Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Postgraduate Open DayMeet us at our next Open Day on the 30 November.

Magazine Journalism (MA)

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

design and layout meeting

Course Aims

When you finish studying Magazine Journalism at Cardiff you will feel prepared to meet any challenge your first job on a magazine throws at you. Print, online, digital, apps, social media – you will know how to handle the multimedia platforms a modern magazine uses.

You will be prepared to sit in your first editorial conference and know what is expected of you and how to pitch your ideas clearly and confidently.

You will gain a set of knowledge and skills that will not only enable you to compete effectively for any entry-level job in magazine journalism but also set you up for a rapid career trajectory. And graduates of the MA in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff have an excellent track record when it comes to getting jobs.

Special Features

Course Description

Magazines today offer a wide range of possibilities for anyone looking to start a career in journalism. From glossy fashion monthlies and quirky independent quarterlies to weekly titles for business people, customer magazines for retailers and brands, purely digital magazines, websites and even freelancing, Magazine Journalism at Cardiff prepares you for all these possibilities.

Potential entry-level jobs in magazine media for successful students range from editorial assistants to online editors, community managers and content producers to sub-editors, staff writers and even self-starting entrepreneurs! We are passionate about the industry and maintain an excellent alumni network, plus students have won several publishing awards for their work in the past.

Magazine Journalism covers:

Your magazine - print and online:

You will also create a brand new magazine. Starting from scratch you

Course Structure

Magazine journalism skills are acquired through a series of lectures, workshops, practical exercises and feedback sessions of increasing complexity and realism - from 'paper exercises' in the early days to complex features that report on real events. These sessions are supplemented by seminars, group discussions and guests from the magazine industry.

Basic writing, reporting and technical skills for both print and digital are taught in the first semester against a background of media law and journalism ethics. Shorthand is also available as an option.

The second semester offers more creative practice where students will plan, create and launch a brand new magazine brand across print and digital platforms, producing three issues to a fortnightly deadline.

During the Easter break students test their skills against the real world in a work placement (or placements) of a minimum two weeks' duration.

Specialist optional modules available include Politics, Business, Sport, Motoring, Data and Consumer & Lifestyle Journalism.

The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to undertake:


Core Modules:

Skills Acquired

Graduating students will have demonstrated achievement of the following outcomes:

Knowledge and Understanding

On completion of the course, students should be able:

  • Describe the principles, theory, philosophy, ethics, law and practice of journalism, especially magazine journalism.
  • Have developed an effective professional news sense and the ability to use it to create effective pieces of magazine journalism.
  • Adapt this news sense to the needs of differing audiences and editorial objectives.
  • Have developed an understanding and awareness of the historical, social and cultural roots of this professional skill.
  • Display competence in the use of relevant software and hardware.
  • 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 print and online magazine journalism in a 21st century democracy.
  • Have an awareness of the role of the magazine journalist across the full range of magazines, print and online, from the smallest not-for-profit magazine operation to the major national and international magazine publishing houses.
  • Critically analyse current published material against the above criteria.
  • Communicate information clearly, effectively and appropriately for a range of magazine readerships.
  • Communicate complex stories effectively from a range of primary and secondary sources and background knowledge, using appropriate techniques.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop a feature idea, or a complete print or online magazine, intellectualise its rationale, envisage the final product 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 both print and online forms.

News-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 a specific context, accuracy, balance, the importance of the intro, signposting, clarity and directness.
  • Immediacy, keeping up-to-date, projecting.
    Sources of news, the role of the reporter, contacts, courts, councils, working a patch.
  • Types of interview, interview techniques, use of the phone, phone manner.
  • Handling audio recorders, archiving notes
  • Shorthand skills for those who opt to take shorthand classes (highly recommended)

Feature writing

On completion of the course a student should be able to display the following feature-writing skills:

  • The many formats of features, finding the right format for a story, finding the right format for a platform
  • Follow-ups, how-tos, travel and action pieces
  • Being sensitive to social issues, knowing your rights for investigative features
  • Finding the right tone, developing a repertoire of styles
  • Pulling a piece together with pictures, graphics and layout


On completion of the course, students should be able to display the following production skills:

  • Bi-platform skills using Apple Macs and PCs.
  • Software packages, learning QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver.
  • Pursuing accuracy, fact checking, sub-editing.
    Page production and proofing.
  • Developing visual awareness for print and online publications.
  • Learning to craft effective page furniture, headlines, captions.
  • Laying out extended features.
  • Finding the right format for print and online versions of a feature.
  • Creation, development and production of a new magazine.
  • Working in teams towards a common goal. Leading a team.

Career Prospects

MA Magazine Journalism students may move into almost any industry to produce in-house or public magazines. Typical industries include: fashion, craft, food, sport, film, music, news, wildlife, finance, business, travel, tv, health and celebrity.

Possible job opportunities include: Awards assistant, Editorial assistant, Editorial intern, Freelance reporter Web and Social Media Editor, Junior reporter, Online content coordinator and Production assistant.

Student Views

Cardiff University is considered one of the best universities to study magazine journalism in the UK. I went to other open days and felt the lecturers didn't say anything useful about the course during their talks.'

Christopher Lloyd, MA Magazine Journalism, 2011

Read Joe's full testimonial

'What was the best thing about your course?

Being able to write about a wide range of topics and taught around the core topic of magazine journalism with modules in Public Admin, Media Law and Online Journalism. Having numerous professional journalists come to talk to us throughout the year was also very positive.

Why did you choose to study at Cardiff University?

Cardiff University is considered one of the best universities to study magazine journalism in the UK. I went other open days and felt the lecturers didn't say anything useful about the course during their talks, while others are not as well respected as Cardiff for journalism courses. Therefore Cardiff seemed the best combination of a decent university and a good course.

Why would you recommend Cardiff to potential students?

Cardiff is a good university and has well respected, well taught journalism courses that are significantly cheaper than City University's. It's a good value city to live in with lots of good pubs and clubs and other things to keep students entertained and lots going on to report on during the course.

Finally, describe your Cardiff experience in one sentence!

A hectic but enjoyable, solid grounding in journalism that I'm sure will help secure me a good job.


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

Interviews will begin in February 2016 and will take place monthly until all allocations are filled.

a small group of students listen attentively to a guest speaker

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


Contact us