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Learn to communicate effectively in an intercultural workplace and prepare for a role in today’s globalised world.
- Learn language and cultural theory as well as business communication skills
- Study in a community of students from all over the world
- Spend one semester on a European campus (optional)
- Twice awarded the UK Trade and Investment ‚National Languages for Export’ award (Eastern region, UK) in the category ‚Innovative courses in adult, further and higher education which prepare students for working in, or with, people from non-English-speaking markets’.
On our MA Intercultural Communication, you will discover the importance of intercultural relationships to the modern socio-economic climate – and to building a successful career within it.
You will explore how cultural differences impact our interactions in the workplace and in wider society, considering topics such as migration, identity and how EU policy confronts language issues.
By learning to use different methodological tools to understand language and communication, you will sharpen your analytical skills and gain the confidence to think independently around the interdisciplinary, and often multinational, challenges of the modern workplace.
If you study full-time with us, you can also choose to spend one semester at a European university (the Eurocampus). Your studies will be equivalent to those of Cambridge-based students, and all your work will be in English, but with the benefit of gaining first-hand experience of living and working in a different country.
Whether you choose our Cambridge campus or the Eurocampus, you will work alongside students from all over the world, giving you additional understanding of intercultural environments that will support your academic studies.
Our MA Intercultural Communication will prepare you for many different roles with international companies, local government and European institutions. Past graduates now enjoy careers in intercultural training (e.g. for Communicaid), work with Non-Governmental Organisations such as UNESCO and UNICEF, intercultural mediation in educational or social contexts, language teaching, translation/interpretation services, international property sales and business, education or embassy administration.
One of our recent students, Stephen Trinder, began an assistant professorship position teaching English at Silla University, South Korea immediately after graduating. In 2014, he was appointed to a lectureship position at The Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, heading their Intercultural Studies course. Stephen is now continuing to study for his PhD with us.
After you graduate, you might also decide to move on to a research degree, such as our PhD English Language and Intercultural Communication.
MODULES & ASSESSMENT
Discourse and IdentityYou will explore the construction and reproduction of different competing forms of identity, mainly but not exclusively within the framework of the European Union. Examples of such competition will be provided by case studies covering clashes of national discourses with the EU and other institutional versions of a multicultural society. To analyse the interaction of identities and discourses you will use a text-based interdisciplinary approach, integrating Foucault’s and Barthes’ concepts of discourse as well as methods of literary and film analysis. You will be taught through weekly seminars, offered in the early evening to accommodate those in part-or full-time employment. These will be staff led in the early stages, with significant participation expected from you and your fellow students, but in the later stages of the module, you will have the chance to lead a seminar yourself. Your assessment will take the form of an extended written assignment to be submitted at the end of the module.
Impacts of MigrationYou will explore the push and pull factors which stimulate migration to Europe, and investigate the impact of cultural difference and interconnectedness at national, regional and local level, including the workplace. While taking account of global trends in migration and diaspora, you will focus on the situation in key European countries, in particular Britain, France, Germany and Spain. Local case studies from various organisations will allow you to conduct an in-depth analysis of the processes of integration and alienation, including patterns of mutual – cultural, racial and/or gender – discrimination, as well as linguistic adaptation. You will give special attention to the dynamics of cultural interaction, which consider the role of religion, male and female codes of honour, patriarchal mentality and potential clashes in expectations from and by contemporary leadership. You will further consider the subjectivity of this experience by exploring selected stories of migration as reflected in migrant film and literature. Your assessment will take the form of a presentation and an extended written assignment to be submitted at the end of the module.
EurocampusThis compulsory one-semester placement module is hosted annually at one of a network of European universities collaborating in the delivery of a Masters programme in Intercultural Communication, including universities in Germany, Finland, Italy, Portugal and France. Students from all the partner universities travel to the year’s host university where a team of specialists from the contributing universities each deliver one week’s teaching. The normal language of instruction will be English but you will be given the opportunity to learn the local language, as relevant. You will focus on intercultural theory, studying a number of sub-elements that reflect different disciplinary vantage points, including linguistic, social, social psychological, economic and business approaches. You’ll have a genuine intercultural experience of education in a multinational group, and experience of a variety of European approaches to learning and teaching. You’ll be assessed throughout by different in-course activities, including reflective journals, group projects, presentations and analytical reports. If you successfully complete the course you will also receive a special Eurocampus certificate issued by the host university.
Language, Identity and PolicyYou will explore the psychological and social intricacies of language and interaction both in general and within the EU. You will examine the question of language within the EU, identifying the points of tension for a community of nations who seek to work together increasingly closely and to achieve intercultural understanding while at the same time making a strong commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity. You will assess how far EU policy confronts the language issues identifiable within its current frontiers and the likely way forward as more countries and more languages join, comparing the situation in Europe with those experienced in other countries. Finally, you will explore how developing language technologies might facilitate future intercultural communication and help to resolve some of the current difficulties. Your assessment will take the form of an extended written assignment to be submitted at the end of the module.
Intercultural Relations and CommunicationYou will explore the development of relations, communication styles and values between individuals and groups of different cultural backgrounds. You will do so within the framework of intercultural theory and pragmatics on the basis of a variety of texts that focus on intercultural encounters, including contemporary mass media and literature. You will analyse and discuss the interaction between linguistics and social behaviour, as well as values and knowledge in intercultural encounters, and identify hidden as well as explicit influences upon them. Practical case studies will include aspects of changing behaviour, discrimination and racism as reflected in different texts as well as an introduction to the teaching of intercultural communication. The seminars will be staff led in the early stages, with significant participation expected from you and your fellow students, but in the later stages of the module you will have the chance to lead a seminar yourself. Your assessment will take the form of an extended written assignment to be submitted at the end of the module.
Independent Learning ModuleThis module will support you in the preparation and submission of an independent learning project. It will allow you to study topics not provided within existing modules but within clearly defined parameters, and where appropriate supervision is available.
If you choose the Cambridge-only route, you will demonstrate your progress on the course through written coursework: a 6000-word essay for each module except Impacts of Migration, which combines a 5000-word essay with a presentation. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.
If you choose the Eurocampus route, your method of assessment will change depending on the institution you attend.