This course will equip you with all the practical and intellectual skills you need to work as a multimedia, multi-platform journalist, at the same time allowing you gain a deeper grounding in the abilities of broadcast, or written journalism. You can choose one of two pathways Print and Online or Broadcast, in order to specialise chiefly in text based journalism as print and online practitioner, or as a multi-platform broadcast journalist. All students learn the basic skills of audio, video and web reporting. The course has a very practical focus, so you are expected to develop story ideas and contacts, and gather your own material for journalistic course work. You will be given full training in using our up-to-date media resources, ensuring that you graduate from the course as a multi-skilled, multi-platform journalist. Both the MA and the Postgraduate Diploma can be taken as a part-time course over two years.
The PG Diploma and MA have been accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) which means we provide industry backed journalism training for online, TV & radio. The organisation accredits a number of British journalism courses, providing the syllabus meets their requirements.
The University of Westminster
itself is designated a Skillset Media Academy, Skillset being the UK skills body for the Creative Industries.
Our teaching staff are highly experienced journalism professionals, and our graduates go on to work with a variety of leading media organisations including BBC TV and Radio, national and local, and BBC News Online, ITN, Russia Today, Al Jazeera, the Financial Times and The Guardian, Conde Nast, and many other media houses in Britain and around the world
Many of our students have won journalism awards, the most recent being the Best Radio News item for 2014, awarded by the BJTC. We have twice been awarded a BJTC award for excellence in teaching,
There's a strong emphasis on learning through 'hands-on' practice, in small class groups, using our professional standard facilities. Most of your assessed course-work will be 'real' journalism assignments, a preparation for the new world of multi-platform journalism.
As well as regular classes taught by experienced journalists on our staff, we also invite other media professionals as guest speakers or to critique student work. We support you in applying for work placements, encourage you go to journalism events and network with professionals, and to pursue other journalism experiences. For example, in the past few years some MA Journalism students have been able to go as 'embedded journalists' on Royal Navy and NATO training exercises, sometimes on board ship or with the Army on land exercises.
You will have the chance to air your work on Smoke Radio, the University's multi-award-winning internet radio station, or post items onto the MA's own news site, Westminster World.
The course is taught over two semesters, and for the Master's students followed by the largely self-directed final project in the summer. Unlike many other journalism MAs, you can undertake an extensive practical Final Project. This could be a multi-media project or a largely print project or a TV or radio documentary. Students usually undertake their placements in the period from the Easter break to the end of the course.
These modules are taken by all students on both pathways:
Multimedia Journalism Skills: Part theory, part practice, this module takes a critical look at the concepts and techniques underpinning contemporary journalism and new media, and the surrounding issues.
Issues in journalism: You will gain an in-depth working knowledge of media law, explore the relationship between UK public institutions, and evaluate the ethical considerations which are of key concern to journalists;
Web Production- Westminster News Online: class teams work on developing the best online reporting techniques to run our live, multi-media news website.
- Broadcast pathway modules
Broadcast News: This aims to give you an understanding of the skills involved in all aspects of multi-platform daily live news production and presentation: includes reporting, news-writing, preparing packages, working in an editorial team.
Documentary Skills: allows you to develop advanced audio and video production and reporting techniques leading to the production of a short TV documentary, plus a radio feature and documentary.
- Print and Online pathway modules
News and Feature Writing: You will develop the skills and techniques of writing news stories and features across print and web platforms, gain an understanding of news-gathering, and the importance of developing contacts.
Magazine Project: During this module you will develop advanced skills in the content, design and layout of magazines working in an editorial team in order produce both a glossy printed magazine, and its electronic version. This module is also offered as an option to the broadcast pathway.
Online Journalism: Combining your journalism and technical skills as part of a team you will learn coding, so that you can develop, design and provide content for a unique magazine website. This module is also offered as an option to the broadcast pathway.
Specialist Journalism: You can explore in depth the role of the specialist correspondent, and develop specialist reporting techniques to provide a number of 'multi-platform' pieces of journalism. Currently we are offering three choices: Lifestyle * Health and Medical * and Sports . Previously Business and Financial * Environmental have also been on offer, depending on demand. It's not always possible to run all the options.
Also on offer:
* Investigative Journalism, exploring the history, theory and practice of investigative journalism in different parts of the world, as well as carrying out your own investigation.
* Travel Journalism, developing the special skills and techniques of travel writing, and as well as gaining an understanding of how to liaise with and report on the travel industry.
* Sociology of News, A critical study of the news media in the context of current society; it examines different aspects of how news is created, disseminated and consumed.
- Final Projects (MA only)
These are all individual projects:
Final Radio or Video Documentary Project: Researching, compiling and presenting your own investigative thirty minute radio documentary, or twelve minute film, and providing an accompanying critical analysis.
Final Journalism Project: For this project you will produce to a professional standard a themed series of articles in a publishable format, including the use of multimedia techniques.
Online Journalism Final Project: Designing and creating your own personal website, and providing multimedia content.
Though designed to prepare you for a career in journalism, this course could also lead to a career in public relations, communications, or any other professional pathway which requires effective communication skills, and the use of convergent media.
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.
Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster
work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.
We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.
You should hold a good first degree equivalent to a UK Upper Second Class Honours. Ideally you should have some journalism work experience, whether a short placement or more extensive professional experience. You will also need a good understanding of the media and current affairs. Unless a large part of your education has been in English, you will need an IELTS score (or its equivalent) of 7.0 in speaking and in writing.