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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5200M Communication and International Affairs

30 creditsClass Size: 37

Module manager: Chris Paterson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective


The course aims at providing taught postgraduates with an understanding of the relationships between communications and international systems and to help them develop a critical appreciation of the controversial issues within the field of international communications.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate understanding of the complexity of international communication and its implications on local, national and global levels
- understand how media technologies and systems of international communications affect news, entertainment and official systems of information
- describe and analyse controversial issues within the field, especially the role of communications in national development, the relative power of governments and media organizations, the problems of regulation and the impact of communication technologies
- demonstrate familiarity with key explanatory theories within international communication
- apply in their analysis of international communication approaches from a range of social sciences, primarily communication studies, sociology, international relations and cultural studies


- The basic assumptions of the states-system: sovereignty, diplomacy and international law, the dynamics of conflict and co-operation.
- Communications as a source of power within international relations: communications systems and the development of state organisations and nationalism; international communications networks as source of power; propaganda and public relations as tools of foreign policy.
- Arrangements for regulation of international communications; the development of ITU as an interstate regime; UNESCO.
- The politics of international communications in the post-1945 period; sovereignty versus free flow; the debate over dependency and cultural imperialism, the rise and fall of the New World Information and Communication Order.
- Current issues: the significance of satellite broadcasting and the Internet for international co-operation and conflict and the future of the states-system.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay50.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/07/2022


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