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News Journalism (MA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Our MA in News Journalism offers a bridge from undergraduate study to employment. The intense course covers the practical skills needed to become a multimedia journalist with students also sitting the NCTJ gold-standard diploma exams.


Excellent job prospects

We teach practical skills to make you a better journalist who stands out to news media - something our employability record demonstrates.


Top performing course

We are the NCTJ's top performing postgraduate course for 2019, 2020 and 2021, a reflection of our commitment to the highest standards of journalism training.

NCTJ Best Performing Course

Get accredited

We are accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) - giving you a professional qualification.

The letters n c t j forming the logo of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Industry placements

Putting into practice what you have learned builds self-confidence, prepares you for your first job and grows your network of contacts.


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.


Never miss an interview

You’ll be connected to the entire city with Cardiff’s main train station Cardiff Central just 100 metres away.

Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), our MA in News Journalism gives you the opportunity to learn the basics of how to find, produce, and publish a story using the most effective and relevant tools available.

It is an intensive year-long course during which you’ll be taught how to:

  • Write news and features
  • Create multimedia packages
  • Research stories
  • Build up contacts, and
  • Work a news patch you will be allocated.

As well as written reporting skills, you’ll learn how to take stills and shoot short videos on mobile and create data infographics suitable to upload to our public-facing news site The Cardiffian. You will also learn how to promote those stories using social media.

You’ll spend time outside the classroom putting your skills into practice, fulfilling realistic briefs which require you to put content together to reflect a variety of stories for online and print media. Practical work may also include covering press conferences, public meetings, court, councils, politics, sports events, and entertainment.

We’re not looking for ready-made journalists, but you will need to demonstrate a keen interest in news and evidence your commitment to a career in journalism through prior work experience or placements, whether paid or unpaid. We expect you to be engaged with what’s happening in the world; if you regularly read, watch and listen to the news, that’s a good start.

This course is professionally accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and you’ll sit its diploma exams as well as completing university assessments. Graduates with the diploma are highly prized by employers. The cost of staging the diploma exams is included in the cost of the course. Several students each year secure full funding via the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund.

We prepare students to work in the UK news media, for instance by covering UK politics and the laws of England and Wales. International students who meet the entry criteria and have ambitions to work in the UK are welcome to apply, but those with broader ambitions may prefer the MA International Journalism programme.  


Where you'll study

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

We provide a scholarly environment to help you acquire both the knowledge and skills needed to enter your chosen area of the media.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44(0)29 2087 4786
  • MarkerCentral Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:2 honours degree in any subject, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 7.5 with 7.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
  3. A reference (academic or professional) which demonstrate your suitability for the programme. Ideally these should be obtained before you apply and will be required before we are able to make a decision on your application. References should be signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application.
  4. A personal statement which covers the following:
    • Any previous experience of journalism, whether in a professional, voluntary, or hobby capacity. (Please note, however, that experience is not required to study this programme.) (200 words)
    • What do you want to achieve in the world of journalism? (100 words)
    • Why do you want to study at Cardiff University? (100 words)

If you do not have a degree, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis following a successful interview, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Interviews are scheduled between January and June. 

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet the entry requirements we will invite you to an interview. The interview will comprise of a standard formal interview and additional 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. Following interview, offers will be made to the highest scoring candidates.

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.

Criminal convictions

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
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

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

In addition, you will also choose one of six specialist elective journalism subjects to study before progressing after nine months to the dissertation stage.

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.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Major ProjectMCT56130 credits
Public AdministrationMCT50810 credits
Reporters and the ReportedMCT50910 credits
News Reporting and ProductionMCT54940 credits
Media Law and EthicsMCT55320 credits
Data JournalismMCT55910 credits
Professional DevelopmentMCT56010 credits
News JournalismMCT60040 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Lifestyle and Consumer JournalismMCT55610 credits
Political ReportingMCT55710 credits
Sports JournalismMCT55810 credits
Investigative JournalismMCT57010 credits
Environmental and Scientific JournalismMCT59710 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 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 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.

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?

On completion of the course you will be able to:

  • take a shorthand note to 100 wpm
  • construct a narrative
  • be precise with grammar and sentence construction
  • understand social media
  • take and edit video for social media.

You will also be able to understand news and current affairs developments.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £11,700 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 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

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £22,700 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

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.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

The Stationers' Foundation

A financial bursary of £9,000 which is open to residents of the UK and includes mentoring support for the duration of your studies.

Careers and placements

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.

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


Placements are required as part of the Professional Development module and Programme Accreditation through the NCTJ.

Placements will take place during the Easter Recess period.

All placements will be co-ordinated in correspondence with course directors ahead of the recess period.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 6% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


Learn more about our truly global university.

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Related searches: Journalism, Media, News, Online, Digital

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.