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Communication & Media Stud…×

Brunel University London, Full Time MA Degrees in Communication & Media Studies

  • Communication & Media Studies×
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The academic study of public relations and the media is very new and this MA puts us at the forefront of this development. Read more
The academic study of public relations and the media is very new and this MA puts us at the forefront of this development. Most of the MAs in Britain either focus on corporate public relations and are predominantly practical or are theoretical courses that sit within more traditional mass communications curriculum and focus on the important area of political communications and the news media. Our MA is innovative because it combines theory and practice, which is a distinctive feature of MAs in Screen Media. Also innovative is our combined examination of the impact of public relations on the media and the use of public relations practices within media organisations, with particular reference to their promotional cultures. This provides students with a broad and advanced understanding of the relationship between public relations and the media.

This programme will investigate the rise of public relations and its links with global media institutions from both historical perspectives and in relation to the contemporary media landscape. It will offer a critical examination of the role of PR in the mediation of power as well as the role of public relations in a range of media arenas.

You will be encouraged to reflect critically and theoretically on the function of PR in relation to: the role of the media in political communication, media policy, celebrity culture, film marketing, alternative media, media campaigning, and new media technologies. You will be offered the opportunity to plan PR campaigns and reflect on their role in the knowledge economy. This combination will provide you with the opportunity to examine the context in which PR practice takes place as well as developing the knowledge and skills to work ethically in PR at an international level.

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MA Journalism offers a unique combination of essential skills and contextual knowledge that are vital for entry into contemporary newsrooms and features departments. Read more
MA Journalism offers a unique combination of essential skills and contextual knowledge that are vital for entry into contemporary newsrooms and features departments. Devised in close consultation with senior journalists, the syllabus provides a rigorous foundation to a career in this dynamic, challenging and often controversial industry. You will be trained in print/online journalism, with the option to specialise in broadcast journalism in the second term.

Throughout the programme, you will gain a reflexive understanding of the journalism industry. Taught by highly-experienced practitioners and academics, the programme also benefits from input from prestigious guest speakers. The programme adheres to professional accreditation requirements. The programme is distinctive in allowing you to develop your own cutting-edge journalistic practice, whether it’s exploring 3G news, podcasts or on-screen page make-up.

MA core areas include:
• News writing
• Reporting techniques
• Teeline shorthand
• Journalism law
• Local and central government
• Journalism ethics
• Major research project

We are the only London-based MA currently offering a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) accredited programme. This means that you can leave Brunel University with both a masters degree and a set of NCTJ preliminary qualifications, which can significantly enhance your prospects of entering the journalism industry.

PROGRAMME OUTLINE

The course is delivered over two long and intensive days per week, in the first two 12-week terms from September/October to December and from January to March. Part-time students are required to attend on one day per week, though are strongly advised to also attend the early-morning Teeline session on the second day also. We deliver this way to ensure students are allowed sufficient dedicated time for freelance work, weekly work placements and private study (including set journalism assignments). In Term Three, Teeline delivery continues, and students work on their major research project and also take their NCTJ preliminary exams in law, public affairs, shorthand and news-writing.

Term One

Journalistic Practice 1
This module will introduce the contextual models and practical tools and techniques of news journalism in all its forms – print, online and also writing for broadcast. Delivery includes Teeline shorthand, news values, news sources, writing intros, writing full stories, interview techniques, covering court, council, police, emergency services, human interest stories and much more. Assessments will be through news-writing targeted at a range of print and online outlets, plus a self-reflexive report. You will be encouraged to get your work published from the outset, and there will be plenty of input from real-world journalists.

Journalism in Context
A critical account of the various contexts in which journalism operates today, with particular focus on journalism law and local government , as well as the structure of the industry itself. You will work alongside real-world journalists as you put your knowledge into practice, attending court cases and local authority meetings. Assessment will be by two written assignments.

Term Two

Journalistic Practice 2
You will be able to follow either a broadcast or a print/online pathway. In either case, you will further develop your knowledge of the current journalistic environment and the multi-skills necessary to thrive within it, including Teeline shorthand, writing, interviewing, packaging and production for a range of different target audiences and lifestyle groups. Here, emphasis will be given to features and investigations, plus further news gathering, voice and presentation skills for broadcast journalists. Assessments will consist of a number of pieces of editorial work, plus a self-reflexive report.

Issues in Journalism
This module will concentrate on the analysis of the main contemporary issues in the journalistic field; for example, the role of journalism in the political process, ‘spin’, the impact of new technology on journalism, freedom of information, the impact on journalism of 9/11, and so on. You will further develop your knowledge of law gained in term one. The operations and institutions of central government will be explored through class-based and real-world reporting exercises. Assessments will be by two written assignments.

Term Three

NCTJ Preliminary Exams and the Major Research Project

You will produce either a 12,000 – 15,000 word dissertation or a combination of substantial practical journalism with a report.

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Journalism is a dynamic global industry and there is an increasing need for suitably qualified, flexible and multi-skilled entrants who are equipped to be effective practitioners within a rapidly changing, converging international media context. Read more
Journalism is a dynamic global industry and there is an increasing need for suitably qualified, flexible and multi-skilled entrants who are equipped to be effective practitioners within a rapidly changing, converging international media context.

MA International Journalism addresses the global shifts in the journalism industry by contextualising different forms of journalistic practice within a framework of technological, political and cultural change. It also sets out to equip students with sufficient generic skills to adapt to future journalism industry developments.

This intensive post-graduate journalism programme aims to produce produce imaginative, creative reporters, producers and sub-editors who are capable of producing professional-quality content across one or more journalism formats for international and global media. You will gain cutting-edge skills in reporting and production in our digital multi-media newsroom. Our particular appeal will be to students looking for advanced skills in writing and sub-editing for global journalism outlets, such as news agencies. In recent years we have witnessed the democratisation of many formerly closed societies and the opening up of their media systems. Such systems need well-informed journalists, but very often the infrastructure needed to produce such journalists is lacking. Simultaneously, you will gain a thorough critical understanding of this shifting, dynamic industry so you are well-positioned to anticipate and navigate legal, ethical and professional changes.

This strongly vocational programme is distinctive in allowing students to develop their own journalistic practice at the same time as learning about the impact of technological change, cultural developments and political issues on different forms of journalism global. Particular attention will be paid to the global versus the local, which will be examined through practical assignments, media ownership, the legal context, issues pertaining to journalistic ethics, and the role of journalism in the international political process.

The programme builds on the success of the School of Arts' postgraduate provision by providing a broad-based programme, within a credit framework, offering you the opportunity for specialisation. It consists of a common core of study in journalism, with an offer of specialist study in print/online or broadcast journalism, which will facilitate student entry into different aspects of the industry. This is particularly relevant in the context of a converging media industry requiring multi-skilling and the ability to adapt to new media environments. The programme will be delivered by a combination of academics based at Brunel (who also have considerable journalistic experience) and visiting journalists and legal experts working in key positions within the media industries. You will greatly benefit from the School's excellent links with the journalism, broadcasting and publishing industries, and will be offered the opportunity for work placement.

Content includes:

news writing and reporting;
UK, European and international institutions;
global news analysis;
journalistic practice ;
journalism ethics and placement;
major journalism project.

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