News Journalism (MA)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
Our MA in News Journalism offers a comprehensive, professional introduction to the theory, ethics, application and promotion of quality journalism. It is relevant to careers at hyperlocal, regional and national level in the UK.
Excellent job prospects
We teach practical skills to make you a better journalist who stands out to news media - something our employability record demonstrates.
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 NCTJ and prepares 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.
During the course you will be expected to undertake at least two weeks of work experience, within Covid restrictions.
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.
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. Interviews are scheduled between January and June.
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.
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.
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 2023/24 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Major Project||MCT561||30 credits|
|Public Administration||MCT508||10 credits|
|Reporters and the Reported||MCT509||10 credits|
|News Reporting and Production||MCT549||40 credits|
|Media Law and Ethics||MCT553||20 credits|
|Data Journalism||MCT559||10 credits|
|Professional Development||MCT560||10 credits|
|News Journalism||MCT600||40 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Lifestyle and Consumer Journalism||MCT556||10 credits|
|Political Reporting||MCT557||10 credits|
|Sports Journalism||MCT558||10 credits|
|Investigative Journalism||MCT570||10 credits|
|Environmental and Scientific Journalism||MCT597||10 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 2023 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
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 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
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.
Studing in Welsh
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.