Magazine Journalism (MA)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
Our MA in Magazine Journalism prepares you for a successful career in all aspects of magazine media. From glossy monthlies and quirky independent quarterlies to weekly titles for business people, customer magazines for brands, online magazines, websites, social media and freelancing.
An accredited course ensures your CV stands out – we are accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA).
Putting into practice what you have learned builds self-confidence, prepares you for your first job and grows your network of contacts.
Guest lectures from experienced writers, designers and editors ensure you hear first-hand about the latest developments in the industry.
Join the press pack
Our location in the city centre means you’re located next to Cardiff’s local and national media companies such as the BBC and Wales Online.
The MA in Magazine Journalism is an intensive, practical year-long course and is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA).
The course equips you with the skills and knowledge to embrace all the multimedia platforms a modern magazine brand uses, focused on producing print, online, mobile and social media content.
You will learn how to write news, interviews, features and produce this content effectively across different content platforms. You will also be trained in key editing processes and the latest digital skills, producing photography, audio, video content and podcasts as well as page layouts.
All the skills prepare you for an entry-level job in magazine journalism or working as a freelance. We offer realistic learning experiences that mirror those you’ll face in your career, including the opportunity to pitch your work clearly and confidently and produce a complete magazine. We’re not looking for ready-made journalists, but you will need to demonstrate an interest in current affairs and the magazine industry. We also look for evidence of commitment to a career in journalism through prior relevant work experience, whether paid or unpaid.
This course prepares students to work in the UK media. International students who meet the entry criteria and have career ambitions to work in the UK are welcome to apply, but those with broader journalism ambitions may prefer our MA International Journalism programme.
Magazine Journalism is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA)
Typically, you will need to have either:
- a 2:2 honours degree, in any subject, or an equivalent international degree
- a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification
- or relevant professional experience evidenced by a reference.
English language requirements
IELTS with an overall score of 7.5 with 7.5 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent.
Other essential requirements
You will also need to provide:
- a personal statement of no more than 400 words to support your application. Your personal statement will be assessed on the following three questions:
- Why do you want to apply for this course at Cardiff University? (150 words)
- What journalism or media experience do you have? (150 words)
- This may include experience working in student media, in a voluntary capacity, or while on placement. It doesn’t have to be paid work experience.
- What are your career aspirations? (100 words)
- contact details of a referee who may be contacted to verify any information you have provided.
We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis following a successful interview, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Interview days are scheduled from January each year, though we will continue to look at applications until September, until the course is full.
If you meet the entry criteria and pass the screening process, you will be invited to the next stage of the selection process. This comprises one-to-one or small group interviews and exercises to assess your skills relevant to the discipline, and to careers in journalism and media. This may include writing skills, broadcast skills (i.e. voice tests), your understanding of the discipline, and your ability to determine news priorities.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
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
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Public Administration||MCT508||10 credits|
|Reporters and the Reported||MCT509||10 credits|
|Magazine Journalism||MCT513||40 credits|
|Magazine Journalism: Production Skills||MCT520||20 credits|
|Magazine Journalism: Reporting and Writing||MCT521||20 credits|
|Media Law and Ethics||MCT553||20 credits|
|Data Journalism||MCT559||10 credits|
|Professional Development||MCT560||10 credits|
|Major Project||MCT561||30 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.
Learning and assessment
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 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.
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 is provided at each assessment point for summative assessments, formative feedback is provided in practical sessions and throughout teaching.
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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
Tuition fees for 2022 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2022/23 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
Careers and placements
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.
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
- Delayed Gratification
- Games Master
- Gardener’s World
- Guardian News
- National Geographic Traveller
- PA Features
- Perfect Wedding
- People Management
- Radio Times
- Sunday Times Weekend
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.