Masters in Internal Communication Management

Designed for experienced practitioners, Masters students can expect to gain a deep understanding of theory and translate this into high-impact strategic internal communication that is underpinned by best practice, enabling them to operate at the most senior levels.

About the course

The Masters in Internal Communication Management is the UK’s only Masters degree to focus on the strategic practice of internal communication.

Delivered in partnership between the Institute of Internal Communication and Solent University, this specialist part-time programme plays a key role in the development of the profession, ensuring that practitioners have the knowledge and skills to influence at the highest levels in organisations. The course is specifically designed to fit around busy working lives so students can study while still working full time.  

Developed by senior internal communication professionals who bring a unique mix of practical experience and academic knowledge, the Masters will equip you for increasingly strategic roles, and provide you with the confidence, gravitas and skills to make a real impact in your business at the most senior level.

Acquiring Masters status also means that you are demonstrating the skills and knowledge required of a practitioner at the highest level of the IoIC’s competency framework.

You will explore the complexity of organisational culture and the psychology of communication, learn to assess the broader business context in which organisations are operating, and to develop high impact strategies, including forging leading-edge approaches to advances in technology and changes to ways of working.

The course's highly interactive workshops are a chance to discuss organisational implications, while the ‘theory into practice’ approach ensures you can immediately apply theory and other learning to your current business challenges, adding value from the outset. 

The course team all have a background in strategic communication management, and guest speakers include leaders in current thinking. You will also benefit from free membership of the Institute of Internal Communication throughout the programme, including all member benefits.

A focus on analytical thinking and evidence-based decision making equips students to continuously adapt to the business challenges of the future, while online and face-to-face interaction will help you create a long-term network of fellow practitioners.

The course is continuously updated in line with the latest developments within internal communication and from student feedback, ensuring in depth exploration of key communication issues underpinned by a keen awareness of business challenges – to build the gravitas needed to influence at the most senior level.

Why choose this course?

The Masters is designed to prepare professionals for increasingly strategic roles in internal communication and add business value in a rapidly changing global organisational environment.

The benefits of studying for the MA in Internal Communication Management include:

  • adding immediate value by putting theory into practice in your – or your client’s - organisation
  • developing your interpersonal and leadership skills and having impact at the highest level of the organisation
  • developing your strategic thinking and evidence-based decision making
  • gaining essential research and analytical skills to understand and adapt to rapidly changing business needs
  • producing a valuable piece of tailored research for your organisation
  • building a strong network of fellow strategic practitioners.

By the end of the course, you will be equipped to:

  • understand the complexities of workplace culture, the psychology of communication, and the implications for your communication practice
  • develop, implement and evaluate internal communication strategies to meet rapidly changing organisational needs and build engagement
  • forge leading edge approaches to communication to address the growth of technology and the radical breakdown of organisational boundaries
  • influence and coach senior managers to ensure optimum communication that meets the needs of the future, and ensure effective leadership communication at all levels
  • undertake in-depth organisational research to ensure a robust, evidence-based approach to communication interventions.

Additional benefits include:

  • dedicated teaching team to guide you throughout your academic journey
  • access to Solent’s academic library and other support services
  • free IoIC membership for the duration of your studies, including all usual members benefits.
What will you study?

The Masters in Internal Communication Management is a part-time course designed to fit around busy working lives.

The course is includes eight days of workshops in Central London (with hybrid options available for those who are unable to attend in-person), virtual follow-up sessions and sessions delivered by guest speakers, online activities, and independent study focused on applying theory to current workplace challenges – allowing students to add additional value to their organisation from the start of their studies.

You will need to devote a considerable amount of time to reading, critical analysis of issues, research, preparation of assignments and participation in on-line discussion boards. The theory into practice approach and focus on your current workplace in assessments means that that you can achieve a level of integration between work and study.

The Programme 

The programme is made up of four units:

Unit 1: Building blocks for communication success: Sensemaking and the organisational environment

This unit sets the context for the strategic management of internal communication, equipping you to assess the practical communication implications of organisational culture, leadership styles, the psychology of how we make sense of the world around us and more.

Unit 2: Thinking and acting strategically: How internal communication can drive the organisation forward

This unit is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to develop, implement and evaluate effective communication strategies to deal with the issues you are likely to encounter including change, complexity, employee engagement plus the radical impact of technology.

Unit 3:  Building for the future: The influential internal communication practitioner

This unit equips you with the underpinning knowledge to act as a key influencer and an internal consultant at the most senior level within the organisation, including the psychology of decision making and the power of rhetoric. You will also explore current and possible leading-edge developments in organisations and appropriate communication responses, helping futureproof your practice.

Unit 4: Conducting robust communication research to drive decision making

This unit aims to develop your skills in working with a client to identify, diagnose, and make practical recommendations towards solving a workplace management issue through internal communication interventions, acquiring academic standard research techniques and applying them in a research project aimed at resolving a current workplace issues.

Entry Criteria

Applications for the Masters in Internal Communication Management will be considered if candidates can demonstrate their suitability for the course, having the motivation and ability to work at postgraduate level. The Masters programme consists of four units, each of which is worth 30 credits. Candidates are accredited an additional 60 credits on the basis of prior learning and experience of internal communication. This is done via a process known as Advanced Standing.

Candidates should therefore also fulfil one of the following alternatives:
 

  1. Possess a recognised postgraduate qualification in management and business studies equivalent to 60 level 7 credits.
  2. Possess a degree or professional qualification and have significant experience in the internal communication field and other indicators of achievement (e.g. written reports etc.)
  3. Have substantial relevant experience of internal communication management and other indicators of achievement (e.g. evidence of acceptable training courses attended, written reports etc.), also complete a sample assignment to a pass standard. Applicants will be given support in assignment writing as part of the application process.

The Course Team

The Masters in Internal Communication Management is delivered by a highly respected and experienced team who have been involved in the programme since its inception.

Course Director – Liz Cochrane

Liz managed communication for major companies within the utility and pharmaceutical sectors before moving into consultancy and training. She now combines her role as Course Director with being the director of a small employee research company. Liz is a Director for the Institute of Internal Communication, with responsibility for professional development (accreditation).   
 
Unit Leader – Jenny Davenport

Jenny’s main work is as a management consultant, working not only on internal communication issues, but more widely on relationships at work, senior management and employer brand projects. Now freelance, Jenny was formerly Managing Director of People in Business. Jenny has degrees in history, law and psychology and a Masters in Organisational Behaviour.

Unit Leader – Domna Lazidou

Domna has a background as a practitioner and academic, and is an expert in culture, engagement and change communication in complex, multicultural organisations. Domna combines consultancy with leading a unit for the Masters and also teaching intercultural communication for business and the professions at the University of Warwick, drawing from the research she did for her PhD.   Domna has designed and runs two popular training courses for the Institute of Internal Communication: Communicating for Culture Change and Engaging Employees in times of uncertainty.

Unit Leader - Ranjit Sidhu

Ranjit is passionate about supporting people to make change happen in their organisations. As a consultant and trainer, she provides practical support and guidance to organisations, so they can effectively communicate and engage people in delivering successful projects and change initiatives that achieve the results they want. Ranjit wrote the Communication and Engagement chapter in the 'Effective Change Manager’s Handbook' and her own book, 'Titanic lessons in project leadership – effective communication and team building'. Ranjit is an alumni of the programme with Solent University. 

Unit Leader - Oli Howard

Oli's main work is with the CIPD, the body for HR and the wider people profession, where he leads on the development of the institute's membership offering. He has previously worked in senior communication roles for government and non-profit organisations, with a strong focus on internal communication. He is an alumni of the programme with Kingston University, having graduated with Distinction in 2012.

Key Dates 2022/23

We are delighted to annouce our key dates for the 2022/23 cohort of the Masters in Internal Communication Management! 

Each unit on the programme begins with a highly interactive two-day, in person workshop, with additional online follow-up sessions and sessions delivered by guest speakers. Dates and timings of the online follow-up sessions will be confirmed at the start of the programme. 

Where circumstances prevent in-person attendance, including for international students, virtual options will be available for all sessions. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact us on [email protected]

Please note: All timings (except induction day) are subject to change ahead of the programme's commencement. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the course take?

The Masters is a thirteen-month programme, starting each year in November and running until the following December. 

How easy is it to combine the Masters with full time employment?

The programme is specifically designed to fit around busy working lives, with an induction day at Solent University, a total of eight days of workshops in Central London, and virtual follow-up sessions and sessions delivered by guest speakers. Where circumstances prevent in-person attendance, hybrid options will be made available. 

You will need to devote a considerable amount of time to reading, critical analysis of issues, research, preparation of assignments and participation in on-line discussion boards. The theory into practice approach and focus on your current workplace in assessments means that that you can achieve a level of integration between work and study.

What is the entry criteria?

You will need either a postgraduate qualification in management and business, OR a degree or professional qualification plus significant internal communication experience, OR substantial relevant experience plus evidence of achievement. If you'd like to discuss your eligbility for the course please contact us below. 

Can I apply if I haven't completed an Undergraduate Degree?

Yes, if you have significant professional experience you are still eligible to apply for the Masters. As part of the application process you will be required to complete a sample assignment to a pass standard. A member of the teaching team will provide the details of the assignment and coach you through the writing process.

How is the course delivered?

Each unit on the programme begins with a highly interactive two-day, in person workshop, with additional online follow-up sessions and sessions delivered by guest speakers. Dates and timings of the online follow-up sessions will be confirmed at the start of the programme. The course will be hosted on Solent's online learning system where you will find materials, reading and reference lists, assessment briefs and learning support. The course strongly encourages the development of a learning community with your fellow students, including peer-review and discussion boards. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via coursework rather than exams, and includes assignments, a management report, and assessment of on-line discussion of key topics. All assessments focus on current workplace issues and are designed to support you in your role.

I'm an international student, can I study remotely?

Yes, although the course includes in-person workshops hybrid arrangements will be in place so students can study remotely. 

How much does it cost?

The fee to study for the Masters in Internal Communication Management is £6,500 + VAT.

If you're not already a member of the IoIC you will recieve free student membership for the duration of your studies, as well as access to the Solent University online library where they can access all required texts and resources. 

The cost of the programme includes workshops, follow-up sessions, access to Solent University’s online library and virtual learning environment, ongoing support from the course team, supervision of management reports, one year of IoIC membership and graduation at Solent University (there will be some additional costs for graduation gowns and additional tickets to the graduation ceremony).

Are there payment options available to split the cost?

If your employer is willing to sponsor your place on the programme, payment can be made in full or over two financial years. Our professional development team can support you in outlining the benefits of gaining the Masters to your organisation if required.

If you're self or part funding, we are happy to work with you and devise a payment plan (subject to agreement in writing and terms and conditions), allowing students to pay for their place on the course in instalments. 

If you have any questions about the programme fees or would like to speak about the most suitable option for you, please contact us below. 

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2022 intake of the Masters are open until the end of October 2022. 

The application process includes an application form, an interview with the Course Director or a member of the course team, and the submission of work examples.

To apply today please go to 'Ready to apply?' and request an application form. 

 

Open Evening 2022

Our MA Open Evening was the opportunity to hear from MA Alumni about the ways in which the MA benefited them, how it’s changed their internal communication practice, and how it’s moved their careers forward.

The Alumni also talked about how they balanced studying with work and life, how much study time was required, and funding their studies.

It was also the opportunity to get to know the Course Team, and they answered questions around workshops and delivery, entry requirements, and what to expect around support and the practicalities of studying.

They also discussed how they keep the course up to date to reflect how internal communication influence is changing in organisations, and the skills required to support the growing role of internal comms as senior leaders.  

 

Ready to apply?

The Application Process 

The application process consists of three stages: 

  1. Completing the application form.
  2. Interview with the Course Director or another member of the course team. Applicants will be required to submit work examples as part of the interview process. 
  3. Completing an online application with Solent University.

Please note that if you have not already completed an undergraduate degree, you will also be required to complete a sample assignment to a pass standard. A member of the teaching team will provide the details of the assignment and coach you through the writing process.

Request an application form 

Please include any relevant comments or queries. 

 

Want to learn more?

If you have any questions, would like further details, or if you'd like to discuss your eligibility, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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