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Course content

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.

Course Content

Core Modules:

  • Writing for Magazines

 This module will provide students with the key skills required to write as journalists and then focus those skills on their chosen specialism.

  • Magazine and Production Journalism

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

  • Film Journalism 
  • Music Journalism 
  • Fashion Journalism 
  • Sports Journalism 

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.

  • Multimedia Journalism

This module will provide students with the key essential skills to become multimedia journalists and adapt those skills to their specialist field. 

  • Law, Ethics and Landscape

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.

  • Employability and Enterprise

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.

  • Research Skills in Journalism 

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.  

Learning & Teaching

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.

Employability & Careers

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.

Visit the Specialist Journalism - MA/PgD/PgC page on the Cardiff Metropolitan University website for more details!




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