Master's Programme in Global Politics and Communication, Master of Social Sciences (2 years)

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Degree level
Master's degree
Start semester
2019 Autumn
Scope of studies and length
120 ECTS credits, 2 years
Language of instruction
Tuition fee per year (only non-EU/EEA citizens)
13000 €
Application period
3.12.2018 - 11.1.2019

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Global Politics and Communication is an interdisciplinary and innovative Master’s degree programme that addresses the key challenges of globalisation from the perspective of media and communication studies, organisation research and global political economy. The programme emphasises developing your critical thinking, a necessary skill in many careers.

The specific objectives of the programme include:

  • Providing you with advanced knowledge of global political economy, relationships between the media and the development of democracy, and linkages between governance, organisations and communication
  • Empowering you to assess how politics and the media are linked to the forces of globalisation
  • Equipping you with conceptual understanding and the theoretical and methodological skills needed to carry out original and relevant research on key societal issues
  • Preparing 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

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.

The working language of the Global Politics and Communication programme is English. The degree can include up to 30 credits (ECTS) of studies in other languages, such as Finnish or Swedish, or courses completed during an international exchange or an exchange at another university in Finland. The Diploma Supplement given upon graduation states that the degree has been completed in English.

How do global transformations affect democratic politics? What is the role of the media in the transformation of contemporary democracies? Why do economic activities result in global and national financial crises and inequality instead of in stability and democratisation? How does governance affect organisations and communication, and how do governance and organisations structure communication and political and economic activity?

The Global Politics and Communication programme offers a cutting-edge combination of political science, communication studies and global political economy. You will apply ideas, concepts and methodologies to key societal and political issues such as the changing character of democracy, the role of organisations and governance in the globalising world, and the regulation of global finance and trade.

During the first year, you will study general theoretical and methodological courses and take part in thematic courses offered by the programme’s study tracks. In the second year, you will deepen your knowledge on your selected study track or study tracks by participating in thematic specialisation courses. You will also attend the Master’s seminar and write your Master’s thesis.

The Master’s degree programme on Global Politics and Communication has three study tracks:

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

The interplay between Governance, Organisations and Communication gives this study line its name. Governance and organisational and communication practices are increasingly global but are modified locally. The foci of this study line 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 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 commercialisation 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.

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.  

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

The Master's Degree Programme on Global Politics and Communication is a full-time, two-year programme. The programme fulfils the requirements of a 120 credits (ECTS, European Transfer Credit System) Master's degree in social sciences in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The programme consists of advanced studies in politics and communication, as well as other elective and compulsory studies.

Master’s Degree Programme on Global Politics and Communication: 120 credits (ECTS)

  • Working Life Studies 5-15 cr
  • Academic Writing 5 cr
  • Joint Studies 20 cr
    • Philosophy of Politics and Communication 5 cr
    • Globalizations: Politics, Economy and Communication 5 cr
    • Methodology courses 10 cr
  • Study Track -specific Studies 25 cr
    • Global Political Economy 25 cr
    • Governance, Organisations and Communication 25 cr
    • Media and Democracy 25 cr
  • Master's Thesis seminar 10 cr
  • Master's Thesis 30 cr
  • Elective Studies 0-25 cr depending on the study track

To complete your master’s studies, you will conduct research and write a Master’s thesis (30 credits). The usual length of a Master’s thesis is about 50-70 pages. You will select your topic under the guidance of your supervisor.

When writing your thesis, you will need to acquire advanced knowledge in your chosen field and develop analytical and critical thinking skills. You will learn to formulate research questions, plan and design your research, conduct it and report your results with an understanding of the key concepts, debates and perspectives concerning your chosen topic.

Graduates of the Discipline of Politics and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki have gone on to work in a range of jobs as experts and consultants in Finland and internationally, in the public and the private sectors as well as in non-governmental organisations. They are mainly employed in the fields of politics, administration, the media and communication. Some graduates also continue on with academic research to pursue an academic career in universities in Finland and around the world.

The Global Politics and Communication programme is an international programme with students from around the world. In addition to the degree students, we receive many visiting and exchange students and scholars from Europe and further afield. In addition to providing you with a unique international learning environment, it may also be possible for you to participate in exchange programmes for a short-term study period. You will have the opportunity of doing a voluntary internship abroad with support from Erasmus.

One of the advantages of studying at the Faculty of Social Sciences is the possibility to study elective courses in other Master’s programmes.

Academic freedom is a strong part of the studying experience at the University of Helsinki. This gives you the possibility to study different elective studies within the university and the other universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area through Flexible Study Right (JOO) agreements. You can also conduct your master’s research in a company where you are working.

  • Political science research on democracy
  • Political science research on governance, organisations, and communication
  • Media and communication studies
  • Political economy

As a graduate of the Global Politics and Communication programme you will be awarded a Master of Social Sciences degree. This degree qualifies you to apply for PhD studies at the University of Helsinki and other top universities around the world. The Doctoral Education on the University of Helsinki website.

How to apply
Below you’ll find a link to the entry requirements for this programme. The application period to our international programmes is in December every year.

Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s most diverse and multidisciplinary academic community and social force in its field. Global economic and political events increase the need for experts who are able to place them in a historical, internationally comparable context. Changes in social structures require a novel understanding of, for example, the foundations of the welfare society. 

The Faculty is known for its international top-level research that utilises diverse research corpora and challenging research methods as well as engages in innovative discourse. Teaching at the Faculty emphasises multidisciplinarity and critical thinking. The Faculty has a long tradition of collaboration with ministries, municipalities, various organisations and the media. 

Students enjoy their time at the Faculty of Social Sciences and feel like a part of the community. The Faculty and the students’ respective home departments are the students’ closest and most important operational environment. There is active interaction across disciplines and between different faculties.

There are some 4,000 undergraduate and 700 active postgraduate students at the Faculty, which is located on the City Centre Campus. The Faculty website can be found at

The Faculty of Social Sciences is located on the City Centre Campus near the Helsinki University Main Library (Kaisa House) and Learning Centre Aleksandria, which provide students with modern learning facilities. Other services of the Helsinki University Library, such as databases, online journals and textbooks, are readily available as well.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is a high-quality, research-based, international and multidisciplinary learning environment that trains versatile experts with a solid grasp of research methods and a profound understanding of the society for a wide range of positions in the public and private sectors. The teaching makes use of blended learning in a wide range of ways, thus increasing flexibility and providing efficient support for learning.

As a University of Helsinki degree student, you can participate in a student exchange or traineeship outside Finland. The University has approximately 500 high-quality partner universities throughout the world, and each year some 1,000 University students embark on a student exchange or traineeship. A stay abroad gives valuable skills and experiences:

  • You can incorporate an international dimension into your degree and obtain international expertise in your field. A well-planned student exchange provides you with diverse, unique skills!
  • You will gain a new perspective on the world, learn more about yourself and enhance your language proficiency.
  • You will get better acquainted with the culture of the target country, meet new people and be able to establish international networks in your field.

More information about studying abroad.

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at

University students have access to various services and benefits; among them housing, meals, health care, wellbeing as well as sports. On the New Student web pages, you find information on necessary insurances, permits, and fees. The University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) members may use a great variety of services and participate in various events and activities. Not to mention discounts available for students e.g. on travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organizations of HYY also organize a wide variety of social events. More information is available at Instructions for students.