power. Key issues include: strategic communications and information warfare; the promotion of educational and cultural programmes; private/public networks and the role of non-state actors and NGOs in delivering and contesting public diplomacy goals; the role of rights discourse in public diplomacy; and the impact of new media technologies on public diplomacy. We will examine communications strategies that evidence new and sophisticated relations between public relations and public diplomacy, and comment on how these strategies are tied to (but also in tension with) foreign policy initiatives.

Media and US Foreign Policy AMST40030 (10 credits)

This module will focus on the roles of media in the making and representation of United States foreign policy. It introduces students to critical debates on the relationship between media, international conflicts and diplomacy and draws on scholarship from media studies and international affairs as well as primary media content. It covers a range of media, including print journalism, photojournalism, television, cinema and the internet. Historical coverage moves from WWII to the current ‘war on terr’ and considers throughout the connections between military and media technologies.

New Conflicts, New Media AMST40490 (10 credits)

This module will introduce postgraduate students to the New Conflict/New Media environment of the 21st century, developing both academic and professional skills for a cutting-edge approach to publication and engagement. Students will consider the changing nature of international conflict- political, economic, and ideological as well as military – to evaluate notions such as engagement and intervention in the context of geopolitics, rights, and governance. Specific case studies will include Iran, Syria, and the wider Middle East. Using this developing base of knowledge, students will be trained in the use of sources and in writing to produce analysis with immediacy for a general as well as a scholarly audience. They will also be introduced to multi-media coverage and presentation, for example, through audio-visual sources and output. The course will be complemented with the opportunity to intern for a high-profile website specializing in coverage and analysis of international and intro-national conflict. Students will be assess through a combination of short-form journalism and long form academic writing.

Challenges in US Foreign Policy AMST40310 (10 credits)

This module examines America’s role in international politics in the 21st century. It begins by developing a framework within which to think about the subject by drawing upon the historical modules in the first semester and also by exploring international relations theories such as idealism, realism and some of the various critical theories. The remainder of the module examines some of the key geopolitical challenges facing the United States, such as terrorism, climate change, cyber warfare and decline relative to other countries, as well as important bilateral relationships such as those with the European Union and China.

Research Skills and Methods AMST40080 (10 credits)

This course is designed to provide Masters and new PhD students with skills essential to the preparation and production of a postgraduate thesis. It will present the necessary tools for postgraduate research and develop associated skills such as the presentation of written and oral work to peers and scholars. It will also introduce students to methodology and the nature of interdisciplinary study.

Example of optional modules, this will change from year to year

International Economic Crisis (Sch. of Geography)

Theory of Human Rights

Africa: Crisis & Opportunity

Gender in Peace and Conflict

Latin American Politics

Foundations of US Foreign Policy

Governing the Global Economy

Assessment may vary depending on the module but it is largely done by end of term essay in addition to class presentation and/or minor essay during the semester


                                                                                                   EU Students  Non-EU Students

Graduate Dip. in Media and International Conflict Full-Time         €5,410           €11,900



Students apply online and decisions are made on a rolling basis.  A conditional offer can be made if you are still waiting in your final exam results .

The following documents should be uploaded with your application. In addition to completing the application form you will need the following:

  • Two academic references.
  • A person statement (700 – 1000 words) of interest and or experience relevant to the programme
  • Academic transcripts (UCD students do not need to upload these)
  • Copy of id (eg. passport or driving licence)
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must provide a IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge certificate of proficiency in English. It is expected that should will normally have reached an overall 7 (IELTS) with no section less than 6

Once a student has accepted a place on the programme they will have to submit all the original documents (hard copies) to:

On-Line Application Office,Tierney Building, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4

If you have any questions on the process please contact – Catherine.Carey@ucd.ie or

Tel. +353 1 7161560