Course overview

The words we choose have the power to build, maintain or even break relationships.

This course investigates communication in the world of business. It is ideal for communication researchers, company managers, marketeers, and anyone interested in the relationship between language and professional life.

Combining the expertise of the School of English and the Nottingham University Business School, we introduce the multidisciplinary aspects of professional communication. For example, you will explore how linguistic analysis can improve business communication. This could be analysing the content of adverts, business meetings or mission statements, examining how these texts either succeed or fail to convey their intended meanings. We will also look at how the visual elements of texts (i.e. photographs, diagrams) can influence how we interpret messages.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • pitch business ideas to mock investment panels
  • write blogs for a business audience
  • create video-based investment pitches

Why choose this course?

Course content

Pre-arrival reading lists will be sent out with registration information before you join your course, where available.

All classes take place during weekdays.


The total credits for this course are 180, as represented in the typical list of 20-credit modules, below.

You will take a combination of Business School and English modules each semester, ensuring a balance between the two disciplines:

Business and Organisational Communication 20 credits

Investigate the multidisciplinary subject of business and organisational communication.

We cover a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches, examining how individuals and groups use spoken, written and digital communication to enact their workplace identities, how workplace teams and communities communicate effectively and how tasks at work get achieved through communication.

The wide range of methodologies and analytical frameworks for interrogating business and organisational communication include:

  • conversation analysis
  • corpus linguistics
  • critical discourse analysis
  • pragmatics
  • linguistic ethnography
  • sociolinguistics

We also highlight contemporary issues emerging from the field, exploring, for example, new multi-media technologies and globalisation on communication in commercial domains and organisational environments.

The module demonstrates how the findings of communicative research can be practically applied in teaching and training materials and in consultancy work.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Entrepreneurial Creativity (autumn) 20 credits

The module will introduce you to the latest thinking in the areas of creativity, the creative process, knowledge management practices and the nature of entrepreneurship. Having established the vital link between creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and value creation, the course uses directed reading, case study exercises, reflective blog writing and group-based creative problem solving to illustrate entrepreneurial creativity in practice. You will be introduced to a variety of creative problem solving techniques and learn how to apply these techniques in the context of the development, evaluation, and application of ideas and concepts with commercial potential. The course culminates in you pitching your entrepreneurial opportunity to peers and real world entrepreneurs.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Launching New Ventures 20 credits

You will be introduced to the more practical elements of innovation and enterprise activity across multiple contexts, including corporate and social entrepreneurship . The module will prepare you to recognise opportunities, and to implement innovation and enterprising ideas. The ability to make informed and timely decisions will be an important aspect of this, and the module will use a start-up business simulation to encourage this.

Managing Innovation in Entrepreneurial Organisations (spring) 20 credits

This module develops a knowledge and understanding of: 

  • the dynamics of the global economy and international business and/or an awareness of cultural, legal/regulatory, political, and economic differences across countries and/or an appreciation of management issues from a global perspective
  • business innovation - creativity, intrapreneurial - and entrepreneurial behaviour and enterprise development, and the management and exploitation of intellectual property
  • leadership and management of people within organisations - leadership, organisational behaviour and motivation
  • strategic management - the development and implementation of appropriate strategies within a changing environment
Sociolinguistics of Work 20 credits

Communication is an essential aspect of any workplace. From the language used in the cockpit of aeroplanes, to the language used in advertising and call centres, spoken, written and visual discourse is at the very centre of, and often defines, contemporary work practices.

Discover the theories and insights of sociolinguistic-related research, as applied to a vast array of work-related and institutional settings. We cover a range of communicative topics that reveal how language is used and abused in the workplace and institutional setting, including:

  • linguistic coercion in courtrooms, classrooms, prisons
  • electronic communication
  • miscommunication
  • advertising communication
  • critical discourse analysis and multimodal critical discourse analysis
  • political talk and the use of persuasive discourse
  • jargon, double speak, and fake news

Often taking a critical perspective on language in the workplace (exposing inequities in institutional discourse), the module will emphasise the vital relationship between power and communication in the workplace. It shows how looking closely at and through language can illuminate and enhance communication in a range of workplaces and institutional settings.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Communication and Entrepreneurship Research Project 20 credits

The purpose of the Project is to provide students with the opportunity to undertake independent research into a topic appropriate to Communication and Entrepreneurship transfer and problem solving. In undertaking the project, students should draw on and extend material presented in the course. The project has several aims, beyond reinforcing information and methodology presented in the taught modules. Students will gain experience by:

  • addressing the challenges involved in developing the commercial potential of ideas and projects and/or examining/enhancing communication within a business/commercial/professional environment
  • giving a PowerPoint presentation that describes some aspects of the work achieved
  • producing a written report in a style that would be useful, not only to those involved in their academic field of investigation, but also to potential employees, investors, and other relevant stakeholders/personnel.
Group Dynamics and Motivation in the Language Classroom

Discover the main psychological factors and processes that determine how students learn foreign languages within a classroom context.

We will focus on two key issues that have a considerable practical significance. They are language learning motivation, and the internal dynamics of the learner group (which can either enhance or hinder the individual members' achievement).

Key topics to be discussed include:

  • the components of L2 motivation
  • strategies to increase student motivation
  • structural and developmental characteristics of the 'good' learner group
  • group building techniques
  • effective leadership roles

This module is worth 20 credits.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 20 March 2024.

You will complete a 60-credit dissertation:

Communication and Entrepreneurship MSc - Dissertation 60 credits

You complete the course with a 60-credit, 10-12,000 word research project and short presentation.

In your research project, you develop the commercial potential of your ideas and projects, or analyse the language and communication of a particular business, organisation or professional setting with a view to enhancing communication within it.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 20 March 2024.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Seminars
  • Group study

You are taught in small seminar groups, so there is plenty of opportunity for discussion of ideas and development of our students as researchers.

MA Dissertation Preparation Day

This is an opportunity for students to learn more about the challenges of a larger-scale research project, about supervision and support, and about the resources available to Masters researchers. It is also a social occasion, bringing together our postgraduate students as an academic community. 

More about the Dissertation Preparation Day

Peer mentoring

All new postgraduate taught students can opt into our peer mentoring scheme. Your peer mentor will help you settle into life at Nottingham and access support if needed. 

More about peer mentoring

How you will be assessed

  • Exams
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

Most modules are assessed by written work of varying lengths, corresponding with the content and weighting of the module.

Your course tutors provide detailed comments on assignments.

Towards the end of your studies, you will complete a 10-14,000 word dissertation. This is a major piece of independent research, and you will be allocated a supervisor who is a specialist in your chosen area.

Your dissertation supervisor will provide advice and guidance to help you select your area of study, and offer close supervision and support as you complete your research.

Contact time and study hours

The modules have four hours of face-to-face timetabled contact per week. Your tutors will also be available during office hours to discuss your work, address any issues, and help you develop your understanding.

Study hours

One credit is approximately 10 hours of student work, so a 20-credit module will be around 200 hours of work. On average, you will spend around four hours per week per module on independent study.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in English language/literature, linguistics, communications studies, journalism or a related arts or humanities subject


Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification MSc
Home / UK £9,250
International £26,250

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.


You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (i.e. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith).


There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

This course will develop a range of transferable skills, including:

  • research skills
  • spoken and written communication skills
  • critical communication analysis

Our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers, including positions in marketing and advertising, finance and education, setting up their own businesses, or pursuing further doctoral study.

Career progression

75% of postgraduates from the School of English secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,796*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.


Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" This is a wonderfully eclectic and intellectually stimulating course, that always opens students' eyes to the fascinating world of professional communication. It is always a delight to work with students, to help them realise their projects and ambitions, to see them develop into outstanding researchers, equipped with the skills and abilities to analyse and enhance communication. "
Dr Kevin Harvey, Associate Professor in Discourse Analysis

Related courses

This content was last updated on Wednesday 20 March 2024. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.