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Course content

This course stands out from others because it is integrated with our award-winning radio station, Spark FM. There are opportunities for practical experience at every stage.

Course overview

This Masters develops skills that are relevant not only in radio but also TV, film and multi-platform production. It’s an outstanding way to gain a fast start in any area of production.

The production modules cover areas such as targeting ideas for audiences, budgeting, research, editing, live studio production and post programme evaluation.

‌MA Radio has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry.‌

We are accredited to teach the industry-leading SADiE6 editing system. We also teach two systems for music playout: RCS Selector and Master Control.

You will be taught by professionals who currently work in radio, producing their own programmes for BBC so you can be sure that the course is completely up-to-date.

The practical work will be supported by contextual studies. The final stage of the course takes the form of research leading to a dissertation, or a major practical project with a contextual report.

Sunderland’s Media Department has been recognised for producing some world-leading and internationally excellent research. Our research expertise includes broadcast technology, radio formats, programming, participatory radio, voice in radio and cinema, radio drama, and women and radio.

All production material will be broadcast on Spark FM and you can expect to be actively involved in running the 24/7 Community Radio station based in the campus Media Centre. Spark FM has won many awards including four golds at the Student Radio Awards 2012.

For more information on the part time option of this course, please view this web-page: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/courses/artsdesignandmedia/postgraduate/radio-part-time/

Course content

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

Radio 1 (60 Credits)
-Radio Studies 1
-Radio Station Management 1
-Production Management and Research

Radio 2 (60 Credits)
-Advanced Radio Production and Broadcasting (40 Credits). This module will include a portfolio of work with a choice from: radio feature, documentary, radio drama, commercials, experimental radio, podcasts and Spark FM production and presentation. Plus either:
-Radio Studies 2 (20 Credits)
Or
-Radio Station Management 2 (20 Credits)

Radio 3 (60 Credits)
-You will complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice. As the culmination of the course, it will build on all the skills and knowledge that you have gained up to this point.

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops and practical demonstrations. Your active involvement in our on-campus radio station, Spark FM, is integral to your learning experience. Theory and practice will go hand in hand as you plan, undertake and evaluate projects and programmes. You will have high levels of contact with tutors, who give regular feedback and support, and you will also work in groups to develop skills in communication and teamwork.

Sunderland’s tutors have recent experience of working in public service, commercial and community radio. In addition, the University has long-standing links with radio industry organisations such as the UK Radio Academy, Community Media Association and Northern Arts.

Facilities & location

Sunderland is the only university in the North of England with a full-time community radio licence. Spark FM broadcasts from purpose-built studios at the David Puttnam Media Centre. This is a centre for excellence in training students, with continual investment in industry-standard equipment.

Radio studios
We have six radio studios including the transmission suite for 107 Spark FM. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a target audience of 15-24-year-olds. There is a radio drama/music recording/general purpose studio and four voice over booths.

Digital editing
There are over 30 workstations capable of using Abode Audition and the state-of-the-art SADiE6 editing systems.

Other media facilities
We have two TV studios complete with green rooms and control rooms. Equipment includes four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane and we also have over 40 full HD tapeless field camera systems.

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

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. Useful resources for your studies include archival sound recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings.

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 in the radio industry, and also throughout the broader media industry.

Recent Sunderland graduates have moved into jobs at a variety of radio stations and companies, including BBC Radio 1, 6Music, 5live, BBC Radio Drama, Sun FM, Metro Radio and BBC Newcastle. Sunderland graduates are also employed at radio stations in Europe, USA and Australia.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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

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