The MA in Global Communications (MAGC) program is a 48 credit Coursework and Research Masters consisting of three semesters, which can be completed in one calendar year.* The program is composed of four core courses (16 credits) selected from seven core offerings (one of which is mandatory) and six electives (24 credits). The final 8 credits for the completion of the degree requirements are obtained by taking an internship or writing a thesis.

The MAGC Development Communications Track is an optional track within the MA in Global Communications.


Requirements for the MA in Global Communications, Development Communications Track

Core Courses (16 credits)

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.


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.


CM5053 Development Communications

This course provides an introduction to ‘Development Communications’ and to the communication practices that promote development, material change and social justice. The course explores the historical development of the field and the fundamental theories and figures and disciplines- from international development to mass communications-that have defined it as a distinct area of communications study and practice. Through numerous case studies, students explore intercultural and interpersonal communication on local, regional, national and global levels and examine numerous examples of development communications campaigns and civic media focusing on issues of public health, education, women’s empowerment, fair trade, and environmental, economic and cultural sustainability.


CM5063 Sustainable Development Practicum

How does communication work as local government bodies, civil-society actors and NGOs put together sustainable development initiatives? How can communication be made to work better? Cutting across disciplines, this practicum allows students to see individuals, groups and communities in collaboration (and sometimes conflict) in a South Asian context marked by the 2004 tsunami. Based in the international eco-community of Auroville (Tamil Nadu, south-east India), students will explore substantive areas including micro-credit, health care with special reference to HIV/Aids, socially responsible business and environmental management. On-site visits and team-work are central to the course, leading to the production of multi-media reports on the interface between communication, development and sustainability. This course has an extra course fee - to guage an estimated cost, the fee was approximately 1600 euros.


Core Options - Theory (8 credits)

Choose two of the following courses:

PO5003 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.


CM5070 Media, Gender & Globalization

This class studies in detail the relations between media, gender and sexuality in a complex global environment. We will build on a theoretical foundation of gender in terms of embodiment, representation, consumption and institutions, and apply various methods of analysis to a range of global media. We will examine how gender enters debates around globalization, including anti-globalization movements, and how constructions of gender influence the mediation of global issues such as nationality, war and terrorism, and transnational flows of people, culture and capital.


CM5073 Media & Society In The Middle East & N. Afr.

This course examines the role of Media in the Middle East and North Africa (primarily Arab countries). It analyzes the different ways in which Media and politics intersect. It covers the evolution of the Middle Eastern Mediascape, its relation to ideologies, to political and intellectual circles, to the emerging ruling elites, to entertainment and to financial sponsors. The course discusses as well the emergence of Pan Arab Media outlets (from newspapers to Satellite channels), their impact on the regional media scene, and then the beginning of the digital era or the "democratization" of media with internet, social networks, smart phones, and their roles in revolutions. Islam, its perceptions, its political impact, and the way some Islamist movements deal with or use the Media are topics to explore. LEARNING OUTCOMES: 1. To provide students with an understanding of important media trends in the Middle East. 2. To help students reflect on the role of Media in Middle Eastern culture and politics. 3. To assist students think through the roles that traditional and new/digital Media have played in revolutions in the region


CM5077 Communication & The Global City

This course looks at the interface between communications and urban space. With the rapid spread of neo-liberalism and the internet, urban theorists see the city as increasingly ‘capsularized’. Across the planet, new forms of human-created environment—the theme park, the free-trade zone, the gated community—are constructed. While urban space has often been carefully designed, well crafted public-relations strategies now situate cities at local and global levels. Thus, within a framework of contemporary urban theory underpinned by case studies, students will reflect on the affective politics of the city, thinking critically about the interplay between mediated communication and urban policy, public space and built form.


PO5079 Media, Governance & Diversity

This course takes up the life of multiculturalism, cultural diversity and pluralism as organizing principles for social relations between the state, communications media and populations. The course is divided into three parts: The first part of the course offers an introduction to different conceptions of society and their relationship to understandings of identity and difference. We will also take a brief look at the relationship between culture and governance, paying specific attention to the issues associated with cultural policy. The second part of the course will engage with the relationship between media, governance and diversity as framed within the context of the contemporary nation-state. The third part of the course looks at a few international and transnational institutions and issues, raising questions about the possible futures of difference and diversity.


PO5081 Collaborative Meth. In Conflict Res.

This course acquaints students with theory and research on collaboration, with particular emphasis on the relationship between collaboration and communication in situations of cultural and ethnic conflict. It begins with a focus on what sorts of problems and conflicts are best suited to collaborative interventions, and then sets out the essential features of a high-quality collaborative process and the various communicative acts that are essential to creating and maintaining such a process, which students practice in a simulation of a variety of cross cultural contexts.


LW5080 Women, Conflict Res., & Internat'l Law

This course will examine the existing international legal framework for the protection of women’s rights and contrast the law with the nearly universal perception that the world of women is a private sphere, one where laws made in the public realm have less weight, or are more difficult to implement due to lack of witnesses, or worse, community acceptance of certain types of gender-based violence. But activists are making progress across the globe in combating insufficient implementation of women’s rights. This course will explore their remarkably innovative strategies to achieve conflict resolution and the protection of women in challenging circumstances.


PO5058 Conflict Manag't, Prevent'n, & Resolut'n

Course will examine both the theory and practice of decision making, diplomacy and conflict resolution. It will examine theories of procedural and instrumental rationality, prospect theory, multiple advocacy, along with an examination of actual policy formation involving bureaucratic politics, policy networks, and caucuses. The course will likewise examine diplomatic theories ranging from “ripe for resolution” to “ripe for prevention”. And finally, specific historical and contemporary cases studies involving conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict transformation and conflict resolution will be examined.



Core Options - Practica (8 credits)

Choose two of the following courses:

CM5028 Advanced Video Production

(Video Production Practicum) This course is intended to give students an opportunity to understand the production process from development through the finished product, from both the theoretical and practical viewpoints. Therefore, during the course of the semester, students will be expected to produce several types of video projects: short videos, ‘limbering up’ exercises, commercials and PSA’s; participate in production of elements for class group projects; and complete a final project in the student’s choice of genre.


CM5062 Digital Media Writing Practicum

This course will create a “newsroom” setting encouraging critical thinking about the media. The course will examine how the Internet has revolutionized journalism, story telling, and the media industries more generally. Students will study, analyze and discuss these trends as well as write about particular issues – thus developing their own voices and “brands” as writers and media professionals. Students will maintain blogs and their work will be published and curated on the student media website where they will appear as blogger/columnists. Another component of the course will emphasize career development: each student will produce a professional-grade online profile and portfolio through blogs and social networks


CM5064 Video News: Writing, Reporting & Producing For Broadcast/web

This course introduces students to audio and video storytelling for television and digital platforms. Over one or, if they choose, two semesters, students with any level of video experience will move from the basics of field reporting and anchoring newscasts to more advanced and sophisticated levels of long-form video news. Class meetings will include the production of AUP's weekly television news webcast. A significant amount of course time will therefore be devoted to mastering news writing skills and journalistic techniques such as interviewing, news scripting, etc. The course will also examine how news stories are produced for ear and eye, including the construction of various story formats. The classes will help the student understand the role of the broadcast reporter, through the study and discussion of current issues in audio visual journalism, historical development and the organization of news operations.


CM5065 Broadcast Journalism Practicum

This is an experimental graduate level course designed to give a limited number of students hands-on training in preparing television news stories and features. Students will spend the semester producing video for internet broadcasts. The emphasis will be on story telling, so the course is intended for students who already know how to shoot and edit video. For those with limited video experience, there will be two weekend seminars (four days) of basic video instruction available. In addition to time spent putting together projects outside the classroom, students will be expected to spend a fixed number of hours per week volunteering for the production of the website broadcasts.


CM5066 Advanced Branding Practicum

Brands, their creation, their identity and their management derive from a set of disciplines and principles that have been developed over the past 60 years. These disciplines are the architectural underpinnings for successful branding and they apply equally across categories of products and services and geographically across countries. The Branding Practicum will instruct students in these disciplines and principles and ask students to apply them to the creation of a new international brand in a category of their choice. Students will analyze a chosen category, create a new brand proposition for it, develop the branding identity for the new brand including name, logo, selling proposition and more. They will also create a global marketing strategy for the brand.


CM5067 Advertising Practicum

The development of effective advertising is an intellectual and creative process that has evolved over the past century and includes the disciplines of research, targeting, strategy, strategy derived creative execution and evaluation. Today, the form and content of advertising is changing as the digital age opens new channels and types of messages. The Advertising Practicum will instruct students in the real world creation of effective advertising. Students will learn “the creation process” from start to finish, develop strategies and create advertising campaigns. Finally, they will compete to win an international brand’s advertising account by solving a strategic and creative challenge facing that brand just as it is done in the advertiser/ advertising agency industry worldwide. At the course’s end, students should have completed an advertising exercise that they can present to future employers as an aid to securing a job of their choice.


CM5069 Internat'l Public Relations Practicum

Public relations (PR) is now an integral part of everyday life. From politicians to playgroups, it is an important tool that can mean the difference between success and failure of a project or product. Effective PR is a key requirement of most companies and organisations and this course is designed to provide students with the necessary background knowledge to allow them to begin a career in this area and/or to improve their general business communication skills. The course outlines different types, practices, and principles of public relations. It looks at key frameworks and developments in PR theory and practice, offering a straightforward combination of theory and case studies. In an increasingly global context, it is also imperative to take into account the international and intercultural perspectives of PR.


CM5080 Visual Design Practicum

This course is an intensive introduction to the basics of design principles for a variety of communications strategies. Through hands-on lab time with step-by-step instruction, students will learn the fundamentals of working with Adobe Creative Suite in order to create their own brand and its accompanying visuals. Presentations by professionals working in various fields of design and communications will familiarize students with their first-hand experience. Design literacy is essential to all areas of communication, whether in traditional print, digital media, websites or video. This class will focus specifically on the relationship between image and text, providing students with a solid foundation for any further study of graphics or web design they may wish to undertake in the future, as well as training students to interact effectively with professional designers.. The class will be comprised of lecturers on the fundamentals of design, presentations by and workshops with working professionals, and hands-on lab time to learn practical technical skills as applied to students’ individual branding projects. It suits students who plan to work in advertising, NGOs, branding, global advocacy or any other field of communications. Design literacy is an essential skill, indispensable for the effective communication of any organization’s message. Students will gain appreciation of graphic design; learning how typography color, composition, photography, illustration, etc. work together to produce effective conduits of information.


CM5020 Magc Module

Elective courses (8 credits)

  • Choose two elective graduate courses selected from all global communications and international affairs offerings. Core options not taken as core may be taken as electives. 


Final Project: Thesis or Internship (8 credits)

CM5098 Internship

In the last semester of their studies students may choose to complete an Internship (instead of a Thesis) with a corporation, international organization, government body or NGO - requires a 50-60 page report and represents 3/6 months' work. Registration of the internship is subject to the MA Program Director's approval. Please contact the Internship Office for more information.


CM5095 Thesis

At the end of the course work students have the option of completing a thesis or an 8-credit Internship. In the last semester of their studies students may choose to complete a 14,000 to 20,000 word thesis (instead of an Internship). Additional paperwork available in the Office of the Registrar is MANDATORY for registration of the thesis.



Core Courses 4 8 32
Electives 4 2 8
Internship/Thesis 8 1 8



3 core courses 3 coure courses 2 core courses
1 elective course 1 elective course Internship/Thesis
16 credits 16 credits 16 credits


* The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components. 
** A special note:  U.S. Federal regulations state that AUP students receiving federal loans cannot do their Internship or write up their thesis in the United States. Students can only complete an Internship in the United States when it is not in pursuit of their degree.

See the tuition and costs for this program.  

Access the Fall 2014 Requirements for the MA in Global Communications, Development Communications Track.