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Course content

About the course

Ink and paper may be a medium in decline, but in newer digital formats more people are accessing journalism than ever before. To be a successful news reporter your social media, camera and content management skills must be as sharp as your nose for a story.

The MA Journalism degree will fully prepare you for life in a fast-paced digital newsroom. Professional journalists will show you essential skills like web publishing, shorthand, video, and page layout. You’ll learn media law, ethics and public affairs from academic experts who lead their field. On production news days you’ll go out into Sheffield (or beyond) to hunt down stories and write them up to meet real-time deadlines with your team.

By the end of the course our MA Journalism students are agile, intelligent journalists who excel at traditional newswriting and can also create and publish an entire multimedia story online while on the move, using just a smartphone and their own savvy.

Your career

MA Journalism is ideal for hard-working, determined students with excellent English language skills and a passion for current affairs who are looking to build a career in news reporting.

The degree is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). This is a benchmark of excellence recognised by employers across the UK media industry. The course integrates the requirements of the NCTJ's Diploma in Journalism, a widely sought-after qualification in its own right.

A masters from Sheffield is the mark of someone who thinks differently. Graduates from our applied courses are creative, disciplined journalists.

They’re working in radio and television, newspapers and magazines, print and online, across the UK and internationally.

The BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail, Channel 4, Sky and Wall Street Journal all employ Sheffield journalists.

About us

Our teaching staff are professionals who have worked at the highest level in newspaper, magazine, radio, television and online journalism. This is a great place to learn practical skills. Three quarters of our research is rated world-leading or internationally excellent. The discussion of ideas about journalism, its past, present and future, is part of all our courses.

We have strong links with the industry. We send our masters students on a three-day field trip to London, visiting national news organisations for briefings on current developments with senior editors and meeting politicians and political journalists.

Guests from the media industries, regulators, campaigning groups and research institutes give lectures in the department. Broadcast editors run radio and television newsdays, and print and online production editors bring their expertise to newspaper, web and magazine exercises.

Work experience

On this course you'll undertake a substantial work experience placement. This is a chance to give a real test to the skills and knowledge you'll be developing back here in the department. The Department of Journalism Studies has a dedicated work placement co-ordinator whose job it is to match you up with a good employer suited to your areas of interest. Check out #jusplacement to see what our students are saying about their current work experience posts.

Professional accreditation

All our applied postgraduate courses are accredited by the main professional bodies representing the media industries: the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Broadcast Journalism Training Council and the Professional Publishers Association. Our International Political Communication and Global Journalism programmes are not accredited and have limited practical content.

Real-world learning environment

The University has invested £3 million in a superb new home for the department in 2014, with four large newsrooms designed to simulate a real working environment. The print newsroom is equipped with 30 PCs, all of which have access to the latest print production software such as Adobe Indesign, Incopy and Photoshop. You’ll also have access to a Press Association newsfeed, telephones, daily newspapers and Sky TV.

The broadcast newsroom is equipped with industry-standard software for radio production. We have a state-of-the-art radio studio and digital audio recorders. Students on the applied MA courses learn how to create packages, put together live news bulletins, shoot professional news pieces on HD TV cameras, and use Apple Final Cut X to cut rushes together. They acquire the skills needed to prepare text, audio and video content for publication online. These degrees also show how to use audio recorders, video and stills cameras to gather content. In the web newsroom, students use audio, video and image editing software to create their own sites.

Studentships

Postgraduate student loans are available for UK and EU students to a current value of £10,280.

Several scholarship funding awards are also available to MA Journalism students. These include the following.

  • Dan Walker Journalism Scholarships offer £10,000 in funding and personal mentoring from the BBC presenter and Sheffield journalism alumnus. More info
  • The Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship is also worth £10,000 and open to high-achieving students and those from groups that are underrepresented in higher education. More info
  • Scott Trust Bursaries are awarded by the owners of The Guardian; worth £6,000 plus fee payment, they also include work experience placements with The Guardian. More info
  • Sheffield scholarships for international students are designed to support talented applicants from all over the world. More info
  • The George Viner Memorial Fund exists specifically to help broaden the ethnic diversity of journalists working in the UK and Ireland. More info

Please see the Department of Journalism Studies' taught postgraduate funding page for more general details on the above, including an overview of deadlines.

Other sources of funding may be available – please see the University's postgraduate funding pages to investigate.

Teaching and assessment

There are lectures, seminars, group workshops, individual and team assignments.

You're assessed on essays, examinations and practical journalism work – producing news stories, newspaper pages, web pages and portfolios. You'll also have the chance to sit external examinations set by the NCTJ.


Visit the MA/Diploma Journalism page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

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