Year 2: Specialisation in Amsterdam

The Politics & Communication specialisation is offered by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the capital of the Netherlands.

Placed at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), the largest research institute of its kind in Europe, and one of the largest worldwide, the Politics & Communication specialisation focuses on the role of political journalism in democracy. In particular, it centres on the changing nature of political journalism and other forms of political communication, and the impact it has on citizens, politics and society at large. In the courses, we look at the perspectives of journalists, citizens, politicians and communication professionals and explore the challenges they face interacting with each other in a changing media landscape.

The Politics & Communication courses include key political issues such as European (dis)integration, climate change, the rise of populism and electoral polarization. Journalism nowadays is faced with a crisis of legitimacy, and we examine the rise of fake news and automated journalism in exacerbating this crisis. We also examine new, innovative forms of journalism, with a particular focus on (big) data journalism.

Throughout the specialisation year in Amsterdam, you will get the opportunity to take part in numerous field trips, guest lectures and activities. In the past, our students have visited the European (EU) Commission, Brussels NGO’s, World Press Photo, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), and the International Criminal Court (ICC), among others.

While the specialisations in Totalitarianism & Transition and Business & Innovation offer more practical journalism training, the specialisation in Politics and Communication is more theory-oriented and focuses on substantive issues and empirical research analysing the content, production, and effects of journalism and other forms of political communication. While some of the Amsterdam courses, as well as the thesis, offer the opportunity to engage in practical journalism, this specialisation does not offer practical journalism training as such

An energetic and ambitious study environment

As a student in Amsterdam, you will most probably find that there is no time to waste. Staff at the University are very research-engaged and are actively involved in a number of international collaborations and larger research projects. They make sure their students become part of this energetic environment - students have the possibility to participate in ongoing research projects, and they have access to internal events and talks organised by the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). All course lecturers are also member of the Centre for Politics and Communication which provides an overview on ongoing research projects and activities on its website.

Students at UvA are ambitious and international, and their work outputs echo the ambitious working environment of their teachers. Several Mundus students have published their master’s thesis research in international peer-reviewed journals or presented their thesis findings at international conferences.

Even though the focus of Politics & Communication is empirical social-scientific research, guest lecturers from the professional field also contribute to the courses, and you will both participate in practical media training as well as produce your own journalistic product based on your master's thesis research.

Quote icon

Quote from our recent alumni survey
Mundus Journalism gave me a priceless network of friends and colleagues from all over the world, and a unique insight into international politics and its relations with the media. An unforgettable experience, for sure!

Mundus life - a look behind the scenes in Amsterdam