Strategic Communication  MA

Strategic Communication MA

School of Business


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Part-time Blended Learning from 2½ years The programme is flexible, so students can opt to complete the course over a longer period.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The relentless nature of managing communication activity often acts as a barrier to reflection on strategic development. This MA Strategic Communication course provides a focus for communicators who want to move beyond tactics and toward strategic thinking. The part-time blended learning course offers communicators the opportunity to engage in personal professional development and to achieve a Masters qualification. UCLan MA Strategic Communication students are professionals working in corporate communications and public relations roles. They study at short intensive block teaching residential sessions in Preston followed by distance learning supported by a range of online activities. Engagement in Masters level study across a range of topics develops their critical thinking capacity. This in turn enables them to take a strategic perspective to communication practice.


Entry Requirements

Entry to the programme is normally subject to the following conditions:

  • An honours degree (normally equivalent to a British 2:2 or above), or equivalent professional qualification. Applicants without a degree but with academic aptitude and extensive suitable experience, for example in corporate communications, public relations, internal communication, management, marketing, journalism, or general business experience may be considered.
  • A strong interest in the challenges of strategic communication evidenced in a statement of about 500-words which describes the reasons they want to join the programme, and what they hope to gain from the experience.
  • Appropriate computer literacy and access.
  • Two references that confirm capacity to successfully engage in postgraduate study. Some candidates may be invited for interviews.
  • Those with the normal qualifications and Advanced Prior Learning (such as the CIPR Diploma in Public Relations or the Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Communications from Seneca College, Toronto) are eligible to be exempted from the PR4018 Fundamentals of Strategic Communication module.
  • Evidence of appropriate English language competence through an official language test for non-native English speakers e.g. IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

The course is validated as a blended learning course (block teaching residential plus online activities) rather than a distance learning course (online activities alone), and attendance at the residential sessions is compulsory. Students find the block teaching sessions really valuable as they network and debate ideas with academics and fellow professionals. Students arrange their own accommodation in local hotels.

A typical study route for students joining the course in Semester 1 is illustrated:

Semester 1

  • PR4018 Fundamentals of strategic communication
  • PR4005 Communication and technology

Semester 2

  • PR4006 Rhetoric

Year 2

Semester 1

  • PR4008 Strategic communication management

Semester 2

  • PR4007 Internal communication: theory, concepts and principles
  • PR4017 Quantitative and qualitative research methods

Upon successful completion of the taught modules you will complete a Strategic Communication Dissertation (PR4990).

Postgraduate Advice Event

The next UCLan Postgraduate Advice Event will be on Thursday 10th November 2016.
For details and registration for this event please visit our Eventbrite page.
Please contact Course Enquiries with any queries regarding postgraduate study and research.

Further Information

The MA Strategic Communication has been delivered at UCLan since 2002 and is specifically designed for public relations and corporate communication professionals working in private, public and voluntary sector organisations. The course is for people who want to develop their capacity to think strategically and are ready for a new and personally stretching intellectual challenge. It is for people who are ready to evolve away from a tactical focus on media, publicity and information processing toward a strategic approach underpinned by in-depth knowledge acquired via postgraduate study. Participants explore and critically analyse theories underpinning the practice of strategic communication. 

The blended learning delivery enables professionals from across the globe to participate without interrupting their careers.

The course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Subjects include principles of strategic communication and the impact of technology on communication. You will study rhetoric as the art of speech and ethical persuasion, theories and concepts relating to internal communication, and the management of strategic communication. The course includes research methods and a research dissertation involving in-depth research on a strategic communication topic of your choice.

Learning Outcomes

This part-time MA Strategic Communication has been delivered at UCLan since 2002 and is designed for public relations and corporate communication professionals in private, public and voluntary sector organisations. The course is for people who want to develop their capacity to think strategically and are ready for a new and personally stretching intellectual challenge.


  • To provide a high quality postgraduate education in strategic communication management that will enable students to achieve learning outcomes at a level appropriate for the award of a Masters degree of the University
  • To provide the opportunity for students to advance intellectually and develop critical understanding of strategic communication management from both a theoretical and practical perspective
  • To provide a learning experience that combines rigorous academic study, skills development, skills application, and enables students to gain a systematic understanding of strategic communication knowledge
  • To enable students to enhance their career potential, personal and professional effectiveness, and their performance in employment in the field of strategic communication in a range of sectors and organisations

How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

Course Specification and Handbook

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2017/18

Full-time: N/A
Part-time: £525 per 20 credits for first 120 credits studied (UK/EU) £1000 per 20 credits for first 120 credits studied (International)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

New UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

The UK Government has confirmed that a new postgraduate loan scheme will be introduced for students commencing a Full Masters Postgraduate programmes from 2016/17 academic year.

View further information

Industry Links

This course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Founded in 1948, the CIPR is the professional body for public relations and public affairs practitioners in the UK. With over 10,000 individual members involved in all aspects of public relations, it is the largest body of its type in Europe. The CIPR advances the public relations profession in the UK by making its members accountable through a code of conduct, developing policies, representing its members and raising standards through education and training.

Learning Environment and Assessment

This blended learning course includes short block teaching residentials at UCLan for each module, followed by on-line activities and individual study. The taught modules are delivered in 10 week blocks in semester one and two. Students attend the taught residential blocks for two and a half days for each module at the start of each module. (Students arrange their own accommodation in local hotels.)

This is followed by individual distance learning, and participation in synchronous and asynchronous online teaching and learning activities. Online activities are supported by the university's Virtual Learning Environment platforms and communications technology such as Blackboard and Adobe Connect Breeze.

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, seminars, workshops, background readings, discussions, student-led seminars and presentations, applied activities, individual study and written assignments.

Typical coursework assessment methods include essays, reports, practical exercises, case studies, presentations, and a dissertation. Students typically report spending between around 10-20 hours per week on their module studies

Progression Routes

This course will assist students to develop their careers in corporate communication, public relations, internal communications and communication management in communication consultancies and in-house in private, public and voluntary sector organisations

The course is flexible, students can take the standard route to complete the course in about 2½ years, or progress through the course over a longer period.

Work experience

Participants include people with in-house and consultancy roles and communications work experience in a wide range of organisations and sectors.

International part-time students can conveniently study this course alongside UK and EU students since the course combines online activities with short block teaching at UCLan in Preston.