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News Journalism (MA)

We're committed to delivering programmes that are innovative and relevant, providing the best learning outcomes and career prospects for our students. In light of this, we're currently reviewing some elements of this programme. As such, the details shown are subject to change and indicative only. You can still apply now. We'll update this page and contact all offer holders when the review is complete to confirm any changes.

This course is aimed at those wishing to pursue a career as a news journalist, whether at a hyperlocal, regional, or national level.

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News Journalism offers a comprehensive professional introduction to the theory, ethics, application and promotion of quality journalism. The course offers an industry accredited skill-set enabling you to work across a range of modern journalistic roles.

You will learn the basics of how to find, produce, and publish a story using the most effective – and relevant – tools available. You will be taught how to write news, features, and opinion, how to research stories, build up contacts, and work a news patch that you are allocated.

In addition, you will also learn how to shoot short videos and stills on mobile for online reporting on our own public-facing news site and how to maximise the use of social media to share and promote your stories.

Distinctive features

  • Winner of the NCTJ's top performing postgraduate course for 2019.
  • An accredited National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) course.
  • Industry placements in the second semester.
  • An outstanding alumni network across the media.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration1 year
AccreditationsNational Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

Admissions criteria

Applicants that meet our Entry Criteria will be invited to attend an interview. The main interview periods will take place between December and April.

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 an IELTS score of at least 7.5.

Supporting material

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

Application deadline

Applicants are advised to submit applications between October and February.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 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.

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Public AdministrationMCT50810 credits
Reporters and the ReportedMCT50910 credits
News Journalism 1MCT54720 credits
News Journalism 2MCT54820 credits
News Reporting and ProductionMCT54940 credits
Media Law and EthicsMCT55320 credits
Data JournalismMCT55910 credits
Professional DevelopmentMCT56010 credits
Major ProjectMCT56130 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Motoring JournalismMCT55410 credits
Business and Financial JournalismMCT55510 credits
Lifestyle and Consumer JournalismMCT55610 credits
Political ReportingMCT55710 credits
Sports JournalismMCT55810 credits
Data JournalismMCT55910 credits
Yr Agenda CymreigMCT56410 credits
Investigative JournalismMCT57010 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 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 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:

  • 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

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

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.