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
- 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.
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.
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).
Communication managers rate their role for job satisfaction, according to Seek (2023).
Projected job growth rate in the marketing and advertising industry by 2024, according to the ABS Labour Force Survey (2019).
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
Complete the following subjects (60 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.