Why study the Master of Strategic Communication with UTS Online

Australia's #1 performing young university¹

Ranked in the Top 5 nationally for Communication and Media Studies2

Ranked in the Top 5 nationally for graduate employability3

100% online with support from enrolment through to graduation


1QS Top 50 Under 50 2022  2QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023  3QS Graduate Employability Rankings, 2022  

Learning outcomes
  • Professional readiness 
    Apply a specialised body of practice-oriented knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate innovative and multi-media solutions to major, real-world communication challenges with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability   
  • Critical and creative inquiry 
    Critically analyse and reflect on strategic communication models and practices to plan and execute a substantial body of research that synthesises information across diverse platforms in response to major communication issues and significant challenges.   
  • International and intercultural engagement 
    Recognise, interrogate, and negotiate cultural values and differences amongst individuals, organisations, communities, and society. 
  • Indigenous competencies 
    Critically reflect on strategic communication practice when working with and for Indigenous peoples to build professional capability.  
  • Active citizenship 
    Exercise leadership in the development of communication strategies that address major challenges and implement solutions on issues of exclusion, equity, cultural difference and social justice.  
  • Effective communication 
    Persuade and engage diverse audiences through both written and oral communication strategies across a range of media formats with consideration of others' needs and views. 
Career outcomes

The UTS Online Master of Strategic Communication is tailored to future-focused individuals seeking advanced skills and knowledge to progress their career and become leaders in the communication profession. The course may lead to a range of dynamic senior roles in corporate, government, political, organisational or marketing communication, advertising, public relations or integrated communication. Career options may include Global Manager of Internal Communications, Director of Media and Communications, Director of Public Relations, Head of Corporate Communications, and Head of Corporate Affairs. 

$115k

The average annual salary for a communication manager with a postgraduate qualification, according to Seek (2023). This is up to 37% higher compared to those without a postgraduate qualification (Payscale, 2023).


4.1 stars

Communication managers rate their role for job satisfaction, according to Seek (2023).


21.7% 

Projected job growth rate in the marketing and advertising industry by 2024, according to the ABS Labour Force Survey (2019).


15.8%

Projected job growth rate in public relations by 2024, according to the ABS Labour Force Survey (2019).

What you will study

The Master of Strategic Communication comprises 12 subjects (72 credit points [CP] in total), with 10 core subjects and 2 electives.

Note: Most subjects at UTS are worth 6 CP (credit points) but this can vary across courses 

Core subjects

Complete the following subjects (60 CP):  

 
Understanding Communication in Society (6 CP) 

Public communication is a critical activity for all organisations, brands and individuals. As the communication landscape is constantly evolving, best practice must be front and centre to ensure communication initiatives are contributing to strategic goals. This subject introduces students to contemporary thinking about the development of strategic communication and the impact it has on individuals, brands, organisations and society. Students explore how key theories and concepts are incorporated into contemporary practice, as well as the increasing requirement for integration of multiple forms of public communication including advertising, public relations, and digital and social media communication. In addition, students examine and critically evaluate how people access and consume information today. Students become familiar with the multiple 'touchpoints' between organisations and their publics and the need for organisations to ensure consistency and complementation in their public communication. Throughout, students are introduced to the knowledge and skills required in contemporary practice for planning and designing integrated strategic communication campaigns involving a range of multimedia and multimodal communication activities.

Intercultural and International Communication (6 CP) 

In today's increasingly interconnected world, proficient intercultural skills are vital for professionals to effectively engage with stakeholders at a global level, spanning across various organisational or governmental levels. This subject provides students with the theoretical and practical expertise needed in the field of intercultural communication in order to function in the global work environment. Students explore key debates in intercultural theory and communication and analyse and develop strategies for functioning in intercultural situations and organisations. In this subject, students have the opportunity to apply their learning to contemporary, real-world instances of intercultural communication.

Emergent Communication Practices (6 CP)

The way we communicate with each other is constantly evolving as technology and digital media create new and innovative channels of communication. In this subject, students examine the transformative effect that digital communication technology has had across sectors and industries, and how that has driven the emergence of new and evolving forms of communication practice. Students will explore and understand innovative communication channels, such as the development of citizen journalism, social media influencers, digital ‘creator culture’, digital activism and new forms of content publishing by both individuals, brands, and other organisations. Related to this evolving context for communication practice is the emergence of 'echo chambers' within social media networks, highlighting just one of the challenges that practitioners now face when seeking to engage and inform diverse audiences in an ethical and responsible manner. 

Driving Stakeholder Engagement (6 CP)

Successful communication initiatives all share one thing in common; a well-designed and implemented engagement strategy. In this subject, students examine the concept of stakeholder engagement to develop a holistic understanding of the factors that generate or hinder engagement. Students explore key concepts in the phenomena of public engagement, disengagement, and non-engagement such as motivation, trust, cynicism, authenticity and credibility whilst also considering the notions of stakeholders, stake-seekers, audiences and publics. Ultimately, students build the skills required to investigate and apply strategies to enable mutual gains, manage conflict and develop social capital. Students research best practice in engagement with Indigenous organisations and communities and consider cultural competencies needed for practitioners working with and for Indigenous Australians.

Communicating Risk, Issues, and Crises (6 CP)

In today’s world, it has become important for organisations to pre-empt and quickly respond to risk. Thus, having a solid reputation management strategy is critical. This subject introduces students to the overlapping areas of risk, issue, and crisis communication as allied functions in managing communication. Students explore the role of effective communication in relation to issues and crises for reputation management and organisational sustainability. Students examine case studies of best and worst practice to understand how risks can escalate into issues, how issues can turn into crises, and the shifting role of strategic communication in this nexus. Guided by theory, students learn about complexities in developing and implementing communication strategies and tactics in time-pressured environments that threaten organisational objectives, operations, finances and reputation.

Organisational Storytelling and Engagement (6 CP)

Within organisations, storytelling can be deployed to be an impactful tool for bringing people together, and importantly, uniting employees or other groups in the task of working towards a shared goal. This subject examines the importance of employee communication for building and supporting organisational culture, maintaining employee loyalty, and facilitating change. Students learn major methods and media used for organisational communication and employee engagement. Students critically analyse key factors that hinder and facilitate positive cultural and organisational changes. Students leverage these skills to develop ethical and effective internal communication projects that address a range of organisational changes such as mergers and acquisitions, leadership succession and technological disruption.

Contemporary Advertising (6 CP)

Advertising is one of the key methods which organisations use to be relevant and persuasive in the context of the contemporary use of paid media. Within the context of an integrated campaign for a brand or organisation, students explore how messages are developed from attributes and other features or other distinctive elements in a brand (product, service, or corporate entity). Students identify how the message provides a benefit to the target audience and apply techniques to articulate that benefit through an appeal, so it is impactful to the audience by being expressed in a creative way. Students are introduced to essential skills required in developing a clear brief for the development of advertising.

Strategic Campaigns (6 CP)

An effective strategic campaign starts with effective planning process to inform the development of messages to be communicated and the techniques used to deploy those messages. In this subject, students explore the processes and purpose of strategic communication campaign planning. This includes learning about objective setting and evaluation frameworks, and the roles they play in strategic direction setting, and decision making. This includes setting roles of communication, establishing campaign frameworks and the importance of listening more than speaking.   Students consider how and when integrating diversity, in terms of audiences, cultures, channels, are key to campaign development.

Applied Research Methods (6 CP)

Well-designed and accurate research is a significant contributor to the success of communication initiatives. In this subject, students learn about methods of research used in strategic communication development. This subject purposely focusses on the research planning process with an emphasis on understanding the questions to ask of a research provider when commissioning research, as well as considering the methods used to answer research questions. The use of research methods is considered in the context of the evaluation framework for the communication activity.

Strategic Communication Project (6 CP)

In this capstone subject, students synthesise and apply the skills and knowledge acquired across their studies to produce a work-like strategic communication project. The project may be, for example, a strategic communication plan for an organisation or a campaign; a critical analysis of an existing communication strategy or campaign; or an evaluation of a communication strategy or campaign to inform development of a new communication campaign. The project allows for student consolidation and extension of learning especially in regard to those critical and analytical skills associated with consultancy and management roles.

Elective subjects

Select 12 CPs from a range of subjects:  

  • Foundations of Business Analytics (3CP)
  • Data Ethics & Regulation (6CP)
  • Data-Processing Using SAS (3CP)
  • Digital Marketing Today (6CP)
  • Marketing in the Age of Technology (6CP)
  • Data-Driven Marketing (6CP)
  • Branding in the Digital World (6CP)
  • Engaging Audiences (6CP)
  • Leading People and Change (6CP)

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing includes the following four subjects:   

  • test test test
  • Digital Customer Behavior
  • Data-Driven Marketing
  • Branding in the Digital World

Upcoming study periods

UTS Online courses have six intakes per year. The diagram below shows all upcoming
intakes, with the next intake highlighted in blue.

Course information

Graduate Certificate
Description of the Course + 4 Number of units or continue studying

The UTS Master of Health Services Management prepares leaders in health and social care who want to drive change and create safer, higher value and more equitable health systems and services. 

English language requirements

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64 with a writing score of 50; or C1A/C2P: 176-184 with a writing score of 169.

For applicants without an Academic IELTS score, or equivalent, refer to the UTS Register of English Language Requirements Proficiency for other methods of satisfying the English language requirements for the course(s).   For more information, schedule a 15-minute call with a Student Enrolment Advisor.    

Speak to an Enrolment Advisor

 

Entry requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS-recognised academic qualification, or equivalent, as follows:  

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Graduate Diploma
  • Master’s degree or
  • Doctoral degree or equivalent 

Applicants with a bachelor’s qualification must also satisfy one of the following:​ 

  • Bachelor’s degree in the ASCED Field of Education group of 08 (Management and Commerce), 09 (Society and Culture) or 10 (Creative Arts);

OR​ 

  • Bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than ASCED Field of Education group of 08 (Management and Commerce), 09 (Society and Culture) or 10 (Creative Arts) AND a minimum of two (2) years relevant work experience*

*Relevant work experience is defined from within the ANZSCO Groups 01 Managers or 02 Professionals AND demonstrated through a CV and Statement of Service confirming the dates of employment, and the position held within the organisation.​ 

Note: Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements for the Master of Strategic Communication may use the successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication as a pathway, provided they meet the specific entry requirements.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee an offer of a place.

FEE-HELP

To assist with all or some of your tuition fees, FEE-HELP is available for eligible students. This government-supported loan scheme is designed to help eligible full-fee paying students pay their tuition fees.

To check your eligibility, feel free to speak with an Enrolment Advisor today.

Request a call-back

 

Unsure about your situation?

One of our Student Enrolment Advisors can assist you with more information, including alternative pathways.

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Graduate Diploma
All units from the Graduate Certificate + 4 Diploma units or continue studying

The Graduate Diploma focuses on giving you the foundational skills that industry demands plus the soft skills to influence business decisions at senior management levels. 

The fast-tracked model means you can graduate with a diploma in just over a year, plus it gives you a pathway to study the Master of Business Analytics. 

Master of Health Services Management
All subjects from the Graduate Certificate + 8 subjects from the Master of Health Services Management

The UTS Master of Health Services Management prepares leaders in health and social care who want to drive change and create safer, higher value and more equitable health systems and services. 

Meet our Course Director

“With effective communication becoming ever more critical to success for businesses, Government departments, charities, community groups and other organisations, we have created a program that helps people build the knowledge and skills to develop communication that delivers results and effectively meets set objectives. This program is designed for students who are looking to progress their career and become leaders in the communication profession. Students will embrace a different learning experience that prepares them to thrive in the communication environment now, and into the future.”

Dr Andrew McCowan
Course Director, Master of Strategic Communication

Director, Master of Business Analytics