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Course content

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. 

What you will learn

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 processes we use

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.

The approach we take

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. 

Professional accreditation

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.

Modules & structure

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:

  • Journalism in Context, which places journalism in the wider political and social context
  • Media Law and Ethics, which delivers a grounding in legal issues
  • Politics and Power, a module that delivers a basic grounding in how government and public sector operate

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. 

Skills & careers

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


Visit the Journalism - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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