Journalism - MA - Video
Professional journalism theory and practice: news-gathering, reporting, newswriting, sub-editing and ethics for a changing media landscape.Take a look
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Professional journalism theory and practice: news-gathering, reporting, newswriting, sub-editing and ethics for a changing media landscape.
NCTJ accredited Journalism course with a strong record of graduate employment in the news industry.
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About this course
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This programme provides comprehensive training in the skills needed to enter the journalism profession internationally and is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists for print, online and broadcast journalism. It is also part of the Northern Ireland Media Academy. Past students have won top awards in Ireland and the UK and hold senior positions in news organisations. The course incorporates the NCTJ Diploma, which equips trainee journalists with the knowledge and skills for professional entry level journalism.
Semesters 1 and 2; attendance can be 9-5 at least 3 days a week. Semester 3 is spent on placement, and completion of the dissertation.
- September 2019
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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Reporting in a Digital Age 1
This module introduces students to foundational skills in newsgathering and reporting, feature writing, research, and basic sub-editing and design using desktop publishing software. Students will produce a portfolio of journalistic work that will be presented on pages that they themselves create. They will be encouraged to look critically and analytically at a wide range of journalism. The module will use a range of appropriate and effective teaching methods and forms of assessment.
Media Law - General Reporting
This module offers a critical, academic and practical introduction to the broad range of legal topics relevant to those working in journalism. It covers the legal system, defamation and an introduction to court procedure and contempt of court. It also deals with matters such as copyright, privacy, breach of confidence and professional codes. The module prepares students for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) professional law exam in Essential Media Law. It will feature class simulations to test the learner's ability to apply this knowledge in reasoned legal decision-making pertinent to their work.
Media Law - Court Reporting
This module offers a critical, academic and practical introduction to the legal system, court procedure, restrictions on court reporting and contempt of court. The module will demonstrate how the relevant legal principles and codes of practice/conduct are applied in practice. It will feature class simulations to test the learner's ability to apply this knowledge in reasoned legal decision-making pertinent to their work. The module prepares students for the National Council for the Training of Journalists professional Court Reporting exam.
Reporting for Audio Media
This module provides to an industry standard, theoretical and practical knowledge of audio news reporting for radio and online platforms, in its professional institutional and regulatory contexts. Students are instructed in the practice of newsgathering and production techniques. They will work on both individual, and group projects in a live, real-time news scenario.
Journalism and Society
This module introduces MA Journalism students to current issues and debates in the study of news and journalism in the UK, Ireland and, locally, in Northern Ireland, providing them with the intellectual framework within which to think about and develop their MA Dissertation proposal. The module is not blended.
The module introduces students to the structures and operations of government, and to economy and economic development, in the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland and the European Union. There is also a focus on some of the major institutions of global governance such as the UN, WTO and IMF. The module will be delivered using traditional lecture format and assessed by a class test and a practical journalism assignment.
This module will allow students to undertake a sustained piece of independent work. Having agreed a topic with an appointed supervisor that will offer scope for combining academic, personal and professional elements, students will produce a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words or an agreed equivalent in another format. Students on appropriate MA programmes will be encouraged to liaise with industry personnel and tutorial support will be given on a regular basis by the supervisor.
Reporting in a Digital Age 2
This module allows the student to put into practice the skills acquired in the previous parts of the course. It will allow them develop their skills further by focusing on in-depth journalistic projects. This will refine their skills in journalism practice and production in preparation for the work place and/or further study. They will work individually to produce an in-depth investigative feature of a high standard. They will then use this and additional articles produced by students to edit, design and produce their work in print or on-line. The module will use a range of appropriate and effective teaching methods and forms of assessment.
Reporting for Audio-Visual Media
This module provides to an industry standard, theoretical and practical knowledge of audio-visual news reporting in its professional, institutional and regulatory contexts. Students are instructed in the practice of newsgathering and production for radio, television and other audio-visual platforms using appropriate hardware and software. It is based in an appropriate and effective learning and teaching environment.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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At least a 2.2 at degree level. Other professional experience will be considered.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 . Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
The course contains a considerable practice based element. Teaching and learning is delivered through live news exercises, as well as a portfolio of original work. Assessment is through practice based work, essays and examinations where appropriate
Exemptions and transferability
Careers & opportunities
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Print, online and broadcast journalism.
Work placement / study abroad
A placement of up to 6 weeks in a newsroom.
Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.
You should also submit an unpublished news article of 500 words that a newspaper in the area that you live (no matter where in the world) could publish. The article should be word-processed, using double line spacing. Applicants with published news stories or audio-visual pieces may submit two of these in addition to their unpublished article. This should be clearly labelled with title of publication, date and page number. The original article/material should not be submitted as we are unable to return supplementary materials. News stories should be emailed to Maggie Swarbrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Interviews are usually held in early May. The closing date is February 28th. Late applications may be accepted until March 31st.
- September 2019
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- £14,060.00 Scholarships available
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Belfast Telegraph, Helen Scott Memorial prize to the student with the best shorthand results.
Additional mandatory costs
NCTJ accreditation and external examination fees, in the region of £330, to paid on acceptance of a place on the course.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Course Director: Ms Maggie Swarbrick
International Admissions Office
For more information visit
Jayne McCormack, now at BBC NI
The reason I chose UU was that it was the only course here that got me the much-needed NCTJs as well as an MA, not to mention the proximity to home, top-class teachers with a wealth of contacts and the placement opportunities. I can say hand on heart it was the best choice I ever made. Worth the investment and the hard work, would do it again in a heartbeat.
Ciaran Bartlett BA Ancient History QUB, MA, PhD 2014
“You will learn the skills to have a serious shot at getting a job in media before you hand in your dissertation. You will make great professional contacts and have some of the best craic you'll ever have at Uni. Give it a lash. You won’t regret it.”
Niamh Ferguson, now at UTV
“During my summer work placement at Citybeat and Downtown Radio/Cool FM I was given the opportunity to act as a broadcast journalist. It was exciting to hear my voice being broadcast nationally for the first time. This course is hard work but it pays off!”