This course provides industry-relevant and specialist journalism training. Based in one of our multimedia newsrooms, designed to give you the experience of working in a fully functioning and fast-paced environment, you’ll learn how to write different types of stories, design digital content and produce audiovisual journalism.
This MA has a specific emphasis on the practice of journalism and develops the skills you'll need for employment in the journalism or creative industries.
You will learn how to write advanced news and features, gain an understanding of the scope of the laws affecting journalists and develop the editorial, interpersonal and self-management skills needed to work within the media industry. You'll examine the journalism business, have the opportunity to specialise in magazine journalism and study shorthand.
You'll also gain practical skills such as audio and video production and photo editing. In your final term you'll choose between either an academic dissertation or a journalism project route – which allows you to work in a team to produce a magazine.
We have a number of dedicated multimedia newsrooms, fitted with Mac computers, a video suite and a viewing room containing industry-standard software, which are designed to give you the experience of working in a fast-paced environment. You'll be taught by a journalism team who have worked for the Daily Mail, the Guardian, Financial Times, the BBC and Reuters.
Carrying out work placements is an important part of this course and you'll need to complete a minimum of six weeks' industry work experience. Not only will you be putting the skills you've learnt on the course into practice, you'll learn valuable new ones, build a strong CV and make vital industry contacts.
There are visits to journalism and media organisations, such as the BBC, as well as special seminars and workshops held by industry professionals. Roehampton has links with local media organisations such as Haymarket Media Group. We also have a strong relationship with Newsquest, which, among other newspapers and websites, publishes the Wandsworth Guardian. These relationships have led to volunteering opportunities and paid internships for students as junior reporters.
In the autumn term, you will learn about the legal and ethical aspects of journalism, covering concepts such as libel, confidentiality, copyright and privacy. You will also explore media regulation. You will develop your advanced news and feature writing skills, as well as learning how to sub-edit a range of copy for print and online. Plus, you'll also produce your own journalism portfolio.
In the spring term, you'll study social media and data journalism, and explore content creation and the distribution of news via social media. In Multimedia Journalism, you will focus on content production within the digital media. You will gain experience in audio, multimedia and video journalism, as well as developing basic editing and sequencing skills, and an understanding of audio-visual hardware and software.
In the final term, you'll choose between a dissertation and a journalism project. The Journalism Project route will give you an in-depth understanding of the way magazines are organised, developed and produced, as well as an insight into the rapid evolution of magazines into multimedia products. You will get to produce a print and online magazine, replicating as much as possible the conditions, organisation and pace of the production of a real magazine.
Here are the modules we currently offer:
Careers in broadcasting, journalism, publishing, professional writing, public relations and social media. The MA also functions as a pathway to a PhD for those pursuing a career in academia.
The MA Creative Writing is an intensive course which treats your ambition as a writer seriously. Our students come from a range of backgrounds including the arts, teaching, law, journalism, history and writing. The course is for anyone with an interest in or ambition towards writing.
Some of our most successful students include best-selling author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka, T.S. Eliot short-listed poet Frances Leviston and Radio 4 and BBC TV script writer Sharon Oakes.
Our internationally-acclaimed team of published writers teach in all areas of contemporary literary practice. They include
The E.A Markham Award
The E.A Markham Award means that one student each year will study the course for free. The award covers the full-time study fees and is awarded solely on merit and potential. It is offered in memory of Professor E.A Markham, a respected tutor here who worked to shape the development of this course.
Download the E.A Markham award guidance for more information.
Short course – single modules
If you are not able to commit to the whole course, you can apply to take a single module. Choose a genre from the optional modules listed in the course content and apply as normal. Your portfolio needs to include examples of writing in your chosen genre. The credit you gain for completing one module will count towards the full MA should you choose to pursue this at a later date.
Publications and prizes
The Ictus Prize in Poetry is awarded to the best poetry collection – this consists of a small pamphlet publication. Every year, we publish Matter, a stylish anthology, edited and designed by students, and sold and promoted in bookshops. If you would like to receive a sample copy of this, email the course leader [email protected]
Submission of written work to specified word lengths with accompanying critical commentaries.
By enhancing your skills in writing, literary revision and reflection, you are preparing for a number of roles where knowledge of writing and the processes of writing are important such as
The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new programme at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor and Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran, this is an academically rigorous programme that will develop students’ practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. Students will receive structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop their own ideas. Students will also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response.
Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction
Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules students will write longer pieces within their chosen literary discipline, sharing their work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students. There are few if any writing exercises. Each student can expect to have their work scrutinised closely in a workshop setting several times. These modules are assessed via a portfolio of ten pages of poetry plus 2,000-word self-critique, OR a 6,000-word portfolio of prose fiction plus 2,000-word self-critique.
Reading as a Writer
This seminar module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each week we discuss some key poetry and prose from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it. The module combines breadth and depth of coverage, offering students an advanced understanding of a range of writers, schools, and styles in order to broaden their research interests, and help them to identify and research a topic of their own choosing with guidance from a subject specialist in the extended essay part of the Research Project. It is assessed via two 3,000-word essays.
Reading as a Writer: the Workshop
This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focusing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer. Prose writers and poetry students will once again work side by side, sharing work and ideas, learning to appreciate literary conventions and their subversion. Each student can expect to have their work work shopped several times, though these engagements will not be as formal or thorough as those in Creative Writing Prose Fiction or Creative Writing Poetry. Assignments might include adapting syntactical techniques; investigative creative non-fiction; experimenting with poetic forms; creative translation; writing an opening paragraph; or trying out editing methods. It is assessed via a portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000 words of prose fiction, plus 2,000-word self-critique.
The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing. Students choose their own extended essay titles, with guidance from the module convenor and subject to the approval of the English Studies Board of Examiners. Focusing on depth rather than breadth, the essay is independently researched and builds on the work covered in the taught elements of the programme. Students will be expected to choose a research topic with particular bearing on their own creative practice, and to reflect on how their critical and creative work have informed one another, either in the main body of the essay, the introduction, or chapter dedicated to integrative reflection. Students may wish to refer to specific aspects of their own writing when writing this part of the essay. The Research Project also provides the opportunity for students to to produce a final portfolio of creative work: poets will be asked to produce ten pages of poetry; prose writers produce 6-8,000 words of fiction. The portfolio will consist of new work, produced after the completion of the structured workshop-oriented modules. The module is assessed via an extended essay of 6,000-8,000 words and a creative writing portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000-8,000 words of prose fiction.
Creative Writing students would take one module of their own choosing, either from the English Studies MA modules or taking this new optional module:
The Word in the World
This module focuses on the ways in which the students’ writing can be made available to the public. It would take the form of a series of lectures and seminars covering topics such as: how writers make a living; the possibilities and challenges presented by collaborating with other artists; how to adjust teaching methods according to the setting and audience; how to write a pitch letter; how to get a literary agent; submitting work to poetry journals; how to make the most of web resources; how to communicate with an editor; book design, blurbs, jackets; writing copy; formats; sales and distribution channels; publicity and promotion; book reviewing, etc. This part of the module will be taught both in-house at Durham and via visiting speakers such as editors, industry experts. Students would also be invited to either collaborate with a student in another medium (most likely music or the visual arts) or go on a teaching or literary-industry placement that would take place in July. This module is assessed via one 3,000-word essay and one 3,000-word report on the industry placement, teaching placement, or collaborative project.