Structure, content and study tracks

Studying in the Global Politics and Communication programme provides you with the advanced knowledge of global political economy, relationships between the media and the development of democracy, and linkages between governance, organisations and communication. You will learn to to assess how politics and the media are linked to the forces of globalisation. At the end of your studies you are equipped with conceptual understanding and the theoretical and methodological skills needed to carry out original and relevant research on key societal issues.

In addition, the programme prepares you to engage in public discussions and develop critical reasoning and argumentation skills that are equally important in academia, public organisations and the private sector.

The extent of the Master's Programme in Global Politics and Communication (GPC) is 120 ECTS credits to be completed in two academic years. The studies are divided into the following parts:

  • Joint Studies 20 cr
  • Study Track -specific Studies 30 cr
    Global Political Economy 30 cr
    Governance, Organisations and Communication 30 cr
    Media and Democracy 30 cr
  • Master's Thesis seminar 5 cr + 5 cr
  • Master's Thesis 30 cr
  • Career Skills 5 - 15 cr
  • Elective Studies 0-25 cr

 

Study tracks (30 cr)

The Master’s Programme in Global Politics and Communication has three study tracks (to be chosen when you apply to the programme):

  • Governance, Organisations and Communication
  • Media and Democracy
  • Global Political Economy

You will specialise in one of these three study tracks. However, you can also include courses from other study tracks in your elective studies.

Governance, Organisations and Communication 

The interplay between Governance, Organisations and Communication gives this track its name. Governance and organisational and communication practices are increasingly global but are modified locally. The foci of this track include the global governance of knowledge, organisational communication, the changing institutions of knowledge and communication, the digitalisation of politics and communication, and changes in media policies.

Media and Democracy 

Media and Democracy track focuses on debates about the relationship between the media and democratic processes at a time when the future of democracy remains uncertain because of authoritarian tendencies in politics and the commercialization of the public sphere. The courses in the track focus on theories of democracy, media and modernity, and issues such as populism, polarization, and new forms of mediated participation and activism.

Global Political Economy 

Global Political Economy covers multidisciplinary studies drawing on economics, sociology, and political science. It explains how social practices and institutions constitute relational, complex and open systems of production, exchange and distribution. Taking into account the widely-shared aim of sustainable global development, political economy is crucial for understanding the principal current problems such as global warming; potential financial crises; disparities in income, wealth and power; or war and peace.  

Read more about the study tracks

 

Joint Studies 20 cr
 

The joint studies include the following topics:

  • Theories of Politics and Communication in the Information Age 5 cr
  • Globalizations: Politics, Economy and Communication 5 cr
  • Methodology courses (10 cr)
     

Methodology courses (10 cr)

As part of your GPC studies, you will select method courses that will support you with your research project and dissertation writing. The aim is for you to develop advanced skills of analysis and how to conduct research depending on your study track. You will be able to choose your courses from a list of methods courses provided by GPC and other graduate programs at the University of Helsinki. The list of courses will be confirmed for each academic year.

Master's thesis (30 cr) and seminars (10 cr)

During your second year of study, you will work on your Master’s thesis. It is a piece of extensive independent research work on a topic that relates to your study track. The length of the study is usually 50-70 pages. You will choose the topic for yourself, and work out a research plan in the context of the Master’s thesis seminar. Your supervisor will advise you during your Master’s thesis project, and can help you find a specialist with whom to discuss your particular topic. You will also regularly present your progress in a Master’s thesis seminar with your fellow students.

After completing a Master’s thesis seminar, you will be aware of what is expected from a sensible and feasible piece of research. You will master the research tradition related to their projects and know how to phrase a well-argued research problem and to select an appropriate set of data and methods. You will also know how to make use of sources and how to present their findings. The aim of the seminars is to support the writing of a Master’s thesis and to offer practical opportunities for scientific thinking, presentation and argumentation.  In addition, the seminar will help develop skills for working in research teams and in professional tasks after graduation.

 

Study Tracks

Global Polit­ical Eco­nomy

Global Political Economy covers multidisciplinary studies drawing on economics, sociology, and political science. It explains how social practices and institutions constitute relational, complex and open systems of production, exchange and distribution. Taking into account the widely-shared aim of sustainable global development, political economy is crucial for understanding the principal current problems such as global warming; potential financial crises; disparities in income, wealth and power; or war and peace.

If you choose Global Political Economy track you will learn to assess and evaluate such questions as what are the changing conditions of success and growth in the capitalist world economy and what in turn determine those geo-historical conditions; how inequalities have developed since the Industrial Revolution and how inequalities are related to economic growth; what are the causes of unemployment and workers powers to have a say in their own standards of living and good life; what are the possibilities and limits of monetary sovereignty and where it should be located in terms of complex multilevel governance of the world economy; what are the ways in which the world economy can disintegrate, possibly paving the way for future military conflicts; and last but not least, how to design new worldwide institutions to tackle the contradictions and paradoxes of global politico-economic developments, including those related to the atmospheric and living systems of the planet.

Global Polit­ical Eco­nomy track include following track specific studies (30 cr):

  • Historical development of economic theories in context (5 cr)
  • Explaining the scope for differences in global political economy (5 cr)
  • Modern money theory and the revival of classical political economy (10 cr)
  • Inequalities, growth and capital in the 21st century (5 cr)
  • Governance of the world economy and its future (5 cr)
     

Me­dia and Demo­cracy

Media and Democracy, exposes you to the key debates about the relationship between the media and democratic processes at a time when the future of democracy remains uncertain because of authoritarian tendencies in politics and the commercialization of the public sphere. It focuses on such questions as how the media represent and frame conflicts and war; how new forms of political participation are challenging the traditional conduct of politics; how human rights such as freedom of expression rely on media practices; and how new digital media reconfigure public communities and extend the possibilities for civic engagement.

By choosing the Media and Democracy track you will have analytical skills which aid you in critically assessing and evaluating such questions as: Why is populism increasing? How well does the media represent cultural and political diversity? Which challenges do democracies currently face globally? How are different media used as vehicles for political contestation and struggle?

Media and democracy track include following track specific studies (30 cr):

Compulsory courses (10 cr):

  • Advances in Democratic Theory and Research (5 cr)
  • Media and Modernity: Global Perspectives (5 cr)

Track specific electives (20 cr) (courses may vary each year)

  • Populism, Polarization and the Media (5 cr)
  • Media, Activism and Social Change (5 cr)
  • New Forms of Mediated Participation (5 cr)
  • Media and Globalization (5 cr)
  • Information society policy and governance (5 cr)
  • Digital Politics and Policy (5 cr)
  • Feminist Research in Politics (5 cr)
  • European Media and Public Sphere (5 cr)
  • Media and the Politics of Difference (5 cr)
  • Propaganda and Persuasion (5 cr)
  • Politics of Online Communication (5 cr)
  • Data Journalism (5 cr)
  • The individual dimension of political representation (5 cr)
     

Governance, Or­gan­isa­tions and Com­mu­nic­a­tion

 The interplay between Governance, Organisations and Communication gives this study track its name. Governance and organisational and communication practices are increasingly global but are modified locally. The foci of this track include the global governance of knowledge, organisational communication, the changing institutions of knowledge and communication, the digitalisation of politics and communication, and changes in media policies.

Governance, Organizations, and Communication –track will provide you with competencies to examine and evaluate, for instance, current challenges to political governance, the governance of media and the governance of knowledge and higher education, as well as abilities to evaluate the political aspects of organizational communication and the organizational aspects of political communication.

Governance, Organisations and Communication track include following track specific studies (30 cr):

Compulsory courses 10 cr:

  • Introduction to Governance, Organizations, and Communication (5 cr)
  • Global Governance of Knowledge (5 cr)

Track-specific electives 20 cr (courses may vary each year)

  • Governance and Organizations in Research and Higher Education (5 cr)
  • Information society policy and governance (5 cr)
  • Organizational Communication in the Digital Age (5 cr)
  • Global Climate Governance, Policy Networks and the Politics of Evidence (5 cr)
  • Digital Politics and Policy (5 cr)
  • Politics of Migration (5 cr)
  • The Political in Human-Computer Interaction (5 cr)

Career Skills (5-15 cr)

The degree includes a career skills module (5-15), which can include a traineeship, working-life projects and/or voluntary and organizational activities. In addition, the programme supports the students to identify their developing expert competence and expert identity in global politics and communication. The Working Life Project course module includes lectures and seminars related to career planning and job hunting including self-assessment assignments, learning diaries, group work and visits to potential employers. After having completed this module you have improved your career planning and job-seeking skills, you know how to identify different aspects of self-assessment, recognize your competency areas and skills, and know-how to document them.

Elective studies (0-25 cr)

In addition to courses in the GPC structure, you can choose additional optional studies freely from courses available in the University of Helsinki. These may be language courses, studies in other disciplines and programmes, or you can include an internship in your optional studies. The GPC programme cooperates for example with the Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law (GGL) from the Faculty of Law, which means that students are able to include some of the GGL courses as part of the elective studies. Students also have the possibility to improve their academic English by choosing, for example, courses in academic writing offered by the University of Helsinki Language Centre.

Language of stud­ies

The language of instruction is English. At least 75% of the degree must be completed fully in English (including seminars, seminar papers and similar written work, exams and the Master’s thesis). However, you can also complete studies in other languages. You can include, for example, a semester abroad or courses taught in Finnish or Swedish.