Interested in sports journalism and keen to gain qualifications that will make you stand out from others? This course leads to both an MA and NCTJ Diploma.
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). The combination of an MA and NCTJ Diploma will significantly boost your employability as a sports journalist. This course is ranked 6th out of the 17 UK NCTJ postgraduate courses by performance.
This is an intensive course that trains you to think, write and research like a journalist; previous study of journalism is not a requirement. You will learn how to write previews, match reports and sports features, and you will also cover media ethics and law, reporting and shorthand. In the final stage of the course, you will undertake a dissertation or a practical project, such as a sports journalism website or a series of in-depth articles.
We encourage you to publish your work and build up your portfolio. Opportunities for publication include SportsByte, our student-run website covering sport across Sunderland.
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.
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: Sports Journalism 1 (60 Credits) -Sports Journalism: Principles and Practice 1 -Essential Media Law -Essential Public Affairs -Shorthand
Sports Journalism 2 (60 Credits) -Sports Journalism: Principles and Practice 2 -Reporting -Media Ethics and Society -Shorthand
Sports Journalism 3 (60 Credits) -You will complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice
Teaching and assessment
Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of commitment and 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. 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
On completing this course, you will be equipped for employment at an advanced level, with opportunities throughout the sports journalism industry. Potential roles include various positions across the communications, media, marketing and sports industries.
The course’s accreditation by the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ) will boost your employability within journalism. You can choose, at an additional cost, to gain the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism.
Recent Sunderland graduates are now working with organisations such as Sky Tyne and Wear and Durham County Cricket Club.
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. The Department has close links with regional organisations including North East Press and NCJ Media. The North East is famous for its sport and you will have opportunities for match visits, press conferences and interviews at local clubs including Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United, Newcastle Falcons and Durham CCC.
A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.