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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts

Managing facultyArts
Abbreviated titleMA(CommCulturalSt)
Total credit points required72
Standard duration of study (years)1.5 years FT, 3 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Sunway)
Course coordinator

Prof James Chin


The Master of Arts (Communications and Cultural Studies) is designed to meet the needs of professionals in communications and related sectors. The course provides a unique focus on convergent knowledge and the understanding and integration of multiple communication systems and practices, as well as consequent impact on culture and society. The curriculum includes policy, organisational, technical, persuasive, visual, aesthetic, written, economic, political, ethical, planning, systems, and logistical facets of communications.


On completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  • knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for the participation in and management of complex communicative processes in regional, urban, national and international contexts
  • theoretical and empirical understanding of the impact of multiple communication systems and practices on culture and society.
  • competency at dealing with convergent knowledge sets and the capacity to synthesise and negotiate multiple communications practices
  • knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary for independent research
  • critical understanding of the social, cultural, political, institutional and economic context in which communicative processes and systems occur
  • critical understanding of the role of communication arts and literacies in contemporary organisations, economies, markets and polities
  • theoretical knowledge, communicative competency, critical reflection, ethical understanding, and problem-solving capacities relevant to the management of multi-dimensional communicative processes and environments
  • substantially enhanced capacity to formulate and research communication issues
  • substantially enhanced understanding of public, persuasive and advocacy communications and their ethical limits
  • significantly increased intellectual independence and ability to analyse and evaluate arguments
  • greater self-reliance in intellectual and professional activity, and greater understanding of the knowledge, skills, and attributes required in management and senior professional roles
  • substantially enhanced employment-related generic skills, including high-level computing skills, problem-solving, interpersonal, and collaborative skills, written and oral communication skills, understanding of the nature of organisational work, and the ability to use technology in the workplace effectively
  • enhanced understanding of critical, ethical and aesthetic approaches to communications studies and communications practice.


There are two different modes to complete the degree:

(a.) all units by coursework

(b.) those who have achieved Distinction or High Distinction for the first four units may choose to undertake a 24-point research dissertation.

Students must complete a maximum of 48 points at level four (two core units plus two elective units) and minimum of 24 points at level five (two elective units, or the 24 points dissertation):

  • full-time students will normally complete two 12-point units per semester
  • part-time and off-campus students will normally complete one 12-point unit per semester.

All units except where indicated are worth 12 points.


Students complete the following two level-four units:

  • COM4010 Research issues and methodologies
  • COM4020 Industry practice applied

and two further units at level four from the following:

  • AST4000 Contemporary issues in Asia
  • COM4131 Contemporary media and communication theory
  • COM4302 Media flows
  • CRT4760 Gender, body and performance*
  • CRT4830 Popular culture and ethics*

plus two of the following units at level five or the research dissertation:

* Subject to availability

Alternative exit(s)

Students who have completed studies in the Master of Arts (Communications and Cultural Studies) to the value of:

  • 24 points may apply to exit with a graduate certificate
  • 48 points may apply to exit with a graduate diploma.


Master of Arts (Communications and Cultural Studies)