MA Journalism & Media Communications

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

Study our MA in Journalism and Media Communications and gain the skills you’ll need for a successful, dynamic career in today’s complex global media industries.

This Masters course aims to prepare you in both practice and analysis of global journalism and media. You’ll benefit from our extensive links with the media industry, including the BBC and the Sunday Times, and gain a grounding in all its aspects, from fast-changing multimedia to magazines, advertising and the excitements of sports journalism.

You may have studied humanities subjects and be looking to deepen your research interests. Or you may have been working in areas such as business or healthcare and need communications skills. Whatever your background, taking this MA will enhance your career by equipping you to operate effectively in a professional media environment. Our business-facing approach means you’ll be taught by lecturers with extensive professional experience of print, web design, journalism and PR, giving this MA its strong focus on your future employability.

During the course you’ll explore the synergies between social media, PR and journalism, focusing on current media practice and the technologies of convergence. You’ll consider how to make communication more effective in professional settings by looking at journalism and its associated business models; learn how to interview and report on events; gain expertise in internal and external corporate communications; and analyse the impact of technology on the communications industries.

Modules may change from year to year but are likely to include Corporate Communication, PR and Advertising; International Journalism Trends; Writing for Magazines; Sports Journalism; and Media Production as well as modules on research methodology. You also have a range of options for your final project. This can be a dissertation on a media subject of your choice, a short work placement, the one-year sandwich placement or a larger media research project, depending on your chosen route.

For Media Production you’ll create multimedia – podcasts, video and advertising – for online magazines, pitch and measure a campaign and use social media to promote your work.  A strong practical element in Writing for Magazines will equip you to write for social media and understand how to create content and engage audiences.

Our module International Journalism Trends explores news ownership and media production on a global scale and provides deeper insight into the theoretical and cultural framework of media and journalism. Sports Journalism will give you a grounding in the exciting practices of sports journalism, from interviewing top stars to reporting on breaking sports stories.

Two modules on research methods and critical and theoretical debates will equip you with advanced research skills and the transferable communications skills - including interviewing, identifying a story and building connections - that are vital for roles in PR and Corporate Communications.

On the one-year programme students can take up a short work placement as a final module, giving you the opportunity to put into practice your knowledge and skills developed over the year. Typically, you will be expected to have spent a minimum of 20-25 days on an internship or work experience placement, after which you’ll write a 3,500-word report and give a short presentation reflecting on your experience.

Previous students have taken short work placements on national newspapers, the BBC, Hertfordshire Life magazine, Three Counties radio, social media, marketing or internal communications roles in local businesses and PR agencies such as Bell Pottinger.

Alternatively, consider taking the MA with a placement year or with advanced research:

MA Journalism and Media Communications (Sandwich)

MA Journalism and Media Communications (with Advanced Research)

Why choose this course?

We give you:

  • A broad range of media communications skills with a strong focus on digital media
  • Expert lecturers widely experienced in the communications industry
  • An opportunity to take a short work placement in a media-based environment
  • Insights into emerging trends in the fast-changing digital media world
  • Research and transferable skills valued by a range of related industries

What will I study?

Teaching on this course takes place mostly in weekly workshops per module, each lasting two-to-four hours, with additional online activities depending on the module. You’ll be supported by regular one-to-one supervision by academics from the University’s Media Group.

Studying our MA Journalism and Media Communications you’ll be part of a diverse and international student cohort within the School of Humanities postgraduate community. Taught by experts in Journalism and Media Communications, you’ll benefit from a supportive academic community and will in addition have opportunities to attend guest lectures which, among others, have previously been delivered by journalists from the ground-breaking digital magazine Gal-dem, as well as presenters from the BBC, Channel Four, and alumni such as Talha Ahad, the founder and CEO of Pakistan’s first digital news service Centrum Media.

Careers

Employability is central to everything we do. This MA opens up a wide range of opportunities, from PR, Corporate Communications, marketing and advertising to magazines and web publications.  Your creative and critical thinking, as well as the analytical, research and communications skills gained through this course, are all highly valued in a wide range of industries.  Recent graduates are working internationally on The Expat and Raffy magazines in Malaysia, as well as in Corporate Communications and UK local radio.

What job can I get?

Recent graduates are working internationally on The Expat and Raffy magazines in Malaysia, as well as in Corporate Communications and UK local radio.

My new degree is already working in my favour, by the way, as I have been redeployed to edit our online/digital content, which is a big deal for me. Again, some head hunters are already contacting me through my LinkedIn page. It's amazing that the attention I craved for years are coming unsolicited because of the new additional skills that I acquired through my MA. I'm quite elated. It was nice learning under you while the programme lasted

Adesola E. Ayo-Aderele

MA Journalism and Media Communications graduate

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.