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Social Media and Democracy

Course · 7.5 credits


Explore social media's role in revolutionising access to information, particularly in the political realm, and its inevitable position as part of the democratic process today. How have these new forms of spreading information and debate impacted democracy across the world?

Social media has changed the preconditions for obtaining and assessing information and talking about politics. These changes entail extensive challenges for representative democracy and, more generally, democratic dialogue. Over the past few decades, there has been a discussion that connects social media to a number of different perceived problems such as political polarisation, political populism, hate speech, manipulation, disinformation, mental illness, and, in general, the difficulties of maintaining a sustainable, democratic communication society.

On the other hand, it has long been hoped that social media could lead to deepened political participation, a more equal political debate and better possibilities for political organisation and mobilisation. This course takes a unified approach to the current knowledge situation and provides advanced insight into social media as a phenomenon and into the mechanisms that influence interaction between social media, users, different actors and political outcomes.

The research concerning these issues is based partly on established theoretical perspectives and methods, and partly on attempts to develop new paradigms in which both theoretical and methodological approaches are emerging. An important theme in the course is therefore orientation in the research situation (state of the art) and a critical discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of different research approaches with special emphasis on theoretical and methodological assumptions that shape knowledge development.

The starting points for the course are democratic theory, theories of social media and current research and debate about democratic development in the hybrid media society including intersectional approaches. During the course, the students therefore specialise in a number of specific theories of social media and democracy, including deliberative democracy, (social) media logic, media effects, selective exposure, the spiral of silence, normalisation and reinforcement hypotheses about political participation, and relevant ethical principles and issues.

The students are encouraged to try to combine the discussed theoretical traditions and research fields in a systematic way in order to develop an independent line in both academic and practically applicable contexts.

For more information: master [at] sam [dot] lu [dot] se 

Closed for applications

Application opportunities


Graduate School

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

Admission to the course requires 150 credits including a degree project for a Degree of Bachelor, or in the first cycle in the main field of study, in social sciences or an equivalent subject.

Oral and written proficiency in English equivalent to English 6/B from Swedish upper secondary school is a requirement. International qualifications will be assessed in accordance with national guidelines.

Selection criteria

Seats are allocated according to: ECTS (HPAV): 100 %.

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

How to prove your English proficiency –

Country-specific requirements

Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Bachelor's or Master's studies in Sweden:

Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –

Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –


Start Autumn Semester 2024

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

1 November 2024 - 3 December 2024


You can only apply for this course in the 'Swedish student' application round. Find out more: Applying for studies – when to apply

How to apply

Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods.

When to apply for studies

Step 1: Apply online

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
  • Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
    Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
  • Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.

Step 2: Submit documents

  • Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
    Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –
    Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –
  • Get all your documents ready:
    - official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
    - official transcripts and degree certificate or proof that you are in the final year of your Bachelor's (Master's applicants)
    - passport/ID (all applicants) and
    - proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
  • Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
  • Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
  • Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.

* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below. 

Svensk student? 
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på

Tuition fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 15 625

First payment: SEK 15 625

Convert currency –

Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.

Tuition fees, payments and exemptions

EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland

There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application fee

If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or doctoral/PhD students, regardless of their nationality.

Scholarships & funding

Lund University Global Scholarship programme

The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.

Lund University Global Scholarship

Swedish Institute Scholarships

The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Master's level.

Scholarship information on the Swedish Institute website

Country-specific scholarships and funding options

Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.

External scholarships

Information about scholarships from external organisations