MA Journalism and Media Communications with Placement Year

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.

Professional Accreditations

This course is partnered with the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), giving you access to networking and tailored speaker sessions, as well accreditation upon graduation. The University is also an Academic Member of the British Society of Magazine Editors which provides expert speakers and information on the latest trends in this area

PRCA logo

About the course

The MA Journalism and Media Communications with Placement Year is a two-year programme which includes a 36-week, full-time work placement.  By choosing this programme and taking up a work placement you will gain valuable professional practice and enhance your understanding of media theory.

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 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.

The year placement will allow you to work in the creative industries and develop your professional skills. The University’s Careers and Placement Service will help you apply for this one-year work placement. Previous graduates have worked for Sunday Times Travel, Euromoney and Cosmopolitan magazine.

All students gaining 60 credits in the first semester and an additional 60 credits in the following semester will be eligible for a work placement, but it cannot be guaranteed. The University’s Careers and Placement Service will help you apply for, and obtain, a work placement. For students with visa restrictions, the placement will need to be based in the UK.

Students will typically need to secure a placement by the end of April in order to process the necessary paperwork. Students who do not secure a placement by then will be transferred from the Sandwich programme to the two-year ‘with Advanced Research’ programme. 

This course is also available through a standard route, or with Advanced Research.

MA Journalism & Media

MA Journalism & Media 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 plus as a partner university with the prestigious Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)
  • You'll gain valuable networking skills and contacts, listen to expert speakers and gain up to the minute knowledge of the PR industry. Find out more about our speaker series, Media Matters.
  • You'll have the opportunity to take a short work placement in a media-based environment or write a dissertation to improve your theoretical knowledge
  • Gain insights into emerging trends in the fast-changing digital media world giving you skills valued by a wide range of media and 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.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Corporate Communication, PR and Advertising 30 Credits Compulsory
    Media Production 30 Credits Compulsory
    Research Methods 2: Advanced Research Skills 15 Credits Compulsory
    Media Dissertation 60 Credits Compulsory
    Research Methods 1: Critical and Theoretical Debates 15 Credits Compulsory
    Media Placement Year 0 Credits Compulsory
    Placement Assessment 0 Credits Compulsory
    Writing for Magazines 30 Credits Optional
    Sports Journalism 30 Credits Optional
  • Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA (SW) Journalism and Media Communications with Sandwich Placement Download
    Programme specifications
    MA Journalism and Media Communications Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    Choosing to enrol on the MA Journalism and Media Communications course was one of the best decisions I made after leaving university. Not only did it provide me with a further academic qualification but the course is designed in such a way as to ensure you gain "real working life" experience throughout. The skills I gained during the course most certainly made my application stand out from the crowd when applying for my first job and this is still the case three years on. I would highly recommend the course to anyone looking to enhance their knowledge and skill set.

    Claire Harris

    MA Journalism and Media Communications graduate

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.

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