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Broadcast Journalism (MA)

1 year (MA) (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

producers hard at work

Course Aims

MA Broadcast Journalism is aimed at people who have decided to pursue a career in radio or television news and current affairs. Our aim is to help you to get your first job in a highly competitive industry, so there’s a lot of ground to cover.

What we expect

We are looking for people who can demonstrate a keen interest in news. We expect you to be engaged with what’s happening in the world. If you regularly watch and listen to TV and radio news programmes, that’s a good starting point. We also look for people who already have some evidence of their commitment to a career in journalism. This could be acquired through student journalism or work placements in a newsroom. We don’t mind what subject you have studied at undergraduate level.

Special Features

Course Description

All journalists need to know how to find and research stories, how to interview people and how to write well. But these days that’s not enough. Modern broadcast newsrooms are digital and multi-media. Entry-level journalists are expected to be multi-skilled and familiar with the latest technology.

We use modern equipment and digital TV and radio studios to teach you how to gather and broadcast your content. We also organise a three-week industry placement for you to put into practice the skills we teach. We also encourage students to originate and distribute their stories through the latest social channels. Are you comfortable using Twitter, Instagram, or Steller in a professional way? You will be by the time you leave us.

You will leave us with an MA that is widely recognised as being at the forefront of postgraduate training for a broadcasting career in digital multi-media newsrooms. Your time with us will be hard work, but hopefully it will be rewarding, and the beginning of an exciting career.

Course Structure

Broadcast journalism skills are acquired through a series of lectures, demonstrations, practical exercises and feedback sessions of increasing complexity and realism - from 'paper exercises' in the early days to complex radio and television productions that report on real events in real time. These sessions are supplemented by seminars, playbacks, group discussions and industry guests.

Basic writing, reporting and technical skills are taught in the first semester against a background of group listening and viewing to good current professional practice. The second semester adds editorial and production skills in both radio and television. We use the device of twice weekly ‘production days’ to integrate newsgathering and production skills with the team working and editorial/resource management skills needed to produce real-time broadcast outputs.

During the Easter break students test their skills against the real world in a work placement (or placements) of a minimum three weeks duration in a radio or television newsroom of their choice. Finally individual writing, reporting and storytelling skills are tested in both media are tested in the final portfolio of work and the final practical examinations.

Core Modules:

Skills Acquired

Graduating students will have demonstrated achievement of the following outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

At the end of the course students should be able:

  • To describe the principles, theory, philosophy, ethics, law and practice of journalism, especially broadcast journalism.
  • To have developed an effective professional ‘news sense’ and the ability to use it to write or otherwise produce effective pieces of broadcast journalism.
  • To adapt this ‘sense’ to the needs of differing audiences and editorial objectives.
    To have developed an understanding and awareness of the historical, social and cultural roots of this professional skill.
  • To display competence in the use of relevant pieces of broadcast software and hardware.
  • To display an awareness and understanding of critical issues current in the industry.

Intellectual Skills

On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following intellectual skills:

  • Be sensitive to the debates within the industry and society about the importance, functions and future possibilities of broadcast journalism in a 21st century democracy.
  • Have an awareness of the role of the broadcast journalist across the full range of broadcast outputs from the smallest commercial radio operation to the major national and international radio and television networks.
  • Critically analyse current outputs against the above criteria.
  • Communicate ‘spot’ news quickly, clearly and effectively for radio and TV.
  • Communicate complex stories effectively for radio and tv from a range of primary and secondary sources and background knowledge, using appropriate techniques.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop a programme idea or scheme, intellectualise its rationale, ‘hear’ or ‘see’ it and communicate this insight effectively to a team of journalists.
  • Understand the managerial, administrative and editorial skills and techniques needed to realise the idea in real-time.

The programme will also allow students to obtain the following practical skills:

Newsroom / Production Office:

On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following newsroom/production office skills:

  • Broadcast computer systems, wire services.
  • News values, objectivity and impartiality, bias, ethics, codes of conduct.
  • The public service and the commercial broadcaster.
  • Contacts books, note books, news diaries, paperwork.
  • Roles in the production team, teamwork.
  • The editorial conference, ideas and how to sell them.
  • Resources and budgets.
  • Bulletin building, programme making.

Writing, reporting and interviewing:

On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following writing, reporting and interviewing skills:

  • The audience, news sense, writing for the ear, accuracy, balance, the importance of the intro, signposting, clarity and directness.
  • Immediacy, up-dates, the running story.
  • Sources of news, the role of the reporter, contacts, courts, councils, working a patch.
  • Types of interview, interview techniques for radio and TV, use of the phone, phone manner.


On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following radio skills:

  • Sound, microphones, acoustics and balance.
  • Developing audio awareness - ‘radio ears’.
  • Portable recorders, digital formats, dubbing and editing.
  • Actuality, voice reports and packages.
  • Bulletin production and reading.
  • Link writing, developing a style, the extended feature.
  • Studio operations, self-operating a bulletin and a longer programme sequence.


On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following television skills:

  • Technical basics. Operating the camera, essentials of composition, framing etc. Sound, choice of microphones., use of natural sound.
  • Constructing a visual sequence. Editing - linear and non-linear. Graphics. Studio operations.
  • Writing for television - why TV is not radio, basic TV grammar, writing to still sequences and pre-cut pictures, telling a story in pictures.
  • Cutting the pictures first vs. laying the voice track first.
  • Edit and voice a report using existing raw footage.
  • Working in pairs, shoot and edit two contrasting news reports.
  • Working ‘on camera’; studio presentation, stand-ups.


On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following performance skills:

  • Voice training - getting the best out of yourself.
  • Assessing and directing colleagues and contributors - getting the best out of others.
  • Studio production.
  • Production values for bulletins, news programmes and features.
  • Leading a team.

Critical listening and viewing

On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following critical listening and viewing skills:

  • An opportunity to listen to and discuss a range of speech radio and television news output both local and national and to assess the effectiveness of differing techniques, structures or editorial objectives.

Career Prospects

This is a period of great change in all fields of journalism – including broadcast – but our employment record continues to be good. Students typically leave us to work as broadcast journalists in local radio or regional TV newsrooms. Recent graduates are now working for organisations like BBC and ITV News, SKY, CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera English. Over the years we have helped hundreds of people to start their careers in broadcast journalism. Many are now working at the top of the profession.

Student Views

'My year training as a broadcast journalist in Cardiff was one of the most demanding, rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.'

Joe Davies, MA Broadcast Journalism, July 2013

Read Joe's full testimonial

'Why did you choose to study at Cardiff University?

I chose the postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism course at Cardiff University because its reputation was unrivalled. The School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is the oldest in the country and the list of alumni speaks for itself. I'm not surprised the BJTC said it was the best course they had seen. Also, having graduated with an economics degree from Cardiff University previously, I was well aware that Cardiff is unbeatable as a student city, with a huge variety of places to socialise and very affordable accommodation.

What was the most relevant / beneficial aspect of the course?

The most relevant and beneficial aspect of the course were the production days. They were extremely demanding at times, but they need to be in order to prepare you fully for life as a broadcast journalist in a real newsroom. The production days simulate hourly TV and radio news bulletins, which I always found to be hectic and challenging but also a lot of fun. The course provides training in a highly realistic environment, with fully equipped studios and TV gallery. It was particularly helpful to train using iNews and Avid, which I now use in my job at ITV.

What did you enjoy most about the course / Cardiff University?

Producing the first breakfast show was a particular highlight. Everyone worked solidly until about 3am in the morning, went home for little more than one hour of sleep, before we were back in for 5am ready to go 'on air' at 7am for 90 minutes. To get to the end of the show on time and without any major hiccups was an amazing feeling. But most of all, I enjoyed the company of my course mates. As a group, we gelled very quickly and got on extremely well and I know we will stay in touch.

Why would you recommend Cardiff to potential students?

I would recommend Cardiff without reservation to potential students. The course undoubtedly lived up to its reputation as one of the very best in the country. It could not prepare you better for a career as a broadcast journalist. It's an expensive investment, but if broadcast journalism is what you want to get into, it is a worthwhile one. In my view, nothing will give you a better chance of achieving those goals than the intensive training provided on Cardiff University's postgraduate journalism courses. Following two terms of intensive training, the course organises your placement for you, which is an enormous help - and I ended up getting a contract there soon after my three week placement came to an end.

What do you plan to do next?

I finished the course on the first Friday of June and the very next Monday I started a six month contract at ITV Wales as a trainee production journalist. Within a month I was producing the Daybreak and lunchtime bulletins.


Scholarships and Bursary information can be found on the JOMEC website.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to hold a UK higher education degree of lower second class Honours or above, or a qualification recognised by the University as equivalent. This requirement may be waived for students with appropriate alternative qualifications.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a British Council IELTS score of at least 7.5.

Application Deadline

Apply online and early. We will be holding interviews from January 2017 and the course fills quickly.

broadcaster using microphone

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £9,250 £17,250
Part-time n/a n/a
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: JOMEC Student Support, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4156 



School Website:

More information

School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies


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