This is a relatively new MA degree designed to give students both core practical and theoretical skills in the field of journalism and electronic communications – equipping you for work within the communications industries, or an academic career. As well as gaining practical broadcast and journalistic skills, you will develop the ability to reflect critically on the nature and limitations of news coverage. Key issues in news and media studies will be covered and also legal and ethical concerns for media professionals. You will practice interviewing, reporting and video production and learn how to produce and structure broadcast and online news stories. The course is supported by the EU “SeaMedia” project, which provides a public platform for student work. Videos produced by students can be seen on the project’s online TV platform – seame.tv.
Course Content and Structure
Students undertake two largely practical modules each worth twenty credits in semester one: Journalism, Practice and Ethics (which is an introduction to reporting skills and practices) and Online Journalism (which develops skills for creating content for online media as well as looking at the practical and theoretical circumstances which have led to the development of this new area of journalistic activity.) They also take either a 40 credit theory module, Media & Society, which offers a multi-disciplinary overview of today’s media, or a new module on Essential Law and Public Affairs, for 20 credits. In the second semester, they all take a 40 credit module in Broadcast Journalism. This develops practical TV journalism skills.
All students produce a dissertation - either written or by practice - which counts for 40 credits. The dissertation by practice, if selected, takes the form of a substantial piece of video journalism, which they research, shoot, edit and present themselves. During the year, students take one or more optional modules from a range of media-related courses available within the faculty. These modules, along with a combination of the modules listed above, will take students' total credit tally to 180.
Those students who plan to work as journalists in the UK are very strongly urged to take as a option the Essential Law and Public Affairs for Journalists module (semester 1). This equips them to work within the UK legal system and to understand the functioning of UK politics and government – always a prime source for stories. Students who see their careers developing elsewhere are encouraged to take the Media and Society Module.
Several of the MA programmes have Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC) recognition. This means that they meet national criteria for the training of social scientists. These skills are very valuable to a wide range of careers.