Broadcast Journalism (MA)

The MA in Broadcast Journalism is an intensive one year course covering radio, television, mobile and digital journalism. We aim to prepare you for a career in a modern broadcast newsroom.

The 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.

All journalists need to know how to find and research stories, how to interview people and how to write well. 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 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 will encourage you to originate and distribute your 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.

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.

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.

Distinctive features

  • MA Broadcast Journalism is accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council
  • Industry placements in the second semester
  • An outstanding alumni network across the media

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMA
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Applicants are advised to submit applications as soon as possible in the academic year before their desired entry date. Applicants that meet our Entry Criteria will be invited to attend an interview. Interviews normally take place in January and we recommend you apply early.

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.

You will be asked to provide references in support of your application, one of which will need to be from previous academic study.

 

This is a year-long course.

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 you will test your skills against the real world in a work placement (or placements) of a minimum three weeks duration in a radio or television newsroom of your choice.

Following the Easter recess you will have the opportunity to study from a wide and varied selection of elective modules which include sports, motoring, business and data journalism.

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.

Your major project will be self-accessed and student-led. You will originate, research and produce a story that will be delivered for radio, television and online.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Public AdministrationMCT50810 credits
Reporters and the ReportedMCT50910 credits
Digital JournalismMCT53710 credits
Broadcast JournalismMCT55020 credits
Broadcast News ProductionMCT55120 credits
Broadcast News Reporting & ProductionMCT55240 credits
Media Law and EthicsMCT55320 credits
Professional DevelopmentMCT56010 credits
Major ProjectMCT56130 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Motoring JournalismMCT55410 credits
Business and Financial JournalismMCT55510 credits
Lifestyle & Consumer JournalismMCT55610 credits
Political ReportingMCT55710 credits
Sports JournalismMCT55810 credits
Data JournalismMCT55910 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a variety of practical workshops, studio time and productions days which replicate an industry environment as well as lecture series to support the more academic elements of the course.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs, who is available when needed to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance.

You will be supported by the Student Support services in the school and through wider university resources.

You will have regular tutorials with programme directors/personal tutors as well as the opportunity to meet with module co-ordinators on request.

Feedback

Feedback is provided at each assessment point for summative assessments, formative feedback is provided in practical sessions and throughout teaching.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a wide range of formative and summative assessments throughout the course. These range from practical class room activities to academic essays and examinations.

What skills will I practise and develop?

On completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Identify, research, produce and distribute news stories targeted at a specific audience to an agreed deadline.
  • Write accurate, concise copy that is fair, balanced and suitable for broadcast and other digital platforms.
  • Use a range of software and hardware to record, edit and publish content.
  • Present live and recorded material confidently, in an accurate and conversational manner.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of the course you should:

  • Be able to describe the principles, theory, philosophy, ethics, law and practice of journalism, especially broadcast journalism.
  • Have developed professional news values and the ability to use them to identify appropriate stories and use this information to write or otherwise produce effective pieces of broadcast and digital journalism.
  • Understand how to adapt this material to the needs of differing audiences, platforms and editorial objectives.
  • Be able to display competence in the use of relevant pieces of broadcast software and hardware.

Intellectual skills

On completion of the course you should:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of the broadcast journalist across a range of outputs across the industry.
  • Be able to critically analyse material broadcast by different news organisations.
  • Be able to communicate complex stories effectively for radio, TV and other platforms from a range of primary and secondary sources and background knowledge, using appropriate techniques.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop programme ideas and communicate them effectively to a team of journalists.
  • Understand the editorial, and administrative skills and techniques needed to realise these ideas.
  • Show an understanding of the managerial skills needed to lead a team of journalists.

An understanding and experience of:

  • The roles involved in broadcast journalism: editor, producer, reporter, production journalist etc.
  • The editorial and practical skills needed to create appropriate running orders for programmes and shorter bulletins.
  • The principles of mobile and digital journalism; practical experience of putting these to use.  
  • Capture/editing/playout software and hardware for radio, TV and other platforms.
  • The range of roles in the radio studio and TV gallery.
  • Using online/digital tools to create and manipulate content for a variety of platforms.
  • The most effective ways to pitch story ideas to colleagues and to operate effectively in a newsroom environment.
  • Identifying and developing contacts and other sources, either through a specific “patch” or more generally, in order to generate news stories.
  • How to deliver broadcast scripts, live and pre-recorded, in a professional manner. 
  • Effective interviewing techniques when dealing with contributors.
  • Using a range of equipment – both for radio and TV – to gather broadcast standard content.
  • Using a mobile device to gather and distribute content for radio, TV and other platforms.
  • How to work safely on location.

Shorthand is not a compulsory element of the Broadcast course but it is made available at no extra cost. All broadcast students, and especially those with reporting ambitions, should seriously consider taking advantage of this opportunity to acquire an invaluable journalistic skill. 

This is a period of great change in all fields of journalism – including broadcast – but our employment record continues to be good.

Our graduates 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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

You will undertake a 15 day industry placement during the Easter break. Placements are co-ordinated by the course tutors and take into account your geographical preferences. Placements may be in radio or TV newsrooms, or both.