MA Global Intercultural Communication


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UEA offer flexible MA courses focused on different aspects of intercultural communication, applied translation and linguistics. Your studies will prepare you for employment in the huge global growth industry related to these disciplines or for advanced research. You will benefit from the links we have with our alumni and industry professionals which, along with teaching from our expert academies, will result in excellent employment prospects.

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Key facts

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) UEA was ranked joint fifth in the UK for the quality of its research in Area Studies (Times Higher REF 2014 Analysis).

How do we successfully communicate with people when we come from different cultures or do not share their language? How can global companies manage their diverse workforce? These are the kind of issues you will learn to address on this MA.

You will develop a broad-based approach to the study of language and intercultural communication, both as a cultural resource and a cultural practice. And you will gain an understanding of how the new media and mobile technologies that characterise the contemporary global networks that are affecting communication.

In a world where most people work in professions that routinely operate across linguistic and cultural barriers, our MA Global Intercultural Communication will enable you to take on a wide range of key roles in a host of professions where an understanding of intercultural communication is critical.


Intercultural communication is crucial to comprehending the world today and participating in the world of tomorrow. Globalisation has led to ever-greater centrality of knowledge and information. Different linguistic communities have ever-increasing contact – through migration, tourism, education, and information and media flows. Yet linguistic and cultural barriers persist.

As language and intercultural exchanges become more frequent and diverse – and the media that carry these exchanges proliferate – it is even more crucial to understand intercultural communication and how to use and promote it. This course will equip you to do just that.

You will explore how the linguistic forms and patterns within a language give expression to that culture’s worldview, sociocultural norms and values. And you’ll approach linguistic communication as a cultural practice, used to both create and sustain our sense of personal, cultural and national identity. You’ll use a variety of different analytic approaches, ranging from discourse analysis and anthropological linguistics to semiotics and cross-cultural pragmatics. 

We do not assume pre-existing knowledge so we introduce you to all these approaches. However, we do expect an awareness of intercultural communication and a capacity to develop an academic interest. You might already have studied, or have a career in, business, development studies, education, hospitality and tourism, law, management, marketing, psychology or medicine, for example, or a less vocational degree in English, history, geography, media or politics. Or you might have a background in languages and communication. Either way, as graduate of this course you will bring significant added value to your chosen profession.

Our students come from across the globe and this makes our seminars particularly engaging – you’ll take part in fascinating cross-cultural exchanges both with your peers and your tutors.

You will also study digital technologies which increasingly mediate international human communication, and constitute one of the key infrastructures that enable and inflect global cultural interchange. This will equip you with the theoretical and empirical understanding necessary to explain global cultural communications today.

Course Structure

This is a one-year full-time course but you can also take it part-time over two years. You will take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, giving you a solid foundation in the discipline, with room to specialise in areas that particularly interest you.

In your first semester you will build a strong base of disciplinary knowledge with a set of three complementary compulsory modules: Language, Culture and Thought; The Power of Discourse: Representation and Interaction; and Understanding Digital Media.

Then in your second semester, you will specialise by selecting three modules from a range of options, which will help you build your skills and experience. Topics typically include: intercultural communication in practice; conflict and conflict resolution in intercultural communication; language issues in a global multilingual context; politics and media; forensic linguistics and translation; and intercultural education and training.

Your studies will culminate with a dissertation on a subject of your choice. You will choose a topic to follow your own interests or career plans in consultation with members of our academic team. You will begin work on this at the end of the spring semester (January for part-time students), with submission in September.

Teaching and Learning

The department of Language and Communication Studies at UEA is small enough that you will receive personal staff-student contact and individual academic support, whilst also benefiting from the buzz of the larger, interdisciplinary School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies. We are at the cutting edge of research, ensuring that when you graduate you are well-informed and highly employable.

You learn from experts in intercultural communication, in cross-cultural communication, cross-cultural pragmatics, (critical) discourse analysis, and cross-cultural cognitive linguistics. We also have particular specialist knowledge in translation - translation quality and ethics, technological tools, audiovisual translation, forensic linguistics, sport translation and more.

This course will be taught with a mixture of online and on campus lecturers and seminars.

You will also participate in a year-long Academic and Research Skills programme, helping you make the most of your studies and preparing you for your subsequent career. This programme also provides a great foundation for further postgraduate studies at PhD level.

Independent Study

As well as seminar work, you will benefit from numerous events and talks to support you in your learning as you work towards your career goals. These include a series of regular talks from visiting professionals and academics, addressing translation, intercultural communication, and language and culture-related topics of global, cultural and social significance. You can also attend a wealth of talks, screenings and exhibitions across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and we are affiliated to the prestigious British Centre for Literary Translation.

You will have access to the James Platt Centre, our state-of-the-art language laboratory and multimedia self-access resources room, with computer-assisted translation software (SDL Trados and MultiTerm 2014, MemoQ, WINcaps). These materials complement the excellent holdings of the UEA library.


You are assessed on the basis of coursework, which mainly involves case studies, oral and written presentations, commentaries, essays and an 8,000-word dissertation.

You will receive regular feedback on your practice assignments from your tutors, as a platform for improving your work before your formal or ‘summative’ assessment, and we encourage you to discuss this feedback with your tutors.

After the course

You will graduate with excellent employability prospects, boosted by our strong links with our past graduates and valuable contacts in the language professions

You could go on to work in communication, language consultancy, PR, translation, interpreting, mediation and training, publishing, teaching, administration for government organisations, diplomatic services, marketing, human resources, quality control, language consultancy, translation and localisation project management, or information services.

Translation agencies, and other international and national organisations globally, regularly approach us with employment opportunities, which we promote via our graduate LinkedIn network. As a post-graduate student you will benefit from a variety of workshops and sessions focused on improving your career development too.

Career destinations

  • Intercultural brand management
  • Human resources
  • Project management in international finance
  • Mediation
  • Education
  • Translation and localisation

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


The year-long module PPLC7015Y is designed to familiarise postgraduate students with research resources and basic aspects of research methodology (e.g. access to, and use of, sources and resources, collection, analysis and presentation of materials and data). It is taught over two semesters: the first in the Autumn focuses on seminar-related activities, the second in the Spring on dissertation-related work. It is assessed by an oral exam on a pass/ fail basis after the end of the second semester.




Do you want to understand the relations between language, culture and thought? This module will give you an insight into some aspects of Linguistic Anthropology, Psycholinguistics, and Applied Linguistics. You will look at language and linguistic issues from different perspectives in relation with culture and mind. You will be able to understand aspects of cross-cultural variation in verbal and non-verbal communication, acculturation and culture shock, multilingualism and second language acquisition, and differences in the encoding of meaning. You will take part in classroom-based activities in pairs and small groups. You will be assessed at the end of term with an essay. This module will provide you with intercultural awareness and a deeper understanding of the differences among languages and cultures.




If you're taking a Language and Communication MA, you'll be required to complete a Dissertation, undertaken under supervision of a member of the School's academic team. Work on the dissertation begins after the end of the spring semester, if you're studying full-time. If you're studying part-time, you'll begin your dissertation at the start of the Spring semester. The choice of topic and format is made by you in consultation with academic staff, usually before the end of the Spring semester. Your supervisor is allocated by the beginning of the period of supervision immediately after the end of the Spring semester and will provide you with general advice about approach, background literature, content, structure and presentation of the dissertation. Submission is normally at the end of August/beginning of September.




Why may some politicians or journalists prefer to say: "the UK immigration number needs to be controlled" rather than "we need to control the number of immigrants coming to the UK?" And why am I addressing you as "you" or "we" in the rest of this module description? In this module, you'll explore some of these questions and discover the ways in which language in use (discourse) shapes and is shaped by socio-cultural practices, values and perspectives, reflecting different communicative conventions and purposes. We will consider, for example, the powerful expressive patterns used in media, advertising, political speeches, news reporting, institutional contexts and how they may work to persuade, entertain or (mis-)inform us. The module will also help you discover how particular uses of language have the power to shape the way we relate to each other and continually construct our social roles. Essentially, this module is for those who are curious about the practical impact of expressive choices in everyday written and oral communication and wish to find out more about linguistic flexibility, creativity and transferability, including translation and localisation. On completion of this module, you'll have learnt how to identify significant expressive patterns in any form of communication and use this understanding to challenge and/or shape communicative practice in your future studies or employment. You'll be taught in a seminar format, providing plenty of opportunity for hands-on practice and discussion and you will be assessed on the analysis of material of your own choice.




Digital technologies are often hyped as revolutionising society. You will be introduced to the ways in which the internet and other digital technologies are (and are not) affecting society from theoretical and empirical perspectives. The module is divided into three blocks: the first introduces the theoretical debates surrounding digital media; the second discusses how our everyday interpersonal relations are affected by digital media; the third addresses the impact of digital technology on media and politics. Topics covered include: the network society; social networking and virtual communities, surveillance, digital journalism and online activism.



Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


Can "cultural" differences cause conflict in communication? How are they to be resolved without prioritizing one culture over the other? In this module we study conflict and conflict resolution strategies across different cultural contexts. You will study a wide range of communication domains, e.g. everyday encounters, language at work, language in diplomatic contexts, language and social cohesion, language and racism, language and gender, and language in the globalization process, also with reference to your specific linguistic/cultural backgrounds. Our approach is interdisciplinary; it includes Face and Politeness Theories, Discourse Analysis and Intercultural Communication Studies. The module will help you understand better the conditions for cross-cultural misunderstanding and conflict and strategies of conflict escalation and resolution.




Do you wish to pursue a career in international management and relations, multilingual business, or international development? Are you interested in becoming a more effective communicator in other professions such as translation, interpreting, education, and cultural mediation? In this module we will explore the issues fundamental to intercultural communication (IC) in practical contexts. You will examine the different ways of thinking about effective communication in a variety of work/organisation-based environments. During the seminars/lecture series, invited practitioners will introduce you to how IC operates in specific organisations, including government agencies or in multilingual business management. On completion of this module, you will have developed the linguistic skills, cultural competence, and critical thinking required for the production of an extended research project in intercultural communication. You will also have acquired a sense of how cultural assumptions may influence communication with others from different backgrounds, and developed a greater willingness to enter into dialogue with the values prevalent in cultures other than your own.




It is often claimed that intercultural communication is essential in today's globalised world, but how can it be taught, learned and assessed? This question is essential for practitioners in a wide range of educational contexts and it is the central theme you will explore. You don't need to have a teaching qualification to take this module. Whether you are a current or an aspiring teacher, trainer, mentor or coach, you will examine the pedagogical tools of intercultural learning that can be applied in your subject specialism. You will have the chance to gain a firm grounding in key notions from theoretical and empirical perspectives, delving deeply into critical pedagogy and uncovering core concepts, such as curriculum internationalisation, global citizenship and intercultural education. You will benefit from the flexibility of this module and gain experience in adapting new knowledge to suit your individual interests, needs and career aspirations, and will learn through a mixture of seminars and self-directed study carefully structured around central themes, analysing current research in highly interactive and critically reflective teaching sessions. As you study, you will put your new knowledge into practice through the application of theories to specific teaching and training contexts. On successful completion of this module, you will have the knowledge and skills to put yourself in a better position to gain employment where intercultural training and education is required, for example in multinational companies, non-governmental organisations, government departments, the education sector and health care industry. This module is suited to practising or future teachers, trainers, trainees, educators, coaches, consultants, mentors, curriculum developers and any other professionals in a broad range of fields (e.g. language teaching, content and language integrated learning, media, business, politics, international relations, translation and healthcare). The teaching sessions will be delivered in the English language.




Every day millions of people across the globe consume information on the internet or on television, mediated from languages that they do not know. How does this happen? What is at stake? Linguistically, socio-culturally? These are the kinds of question that we address with Language Issues in a Global Multilingual Context. We focus on language-related issues associated with the globalisation of communication and the media. You will consider a range of materials - texts and their translation(s), multilingual sources of information (e.g. global news, consumer information), products of audio-visual translation (e.g. subtitling, dubbing), IT mediated or processed texts - to explore issues involved in the transposition and dissemination of (spoken and written) text into other media and other languages across different spheres of activity (e.g. media, politics, culture). The subject matter relates to different domains of enquiry (including mediation/translation studies, linguistics, communication studies, cultural studies, for example) and the aim is to sensitize you to language-related issues in a global context from a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Within the interdisciplinary context of the module, you will develop to a high level your awareness and understanding of language and communication issues in a global world, and become familiar with different critical approaches to these issues. You will gain the ability to evaluate these approaches critically and evaluate their relevance and usefulness to your own needs and circumstances. You will acquire skills of independent research, with a focus on appropriate methodology, data collection, analysis, synthesis and evaluation, and refine your oral and written presentation skills of your findings. Sound receptive knowledge of at least one language other than the mother tongue required.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Humanities or Social Sciences preferred
  • Degree Classification Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

•    IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in all components)
•    PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact


This course's annual intake is in September of each year

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the university directly for further information.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,850
  • International Students: £16,400

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships and Awards

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a number of Scholarships and Awards on offer. See further information relevant to Language and Communication Studies.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515