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Course content

Interested in journalism and keen to gain qualifications that will make you stand out from others? This course leads to both an MA and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

Course overview

‌This Masters is one of the few postgraduate degrees in the UK to be accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). NCTJ accreditation is widely recognised as a gold standard for courses that turn out highly skilled, highly motivated and highly employable trainee journalists.

‌Previous study of journalism is not a requirement. If necessary, we may ask you to undertake a short course that covers essential skills and knowledge, before you join the main Masters course.

Journalism is an intensive course that trains, write and research like a journalist. It covers media ethics and law, reporting and public affairs, shorthand, sub-editing and production. You will develop your own specialist areas of interest such as crime, health or political journalism. In the final stage of the course you can produce your own newspaper or series of in-depth articles, with support from our professional journalists.

An important benefit of a Masters at Sunderland is the relevance of our research expertise, which includes sports and magazine journalism as well as web writing and social media. Sunderland hosts the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS) and our Media Department has been recognised for producing some world-leading and internationally excellent research.

The Journalism Diversity Fund is aimed at people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their journalism training. Candidates must be from a socially or ethnically diverse background, be able to demonstrate genuine commitment to becoming a successful journalist and have secured a place on an NCTJ-accredited course.

This course can also be taken part time - for more information, please view this web-page: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/courses/artsdesignandmedia/postgraduate/journalism-part-time/

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
Journalism – Stage 1 (60 Credits)
-News Journalism: Principles and Practice 1
-Essential Media Law
-Essential Public Affairs
-Shorthand

Journalism – Stage 2 (60 Credits)
-News Journalism: Principles and Practice 2
-Reporting
-Media Ethics and Society
-Shorthand

Journalism – Stage 3 (60 Credits)
-Dissertation

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. The course aims to stretch your creativity and maximise your sense of personal fulfilment.

In Stage 1 and Stage 2, you will have approx 22/23hrs teaching per week. This is arranged so that you have Friday off each week. The course is taught by respected academics and journalism professionals through a combination of newsroom workshops, seminars and tutorials. You will work on projects both on your own and with others, developing skills in communication and teamwork.

We encourage you to publish your work. The department has strong relationships with local and national media including Johnston Press, NCJ Media and Room 501 Publishing.

Facilities & location

The facilities at the David Puttnam Media Centre help you gain skills in areas such as writing, page design, online research, managing production, IT, and time management and presentation skills.

The mediaHUB
Throughout your time in Sunderland you will have an outlet for your creative talents in the mediaHUB, a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre that will give you a real taste of life as a working journalist. The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning Spark Radio and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

Journalism/PR suites
We have four journalism suites, each with 18 Apple Mac workstations with design applications and video editing. There’s an additional open access project completion suite with 20 more workstations and colour laser printing.

Broadcast Journalism Newsroom
The Broadcast Journalism Newsroom has 20 workstations plus a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. Each workstation has industry-standard software including Newscutter, Burli and ENPS.

Technical support
The Journalism Newsroom has another 20 Mac workstations and offers drop-in sessions run by a rota of working journalists who can advise on projects, assignments and your personal portfolio. These sessions are available every day of the week during term time. In addition, technicians are available to help you use all the software and equipment.

Radio studios
We have six radio studios including a transmission suite for 107 Spark FM, our student-run community radio station and a city centre hub.

TV studios
We have two broadcast-quality TV studios complete with green room and changing facilities. Equipment includes four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. We have over 40 full HD tapeless field camera systems.

Other media facilities
We have a live Sky feed and off-air recording facility, including DVD and Blu-ray recording, plus extensive footage archive/library. There is also a 203-seat cinema with full HD projection, 7.1 surround sound facility and the capability to play 3D feature films.

University Library Services
We’ve got a wide range of books, journals and e-books on relevant topics, with many more available through the inter-library loan service. Some useful resources for your studies include:
-Lexis, which provides full-text newspaper articles as well as access to legal information
-JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
-Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
-British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course you will be equipped for roles throughout the PR and communications industries.

Recent Sunderland graduates are now working in PR consultancies as well as in the PR departments of organisations such as the Environment Agency, Tyne and Wear Sports and AA Press Office.

During the course we encourage you to gain industry experience which will enhance your skills, build up a valuable network of contacts and boost your employability.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.
As a professionally accredited centre for journalism education, we provide you with an opportunity to influence the future teaching of journalism. You can become an NCTJ student representative and attend a national council meeting once a year.

Visit the Journalism - MA page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

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