University of Nottingham Ningbo China
School of
International Communications
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MA International Communications Studies 

Programme Outline

It is a commonplace that communication is at the core of crucial aspects of human life, and that a lot of that communication is mediated. In recent years, however, mediated communication has reached new levels of importance in social and cultural domains stretching from business to identity formation, and a lot of that communication is technically and financially underpinned by global networks of computation and communication. The academic fields of media, communication and cultural studies have responded by re-examining long-established frameworks for understanding communications and also by considering the need for new paradigms fitting new objects of study.

The MA in International Communications Studies - which is designed to meet the needs of graduates from both a communications and non-communications studies background - provides an opportunity not only to study communications against the background of recent theoretical and methodological developments, but also to gain an insight into the skills and knowledge required by the contemporary media and communication industries.

Educational Aims

The aims of the MA International Communications Studies programme are to enable students to:

  • Enhance their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical bases of verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Enhance their knowledge and understanding of the cultural, social, political and economic bases of communications internationally
  • Acquire a high level of proficiency in an East-Asian language or in one European language other than English
  • Develop their intellectual skills
  • Make use of some of the specialised forms of knowledge in the disciplines represented on the degree
  • Practice and develop a wide range of transferable skills that will prepare students for further study and for employment

Outline Description of the Programme

The compulsory modules strike a balance between, on the one hand, grounding the student’s learning in the classic concepts, theories and methods of media, communication and cultural studies, and, on the other hand, exploring contemporary trends in online business models, international news flows, the use of Big Data etc.

Towards the end of the second semester, each student is assigned a dissertation supervisor based on project proposals.

Semester One

Compulsory modules provide the core skills and knowledge needed to analyse various forms of communication in their contemporary social and cultural settings as well as an opportunity to acquire either a modern European (French, Spanish, German) or East-Asian language (Japanese or Chinese). 

Semester Two

Students will continue to study their chosen language. Students will continue to develop their dissertation projects with the aid of their supervisors and in the compulsory module. Optional modules allow students to immerse themselves in topics suiting their interests and future career goals.

Case study

View a case study relating to this program 

Programme structure

MA International Communications Studies

The MA degree programme can be taken full-time in one year or part-time over a maximum of six years.

The programme is divided into modules, worth 10, 20, 30 or 60 credits each.

Students must take 180 credits (including 60 credits for a dissertation).

Students must also pass the taught components before proceeding to the dissertation.


Compulsory modules


Group One (Students must take 20 credits from this group)  

A European language (Spanish, French or German) or East-Asian language (Chinese or Japanese) for International Students (students cannot elect to study their first language) and a European Language (Spanish, French or German) or Japanese for Chinese students. Students will be able to enter study at a level appropriate to their individual needs ranging from beginners through to intermediate and advanced.

Optional Modules Group Two (students must take 30 credits from this group)

Credits  Code  Module                                               Semester
30  CS4013 Chinese Cinemas (level 4)  Spring
30  CS4613 Transmedia Narratives and Digital Literacy  Spring
30  CS4942 Digital Games as Communication  Spring

Detailed programme specifications information can be accessed on Online Programme Specifications.

How to apply

Mainland Chinese students: click here
Oversea students: click here

For further information, please contact the Head of School of International Communications, Prof. Andrew White via email