MA Broadcast and Digital Journalism

Key facts

Students hone their skills in a professional high definition TV studio and have the opportunity to work on political discussion programmes. We use the industry standard Burli system to create radio programmes and edit videos for TV programmes using AVID.

Key facts

(Research Excellence Framework 2014)

Key facts

The MA Broadcast and Digital Journalism gives students the opportunity to sample real work situations. Students hone their skills in a professional high definition studio working on political discussion programmes involving MP’s or MEP’s and live studio audiences.

This is a course for storytellers with a mission to inform. You will gain a practical introduction to the core skills of modern journalism, particularly broadcast and online, and examine the media’s relationship with society. If you have developed a particular interest or specialism from your first degree, or are thinking of pursuing a career in general news journalism, it will give you space to develop your skills, researching, writing and presenting the stories you find.

You will explore the rapidly changing world of the professional journalist, and gain the legal knowledge to navigate the complex world of media law and ethics. You’ll work in modern TV studios, develop online content, and record interviews and news reports. We have a range of media partners – including the BBC, Mustard, and Future radio – who from time to time offer the students production opportunities.

If you have an inquiring mind and are passionate about online and broadcast news, this is the course for you.

Overview

This MA degree is designed to equip you with the core practical and theoretical skills of journalism and electronic communications, preparing you for work within the communications industries or a related career. At the same time, you will develop the ability to reflect critically on the nature and limitations of news coverage. Our School is home to internationally recognized experts, and you will have access to their expertise in the fields of public affairs, politics, international relations and cultural change.

There are two programmes within the degree. Programme A (UK Journalism) is intended for those who foresee a career in British Media. It includes detailed study of UK public affairs and media law, including codes of regulation and the legal constraints on criminal and court reporting. Programme B (International Journalism) covers much of the same ground, but has modules that take a wider, international view of media law and political systems. It considers the demands made of correspondents reporting from beyond their home territories.

In either programme, you will practice interviewing, reporting, video and broadcast production and learn how to produce and structure news stories for different media. We also offer you the opportunity to participate in a number of visits, including to political and media institutions locally and in London, as well as in Northern Europe, working with our partner academic institutions in Belgium. 

The practical aspects of this course are taught by experienced broadcast journalists. You will take modules that look at journalism and journalistic ethics, TV, radio and online news production. You will study the stories of the day to see how working journalists are interpreting and developing their role. You will be based on campus and at the School’s own production suite within a TV studio complex in the centre of Norwich.

Course structure

The course is made up of a number of core practical modules which run throughout the year, as well as optional modules and a practical dissertation project.

In either programme, you take an extended module in broadcast and production journalism. These modules provide you with thorough overview of all aspects of mass-media journalism, reporting and editorial, as well as technical elements such as audio recording and editing, camera operation, sound, video editing, studio practice and production. You will be expected to generate your own stories, and to go out into the local community to research and produce them. The UK-focused option includes practice of radio news feature and bulletin production.

The module Contemporary Journalism, Ethics and Practice is part of both programmes; it will enable you to develop reporting and writing skills, as well as an appreciation of a proper ethical framework for your journalism. You will look at how newsrooms are run, the reporter’s working day and how stories are found and developed. You will also examine changes within the industry. The module is designed to give you further practical experience of the issues and techniques of journalism, particularly as they relate to developing content for online news and information sites.

In Programme A you will take Essential UK Public Affairs and Law for Journalists. As part of this module, you will survey the judicial system of England and Wales and a journalist’s rights and responsibilities within it. The public affairs aspect of the unit covers the principal elements of the UK political system. You will be given an opportunity to practise the rights, responsibilities and techniques of journalists in relation to the British system, developing a critical understanding and familiarity with current affairs, particularly in relation to the reporting of issues such as national identity, citizenship, cultural diversity and the role of the media in such matters. You will learn how UK law and legal processes impact upon newsgathering and publication for audio and audio-visual media. You will gain an awareness of the legal precedents established in online practice (now a core element of multiplatform journalism) and how they are gaining more widespread application.

In Programme B, Media and Society will offer you a broad, up-to-date and interdisciplinary approach to mass communications. The guiding philosophy informing the module is the belief that in order to understand the media, it is essential to have a wide-ranging and multidisciplinary perspective. This means understanding the legal, economic and political dimensions of media, as well as understanding its cultural role in the wider global order. You will look at the structure of the media industry today, analysing how media content is constructed, what factors and influences shape it and how it may be controlled and even censored. You will come to understand how the media work today and how they may work in the future.

You will also choose an optional module, selected according to your interests and specialisms and allowing you to explore a particular aspect of that subject in more depth. Modules currently on offer (subject to timetabling considerations) include Public Relations, Public Affairs and the Media; Democracy and Free Speech; and Crime, Violence and Disasters in the Global Media. Recent extra-curricular activities have included workshops on cultural entrepreneurship – self-branding and promotion – to guide you in developing a high-visibility presence in the creative and media industries.

Skills and experience 

As well as gaining an extensive understanding of the practical aspects of journalism, from content development and reporting to editing and camera work, you will also become well versed in public affairs and current political issues, with opportunities to cover topical issues, such as nationality and identity, the environment and international trade, conflict and dissent.

You will be in an excellent position to move into a career in communications and journalism, with a solid understanding of journalistic ethics and media law, including the expanding area of digital journalism.

As part of this course you will be able to take part in visits to various political and media institutions both in the UK and abroad, learning first-hand from experts in the field about professional journalistic practice.

You will be part of our wider postgraduate community and will have the opportunity to attend numerous events and talks during your time here. We regularly attract distinguished guest lecturers, who have recently included Gary Gibbon, Political Editor for Channel 4 News;  Alan Rusbridger, former editor of The Guardian; Shami Chakrabarti, former director of Liberty; Anne McElvoy of The Economist; and John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. Find out more and listen to some of these lectures at: www.uea.ac.uk/psi.

Assessment

Assessment is by a range of coursework assignments. As well as some formal essays, you will work on individual and collaborative media presentations and productions. You will develop an online portfolio of your own journalism work, which can also be a valuable addition to your CV.

Towards the end of the course you will complete a dissertation by practice, which is an opportunity for you to produce a video (or audio) project that is both a substantial piece of journalism and a demonstration of your broadcast production skills. You will also reflect on the development and practical execution of your project. The subject and format of your practice-based dissertation will be agreed in discussions with a supervisor. Modern digital video, audio and editing equipment will be available to you for this project.

Course tutors and research interests

We have more than 30 members of staff in the School, many of them actively engaged with research in the field. We take an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach in our work, linking theory to practice, to create a distinctive programme of research. This has given us a strong international reputation for research in a wide variety of areas, including international relations, international relations theory, international security, terrorism, human rights, religion, the US, Britain, the EU, Japan, Africa, the mass media, digital media, political communications, popular culture, identity politics, public administration and public policy, political theory and political rhetoric.

Where next? 

Past students of this degree have gone on to develop dynamic careers for themselves in news or sports journalism, local radio and TV, programme presentation, and online journalism and investigation, both in the UK and around the world. One graduate, for example, works in video news production for a major UK media group, while another has experienced a press and public relations role within a national sports body. Many, including international students, have secured practical internships in the UK immediately following the course, which have helped get their careers on the road. 

Course Modules

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Any Subject
  • Degree Classification UK BA or BSc (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

Programme A (UK Journalism:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 55 in all components)

Programme B (International Journalism):

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Intakes

This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact university directly for further information.

Course Open To

This degree is particularly suitable for applicants who have gained an area of specialist knowledge at first degree level, and who wish to combine that with broadcast journalism expertise, opening up for themselves the possibility of a career in the media, perhaps as a specialist reporter or broadcaster.

The course is not suitable for students who have previously taken a professional qualification, such as an NCTJ or a BJTC Accredited Course. Such students, wishing to take a higher degree and extend their theoretical knowledge of Journalism and the Media, are advised to apply for the MA Media Culture and Society.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300
  • International Students: £14,800

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a number of Scholarships and Awards on offer. For further information relevant to Political, Social and International Studies, visit the Scholarships and Funding page for postgraduate students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515