Political Communication Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Political Communication?

Political communication is the study of the role of communication in the political process. This includes public discussions such as political speeches and news media coverage.

Political Communication is concerned with being actively engaged with local, regional, state, national, and international issues and how the power of information, persuasion, and strategic message design can be used to understand and affect outcomes at those levels, particularly in the area of governance and governmental and societal behavior.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Political Communication in the following subject areas:

  • MA In Political Communication – Examine the rapidly changing relationship between the media, politics and the public.
  • Public Affairs and Political Communication / Gnóthaí Poiblí Agus Cumarsáid Pholaitiúil – Gain knowledge and insights into starting a successful career in public affairs and political communication.
  • Diploma in Politics & Society – Acquire in-depth knowledge of politics and society to aid them in both career and personal life.
  • Certificate in Irish Government and Politics – An introduction to political institutions and systems that determine how Ireland is governed.

Studying Political Communication

There are many courses in Political Communication that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers. Approach organizations directly and show your enthusiasm for their area of work and the relevant experience and skills that you can bring.

Any work experience which helps you develop the skill set needed for the role is particularly valuable. Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a Political Communication course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of

Working in the field of Political Communication, you will examine issues such as economic conditions, crime levels, the threat of conflict, government stability and governance, trade and regulations, or humanitarian and human rights issues.

You may work in or with a range of private sector companies to inform business and investment decisions, or on behalf of governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assist national and international policy-making and strategy.

Typical jobs in the field include political consulting, public affairs, political journalism, public diplomacy, speechwriting, and political advertising. Or you may choose to continue on to law or graduate school.

Movement between roles and employers is also common, so you could develop by gaining experience working in different business areas or with different types of clients. Alternatively, you may choose to specialise in a country, region, type of risk or business area, progressing to become an expert in your field. This could lead to writing and media opportunities and providing consultancy on a freelance basis.

Working hours vary depending on your role and employer, but you will typically work Monday to Friday. Your work will usually be project-based, so your hours will depend on client needs and deadlines, and can be long.

Some roles will also involve travel or periods spent working overseas, which can often mean working additional and unsociable hours.

Related jobs include:

  • Social media manager
  • Creative specialist
  • Account manager
  • Copywriter
  • Online content creator
  • Television reporters or producer
  • Investigative or political journalist
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Policy advisor
  • Political consultant
  • Political journalists
  • Speechwriters
  • Government affairs representative
  • Legislative assistant
  • Lobbyist
  • Paralegal
  • Political campaign manager
  • Urban and regional planner
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Public information officer
  • Communications director
  • Fundraiser
  • Event planner
  • Community outreach coordinator

Further study

After completing a course in Political Communication, you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as business, economics or finance, international relations, journalism, modern languages, politics, regional or country studies.


What skills could be helpful for a career in Political Communication?

If you are interested in a career in Political Communication you may need to develop or advance your skills in oral and written communication, research, analytical, interpersonal, critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, professionalism, the ability to create compelling messages, an understanding of political systems, logic, cultural awareness and an international perspective.

Where can I study Political Communication?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • India is home to more than 800 million eligible voters, which makes it the world’s largest democracy. In order to accommodate an electorate of that size, the government holds elections over the course of weeks or even months. The last major general election in 2014, in which Indians voted for the 543 members of parliament, took place on nine separate days over five weeks.
  • People in France and Sweden don’t need to worry about making time to register ahead of Election Day. The government automatically registers voters when they’re eligible—in France, that’s as soon as people turn 18. Sweden relies on tax registries to create lists of eligible citizens.
  • Every Australian over 18 is required by law to register to vote and to participate in federal elections. Anyone who doesn’t show up on Election Day is fined AU$20 (around $15). Failure to pay that fine results in even steeper penalties—up to AU$180—and can result in a criminal charge.
  • The word “politics” first appeared in English around 1460 as the title of a book by Aristotle. The word ‘politics’ comes from the Greek ‘politika’ meaning ‘relating to public life’.  Aristotle in his Politics advised governors to “have their friends for a great number of eyes, ears, hands and legs,” for one man cannot see or hear everything or be everywhere.
  • Italy has had more than 50 governments and more than 20 Prime Ministers since 1945.

Mariza Halliday

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