Magazine Journalism (MA)

Our intensive Magazine Journalism course prepares you for your first job in magazine media. Whether that is print, online, digital, apps or social media – you will learn how to use the multimedia platforms a modern magazine uses.

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 – our MA Magazine Journalism prepares you for all these possibilities.

When you finish studying Magazine Journalism with us you will feel prepared to meet any challenge your first job on a magazine throws at you. Print, digital, 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. 

 

Distinctive features

  • Magazine Journalism is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA)
  • 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 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.

As our course is professionally accredited we interview all candidates. Interview days start in the January preceding the course start date. We recommend you apply as early as possible to secure an interview. We accept applications all year round and offer extra interviews by arrangement

The course is one year long and covers:

  • Feature and news writing in print and online
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Cross-platform media and multimedia
  • Design & layout
  • Subediting and production
  • Magazine brand development
  • How to be a successful freelance

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 you 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 you will test your skills against the real world in a work placement (or placements) of a minimum two weeks' duration.

The Major Project core module provides you with the opportunity to undertake:

  • a Feature Project in which you will employ investigative journalism techniques and research skills acquired during the taught element of the course to explore a topic in depth by writing long-form feature articles, or
  • an Enterprise Project in which you will develop the editorial and business plan for an innovative media product in print or purely digital/online.

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

  • Research the market
  • Develop an effective design
  • Plan and write editorial content
  • Create and execute a comprehensive digital and social media policy
  • Produce three issues of the magazine
Module titleModule codeCredits
Public AdministrationMCT50810 credits
Reporters and the ReportedMCT50910 credits
Magazine JournalismMCT51340 credits
Magazine Journalism: Production SkillsMCT52020 credits
Magazine Journalism: Reporting and WritingMCT52120 credits
Digital JournalismMCT53710 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, seminars and lectures as well as production days that replicate an industry environment. 

You will be required to find and research stories in and around the local area, interviewing sources via a mix of methods and producing original multimedia content and photography. 

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 classroom activities, varied journalistic articles and packages, class tests and examinations. 

What skills will I practise and develop?

Graduating students will have demonstrated achievement of the following outcomes:

News writing, reporting and interviewing

  • The audience, news sense, writing for a specific context, accuracy, balance, the importance of the intro, clarity and directness
  • Sources of news, working a specialist beat
  • Types of interview, interview techniques
  • Handling audio recorders and archiving notes
  • Producing weekly content for a website to style and by set deadlines
  • Shorthand skills for those who opt to take shorthand classes (highly recommended)

Feature writing

  • The many formats of features, finding the right format for a story, finding the right format for a platform
  • Finding the right tone, developing a repertoire of styles
  • Follow-ups, how-tos, travel and action pieces
  • Pulling a piece together with pictures and multimedia, graphics and layout in print and online
  • How to pitch ideas to editors, work as a freelancer

Production

  • Bi-platform skills using Apple Macs and digital devices
  • Software packages, learning Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere Elements, iMovie as well as Content Management Systems and digital apps 
  • 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

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Describe the principles, theory, philosophy, ethics, law and practice of journalism, especially magazine journalism
  • Use 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
  • Demonstrate 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

  • Sensitivity 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
  • 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
  • Develop a feature idea, or a complete print or online magazine, intellectualise its rationale, envisage the final product and communicate this insight effectively
  • Understand the managerial, administrative and editorial skills and techniques needed to realise the idea in both print and online forms

Graduates of the MA in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University have an excellent track record when it comes to getting jobs.

Potential entry-level jobs in magazine media range from editorial assistants to web 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.

As a graduate of MA Magazine Journalism you may move into almost any industry to produce in-house or public magazines or digital content. Typical industries include: fashion, craft, food, sport, film, music, games, news, wildlife, finance, business, history, travel, TV, health and celebrity.

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

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.

Placements are required as part of the Professional Development module and Programme Accreditation through the PPA. Placements will take place during the Easter Recess period. You will be required to complete a minimum of two weeks on placement(s), though you are free to do more. 

All placements will be coordinated in correspondence with course directors ahead of the recess period. We will look at your CV, portfolio and covering letters and provide guidance. Our excellent alumni and industry network often offer placement opportunities that you wouldn’t get access to outside of the course. 

You will be expected to cover any expenses associated with the placement(s), though some companies do cover travel or food expenses. 

Some of the titles our students have had placements at include: 

  • British Airways High Life
  • Delicious
  • Delayed Gratification
  • Games Master 
  • Gardener’s World
  • Grazia
  • Guardian News
  • Mixmag
  • National Geographic Traveller
  • NME
  • PA Features
  • Perfect Wedding
  • People Management 
  • Radio Times
  • Stuff
  • Sunday Times Weekend