Introduction

Our MSc in Professional Communication at the University of Aberdeen provides in depth communications skills and knowledge across business, law, health care, politics, media and energy industries. You will learn to communicate effectively and pragmatically in situations reliant on understanding of human behaviour, relationships, tactics, and politics to uncover powerful solutions to challenges in communication and interpretation.

This programme is studied on campus.

The language we use and the way we interpret others is fundamental to how a company or any other professional organisation performs or prospers. These communications are vital to the way we conduct business, co-exist with colleagues and clients - and they reflect how we operate as human beings and how we interact with the wider world. The professional world is a human business. People interact constantly and misinterpretation can happen. Yet, when we get these communications right and they become a tremendous asset to any professional organisation or individual.

The MSc Professional Communication is a dynamic and engaging programme as it combines a multidisciplinary approach to allow you to acquire skills and knowledge in organisational negotiation, leadership and rapport management. You examine interaction in a range of professional institutions and business organisations. The programme is designed to equip you with higher level skills in interpreting and analysing communication and interaction in professional situations to allow you to progress a career in Communications.

You will study intercultural communication, organisational behaviour and institutional communication. These are covered in the courses which make up this programme. The MSc in Professional Communication is led by an expert team of lecturers from across the university.

Communication and language is essential in all organisations and is considered in a range of professional environments including business, healthcare, law and the energy industry. Courses focus on current communication issues within professional institutions and organisations.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Marketing Management (BU5039) - 15 Credit Points

The course will apply theoretical and practical content to explore the key concepts of marketing management to provide students with an understanding of planning, coordinating and controlling marketing activities. It aims to take students understanding beyond what has been labelled as a transaction-based approach to a relationship-based approach. As such the aim is to provide students with an understanding of the role of marketing in establishing, developing and maintaining relationships for mutual gain. This will be achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, simulations and directed private study.

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Communication Theory and Analysis (LN5019) - 30 Credit Points

This course introduces the theoretical frameworks used in analysing communication, enabling students to investigate social interaction, power relations, and the ways in which language is used in a variety of contexts. It provides a grounding in the precise analysis of language use, which will enable students to go on to investigate communication in a range of professional contexts during the MLitt programme.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following courses:

Interpersonal Management, Negotiation and Persuasion (BU5038) - 15 Credit Points

Business cannot be conducted without some form of communication between the participants involved. This course examines a wide variety of different types of interpersonal communication in different types of business contexts and, by so doing, provides students with a detailed and practical overview of this vitally important subject area.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Intercultural Communication (LN5510) - 15 Credit Points

In this course a range of theories for exploring cultural norms and practices will be explored. Cultural Dimension Theory, Cross Cultural Pragmatics and Language socialization will be considered core areas of study. Other areas of relevance that will be covered and discussed include: Social Identity Theory and Language, English as a Lingua France—the effects of Globalisation on language policy and communication, Intercultural Communication in Specific Professional Contexts, Intercultural Communication in Health Care—The case of migrant patients and native speaker Doctors/health care staff, Intercultural Communication in Business Meetings—overcoming cultural barriers and negotiating meaning.

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Institutional Discourse (LN5518) - 30 Credit Points

This course will identify various audiences, appropriate content and ways of communicating within organisations and institutions, with particular focus on the energy industry, law and law enforcement, emergency services and healthcare. It will identify various purposes, types and modes of communication within organisations and institutions and consider communication plans as part of organisational and institutional strategic plans.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following courses:

Business Model Innovation (BU5576) - 15 Credit Points

This course is about business development and the application of new business models. Increasingly companies have to radically rethink the way they do business if they are to remain competitive. To do this organisations need to be prepared to analyse and challenge their current business models. Through a practical business development project and the analysis of case companies you will be encouraged to explore the tools, techniques and theories used by successful business developers. The course will be especially useful for those interested in strengthening their skills for identifying and evaluating business opportunities.

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Healthcare Communication (LN5525)
English for Academic Purposes (LN5526) - 15 Credit Points

As Education is becoming increasingly globalised more and more people are studying through a second language . To meet the needs of these learners a distinct form teaching EAP has been developed.

The course will take a historical look at the development of English for Specific Purposes and the impact it has had on current EAP practice.

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The Leadership Challenge (BU5584) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an opportunity to explore and develop an understanding of your own leadership behaviour. Through seminars, group activities and discussions we investigate how personality, past experience, current situations and culture shape the way each of us behave in a leadership role. Using this information as a starting point we then explore how different leadership theories and approaches can be used as frameworks for developing a deeper understanding of leadership behaviour. You will also have an opportunity to try out a range of practical tools and techniques to assist you in the development of your own approach to leadership.

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Marketing Communications (BU5573) - 15 Credit Points

Through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, debates and in-course assessment, this course encourages students to critically reflect upon: Social theory and its relevance to marketing communications; Concepts and contemporary thought within the practice of marketing communication; expressive practice.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Professional Communication (LN5905) - 60 Credit Points

This course requires students to prepare a 12,000 word dissertation. By the end of the course students will have learned how to understand, synthesize and present data in an intelligent and intelligible fashion. Through guidance and supervision they will develop their academic writing skills in order to write and present an extended dissertation on a topic relevant to the course.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

The variety of assessment in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practice and become expert communicators and team players. The courses undertaken in the programme provide students with solid professional skill set in communication analysis, management and intercultural communication. The programme consists of 180 credit points taken over the duration of one year. Courses are assessed through essays, presentations, group and project work.

Why Study Professional Communication?

  • At the University of Aberdeen, we have created a unique MSc in Professional Communications because it takes an innovative approach in examining communication and interaction dynamics in the professional world by helping you understand, interpret, and analyse communications across a variety of professional contexts, including intercultural communications at global level.
  • Centred on Linguistics, this programme features both language analysis and discourse analysis - together with research, methodology techniques that help uncover the true meaning in data.
  • The programme draws upon the Business School and School of Language and Literature, so it provides a unique perspective to give a fuller picture rather than one aspect or the other. The MSc in Professional Communication gives you key skills in all organisational communication across sectors nationally and internationally to enable you to travel globally in your career.
  • The breadth of skills provided by the subject allows you to work in internal and external facing positions within an organisation of any size or type.
  • We are located in Aberdeen, a city with strong links to FTSE 100 multi national business, healthcare and Europe's energy capital, which we are able to draw upon to deliver this programme.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with the industry in a variety of ways such as industry weeks with the Business School, industry projects and building your own networks and teamwork skills.
  • There will be a series of guest speaker talks during the year and you can explore further internship possibilities with our links to a variety of organisations throughout the UK.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

The standard entrance requirement is a good second class degree, normally at a 2.1 or above in any discipline.

The English Language requirement for all College of Arts and Social Sciences is an IELTS of 6.5 with 6.0 for writing and reading, or an equivalent score on an internationally recognised English test with above-average competence in English language.

The degree is designed for students from a range of undergraduate degree backgrounds including language, linguistics, communication, business studies, law or legal studies. Students can take this programme as a diploma, a stand-alone one-year or two-year part-time Master’s degree, or as a first step towards a MPhil or PhD (subject to admission to a further degree programme either at Aberdeen or elsewhere).

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Communications are vital to the internal and external operation of a successful organisation or business and understanding how we give and receive information can lead to careers in marketing and communications, PR, HR, and Media Relations.

Career Opportunities

  • Human Resources
  • Junior Lecturer
  • Media Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Teacher

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King's College
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB