Communication for Development


Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent.

The equivalent of Swedish secondary school English course B.


Academic credits 20%, Letter of intent/Experience document 80% Note There are specific instructions regarding eligibility or selection on the next tab on this page, called Selection. Please, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly!

There are specific instructions regarding eligibility or selection on the next tab on this page, called Selection. Please, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly!


What is Communication for Development?

Communication for Development (ComDev) is an interdisciplinary field combining studies on culture, media, communication and development. ComDev explores communication within contexts of articulating global and local processes of social change.

The ComDev field is part science, part craft and part art, and its multidisciplinary academic foundations draw on aspects of development studies, anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. These multiple entry points create a rich framework for challenging hegemonic notions and knowledge, and engage with questions of social, cultural, economic and political power. The theory and practices of ComDev play an important role as witness to global injustice and marginalisation, as amplifiers of dissent and as connectors between people, cultures and stories.

ComDev is taught as a 50% full-time course that distributes 60 credits over four semesters. Our part-time approach is an ideal format for professionals already working in the field, to complement internships or part-time work, as well as for those on sabbaticals or parental leave.

What will I learn?

The core courses of the first year triangulate concepts of international development by engaging with keywords such as globalisation, culture, participation or mediatisation.
Virtual group work, short review assignments as well as longer essays and presentations help students to progress through the course, connect with their peers and explore different activity-based learning formats.

Individual feedback from the ComDev team as well as longer teaching seminars and workshops round off the classroom experience for students.

The second year comprises a hands-on, blog-based ICT4D module, a research methodology course and a thesis course. ComDev encourages students to conduct empirical fieldwork, reflect on their own practice and explore alternative formats to complement their MA degree projects.

In short, ComDev fosters teamwork and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and diverse perspectives among students.

It is also possible to add another year of full-time studies to the core, two year, part-time degree by doing courses on communication planning, an optional internship and an extended thesis production project.

Our pedagogical approach: the Glocal Classroom

ComDev has been successful in bridging the gap between traditional internet-based learning (often called ‘distance learning’) and conventional forms of education on campus. Our convergence pedagogy creates a glocal classroom — a global learning space grounded in local realties. Based in Malmö, our glocal classroom has travelled to partner universities, conferences and seminars in more than twenty countries. Seminars with local alumni, development organisations and our academic network usually take place once a year.

What can I do with my degree?

The programme’s alumni quite literally work on all continents and in a variety of capacities: in the aid industry nationally and internationally, in embassies, United Nations organisations and NGOs. In the spirit of ComDev, they interpret communication for development broadly and work in many capacities to advance positive social change — from social enterprises in The Gambia to local and regional government organisations in Sweden. Graduates from the programme also go on to successfully complete doctoral studies.




Once you have completed your application including your academic credentials and English proficiency, you have the possibility of submitting a supporting document for selection to the programme. This can increase your chances of being admitted to the programme. Eighty per cent of the programme places are selected among applicants who submit a supporting document.

We only accept submissions that use the document form below.

Deadline for autumn semester

The deadline for the Supporting Document is May 4, 2020 for students applying in the second admissions round. 

To complete your application, follow the steps below:

  • create an account and apply to the programme via 
  • upload your documentation as a pdf on or send the document by post. You will need to document proof of a bachelor's degree as well as proficiency in English to be considered eligible for the programme. Applicants in their final year, who will receive their diploma before the programme starts, can also apply but must follow specific instructions.
  • if you choose to submit a supporting document, you need to upload it online at The supporting document consists of two parts: a brief description of your experience of communication for development issues that prepare you for studies in the programme; and a Letter of Intent in which you describe your motivations and objectives for applying to the programme.

Download the document to fill in here.

Save your document and upload it to your account at You can also send it by post. See for more information.


Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2021

Programme Code:
HACFD revision 21
Date of establishment:
18 November 2009
Date of ratification:
24 March 2011
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
31 August 2020
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
24 March 2011

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent.

The equivalent of Swedish secondary school English course B.


Communication for Development is a half time study programme. The form of study is a combination of live seminars and web-based communication. The seminars, which last two to three days, are compulsory and consist of lectures, discussions and workshops. For overseas students who cannot physically attend, it is possible to follow the seminars online. In between the seminars, the students carry out assignments individually and in groups.

Courses year one:

  • Media, Globalisation and Development (15 credits)
  • Communication, Culture and Media Analysis (15 credits)
Courses year two:
  • New Media, ICT and Development (7,5 credits)
  • Research Methodology (7,5 credits)
  • Degree Project (15 credits)
In this programme, where the form of study strives to be conducive to the course content, progression lies in the group dynamic process as well as in the coursework itself. The multidisciplinary nature of the subject means that the same content should provide in-depth knowledge for students with different backgrounds. One major advantage of this pedagogical approach is that it brings together different experiences. A focus on group diversity allows students to deepen their knowledge of their own major as well as gain a sufficient overview of the subject based on the academic backgrounds and practical experiences of other students. This will enable them to be able to work in both interdisciplinary and transcultural ways, whatever their future profession.

Issues such as gender, ethnicity and migration saturate the whole programme, but are particularly emphasised in the courses Media, Globalisation and Development and Communication, Media and Culture Analysis. Regarding environmental perspectives, the programme emphasises local initiatives and participation at a grass-root level that aim at achieving sustainable development.

There is a clear evolution over the course of the programme, within the field of communication for development. In the first year, students receive a comprehensive overview of globalisation and a systematic inventory of the entire field. In the second year, students follow specialised courses before completing an independent project that concentrates on one of the field's sub-areas.

Learning outcomes

Communication for development is an interdisciplinary field of study combining research and fieldwork that has emerged in the post-war era through the practical intersection of communication and development theories. The field's development largely follows the paradigmatic shifts within international development cooperation, from the top-down modernisation strategies of the 50s and 60s, to today's process-oriented models that emphasise participation and dialogue, often combining several different strategies. As a result of globalisation, the field of study has entered a dynamic phase of reappraisal and fresh ideas regarding the analysis of the role of media in global development and social change, as well as corresponding communication strategies.

The overall aim of the programme is two-fold:

  • to provide in-depth knowledge of various aspects of globalisation, emphasising the role of culture, media and new information and communication technology from a global development perspective; and
  • to provide skills for work with development and social change in international development cooperation as well as in other areas.
Knowledge and understanding
In order to receive a master's degree in Communication for Development, the student shall demonstrate:
  • an understanding of the social and cultural consequences of globalisation processes through in-depth study of specific case studies of communication for development/social change in their local, regional and global contexts;
  • in-depth knowledge of a variety of methods -- from analysis of texts to ethnography and action research -- engaging with analyses of communication, learning processes/pedagogy, and cultural conditions. These methods include topics such as post-colonial perspectives on theory and identity formation;
  • knowledge of important strands of theory in communication and cultural studies (such as participatory communication, semiotics and discourse analysis), and their integration with, and practical application in, communication for development processes;
  • an understanding of international development cooperation and its key players in multilateral, bilateral and unilateral fields of action, as well as the ability to analyse current trends in development, their mediation (embedded in a variety of strategic discourse and communication) and practical application; and
  • an understanding of several of the following generic themes: governance, citizenship and the public sphere; media and conflict/peace communication; identity politics and social movements; health, environment and sustainable development; and art, cultural heritage and social change.

Competencies and skills
In order to receive a master's degree in Communication for Development, the student shall demonstrate:
  • the ability to integrate knowledge and to analyse, evaluate and handle complex phenomena and situations within the field of communication for development, even with limited access to information;
  • the ability to independently analyse media and cultural artefacts and articulate the importance of media and culture -- including new information and communication technology -- for global development and social change;
  • the skill to evaluate communicative programmes from a global and local development perspective, and to be able to convert this analysis into practice when facing difficult conditions with few resources;
  • the ability to independently identify and formulate research questions, to plan and, with the help of adequate methods, carry out qualified assignments within given time frames;
  • the ability to both scientifically analyse and practically implement data and experience that has been collected by the student themselves;
  • the ability to use advanced critical source analysis when collecting data, especially online;
  • the ability to, both in oral and written form, clearly present and discuss their conclusions, as well as the knowledge and argumentation that form the basis of these conclusions in dialogue with different groups; and
  • the skills required to participate in research or development work, or to work in other qualified professions in the field of communication for development.
Evaluation and approach
In order to receive a master's degree in Communication for Development, the student shall demonstrate:
  • ability to make judgements within the area of Communication for Development, with consideration taken to relevant scientific, societal and ethical aspects, and to show an awareness of ethical aspects in relation to research and development work;
  • insights into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society, and the responsibility of people for its usage;
  • ability to critically reflect on the various parts of the process of communication, and his/her own role as communicator or mediator;
  • capacity for trans-border cooperation and intercultural dialogue, and consequently critical self-reflection of his/her own background and position of power, including reflection upon ethical issues in relation to his/her work, and
  • ability to identify his/her own need of further knowledge, and to take responsibility for his/her own learning.


Master's degree (60 credits).

Master's degree (one year).

Other Information

Access to computer with an internet connection (broadband) is required.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Enquiries about the Communication for Development master's programme should be directed to

If you have questions about admissions, requirements or documentation, please contact the Admissions Office at Malmö University: / +46 40 665 75 00.

More information about Communication for Development

Visit the ComDev portal for more information about the programme:


30 August 2021 50% Distance (Malmö) Application period for this offer starts 16 October 2020.

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 66500 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 133000 SEK

31 August 2020 50% Distance (Malmö)

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 66500 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 133000 SEK

02 September 2019 50% Distance (Malmö)

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 50000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 100000 SEK

21 January 2019 50% Distance (Malmö)

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 50000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 100000 SEK