Master of Arts in Communication

Master of Arts in Communication





Program Duration


Credit Hours              

Cost Per Credit Hour

3 Semesters (On Average)

Abu Dhabi & Dubai


AED 2,667

Communication is critical to every aspect of people’s lives and today’s organizations depend more than ever on communication professionals to create effective messages.

The Master of Arts in Communication program prepares students to become professional communicators who can contribute to the nation building efforts of the United Arab Emirates and its important industry sectors. Mastering the crafts of written, oral and visual communication, graduate students learn how to effectively take their innovative ideas, strategic insights, and creative solutions to both internal and external audiences.

Students in the Master of Arts in Communication program may specialize in one of two professionally-oriented study options: Strategic Public Relations or Tourism and Cultural Communication. The Master of Arts in Communication study option in Strategic Public Relations provides students with the knowledge and understanding of strategic communication and emphasizes how to think strategically in a global context. Overall, students acquire key skills and competencies to effectively manage organizational aspects of communication.

The Master of Arts in Communication study option in Tourism and Cultural Communication provides students with extensive knowledge and understanding of the tourism sector and applies strategic decision-making in a global context. Overall, students acquire key skills and competencies in effectively planning and managing tourism activities and culture related aspects of communication.

Graduate Student Reflections


My enrolment as a graduate student at Zayed University reflected a personal decision I had earlier made to change my career goals. While my undergraduate degree was a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in school social work, I realized that if I was to achieve my longer-term career goal set I would need advanced skills and knowledge in strategic public relations. With this realization, I enrolled in a master’s degree in communication with a concentration in strategic public relations.

In the early days of my studies I struggled with new theories and the subjects I needed to master. Even so, the course materials were excellent and gave me the guidance I needed to achieve my aims. The instructors were also amazing and very supportive. What could have been a difficult journey for me was just that much easier with all the support that was offered.

Throughout the two years of graduate studies I found my personal, occupational, and research skills improved markedly. With this and the knowledge acquired during my studies, I now feel like a communication “professional” – a person who is ambitious, self-confident, independent, reflective, and able to provide wise leadership. I am now much better equipped to make a significant contribution to the development of my country.

I now realize that my journey of learning will be lifelong and one that I will always derive much pleasure from. While much of the future learning will be informal, I do want to undertake a PhD. I believe that by doing this, my existing research skills will be enhanced even further. The self-development journey continues….

Asmaa Al Bishr
M.A. in Communication Option in Strategic Public Relations Graduate


On reflection, my two years as a graduate student at Zayed University was, without a doubt, an experience that has not only made me a much stronger communicator but equally prepared me for a successful career in communication and tourism. During my studies, I was challenged to discover my affection for the arts and cultural communications. Now that passion has been unleashed it now plays a central role in my work the Louvre Abu Dhabi and especially so in the field of arts and tourism.

During my Master of Arts in Communication program, my mentors and peers were always supportive, challenging and very helpful. They provided continual constructive input and guidance. These inputs have helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses and, as a result, to be able to critically assess them.

One resource I enjoyed and valued enormously during my studies was the university library. It was always found to be a very well-prepared space with so many outstanding books and references.

For me, my Master of Arts in Communication degree studies at Zayed University truly have been a valuable learning experience.

I am pleased that I have had the opportunity to experience the life of an active graduate student and the intensity of the studies that are required for graduation. During the journey to graduation I continually grew in confidence as both as a student and a professional given the support I received during the program. It certainly helped studying the wide scoping topic of culture – a topic I seriously relate to, given its importance to the cultural dimensions and identity of the UAE.

During the Master of Arts in Communication program, I was given the opportunity to develop and present a research-based paper at the UAE Graduate Student Research Conference. While that proved to be a big challenge, with my professor’s support I did enjoy the opportunity to craft a paper that was founded on an application of theoretical cultural knowledge to a real-life situation. There have been many positive outcomes from my time as a graduate student. One example is I have become equipped to and now have developed an integrated set of personal, academic, and professional goals. These will surely stand me in good stead for the future. I also now have much more refined abilities in time management along with a strong confidence to manage multi projects in parallel successfully.

The big bonus from the Master of Arts in Communication program is that my existing interest in Emirati cultural and heritage issues has become much more enhanced. It is my intention now to apply for a doctoral program so that I can have the opportunity to engage in research that embraces aspects of cultural heritage. In doing this, not only will I be furthering my deep interest in culture, but I also plan to use the knowledge gained to help preserve the cultural heritage of the UAE for generations to come.

Hala Abu-Maizar
M.A. in Communication Option in Tourism and Cultural Communication Graduate

AlAnood Bin AlShaikh
M.A. in Communication Option in Tourism and Cultural Communication Graduate with Distinction

Professional Outcomes

Strategic Public Relations

Graduates of this program excel in sectors such as corporate, government and public affairs, non-profit, healthcare, technology and startups, entertainment and media, financial services, travel and hospitality, education, energy, and sustainability. Some of the key job roles include the following:

Corporate Communications

Media Relations



Digital Communication

Crisis Communication

Public Affairs/Relations

Marketing and Advertising

Writing, Editing and Publishing

Meetings & Events Planning

Financial Communication

Government Relations

Tourism and Cultural Communication

Some of the key sectors for career opportunities include tourism boards and organizations, cultural institutions, event management, destinations management companies, hospitality industry, academic and research institutions, government and non-profit agencies/organizations, consulting firms, travel media and content creation, cultural exchange programs, arts and entertainment industry, sustainable tourism initiatives, public relations and communication agencies, and entrepreneurship.

The below job roles showcase the diverse and meaningful career opportunities that are available upon completion of the master’s degree:

Cultural Event Coordinator

Cultural Communication Specialist

Cultural Heritage Manager

Destinations Marketing Manager

Museum Curator

Cultural Liaison Officer

Cultural Policy Advocate

Tourism Researcher/Analyst

Tourism Educator/Guide

Arts and Culture Public Relations Specialist

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts in Communication program, students will be able to:

  • articulate a mastery of specialized knowledge in functional theories of communication;

  • develop advanced skills to conduct research, evaluate information and formulate insights appropriate to the communication contexts in which they apply;

  • apply professional knowledge in problem-solving that enables critical analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive communication strategies;

  • independently conceive and produce creative and innovative communications content suitable for a variety of audiences and in a variety of media forms;

  • communicate complex information effectively and deliver professional presentations in written, verbal, digital and integrated formats; and,

  • critically apply professional and ethical principles in pursuit and presentation of accurate, fair and objective information.


Orientation Seminar

At the beginning of the Master of Arts in Communication program, students take an intensive one-day orientation. The orientation offers several workshops to introduce students to the University and its resources, the program and communication and virtual classroom software such as BlackBoard Learn and Collaborate, MS Outlook, Extranet, and Bannerweb.

Core Courses

The following seven courses provide the foundation for discipline knowledge:

COM601 Foundations of Communication Studies
COM604 Cross Cultural Communication
COM606 Understanding Consumer Trends
COM602 Communication Research Methods
COM607 Social and Digital Media Strategies
COM623 Event and Festival Planning and Promotion
COM613 Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics

Study Option Courses

Starting in the second semester, the following five courses deliver advanced topics tailored toward theory development and industry application:



Strategic Public Relations

Tourism and Cultural Communication

SPC612 Strategic Public Relations
SPC614 Internal Communications
SPC615 Crisis and Risk Management Communication
COM650 Applied Research Seminar
COM651 Capstone Research Seminar
TCC621 Strategic Planning and Development
TCC622 Tourism Communication
TCC625 Tourism in the UAE and MENA Region
COM650 Applied Research Seminar
COM651 Capstone Research Project

Program Delivery

Program Duration

The Master of Arts in Communication program is delivered in English over 3 semesters at Zayed University located in Abu Dhabi.

Course Delivery Format

The Master of Arts in Communication courses are delivered in 8-week terms.  Classes are generally scheduled on weeknights – Mondays through Thursdays – starting at 6:00 PM.  Each course meets twice each week.

For more information on the Master of Arts in Communication application deadline, start date and location for program delivery, please visit the Key Dates section of the website.


Courses in the Master of Arts in Communication program are taught by select professors from the College of Communication and Media Sciences who are experts in their fields and possess diverse international research experience.

Knowledge gained during classes is further enhanced by sharing real-world experience with other students, guest lecturers, top professionals and leaders in the field of communication.

View a copy of the Global Capability Framework for the Public Relations and Communication Management Profession, United Arab Emirates Report 2020-2021 by Dr. Ganga S Dhanesh, Dr. Gaelle Picherit-Duthler and Dr. Hilke Steenkamp from the College of Communication and Media Sciences.

Program Cost

A total of 36 credit hours at AED 2,667 per credit hour (including text books and course materials)

For more information on the Master of Arts in Communication program cost, payment procedure and financial support, please visit the Admissions and Fees section of the website.


Students must complete all required courses in the approved program curriculum and achieve a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.


College of Communication and Media Sciences

Zayed University

Abu Dhabi & Dubai

United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971-2-599-3605


Program Recognition

  • Ministry of Education

Program Admission Requirements

  • Minimum Requirements
  • Additional Requirements

    • A 250-word essay in English using 12 pt. font stating how the graduate degree program would support career goals

    • An interview may be requested

Ouick Links