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MA Media and International Conflict

Full Time (Z137) and Part Time (Z138) 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 MA programme 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.

“What’s great about this degree?, it is what you make of it. The MA in Media and International Conflict is a fascinating intellectual and social experience that you can shape to suit your desires. My peers are solicitors, sales people, journalists, techies, consultants, HR-gurus and reality TV producers. This is a degree for bright, exciting, ambitious and funny people, and I can gratefully say that enrolling was one of the best decisions I’ve had the chance to make”Sarah Hale

The MA curriculum is kept under review and modules may change from year to year. This is a 90 credit programme, of which 60 credits come from taught modules and 30 from a dissertation. 50 credits are from core modules and the remaining 10 from a list of options available through other Schools.


Our alumni are working in a diverse range of careers and include:

Media, NGOs, Public Service, Communication & PR, Research Centres, and Information Technology.


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

  • A first class or second class, grade 1 degree, if a student receives 2:2 they will be considered but must be interviewed first, either in person or via skype
  • 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.


This 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.

Trump’s America AMST40590 (10 credits)


The Newsroom (10 credits)

Details to follow shortly

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.

Dissertation AMST40150 (30 credits)

This thesis is based upon independent student research on a topic agreed with the Institute supervisor. Supervisors monitor student’s individual progress and offer advice on the preparation and presentation of the dissertation. It should be between 12,000 and 15,000 words. On completion of the thesis students should be able to: identify source material for research; carry out independent research and analysis; present research in a persuasive format; show knowledge of debates germane to the field of study;; develop skills of critical analysis and argument.

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

  • International Economic Crisis
  • 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 buy it is largely done by end of term essay in addition to class presentation and/or minor essay during the semester

FEES exclude the student centre levy.

                                                        EU Students  Non-EU Students

MA in Media and International Conflict Full-Time          €7,640              €19,200

MA in Media and International Conflict Part-Time         €4,590               €9,600

Information on possible scholarships is available here

UCD Fees 


Students apply online at www.ucd.ie/apply and decisions are made on a rolling basis. A conditional offer can be made if you are still waiting on 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
  • A 300 word dissertation proposal. You should outline the subject or topic that you are currently interested in researching and writing on. You can change your mind once you have started 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 6.5 (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