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News Journalism (MA)

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


Course Aims

This course is aimed at those wishing to pursue a career as a news journalist, whether at a hyperlocal, regional, or national level. The range of careers open to those who succeed on this course includes reporting for online providers, from the BBC to local start-ups, and various news organisations with print and online operations in Britain and abroad.

Students will learn the basics of how to find, produce, and publish a story using the most effective – and relevant – tools available. Students are taught how to write news, features, and opinion, how to research stories, build up contacts, and work a news patch that they are allocated. In addition, students also learn how to shoot short videos and stills on mobile for online reporting on our own public-facing news site and how to maximise the use of social media to share and promote their stories.

Special Features

Course Description

Students will spend an intense nine months learning the fundamentals of the business - how to write, report, and interview for newspapers and online channels, the technical and production skills needed to project stories effectively and, importantly, the attitudes, news sense, judgement, and discipline the profession demands.

After a few weeks, students will be learning most of this, not in a classroom, but by fulfilling realistic briefs which require students to find, research, and write a variety of stories for online and, later, also in print. Students are expected to find stories on their own initiative from contacts they develop during the course. Practical work includes the coverage of press conferences, public meetings, court, councils, politics, sports events, and entertainment.

In addition, students will also choose one of six specialist elective journalism subjects to study. They can choose from Business, Politics, Sport, Data, Lifestyle, and Motoring. Students will progress after nine months to the dissertation stage.

student researching in the mac suite

Course Structure

Teaching is through a programme of lectures and exercises. Assessment of course work is by written examination and continuous assessment. News Journalism features an attachment in April with a local/national news outlet for typically three weeks.

Core Modules:

Skills Acquired

Graduates can expect to be able to take a shorthand note to 100wpm, to be able to construct a narrative, to be precise with grammar and sentence construction, to understand social media and to be able to take and edit video for social media. They will also be able to understand News and current affairs developments.

Career Prospects

Graduates typically work for local and national newspapers, news websites, blogs, news agencies and PR agencies.

Student Views

picture of karis

'The course has a phenomenal reputation, and as one of the longest standing journalism courses has an extensive network of graduates throughout the news industry, making it easier to get advice and make contacts. The course also has an exceptional post-course employment rate, which definitely provides the incentive to spend the year doing the MA.'

Karis Dowsell, MA News Journalism, 2013

Read Karis' full testimonial

Why did you choose to study at Cardiff University?

The course has a phenomenal reputation, and as one of the longest standing journalism courses has an extensive network of graduates throughout the news industry, making it easier to get advice and make contacts. The course also has an exceptional post-course employment rate, which definitely provides the incentive to spend the year doing the MA.

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

Hard to determine, really. During the course I would have said the practical element which give you the practical experience to get you ready for a newsroom, while really testing your motivation with the early mornings and late nights.

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

The course offers fantastic amounts of opportunity and challenge in equal measure. In the nine months I spent there I interviewed people in as diverse settings as the inside of a prison, a firestation, and in the homes of people on my ward. The pressure the course applies on you to gather and produce news content is just as you would experience in a real newsroom, and as such it helps push you to do better, to be more creative, and to find your own potential as a journalist.

Why would you recommend Cardiff to potential students?

Cardiff, as a city, is a perfect training ground for journalists - being a small city with an incredibly diverse population. Cardiff as a university is recognised as one of the top universities in the UK, with a huge student population studying a wide range of subjects - so there is always someone on hand to give you an academic line on a really complex issue. The course itself is the best in the UK, affording its students far more opportunity than City (which, in rejecting the NCTJ, reduces the employment opportunities of its graduates), and benefits from the experience of long-serving and highly respected staff. Frankly, I believe there is no course which would offer a student a better route into journalism.

What do you plan to do next?

I'm looking to move into reporting from the Middle East and North Africa, with an emphasis on digital tech and UGC.

Finally, describe your Cardiff experience in one sentence!

Exhausting, inspiring, challenging, and absolutely worth doing.

Funding

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.

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 

Fax:  

Email: JomecStudentSupport@cardiff.ac.uk  

School Website: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/journalism-media-cultural-studies/courses

More information

School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Postgraduate

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