Intercultural Communication (Postgraduate Diploma)

This unique course in intercultural communication will expand your awareness of different cultures and workplace diversity, enhance your understanding of intercultural communication, and encourage you to reflect on your own culture and language use. You will also improve your professional and business communication skills, including written, oral and interpersonal skills, in international settings.

The programme values the importance of bridging the gap between theory and practice in the field of intercultural communication and is structured to strike a balance between ideas and real-world experience. It is specifically designed for intercultural trainers, coaches and consultants interested in enhancing their existing knowledge and experience, and for professionals working in fields such as communication, public relations, human resources, management and business consulting, who want to expand their global perspective and increase intercultural effectiveness. You will develop the professional and business communication skills you need to proceed to a career in the international business world.

The programme benefits from a combination of knowledge-based and skills-oriented training, world-class experts in intercultural communication, Birkbeck's flexible, student-friendly support, and London's position as an international multicultural and multilingual city.

If you are unable or unsure about committing to a full Master's, this programme will help you gain cutting-edge, practical knowledge of the field of intercultural communication. Upon completion of the course, you can choose to go on to complete Birkbeck's MA Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions, if you wish.

Highlights

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked fourth best in London and 18th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2017-2018 World University Subject Rankings.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Applied linguistics has been taught at Birkbeck since 1965, making this one of the oldest departments in the world. You will be taught by leading researchers in the field. Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.
  • We have a multimedia library and computing facilities. Birkbeck Library has a large holding of books, as well as over 40 current print journal subscriptions in the subject area, with an additional 100 available electronically. We are located within walking distance of the British Library and libraries at the Institute of Education, School of Oriental and African Studies, University College London and Senate House.
  • Birkbeck's Applied Linguistics Society, an official University of London society, was formed to bring together students interested in applied linguistics and related fields (for example, multilingualism, intercultural communication, TESOL etc) in the London area. You will also benefit from intercollegiate seminars and lectures offered by various departments located in Bloomsbury.
  • Birkbeck's Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts visiting scholars from all over the world and runs regular research seminars given by speakers from overseas and other UK institutions. The centre also supports postgraduate training in applied linguistics, bilingualism, intercultural communication and translation.

Course structure

You can choose to specialise and graduate in Intercultural Communication, Intercultural Communication Training or Intercultural Communication Research.

For the Postgraduate Diploma in Intercultural Communication and in Intercultural Communication Training, you choose four option modules, each worth 30 credits, including the two listed below.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Intercultural Communication Training also includes an additional one-day training and coaching skills workshop.

For the Postgraduate Diploma in Intercultural Communication Research, you take three core modules, each worth 30 credits. You also take an additional one-day empirical skills training workshop.

Full-time students complete all of their modules in one year. Part-time students take two modules in Year 1 and two modules in Year 2.

Module groups

You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules in the course of your study. Please note that the list of option modules is only indicative and not all modules are available every year. Please check with the programme administrator which option modules are available in each academic year.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Usually an upper second-class honours degree or above in a relevant subject and/or professional training and expertise.

    A short admissions task of no more than 500 words may be requested, to support your application.

    You must provide two references, at least one of which should be an academic reference.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students, Year 1: £4075 pa
    Part-time home/EU students, Year 2: £1350 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £5450 pa
    Part-time international students, Year 1: £7425 pa
    Part-time international students, Year 2: £2500 pa
    Full-time international students: £9925 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Teaching takes several forms, including lectures, seminars, discussions, workshops and presentations.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Coursework only.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in education, management, local government, public relations, and business. Possible professions include management consultant, human resources officer, or operational researcher. This degree can also be useful in becoming a marketing executive or retail manager.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.