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Relaunching our MA Global Communication and Social Change: a contemporary postgraduate programme for a new generation of change leaders

12 February 2021

3 mins

In the face of diverse global and local challenges, brought into sharp relief by the current pandemic, trends show that a new generation of media and communication professionals are looking for more socially engaged and activist careers to reshape a world strained by environmental and wealth inequalities.

At the Institute for Media and Creative Industries at Loughborough University London we believe that communication plays critically important roles in processes of social change. This often occurs within contexts of international development and NGO contexts. However, today communication and social change leaders are increasingly also working within social movements, activist organisations, community media organisations, foundations and social enterprises, community development, and other social justice change efforts.

In recognition of these broadening sites of social change, and also to better reflect our contemporary and interdisciplinary programme content, we have renamed one of our Institute’s flagship postgraduate programmes to ‘MA Global Communication and Social Change’ (previously, MA Global Communication and Development’).

In fact, very little of our learning content will change with the change in title. Our programmes will continue to be taught by a team of field leading scholars. The curriculum we teach draws substantially on researchers from the global south, as well as publications from our own scholars and others. ‘Communication and Social Change – a citizen perspective’ is an example of our own scholarship that aims to rethink the field, bridge research and practice efforts between the global north and south, and open up to discussions about decoloniality, post-development and epistemologies of the south.

Our Institute has partnerships with large and small communication for development and social change organisations, such as UNICEF, the International Paralympic Committee, BBC Media Action, International Media Support, Story Workshop (Malawi), Femina HIP (Tanzania) and IT for Change (India). Our research takes place across a range of locations, from media use in the Amazon regions of Brazil, to community engagement to address disability stigma in Malawi, through to youth in Coventry (see more about Our Research).

We see this diverse engagement with various sites of social change in our students’ MA dissertations too. They have explored youth engagement in climate change, youth civic media, queer cultures and dating apps, and anti-vaccine narratives on social media, and women’s solidarity movements in response to Covid-19 in China, among other topics (see our IMCI Graduate Papers). Our alumni have continued onto careers in climate change advocacy, educational technology sectors, into the public sector (see our Alumni page)

In 2021 we are working to create even more opportunities for our MA students to engage with industry partners in the field of communication for development and social change, and we are including some new and creative learning activities, such as podcasts. It will ensure our graduates are developing a full range of academic, professional, and creative skills.     

Our ambition is that this programme will appeal to a diverse student body including both local students (see our Inspiring Success scholarships for East London residents and other available scholarships) and international students who wish to use their careers to foster change in the status quo locally and globally. The multicultural and multilingual environment of London and our Institute provides the perfect environment for students to benefit from cross-cultural experiences and learning.

Blog written by Programme Director and Senior Lecturer within the Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Dr Jessica Noske-Turner.

To find out more about the MA Global Communication and Social Change programme, please visit our website.

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