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 offers graduates from all disciplines the opportunity to gain the professional qualification they need to pursue a career in the news industry.
You develop skills in research and writing as well as engaging with contemporary debates around the news and media industries. Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, this programme incorporates the professional qualifications required to work as a newspaper journalist in the UK.Working with an academic team that includes professional journalists who have worked for some of the biggest news organisations in the world (BBC, Independent newspaper, News Corporation, Mirror Group Newspapers), it teams the National Council for the Training of Journalist pre-entry qualification with academic study examining the news and communications industries. The course is primarily taught in Teesside's purpose built newsrooms, working in live journalism environments. Students are offered the opportunity to specialise in web based, print, radio and television formats
Journalism Diversity Fund
The NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund is aimed at students from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their journalism training. You can apply for a bursary if you are from a socially or ethnically diverse background but have no financial means to support yourself on an NCTJ-accredited course. You must be able to demonstrate a genuine commitment to becoming a successful journalist and have secured a place on our MA Journalism. Full eligibility criteria apply. Find out more.
This degree is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
You learn news values, news story construction, news writing, and how to make audio and video for websites, as well as studying relevant aspects of law and public administration, and gaining competence in shorthand. You engage in reflective practice which will inform your future personal and professional development as a journalist. For your final degree project you undertake a self-conceived piece of independent research and produce an extended essay under the guidance of a nominated supervisor. The dissertation is designed to give you the opportunity to pursue an aspect of a field of journalism and the news industries which you find particularly interesting, and to develop a more specialised understanding of it.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You approach the discipline of journalism from both a practical, professional perspective and a critical, analytical point of view. The programme develops reflective practitioners with sophisticated transferable skills, and the ability to take responsibility for their own future learning and development. You are therefore expected to read, research and produce media products, such as online stories, video and audio, in your own time. In taught sessions you experience a range of learning and teaching strategies to help you form both a theoretical and a practical understanding of the field of journalism. Your understanding of the subject is developed through workshops, seminars, group work and by producing content for our Tside website. You also get the opportunity to contribute to professional news publications and organisations through a work placement of your choice.
How you are assessed
You are assessed on a portfolio of practical journalism across a range of media platforms, essay assignments and examinations.
A qualification and experience in journalism opens up a vast range of opportunities in all areas of the news and media industries, as well as associated disciplines such as public relations and copy writing.
Graduates have forged successful careers in Sky, the local and national press and BBC Radio.
Accredited with distinction by the Professional Publishers Association, this practical MA gives you the essential skills to work as a journalist for multiple audiences across myriad platforms.
Journalism is about the world outside. It’s about the story and the people who make it. It’s about being on top of the zeitgeist. And being on top of the deadlines.
This MA gives you the practical skills to work as a journalist at the highest level in print and online. We will learn what news means, and where it comes from. We will give you the ability to write compelling features and interviews. We’ll also be focusing on the kinds of questions you need to ask – of the individual, the state or the organs of power. And we address how the new digital world has transformed the way we go about journalism, adding new platforms and new technical skills.
The programme is practice-based so you’ll be creating magazines and working on our local news website while you’re here. EastLondonLines is a live news site run from the Department of Media and Communications and covering a large area of East and South London. Working on ELL as a journalist will give you unrivalled hands-on experience of being part of an editorial team, finding and breaking news stories and features, and using digital tools like data and video.
You will work in a small group both during your editorial control period of Eastlondonlines and on your digital and magazine project because working in such teams is common professional practice. Underpinning the practice-based work are more theoretical modules essential to give background – these cover media law and ethics, politics and public affairs, and journalism in context.
You’ll discover how different mediums dictate how you create a story and how to adapt your style of writing to reflect the nature of the platform, from print newspapers to digital features.
Join us and discover how to express yourself concisely, grab the attention of readers and think on your feet in this swipe-left-and-right world.
The MA in Journalism has just received a renewed two-year accreditation from the Professional Publishers Association, with the new, highest accolade of a 'distinction' awarded to us.
This is now given by the Association to reward programmes of the highest overall quality which achieve a distinction level in the majority of categories in the accreditation process, which cover all aspects of the programme.
The inspection team commended the programme as 'exceptional' and said we produced 'highly motivated' students who were given 'excellent opportunities to produce real live journalism on Eastlondonlines', received 'formidable feedback' and a high level of day-to-day support in their studies. They also believed that we had achieved the right balance between introducing new digital techniques and teaching traditional core practices. And they were incredibly complimentary about the students themselves and the work they produce.
The programme is divided into a series of modules that cover the key practical skills and theoretical background. There are no optional modules or alternate pathways.
The four practical modules focus on the basic journalistic skills common to different media: news and feature research and writing, interviewing, image, video and data skills print and online production techniques. You will learn how to apply these skills across all platforms.
In the summer term, you work in groups to produce magazines. In the past, these have won the annual Periodical Publishers Association competition for student magazines. This year, one group of our students took the top prize in the successor Magazine Academy Awards for a magazine about independent cinema.
There are four lecture-based theoretical modules in which we give you the background theoretical knowledge to become expert practictioners. These are:
Practice modules are largely assessed by portfolios of your work, while theory modules are all assessed by essays or written research work.
Guest speaker programme
Additionally, a wide range of journalists and those associated with the media are invited to speak to and network with students through various strands of our guest speaker programme - whether it is through the Asking the Right Questions module, Wednesday morning guest speakers or Thursday evening Media Forums.
Recent speakers have included Owen Jones and Felicity Lawrence of the Guardian, Patrick Strudwick of Buzzfeed and alumna Tabby Kinder from the Lawyer. Others have included Geoffrey Dobbs of the D Notice Committee and Guy Parker, chief executive of the Advertising Standard Authority.
We have a whole site dedicated to the careers of our graduates. Discover the kinds of opportunities this course creates.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
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.
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.