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UK FOREIGN, COMMONWEALTH & DEVELOPMENT OFFICE SCHOLARSHIPS
for the
SYMPODIUM INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME 2024-25

The United Kingdom Foreign Office (FCDO) is offering scholarships to study for the Postgraduate Programme in Strategic Communications.


The programme is taught in English by leading international Strategic Communications academics and media professionals under the aegis of the Sympodium Institute for Strategic Communications and accredited by Vidzeme University for Applied Sciences, Latvia. The programme offers full accreditation as a postgraduate certificate (equivalent to 30 ECTS) under the Bologna Agreement in the European Union.

This scholarship scheme is available exclusively to prospective students from civil society organisations and public sector who are nationals of the following eligible countries: Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Belarus.

To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must have attained their Bachelor's degree with commendable academic achievements, or be in the process of completing such qualifications by the commencement date of the Programme.

Candidates are invited to submit their application packages including their academic transcripts and qualification certificates; their professional CVs; and personal letters of interest. Applications must be submitted to students@sympodium.net by close of business on Friday 17 May 2024. Interviews for places will be conducted online during the following weeks. Shortlisted candidates may be asked to produce a letter of support from their employer.

  • What is the programme structure?
    The programme includes 13 courses with 180 hours of teaching (subject to confirmation): • Strategic Communications: Theory, Concepts & Practice • Truths and Lies in the Modern World • Influence & Behavioural Change Models • Indo-Pacific, Geopolitics & Strategic Communications • Emotions, Memory & Identity • Gaming Strategic Communications Scenarios • From Grand Strategy to Campaign Strategy • Strategic Communications & Artificial Intelligence • Political Marketing in the Digital Age • Geopolitics, Geoeconomics & Geo-Ecology • Russia’s Information War • China: Tropes and Competing Ideology • Understanding Audiences: Target Audience Analysis & Measurement of Effect
  • What is the period of study?
    The programme consists of 2 taught terms of 12 weeks each and 1 term of assessment: Term 1: Taught programme – Monday 30 September 2024 to Friday 20 December 2024 Term 2: Taught programme – Monday 13 January 2025 to Friday 4 April 2025. Term 3: NO TAUGHT programme – Assessment period: Monday 21 April to Friday 30 May. This is a hybrid programme that combines live online and in-person modes of teaching: - 21 weeks of live online teaching: the anticipated study commitment is 1-2 sessions, each of 3 hours per week. - 3 distinct weeks of intensive group study in-person teaching conducted in Riga, Latvia and other European capitals (TBC), of 6 hours per day for 5 days.
  • Can I study the whole programme online and not attend the in-person teaching weeks?
    Unfortunately not. The periods of in-person teaching are intense and require participation in person. They also offer students an opportunity to build professional and friendship networks.
  • What is the expected study load online?
    A typical online teaching week will include 1-2 blocks of 3 hours each (between 3 and 6 hours). In addition, participants are expected to allocate time for preparation and producing assessments.
  • When are the study in-person weeks?
    The final dates are TBC. However, students should expect 1 week in Term 1 and 2 weeks in Term 2.
  • Is a Certificate issued upon completion of the Programme?
    On completion of the Programme, students receive: • The Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Communications issued by Sympodium Institute for Strategic Communications in association with Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. • The official transcript for 30 ECTS recognised under the Bologna Agreement within the European Union showing all modules studied and grades achieved.
  • What is the expected study load during in-person teaching weeks?
    During in-person teaching weeks, there will be 6 hours of teaching each day.
  • What is the standard entry requirement?
    A high standard Undergraduate degree in any subject (equivalent of above 65 in the UK higher education system). Communications, international relations, political science, social sciences or another related subject will offer the most suitable preparation for this programme.
  • My degree has a lower mark or it is in an unrelated subject. May I still apply?
    Your application will be considered if you can demonstrate significant relevant work experience, or offer another graduate qualification (such as another Masters).
  • I am a national of a country that is not on the list of eligible countries. Can I apply?
    Unfortunately, no. This is a closed scholarship. The list of eligible countries is restricted to: Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Belarus. However, it is regularly reviewed, and your country might be eligible for one of the future intakes.
  • I am a national of a country that is on the list of eligible countries, but I reside in a different country that is not on the list. Can I apply?
    Yes, you are eligible to apply.
  • Is there an age limit for the programme?
    There is no age limit.
  • Is an English language test such as IELTS/TOEFL required?
    The Programme is taught in English and language proficiency is required. All short-listed candidates will have to pass an interview to show their level of English. and an internal test of spoken and written English. No IELTS/TOEFL test is required.
  • What documents should I submit with my application and by what date?
    You are required to submit all documents below by close of business on Friday 17th May 2024 to students@sympodium.net: 1. Copies of academic qualification including: The final certificate given to you when you completed your qualification. The official transcript showing all subjects or modules studied and grades achieved throughout your studies. Certified translations of your documents if they are not originally issued in English by the institution. Evidence of any changes in your name, including legal identification showing your current legal name (such as a passport or driving licence). This is only required if the name used during your studies is not the same as your current legal name 2. Professional CV. 3. Letter of interest. Shortlisted candidates may be asked to produce a letter of support from their employer.
  • When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?
    On receipt of the student’s application package, our team will review it before our student-liaison office notifies the candidate of the outcome. The usual waiting time for the review process is up to 2 working weeks.
  • I am shortlisted for an interview, how should I prepare?
    You should expect to be asked about your professional work and your earlier academic study.
  • When will I be notified about the outcomes of the interview?
    Our student-liaison office will notify the candidate within 2-3 weeks after the interview.
  • Whom should I contact if I have a question about the programme or the application process?
    Please contact Students@sympodium.net
  • What costs will be covered for participants?
    All student fees under the scholarship scheme will be covered. Travel and accommodation costs for the in-person teaching weeks are included in this scholarship.
  • What costs am I expected to cover?
    Participants are expected to cover the following costs: - Laptop and Internet connection for online lectures and seminars. - Travel/medical insurance for the in-person teaching weeks. - Living expenses during the in-person teaching weeks beyond travel and accommodation.
  • Can my family travel with me to in-person teaching weeks, and is there any financial support for this?
    No. This is an intensive programme of study. Students are dissuaded from bringing family members. The scholarship does not cover these costs.
  • Will I need a laptop?
    Yes. You will require computer access for study throughout the whole duration of this Programme. You will also need to bring your laptop to in-person teaching weeks.
  • How will I access reading materials for the courses?
    A dedicated online site containing reading materials will be available for all students. Further links will be made available to access online libraries.
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