MA in Global Communications Program Requirements

The MA in Global Communications program is a 48 credit Masters taken over three semesters of coursework, followed either by your thesis or a 3-6 month internship. The program is composed of four core courses (16 credits) selected from eight 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.


Core courses (16 credits)

All students must take:

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.


And choose three of the following courses:

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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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".


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.



Elective courses (24 credits)

Choose six of the following courses:

CM5007 Color As Comm. In Marketing & Art

This workshop provides the opportunity for a cross-analysis of color design and color communication. Visits to museums and on-site field research in the multicultural environment of Paris are an integral part of the course. Students will examine how color principles are articulated in the context of cultural, historical, socio-economic, and environmental factors. In this practicum, students will produce a set of color studies illustrating their understanding of the application of the principles of color usage and how color interacts with values of ethnicity, culture and habitus to produce communication.


CM5008 Media Diaspora

Recent years have witnessed the proliferation of interest in the concept of diaspora. This course will help students to situate the growing significance of ‘diaspora’ talk in the context of contemporary phenomena including global governance, migration and cultural politics. Specifically, the course focuses on the significance of culture (and mediated culture specifically) in the formation and maintenance of modern diaspora.


CM5011 Fashion Theory

Fashion Theory: (Un)dressing the Self: Dress & Identity Dress is representation and objectification of our identity. It enables and supports social roles and structures. It grants us individuality at the same time as confirming our group belongings. As the most visible form of consumption, the most pertinent type of non-verbal communication, dress fulfils a decisive role in the construction of social as well as individual identity, the reflexive production of self. This course examines dress and fashion as social and cultural phenomena. It will explore the ways in which different identity categories – social, individual, gender, class – are constructed through dress. Moreover, we will explore dress as a multi-sensory system in relation to the way we experience and construct our ‘selves’ and the world we live in – a fact often overlooked in our seemingly occularcentric culture. Focusing on the physical self, the physio-aesthetic effect of cloth/ing on our bodies will be considered, the symbiotic relationship between the moving body, dress, the skin, the senses, and the self. Through the readings of some of the key (fashion) theorists (e.g. Anzieu, Barnard, Barnett, Barthes, Davis, Eicher, Entwistle, Eco, Evans, Featherstone, Finkelstein, Flugel, Foucault, Goffman, Kaiser, König, Lacan, Laver, Lindstrom, Lipovetsky, Pallasmaa, Phelan, Roach-Higgins, Simmel, Stone, Veblen, Vinken, Wilson) we will investigate motivations in dress, the communicative properties of clothes and how we perform ourselves by way of dressing every day, the Western hierarchy of the senses, and the construction of the self as a visual and tactile process and the role of dress within it. In addition to textual and visual sources, this course will consider a series of films to explore dress as an embodied and situated practice, investigating the relevance of filmic representation for fashion-related research and analysis. In preparation of the written assessment, the course will include a workshop on visual analysis.


CM5013 Fashion System

The course aims to equip students with a knowledge of the fashion cultures that contribute to continued evolution in fashion industry systems, including the characters, business models and other diverse influences that shape fashion. Using the international fashion calendar as a framework for study, the course will consider the role of fashion as an innovator, in business modeling, planning, communication, market research & analysis and creative entrepreneurialism as well as in the area of product and trend. Students will be encouraged to question how fashion has influenced other parts of the creative industries sector. The course will examine market segmentation and trend scouting in fashion, including an understanding of the influence of local trends on global products, (and vice versa) and the fashion industry's need to quantify trends. Paris has long been revered as the first fashion city, and retains its position as a vital “research centre” for retailers, brands and designers. Set within a maelstrom of contemporary fashion cultures that include universal blogs and market information overload, Paris offers students an excellent laboratory for a study of the fashion paradigm that will be utilized in this module. The course offers students an opportunity to examine the synchronicity of multimedia and global cultures with fashion (current forms such as blogs, branding campaigns and viral marketing as well as historic – movies, magazines, art). You are encouraged to develop an understanding of key drivers to the fashion industry machine, from sourcing and manufacturing to design, forecasting and retail. Primary research will form an important part of this course and students will be strongly encouraged to visit shows, trade fairs and stores within a structured line of investigation related to project briefs.


CM5015 Social Media: Networks & Strategies

This course examines the social, economic and political implications of Web-based social networks like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Particular emphasis will focus on how ‘social capital’ is being transformed by online social networking, leading to new forms of identity construction, status, and power. The course also assesses the disruptive impact of social media on established models in media, marketing, and politics from citizen journalism and branding campaigns to global diplomacy and cyberwar.


CM5017 Fashion Journalism

This course examines the many facets of communicating fashion to the outside world. We shall analyze the ways the various media: print, visual, and new, cover fashion. The role of PR in facilitating access to coverage will also be examined. Fashion journalism is undergoing a major shift with the advent of new technology. In order to understand this revolution, we shall consider the larger context in which fashion coverage is being played out. We shall look at newspapers, magazines, TV, movies and the web. How fashion can be presented: as spectacle, as image, as art, as craft, and as a commercial, industrial entity will be given consideration. An introduction to the major players and characters in the fashion world will be also part of this course.


CM5020 Magc Module

Topics for these intensive, practical modules change every semester.


CM5021 Paris Fashion And Design Template

This two-part course examines how and why Paris became the center of the contemporary fashion world. In part one, through reading, history and cultural theory and visiting certain key sites in Paris, students will develop an in-depth understanding of a city which is often considered to have been the template for modern urbanism – the ‘capital of the nineteenth century’, to use Walter Benjamin’s expression. In part two of the course, the emphasis shifts: the rise of the great couture houses becomes the focus. When did couture emerge, how it transformed in the twentieth century, what is the place of the couture today with the rise of ecological concern with it sustainable fashion? How did the couture house fit in the changing cultural environment in Paris, with wider aesthetic, social and moral concerns? In taking Paris Fashion Template, students will be cognizant with the city’s evolution from the seventeenth century onwards and have strong sense of the business and institutions which did so much in making the city a center what is now a global industry.


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.


CM5033 Media, Stuff & Values

This course will first define essential aspects of the material and analyse different theoretical approaches to the study of material culture. We will then investigate how ‘stuff’of material culture (landscapes, objects, clothing, paraphernalia of the everyday environment) mediates contemporary identity in the context of a globalised culture and examine how the interplay between design, form, and function is represented by media as embodying cultural value. We will reflect on the nature of consumption, consider the politics of value of commodities, and explore how media are transformed into signs of global material culture.


CM5037 The Museum As Medium

The origins of the contemporary "museum" can be seen in the rage for collecting unique and unusual objects which characterized the Renaissance and the age of exploration. Possession of such objects conveyed not only the power and wealth of the collector, but also displayed the collector's intellectual and aesthetic preferences to a selected audience, thus simultaneously confirming the identities of both collector and spectators as members of a privileged group. In the Age of Enlightenment and the Encyclopedia, the classification and organization of facts and objects - both intellectual property and material culture - gave birth to the concept of the modern 'museum'. This course investigates the construction and communication of national, cultural, and community identities and diverse definitions of heritage through the medium of the contemporary museum, where material culture is exhibited and organized to express verbal and visual narratives that evoke particular interpretations of history and values. Lectures and discussions will alternate with museum visits in which museum display and techniques of exhibition are identified and analysed. Issues of visitor participation, the museum experience, digital tools, websites and virtual visits will be considered. Several guest lectures by professionals will expand upon contemporary museum issues. Please note that an additional fee will be charged for this course.


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.


CM5060 Visual Culture, Theory & Communication

This course explores the power of visual forms of media and communication in forming and transforming our world and society. Through a transcultural survey of materials, contexts and theories, students will learn to study the visual as a place where meanings are created and contested, and understand how culture, ideology, and social norms and values can be conveyed through images. We will engage film, photography, museum exhibitions, advertisement, news reports, and consider the transformation of these media in a globalized digital environment. The rising power of digital vernacular images – images made by ordinary people in ordinary situations – is one of the subjects to be considered. We will address the impact of social media on the redefinition of community and identity, and on the transformation of politics and branding. Ultimately, students will deploy “tactics for studying the functions of a world addressed through pictures, images, and visualizations”. They will learn how visual theories extend across cultures, how visual practices shape the physical and cultural conditions of vision, and how visual media impacts our identity and environment in fundamental ways.


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


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.


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.


CM5068 Ngo Practicum

The NGO practicum is a course that prepares students to engage with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field. It will introduce students to several important tools necessary to be reflective and responsible agents of social change. The course includes a series of preparatory sessions, which may include lectures, workshops, visits, and individual research assignments, followed by a period of overseas fieldwork in which students will collaborate with local NGOs to help create various project management tools or media projects.


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.


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


CM5076 Food, Culture & Communication

In this class, we will explore the manner in which people in France and the United States think about and interact with their foods. In so doing we will critically examine: the historical development of nutrition and gastronomic discourses in these countries, their contemporary manifestations (in media and advertising, governmental institutions and guidelines, food production and consumption) and their role in the formation of individual, national, gender and class identities. In so doing, we will critically explore, from a cross-cultural perspective, the concepts (such as health and taste), practices (such as cooking or dieting), places (such as school cafeterias or vineyards) and people (such as nutritional scientists or restaurant chefs) involved in the elaboration, maintenance and reformulation of these discourses. Among the most important goals of this class are: to further develop students' ability to think critically about modern processes and contemporary identities using a range of theoretical approaches; to bring students to an understanding of France and the United States that goes beyond well encrusted clichés; and, to allow students to develop a new appreciation for their foods and a more profound understanding of their relationship to them. The class will include a one-week "terroir and taste" fieldtrip to the Jura Mountains. Note: the tasting of cheese, meat products and wine is an integral part of the Jura trip.


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.


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.


CM5081 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.


CM5091 Topics In Global Communication

Topics change each semester- see the current Academic Schedule for current course descriptions.



Internship or thesis (8 credits)

End-level completions are either a thesis or internship. 

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.



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.




Credit Model

Core Courses 4 4 16
Electives 4 6 24
Internship/Thesis 8 1 8


Recommended Timeline (Fall Entry)

2 core courses 2 core courses 2 elective courses Internship/Thesis*
2 elective courses 2 elective courses    
16 credits 16 credits 8 credits 8 credits


Recommended Timeline (Spring Entry)

2 core courses 2 elective courses 2 core courses Internship/Thesis*
2 elective courses   2 elective courses  
16 credits 8 credits 16 credits 8 credits


Accelerated Timeline

- Important Note: Students can choose this option upon approval from their academic advisor
2 core courses 2 core courses 2 elective courses
2 elective courses 2 elective courses 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.