Learn to be a journalist in our real-world newsroom – the mediaHUB – where you will work alongside journalists from the BBC and national and regional media. Publish your work on our websites and develop a portfolio of content that will launch your career; graduates have gone on to work at BBC News and Sport, Sky Sports News, national newspapers and magazines, football clubs and PR Firms.
Whatever your previous study or experience, this MA will give you all the skills you need to become a journalist. Cover core reporting skills, media ethics and law, video and digital content, and investigative journalism techniques. Stay mainstream, or choose the sports pathway and learn a range of specialist sports journalism skills. In the final stage of the course you will produce your own series of in-depth articles on a subject of your choice. Those who specialise in Sports can graduate with MA Journalism (Sports).
Alongside the MA, you’ll have the opportunity to do the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Diploma in Journalism or Sports Journalism. NCTJ accreditation is widely recognised as a gold standard for courses that turn out highly-skilled, highly-motivated and highly-employable trainee journalists. Previous study of journalism is not a requirement.
Stage 1 (60 credits):
- Practical Journalism (30 credits)
Learn the core skills of journalism, from interviewing to reporting on breaking stories, via mobile platforms and social media integrated newsroom workshops with a team of fellow trainee and professional journalists live from our mediaHUB. Report on your specialist interest, including news, sport, fashion, music and arts. Examine the nature of news journalism (or sports journalism for sports students), relative news and features values, and the variety of sources available for originating stories and features. Develop the skills and understanding necessary for effective journalistic research, including maintaining contacts, working "on" and "off diary", interviewing and research sources and techniques. Develop your ability to recognise clear story angles and write coherent articles based on them. Experience the workings of a features desk and newsroom from the very start, and write publishable work for the department’s digital mediaHUB sites and Spark radio.
- Essential Media Law (30 credits)
Learn laws and ethical codes including anonymity, contempt of court, libel, copyright, privacy and other statutes which affect journalistic practice and output which journalists must consider when preparing and publishing legally-safe and ethically-responsible content for print, online, broadcast and social media platforms. Learn the restrictions faced when covering criminal and civil court cases in England and Wales. Examine the restrictions surrounding reporting from civil and criminal courts as well as inquests and gain the knowledge and ability to check copy for legal errors and write legally-safe court reports for print, online or broadcast. Examine and learn to apply ethical considerations and regulations set out for journalists by Ofcom and the Editors’ Code, regulated by Ipso.
Stage 2 (60 credits):
- Digital and Video Journalism (30 credits)
Learn how to film, conduct interviews and edit to produce video journalism content for use across a range of platforms. Learn how to shoot video with correct exposure, white balance, focus and audio quality using industry-standard mobile apps and video cameras, and how to edit video using both mobile apps and desktop software. Look at techniques for framing, continuity editing, sequences, camera movement and cuts, as well as approaches to video content across various social media, online and broadcast platforms. Cover approaches to interviewing for video and storytelling treatments, as well as digital skills relevant to video journalism production including search engine optimisation, online writing, social and web analytics, and approaches to maximising awareness and engagement and conversion. Produce video content to be published on our public-facing journalism news websites. Apply legal and ethical approaches to journalism taught in previous modules to the production of video journalism, as well as considering health and safety best practice.
- Investigative Journalism (30 credits)
Learn the techniques needed to produce exclusive and compelling investigative journalism using up-to-the-minute digital techniques. Cover key areas including crime reporting; open source investigations and verification; Freedom of Information; and data journalism, data scraping and computer-assisted reporting. Work individually, in small groups, and as a class on in-depth investigations that will serve the public interest, and distinguish you as a journalist with advanced reporting skills. Learn all about the power structures of the UK to give you the knowledge needed to hold those in authority to robust scrutiny. Look at the techniques used to produce contemporary True Crime documentaries and podcasts. Study for the NCTJ Public Affairs qualification. Work on completing a portfolio of exclusive multimedia stories in a live newsroom setting for an online audience, featuring a blend of multiplatform storytelling including writing, video, photography, interactives, graphics, audio and podcasting.
Stage 3 (60 credits):
- Journalism Practical Project (60 credits)
Work with a tutor to identify, research and publish a high-quality portfolio of journalism on a subject of your choice. The portfolio can use a variety of storytelling techniques and will present a great showcase of your skills. The practical project represents the culmination of your MA work, building on knowledge and abilities acquired in the core modules. It is to be an extended portfolio of original content and produced to professional standards. The subject focus of the portfolio, and range of content forms it will include, will be agreed through consultation between yourself and your project supervisor.
NCTJ Diploma in Journalism
The MA modules will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to gain a full NCTJ Diploma in Journalism. This consists of a series of core and optional exams and coursework which you will take throughout the year in addition to the MA assessments. Teaching staff will guide you through this to gain this extra qualification which is vital to getting a job in journalism.
The NCTJ Diploma exams you can do are as follows:
- Essential Media Law
- Ethics and Regulation
- Essential Journalism
- Court Reporting
- Video Journalism
- Sports Journalism
- Public Affairs
- Practical Magazine Journalism