Important document: Dissertation Guidelines (new!)

The master's degree final project (MDFP) entails the production by the student of a project in which the knowledge, skills, competencies and skills acquired in the university master's degree are applied, integrated and developed. The MDFP may be a new contribution to the development of public relations and strategic communication theory. Empirical and ethnographic research will be required if this contribution is based on the practice of the profession.

The subject matter will therefore be free if it meets the above requirement. If possible, students are expected to have a specific research topic which with the assistance of their membership of a research group in the Department of Communication and the various subjects, takes the form of a specific research project and the final research work, which is of course compulsory, which is usually produced under a tutor's supervision during the last nine months of the master's degree course (between April and December), and is defended at public proceedings before a board constituted to that end. Students intensify their work on the MDFP in the third semester, although they can start earlier if this is agreed with the academic supervisors and tutors. The master's degree concludes with assessment and grading of the MDFP.

  • Its structure must at least include:

      - A presentation of the specific subject chosen and justification of its importance, originality and academic relevance.

      - State of the question.

      - Problems in research, the research question and/or hypotheses and objectives.

      - Methodology, specifying the specific techniques that must be applied in the research.
      - Structure and content of the research carried out, definition of the main concepts on which the research will be based.
      - Bibliography, documentation and materials necessary for the objectives of the research.
      - Timescale.

  • The final grade of the MDFP  will be based on three assessments:

      - Tutor's assessment (30% of the final grade).
      - Assessment of the final Board (70% of the final grade).
     For the calculation of the final grade, none of the marks mentioned in the previous sections may be below 4.

a)  Tutor's assessment
     The following factors must be taken into account:
     - Participation in tutorial sessions (face-to-face or virtual).
     - Compliance with the working plan and timeframe.
     - Written report: justification, form (contents, pagination, writing, research sources and bibliography), hypotheses formulated.

       Theoretical foundations, creativity and innovation, methodology and fieldwork, documentary bases.

b)  Assessment of the final Board.

     The final assessment of the MDFP is by means of submission and oral defence.
     The final Board will consist of three academics from the Department of Communication at UPF and/or the Division of Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling. If defended at the University of Stirling, the proportion will be two academics from that university and one from the UPF. If defended at Pompeu Fabra University, two members of the board will be from UPF and one from the University of Stirling.

     The final Board will issue a grade which must take the following factors into consideration:

     - Quality of the project (75% of the Board's final grade).

     - Oral exposition (25% of the Board's final grade).

The students have a possibility to submit pre-recorded presentations for the public defence in advance; however, they might have to attend further discussion of their work after the public defence (either in person or online) upon the request of the Committee.

       General competences

  • Knowledge and understanding which provide a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context.
  • Be able to apply the knowledge acquired and their ability to solve problems in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study.
  • Be able to integrate knowledge and deal with the complexity of formulating judgments based on information that is incomplete or limited, and includes considerations of social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments.
  • Communicate their conclusions, and the ultimate knowledge and reasons underpinning it to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.
  • Possess the learning skills to enable them to continue studying in a largely self-directed or autonomous manner.
  • Development, documentation, writing and publication of original academic texts of high quality.
  • Awareness of and correct handling of the relevant academic documents, and the databases providing access to those documents, for writing academic papers.


      Specific competences

  • Apply the theories, scientific method and key concepts of public relations and communication management to produce significant academic research work to support decision-making in professional practice.
  • Design and execute a research project on strategic communication and public relations, using the appropriate methodologies and framing the project in the context of recent scientific theories.
  • Relate to different audiences through strategically designed forms and systems of communication.
  • Produce and structure corporate narratives, tales and messages using the appropriate techniques, for dissemination to previously identified audiences within the strategic planning of communications and public relations.
  • Distinguish the influence of different ethnic, cultural and organizational contexts in the practice of public relations and communication management based on the application of the related theories.
  • Adapt the strategic communication process to different specialized sectors, tailoring messages and communication techniques to each of the audiences in those specialized fields.
  • Create budgets for strategic communication projects by choosing the correct items after assessment of their suitability and acceptability.

Learning outcomes

On completing the Master's Degree Final Project, students will be able to:

     1) Design and implement a systematic research report on the subject chosen to carry out the student's own research.

     2) Clearly and critically structure the methods and theories that must be applied in the research.

     3) Evaluate the scientific sources and data systematically collected for the research.

     4) Justify the work in the light of the scientific sources evaluated.

Submission and dissertation defence dates at UPF 2023-24