MA Specialist Journalism at Cardiff Metropolitan University is taught by academic staff who are both practitioners and researchers. This distinctive degree is aimed to support you while you develop your journalistic skills and techniques within one of the following specialisms: film, music, fashion or sports journalism.
The course has a strong employability focus allowing students to combine journalistic techniques and perspectives with practical vocational skills, which are reinforced by work placements. Whether for professional development purposes, to enhance your freelance career, or as your first step into the world of journalism, the MA will help you gain the knowledge and confidence to be a specialist journalist.
We have expertise across a number of fields and our academic community is vibrant and dynamic with strong industry links.
One of the great strengths of the programme is its flexibility. MA Specialist Journalism can be studied either full or part time allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is also enhanced by the university's commitment to e-learning.
This module will provide students with the key skills required to write as journalists and then focus those skills on their chosen specialism.
This module will apply the skills developed in Writing for Magazines by exploring the language, content, style and structure of magazine, newspaper and online features.
The Specialist Journalist
In this module students decide on one specialist subject area, study the nature of journalists’ work in their chosen field, and also produce longer feature articles aimed at specifically targeted audiences.
This module will provide students with the key essential skills to become multimedia journalists and adapt those skills to their specialist field.
This module will provide students with an understanding of the changing landscape of contemporary journalism, and develop knowledge and understanding of journalistic law and ethics.
As well as a work placement in a relevant media organisation, students will also develop essential skills and knowledge needed for making a successful living in the new media landscape.
This module aims to provide the reflective skills necessary to function as a successful journalist, exploring the processes and skills necessary for undertaking rigorous, credible, ethical and worthwhile research.
Dissertation This module allows students to create a journalistic portfolio from their chosen specialism.
Most modules are taught through group workshops and seminars. Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.
In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment. It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so.
Most modules are 20 credits and the dissertation is worth 40 credits.
In a 20-credit module you will receive 22 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 178 hours of independent study. In a 30-credit module you will receive 33 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 267 hours of independent study. The 40-credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study. You will receive 4 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 396 hours of independent study.
Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning. Tutors also have weekly office hours.
A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for publication.
We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the degree depending upon the module. All practical modules are assessed through portfolios of journalistic work and accompanying critical essays in which you are required to reflect on your journalism and to contextualise your work. These modules also include class-based formative peer-assessment in the form of practical workshops. These do not count towards your final grade but the sessions do help you grow and reflect as a specialist journalist.
Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it.
You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus.
As well as a career in journalism, the MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in editorial and publishing careers.
Key journalistic skills and techniques are, of course, central to the degree. However, this degree will also encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace.
As well as journalism, a Master's degree in Specialist Journalism could also lead to a variety of other careers, such as: teaching, research, public relations, marketing, the civil service, publishing, the media, and employment in the public or voluntary sectors.
This course has been designed to help you find challenging and rewarding work in journalism.
During your time with us, you will learn the skills that you will need to become an incisive, thoughtful and successful journalist.
As well as a general professional grounding in journalism, you will also be able to specialise in your second semester in print and online journalism, broadcast journalism or sports journalism, depending on which pathway you choose in your second semester.
Upon graduation, you will be awarded a PgDip or MA degree and will have had the opportunity to achieve the NCTJ Diploma - all are important qualifications to help launch your career in the UK media industry.
This is a highly intensive course and only for you if you are fully committed to becoming a working journalist, particularly in the UK. You will study modules closely aligned with the NCTJ syllabus so that you are also able to pass seven components of the NCTJ Diploma, such as Media Law and Reporting.
During trimester 1, you will study the basic skills of writing news in print, broadcast and online formats. These key skills are supported by study of media law and also ethical practice to encourage you to become a highly aware journalist. Intrinsic to this course are daily sessions of shorthand, a traditional skill still valued by the modern news industry, including broadcast organisations.
You will be able to sit NCTJ examinations at the end of trimester 1 and also complete the NCTJ Portfolio during trimester 2, when you will be encouraged to sit the NCTJ's shorthand exam and pass at 100 words per minute.
At the beginning of trimester 2, you will be able to take one of the three pathways in news, broadcast or sports journalism. However, you will be able to gain the NCTJ qualification, irrespective of the pathway you choose.
Once you pass the Postgraduate Diploma, you are eligible to study the optional MA Major Project in trimester 3 (summer) to be submitted in mid-September.
Work placements are arranged during trimester 1 and trimester 2.
The majority of the course is delivered largely through workshops and students are assessed mainly by coursework and projects, with some formal examinations.
80% Workshops and 20% Lectures.
Careers range from newspapers to radio and TV, websites and the public relations sector.
Thanks to our strong links with the BBC, many of our graduates are now employed by the British public service broadcaster, working for news and sports output across radio, TV and online. Several of our students have secured the very competitive BBC news traineeships in recent years. Others have gone on to get positions with regional newspapers and news agencies, while some have entered public relations, where companies value the core journalistic qualification offered by the course.
LINKS WITH INDUSTRY
Students get the opportunity during the course to do industry placements in their chosen specialism area. This gives them valuable experience of working in newsrooms, having content published or broadcast, and the chance to establish useful links with professionals. Our placement partners include the BBC, ITV (Granada Reports), the Manchester Evening News, Bolton News, Key 103 and local news agencies.
This course will equip you for the demands of the modern newsroom. This requires journalists not just to possess traditional writing skills, but also to be familiar with the latest technology.
MSc Broadcast Journalism enables you to choose your own pathway:
On this course you will experience:
You will develop strong academic, creative and technical abilities. As a result, you will have the skills to work in various areas of the current broadcast journalism industry or as part of the wider creative industries – e.g. as a video journalist, producer (radio, TV), editor, sub-editor, journalist, production manager, presenter, reporter, news commentator or researcher.
As a graduate of this programme you will be well placed to pursue the following career routes:
Develop the practical skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a sports journalist or public relations professional. Sports journalism is one of the fastest growing areas in online media, and a major component of print and broadcast media. Print Journalists are also in demand for the publicity departments of major sports clubs and organisations, which are also expanding rapidly. This is leading to an increasing demand for graduates with good journalistic and media skills and a sport-focused portfolio.
On this course, you learn how
You also gain public relations and media liaison techniques, such as how to devise and organise media opportunities and how to write • web pages • press releases • news items • personality features • promotional material.
We teach you the skills and knowledge required by employers. This involves a mix of traditional reporting skills and an understanding of the emerging technologies in the media industries that affect the way journalists record and report the latest stories. You learn about a range of technical and journalistic skills such as
You learn how to manage the print and broadcast media at sports matches and events and how sports publicity and marketing departments are organised and run.
You produce and process sports publicity material for media use and discuss the major issues affecting sports worldwide including • commercialism • globalisation • racism • hooliganism • political regulation and interference • sponsorship • match fixing.
We offer you regular one-to-one feedback, given by practising sports journalists and public relations professionals. We can also offer you opportunities to gain experience and insight through our links to major broadcasting, newspaper and sports organisations, such as professional football clubs.
There may also be opportunities to further your learning through work placements, working with sports publications, the sports departments of newspapers, or in the media departments of sports clubs and organisations.
Read about opportunities and experiences available to our students on our Journalism blog.
Gain the relevant skills and knowledge for a career in
Sports journalism is an extremely competitive field. The industry relies heavily on freelance sports journalists, and the course equips you with the skills necessary to enter the freelance market.
It also provides the publicity skills and understanding of the media which are increasingly sought after by clubs and organisations.