MA in Global Communications

Delivering transformative educational experiences since 2006, AUP’s MA in Global Communications is an interdisciplinary, hybrid academic program that produces expert communications professionals and scholars. Taught by a dedicated, inspirational and international faculty made up of intellectual and professional leaders in their fields, the program is designed for you to find a pathway to future success that suits your own needs.

We take our students seriously: as future professionals, as emerging scholars and, above all, as individuals with something to say and somewhere to go. Whether they come to explore career options, to consolidate an area 
of expertise, or to change direction entirely, students shape their program around a desire for challenge.

Breadth of expertise

The courses in this program take advantage of the extraordinary breadth of faculty knowledge and expertise, in a curriculum always being adapted to meet emerging needs. We welcome students with a wide range of interests and provide expert academic and practical training on topics spanning:

  • Communications Theory – from the development of the field and its major concepts and debates to the latest debates and challenges in a globalized world
  • Digital Media Technologies – from the rise and promise of the Internet to the immersive networks of social media and ubiquitous computing devices
  • Global Media and Media Systems – producing comparative knowledge of structures of ownership, control, influence and innovation
  • Visual Culture – exploring the multivalent power of images and screens and practices of looking
  • The Creative Industries – their increasing role in advertising and branding goods and services, and promoting and disrupting ideas and values
  • Journalism and Public Relations – including the challenges and opportunities of producing and sharing compelling content in an attention-based digital economy
  • Fashion and Material Culture – from luxury to sustainability in a rapidly transforming industry and wide-ranging practices of consumption in a consumerist society and beyond
  • Cultural Difference and Cultural Diversity – their complex relationship to changing practices and politics of communication globally, including practices, policies and organizations
  • Activism and Advocacy – in a world of new political stakes and stakeholders and transformative technologies

Developing critical and practical skills

Across these areas of expertise, you will develop a toolkit of critical and practical skills to equip you for the varied and fast-moving communications landscape. Global Communications graduates move into the workplace with core competencies, such as research skills, qualitative and quantitative analysis, writing for different audiences, oral communication and presentation skills, and visual communication methods, including video, visual design, and data visualization.

An international approach to learning

The MA in Global Communications encourages students to take their education beyond the classroom. Your learning experience is deepened by the opportunity of immersive practica and study trips where you will come into contact with experts in the field. Whether networking with communications professionals in New York or London, developing sustainable initiatives in India, or experiencing nation branding in Iceland or cultural heritage in Morocco, or we are committed to putting theory into practice.

Program Requirements

The program features core and elective courses, allowing you to focus on various fields of practice. We cover a rich scope of content in the expanding fields of communications, media studies and cultural studies, including:

CM5001 Global Communications

This course introduces students to major theories and practices of communications research, particularly those dealing with the globalization of media and culture. Students learn a mixture of approaches: rhetorical, quantitative, ethnographic and textual. They learn how various disciplines—economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, and rhetoric—deal with these issues. They also study a variety of research methodologies, learn how to create research projects and develop thesis-writing skills.

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CM5002 Brands And Belief

This course examines the evolution of critical advertising and brand analysis with a particular emphasis on learning how people come to identify with and believe in brands. It includes an analysis of how brands work as systems for producing differences between themselves by creating imaginary possible worlds associated with brands. Students learn tools of semiotic and linguistic analysis in analyzing brands and how they relate to each other. Each student completes a communications audit of a brand examining all aspects of its communicative strategies from package design to employee behavior, clothing, architecture, and shop design. The course will also examine how branding now has extended beyond consumer brands to such areas as NGOs and politics (political parties as brands and politicians as brands).

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CM5003 Cultural Diversity & Globalization

The course will explore the ways in which cultural difference is mobilized – socially, politically and economically – by individuals and groups and the ways in which current discourses and practices of cultural difference interact with globalization. The course will analyze the combined processes of homogenization and fragmentation that result from this encounter. It will examine how affirmations of cultural distinctiveness are joined by yearnings for negotiations and ‘translations’ between them. As different actors deploy divergent understandings of ‘culture’, questions of cultural ‘identity’, access, agency and power come to the fore. The actors in question range from academic cultural theorists to officials in governmental agencies; they also include international organizations, cultural entrepreneurs, NGO activists and artists. Against the backdrop of globalization, the course will analyze how these actors articulate ‘cultural’ discourses and strategies and practices as well as how the media re-articulate and reflect the latter. Two particular discursive formations will be emphasized: i) those of ‘cultural diversity’ that focus on cultural goods and services and ii) those inspired by the notions of inter- or trans-cultural communication and dialogue.

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CM5004 Global Digital Cultures

This course provides an introduction to key topics and theories in the study of the Internet and other digital media as cultural and social phenomena. Four main themes guide our approach: space and networks; bodies and identities; objects and practices; and economics and politics. Within the contexts of globalization, we will place particular emphasis on interrogating transformations made possible by the pervasion of digital media, but also restrictions and contestations that arise. Students will develop their individual interests in relevant topics with an independent research project.

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CM5005 Identity Formation In A Transnat'l World

This course examines the theories of self and identity formation in a globalized world where traditional techniques of identity formation coming from religions and schools and family are being supplemented or changed by techniques coming from other cultures and countries. Some of these ways of self-identification are influenced by consumerism, advertising and media. Some are influenced by traditional physical and moral training or globalized martial arts. Some are influenced by the implantation of psychological and therapeutic techniques from the West. Others are linked to the circulation of techniques of self-formation from yoga, tai chi, and kabala that have been taken out of their traditional contexts and globalized, mediatized and modernized. This course looks at people who seek to make and define themselves in various different local contexts. It will also examine the rise of religious fundamentalism, its appeal to youth, and how it uses media. The course also looks at the role of media, institutions and advertising consumer culture in this process.

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CM5025 Communication & The Global Public Sphere

This course focuses on the concept of the/a public. Discusses how media and political actors rhetorically constitute the public; how they (and occasionally governments) constitute “public spaces”(virtual and material) in which public discourse takes place, and how institutional and technological forces constitute “public opinion” and articulate “the public interest.” On the other hand, we will consider how political economy of media and social practices facilitate or stifle spaces, political actors, and publics. The course will also compare contemporary manifestations of public-making with Habermas’s theory of the public sphere, which he thought was an area of social life vital to a legitimate democracy. The potentiality, control, and use of new communication technologies are explored in relation to the existence and future of a global public sphere.

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CM5026 Politics & Economics Of Global Media

This course examines the dynamics of the global media system. Students will gain a critical awareness of how international flows of information, entertainment and lifestyle values play a powerful role in shaping cultural and political realities. The concept of "soft power" is key in examining the influence of Western pop culture, whether as "imperialism" or as "globalization". The course examines soft power in various forms: Hollywood movies, television series, pop music, Disney cartoons, fast food such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds, and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The course also analyzes the influence of non-Anglo-American pop culture — from Turkish soap operas to Latin American "telenovelas".

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CM5097 Global Communications Research Seminar

This graduate course focuses each semester on a topic of current research within the field of communications. Each week, the topic will be explored in a dual format: a seminar accompanied by a guest lecture by a different researcher in the field. The course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of debates of contemporary relevance to communications scholarship.

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Explore the full Program Requirements

Program Highlight

India Sustainable Development Practicum

Work on media and communications projects for local NGOs committed to social, cultural, and economic development

Critical thinking and professional skills

This degree will prepare you to be a culturally literate, influential and boundary-pushing communications professional.

As a student of the MA in Global Communications you will:
  • Challenge assumptions and weigh up opposing perspectives, to find the right evidence, and to build compelling arguments on complex emerging topics
  • Develop independent research skills to deepen your own topics of contemporary significance in close consultation with faculty
  • Master practical skills in cutting-edge techniques and technologies of communication
  • Gain professional training and experience with industry leaders from a wide range of organizations
  • Be immersed in experiential learning, in the field, in the studio, in intensive workshops and in international locations
  • Explore global and cross-cultural perspectives in a world where human interaction has been both enhanced and fragmented and understand the importance of historical contexts to contemporary challenges
  • Receive intellectual and professional mentorship in intimate classrooms, personalized attention and faculty-student collaboration

Global Communication Tracks

Building on the core program, the MA in Global Communications offers specialized tracks in fashion, development, and digital cultures and industries communication.

Fashion

Track

Explore a global system of meaning from the world's fashion capital

Development Communications

Track

Explore how civil society actors use communication to achieve their goals

Digital Cultures and Industries

Track

An innovative, interdisciplinary focus on digital technologies in today’s world

Strong Graduate Employment

Close to 9 out of every 10 graduate alumni that graduated from The American University of Paris during the years 2012-2014 have found a job, become entrepreneurs or pursued additional educational routes within one year of graduation. Our graduate programs provide academic excellence and practical knowledge that prepares you to successfully enter the international employment market after graduation. 

Internships

During the course of your study, you are encouraged to build on your education at AUP by applying gained knowledge and skills. An internship provides you with the crucial connection between theoretical knowledge and the real world experience that can ultimately kick start your professional career.

    • 90%
      of students register an internship
    • 24%
      register two internships
    • 34%
      of internships result directly in job offers

Companies where students intern

Women’s Wear Daily

Proximity BBDO

OECD

UNESCO

Lyxor Asset Management

Edelman Intelligence

Rémy Cointreau

L’Oreal SA

Karl Lagerfeld

BBC

Hermès International

Variety

Your classmates

Sam

Student

After reading about AUP’s coursework, I knew it could help me attain my goals

Anne

Student

I found there is a close relationship between students and professors

Experience the Program

Learning methods focus on conventional techniques as well as critical management studies and approaches from other academic disciplines. Courses combine lectures, seminar discussion, case-method and student-directed projects. Within this context, a special emphasis is put on professional skills development and career development. You also have the opportunity to collaborate with each other and program faculty for research projects and specialized directed study courses.

Jura Practicum

Food, Culture and Communications

Explore the significance of food and eating in everyday life

Pass the Tech

Faculty Student Collaboration

Mobilising alumni, students and faculty to be part of the solution