University College Dublin | An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath

UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland | Director: Professor Liam Kennedy

Global Irish Civic Forum
June 2015

Prospective Students

    President Clinton addresses the Institute Sept 2010

MA in Media & International Conflict

We are now open to receiving application for 2017/'18

"Studying in the Clinton Institute was a wonderful experience.  The classes are small, which means you really get to know everybody, and there is a very comfortable atmosphere.  I studied the MA in Media and International Conflict.  A wide range of topics ensured that everybody got a chance to study and discuss areas that they are passionate about.  Lively debates were the norm!  This MA was a fascinating journey through history, current affairs, politics and media.  It offered a great opportunity to build strong research ,writing and presenting skills, with the help of the diligent and engaging staff of the Institute.  I would do it all over again if I could!  -  Karen Dunne Class of 2011

This MA programme in Media and International Conflict  is designed to enable students to develop understanding of the ways in which media interact with war, international conflict and security . It analyzes the complex roles played by the media in the enactment and representation of  international conflict  and addresses the relationships among media, governments, the military, and NGOs in framing perceptions of international conflict.

It provides an interdisciplinary approach that considers both cultural and political dimensions of media responses to international conflicts, focusing on issues such as: public diplomacy as soft power, human rights and representation, distinctions between information and propaganda, the ethics of depicting human suffering, the role of new and social  media in perceptions of conflict, the visual economy of the production, circulation and reception of imagery of conflict, and the effects of news reporting on government policy and NGO activity. Modules in this programme are taught by resident UCD faculty and by external speakers, both academics and practitioners, who will broaden intellectual discussion and speak to examples of media work.

The programme will interest those seeking a career in international communications, professionals seeking more critical understanding of the international dimensions of their industry, and those wishing to prepare for advanced research in this area.

"What’s great about this degree?, It is what you make of it.  The MA in Media and International Conflict is a fascinating intellectual and social experience that you can shape to suit your desires.  My 2009/10 peers are solicitors, sales people, journalists, techies, consultants, HR-gurus and reality TV producers.  This is a degree for bright, exciting, ambitious and funny people, and I can gratefully say that enrolling was one of the best decisions I’ve had the chance to make” - Sarah Hale 

As it evolves, The Clinton Institute will keep its MA curriculum in constant review and will introduce new modules.


Course Outline (2015/16) 

"Studying at the Clinton Institute was one of the best decisions I ever took. Not only is the curriculum mind-opening and challenging, its interdisciplinary nature will also, I believe adapt and appeal to a wide array of people and provide future students with an important and rich intellectual baggage that will prove valuable in their future academic and or professional life.  The teaching staff and faculty also have to be acknowledged for their professionalism and  commitment to ensuring that each and everyone feels welcomed and productive within the Institute" - Silvio Ghiglione.


This is a provisional list of modules that will be offered and is subject to final confirmation and scheduling arrangements.  Students take 60 taught credits and the dissertation of 30 credits makes up the remaining.


Compulsory Modules

Public Diplomacy and Soft Power AMST 40130 (10 credits)

This module will analyse historical and emergent roles of public diplomacy as the ‘soft power’ wing of American foreign policy.  It will consider the ways in which the power of the American state is manifested in its operations across national borders, and examine the implications for cultural production and knowledge-formation shaped by the operations of this power.  Key issues include: strategic communications and information warfare; the promotion of educational and cultural programmes; private/public networks and the role of non-state actors and NGOs in delivering and contesting public diplomacy goals; the role of rights discourse in public diplomacy; and the impact of new media technologies on public diplomacy.  We will examine communications strategies that evidence new and sophisticated relations between public relations and public diplomacy, and comment on how these strategies are tied to (but also in tension with) foreign policy initiatives.

Media & US Foreign Policy AMST40030 (10 credits)

This module will focus on the roles of media in the making and representation of United States foreign policy. It introduces students to critical debates on the relationship between media, international conflicts and diplomacy and draws on scholarship from media studies and international affairs as well as primary media content. It covers a range of media, including print journalism photojournalism, television, cinema, and the internet. Historical coverage moves from WWII to the current ‘war on terror’ and considers throughout the connections between military and media technologies.


New Conflicts, New Media: An Academic/Professional Approach (10 credits)

This module will introduce postgraduate students to the New Conflict/New Media environment of the 21st century, developing both academic and professional skills for a cutting-edge approach to publication and engagement.  Students will consider the changing nature of international conflict - political, economic, and ideological as well as military - to evaluate notions such as engagement and intervention in the context of geopolitics, rights, and governance.  Specific case studies will include Iran, Syria, and the wider Middle East.  Using this developing base of knowledge, students will be trained in the use of sources and in writing to produce analysis with immediacy for a general as well as a scholarly audience.  They will also be introduced to multi-media coverage and presentation, for example, through audio-visual sources and output.  The course will be complemented with the opportunity to intern for a high-profile website specializing in coverage and analysis of international and intro-national conflict.  Students will be assessed through a combination of short-form journalism and long -form academic writing.

Challenges in US Foreign Policy AMST40310 (10 credits)

This module examines America's role in international  politics in the 21st century.  It begins by developing a framework within which to think about the subject by drawing upon the historical modules in the first semester and also by exploring international relations theories such as idealism, realism and some of the various critical theories.  The remainder of the module examines some of the key geopolitical challenges facing the United States, such as terrorism, climate change, cyber warfare and decline relative to other countries, as well as important bialateral relationship such as those with the European Union and China. 

Research Skills and Methods AMST40080 (10 credits)

This course is designed to provide Masters and new Ph.D. students with skills essential to the preparation and production of a postgraduate thesis.  It will present the necessary tools for postgraduate research and develop associated skills such as the presentation of written and oral work to peers and scholars.  It will also introduce students to methodology and the nature of interdisciplinary study.

Dissertation (30 credits)

Dissertation length 12,000 - 15,000 words 

Optional Modules  - There maybe changes to list of modules available.  

International Economic Crisis (10 credits)

Theory of Human Rights (10 credits)

Africa: Crisis & Opportunity (10 credits)

Gender in Peace and Conflict (10 credits)

Latin American Politics (10 credits)

Foundations of US Foreign Policy (10 credits)

Governing the Global Economy (10 credits)


Student Assessment

The Masters degree programme will be assessed by means of course work for the modules (largely by essay but this may vary) and a minor thesis of 12,000 to 15,000 words.  Credit values vary for each module.

Students choose the dissertation topic in consultation with the Programme Director.  It may be supervised by the Programme Director or co supervised with another academic either within UCD or outside the university.   Supervisors monitor student’s individual progress and offer advice on the preparation and presentation of the dissertation.   The final mark for the Masters Degree will be divided between the course work and the dissertation.

Teaching and Tuition

Each module tutor will provide students with documentation setting out the structure and content of the module.

Modules will normally consist of weekly two-hour seminars.  These are group discussion classes where students are expected to bring up issues arising from their independent study.

Tutors will also be available to discuss individual students’ written assignment.

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The fees quoted exclude the student centre levy.

Course Details EU Students     Non-EU Students
MA in Media & International Conflict  Full-time €€ €7,030 €17,900
MA in Media & International Conflict   Part-time: each year  €4,220 €8,950

The Institute offers a limited number of Scholarships (50% of fees) to non EU students 


Application Procedure for MA in Media & International Conflict

Students can now apply online ( and decisions are made on a rolling basis.  A conditional offer can be made if you are still waiting for your final exam results.

The following documents should be uploaded with your application (if you are not able to upload the documents you can post them directly to the application office and quote your application number - address below

Once a student has accepted a place on the programme they will have to submit all original documents (hard copies) to:

On Line Application Office
Tierney Building
Dublin 4

If you have any questions on the process please contact or Tel +353 1 7161560