Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Specialist Journalism - MA/PgD/PgC

Specialist Journalism - MA/PgD/PgC

Want to work as a Film, Music, Fashion or Sports Journalist?

The MA Specialist Journalism at Cardiff Metropolitan University is a master's degree with a practical focus. Designed and delivered by academic staff who are both industry professionals and researchers, the course aims to create practicing Specialist Journalists and prepare them to be industry ready for employment in journalism. Written in collaboration with practicing journalists from the BBC to ensure we teach contemporary journalism for the digital, new media age, this distinctive degree is aimed to support students while they develop their journalistic skills and techniques within a particular specialism, such as: film, music, fashion or sports journalism.

Students at Cardiff Met will not only develop their print and online journalism, but also a wide range of multimedia production skills, learning to self-shoot and edit, record and produce audio, create digital content while sharpening their journalistic instinct, news values and editorial judgment. Students will also study elements of media law, and analyse how ethics, a sense of fairness, impartiality, accuracy and a robust knowledge of regulations and rights play a crucial part in operating within the modern journalistic landscape.

The course has a strong employability focus allowing students to combine journalistic techniques and perspectives with practical vocational skills, which are reinforced by work placements. Whether for professional development purposes, to enhance your freelance career, or as your first step into the world of journalism, the MA will help you gain the knowledge and confidence to be a specialist journalist. We have expertise across a number of fields and our academic community is vibrant and dynamic with strong industry links and guest speakers giving real-world insight to this fast-changing industry.

One of the great strengths of the programme is its flexibility. MA Specialist Journalism can be studied either full or part time allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is also enhanced by the university's commitment to e-learning.

Course Content

MA Specialist Journalism offers a modular framework, which provides the fundamental knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to gain employment as a journalist. 

You will develop strong communication and writing skills while focusing on your specific specialism and gain confidence in writing various forms of journalism. These skills are combined with multimedia production, allowing you to design, film and edit your own work. 

Writing for Magazines

This module will provide students with the key skills required to write as journalists and then focus those skills on their chosen specialism, consolidating the skills necessary to write clear, vigorous, interesting and balanced journalistic articles for print and digital platforms.

The module aims to:

  • Develop the skills necessary to recognise, obtain and select relevant and newsworthy facts using appropriate journalistic skills and techniques.
  • Extend understanding of the ways in which the relationships between journalists, editors, proprietors, sources and audiences affect the content and structure of journalistic articles.
  • Critically review and evaluate independent research skills and ability to work self-reflectively.


Magazine and Production Journalism

This module will apply the skills developed in Writing for Magazines by exploring the language, content, style and structure of magazine, newspaper and online features, and extend digital production skills.

The module aims to:

  • Develop skills in production, including: sub editing, copy editing and fact checking, as well as software and digital design skills.
  • Illustrate a thorough understanding of the magazine industry (online and print) and how magazines work.
  • Critically explore the nature of editorial in the overall structure of a magazine.


Multimedia Journalism

This module will provide students with the key essential skills to become multimedia journalists and adapt those skills to their specialist field. 

This module aims to:

  • Consolidate and apply journalistic skills developed in other modules to differing digital media platforms: audio, visual and design.
  • Develop the skills necessary to fully integrate and develop multimedia projects.
  • Develop skills for the particular production requirements of multimedia journalism.
  • Recognise how digital journalism practices have changed the landscape of the mass media.


Research Skills, Ethics and Landscape

This module will provide students with an understanding of the changing landscape of contemporary journalism, the reflective skills necessary to function as a successful journalist, exploring the processes and skills necessary for undertaking rigorous, credible, ethical and worthwhile research, and develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of journalistic law and ethics.

This module aims to: 

  • Provide advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the law and its structures as they relate to the practice of journalism.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the legal, ethical and regulatory framework within which journalism is practised.
  • Enable students to apply knowledge and understanding in the creation of journalistic content.


Employability and Enterprise

As well as a work placement in a relevant media organisation, students will also develop essential skills and knowledge needed for making a successful living in the new media landscape.

This module aims to:

  • Provide an understanding of workplace practices and methodologies within the journalism industry that influence the gathering, editing and dissemination of information.
  • Explore the potential for making a successful living in the new media landscape.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the industry's administrative structure and individual job roles and responsibilities. 


Dissertation

This module allows students to create a journalistic portfolio from their chosen specialism. The extended practical or theoretical project provides students with an opportunity for a substantial piece of independent, professional standard, practical journalism work, or an academic study that addresses a specific area of journalism. 


Learning & Teaching

Most modules are taught through group workshops and seminars. Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.

In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment. It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so. 

Modules are either 20 or 40 credits. In a 20-credit module you will receive 22 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 178 hours of independent study. The 40-credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study. You will receive 4 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 396 hours of independent study. 

Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning. Tutors also have weekly office hours. 

A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for publication.

At Cardiff Met you will encounter a learning experience from induction to graduation that is coherent and develops your identity within your programme of study. Specific features of the learning experience on MA Specialist Journalism include:

  • Renowned researchers and industry experienced tutors that are integral to the learning package offered to our students.
  • On-campus media facilities which are utilised in order to enhance the student learning experience and apply the theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting.
  • Industry partnerships which are used to underpin and enhance the delivery of the programme.
  • A degree programme that meets employer needs.


Facilities

Excellent on-site media facilities and thriving media industries in Cardiff and the surrounding region combine with a network of media industry partners to provide a comprehensive work-related and work-based learning programme. This is designed to enable you to apply the knowledge gained from the degree curriculum in real-world settings and gain valuable experience to use as a foundation for further study or future employment.

Assessment

We're committed to innovative assessment practices that match identified learning outcomes for your module and degree. This means assessment, wherever possible, is linked to enhancing not only your subject knowledge but skills vital in developing your employment opportunities. Examples of assessment include research portfolios, group work, practical portfolios, critical and reflective practice and reviews. 

We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the degree depending upon the module. Practical modules are assessed through portfolios and accompanying critical essays in which you are required to reflect upon and contextualise your work. These modules also include class-based formative peer-assessment in the form of practical workshops. These do not count towards your final grade but the sessions do help you grow and reflect as a media practitioner. 

Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it. 

You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus.

Employability & Careers

As well as a career in journalism, the MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in editorial and publishing careers. 

Key journalistic skills and techniques are, of course, central to the degree. However, this degree will also encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace. 

As well as journalism, a Master's degree in Specialist Journalism could also lead to a variety of other careers, such as: teaching, research, public relations, marketing, the civil service, publishing, the media, and employment in the public or voluntary sectors.

The Cardiff Met EDGE supports you to thrive in the modern world. Throughout your degree you will experience a range of opportunities to develop your Ethical, Digital, Global and Entrepreneurial competencies through problem-based learning and work-based learning placements. We will ensure that you get a range of opportunities to develop transferable skills such as communication, team work and leadership.  

We will also support you to seek opportunities to work or study abroad. Work placements can give you a critical EDGE in gaining professional employment on graduation. Graduates from our MA Specialist Journalism programme are now working in the professional media industry with Future Fusion New York, Cardiff City FC, Dead Press and GTFM Radio.  

Many students also pursue their own opportunities and set up businesses based on ideas that they have generated during their studies. There is on-going enterprise support available from the Centre for Entrepreneurship designed to help provide the best chance to create a successful enterprise. This includes business mentoring, funding advice, free office space and networking opportunities. 

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Each applicant is considered on their academic merits and their ability to demonstrate an interest and ability in the subject area. 

Applicants should usually have a first or upper second-class honours degree, in a relevant subject. Students that meet the criteria will be invited for interview. 

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Selection Procedure:
Application form, CV, submission of a journalistic portfolio and interview (the interview can be conducted via Skype or telephone). 

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met,  you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

• If you wish, you can simply take individual modules (perhaps just one, or more, depending on your interest)
• If you wish to go further, you might choose to complete a Postgraduate Certificate (three modules chosen from a postgraduate programme)
• Further still, you might wish to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma (six modules from one of our programmes)
• Or you might wish to complete a Master's Degree, submitting a dissertation after completing the seven taught modules.

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees

Part-time fees:

Charges are per Single Module unless specified:
Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits

Generally we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly. 

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email directapplications@cardiffmet.ac.uk

For course specific enquiries, please contact Programme Director, Robert Taffurelli: 

Email: rtaffurelli@cardiffmet.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0) 29 2020 1573

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

School:
Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time 

More About the Course
Blog
My Sports and Music Journalism career thanks to MA Specialist Journalism

Graduate Stephen writes about his career since studying the MA and how securing internships shaped his industry understanding.
Read more.

Blog
How the MA Specialist Journalism helped kick start my journalism career

Kristine talks about her experiences studying the MA Specialist Journalism as an international student.
Read more

Meet the Team
Meet the Team: Robert Taffurelli

"Before becoming an academic I worked in London for 15 years as a full-time journalist. I progressed from an Editorial Assistant onto Assistant Editor, Editor Managing Editor and Deputy Group Editor. While working for several years with different publishers and magazines I turned my focus to my passion – film, and to a career in trade journalism as Editor of Film and TV Production Review.

My background in journalism and media informs and underpins the BA (Hons) Media and Communications and MA Specialist Journalism."

Robert Taffurelli, Programme Director BA (Hons) Media and Communications and MA Specialist Journalism.

Performance Sport

Cardiff Met provides and manages a TASS accredited Dual Career Scheme environment that allows students to achieve their academic potential alongside training, playing and performing in their chosen sport.


With personal experience of competing on the international stage and undertaking world leading research, our academic and Performance Sport staff create a truly unique environment of sporting excellence. The integrated model means you can be assured our programmes are informed by the latest in coaching and support services all designed to develop you as an athlete. Coupled with our key partnerships with a variety of National Governing Bodies our programmes work alongside recognised talent pathways. Find out more

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/terms