MA Broadcast Journalism: Theory and Practice


Since graduating Emma is now in a senior PR role, with a national sports body. Emma believes the guidance she was given on the course by UEA lecturers and experienced broadcasters Mark Wells (TV and Video) and Clare Precey (Radio) helped her appreciate what it takes to succeed as a journalist.

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Key facts

(Research Excellence Framework 2014)

"Postgraduate study enables you to understand current affairs and to broaden your knowledge on key debates"

In their words

Oliver Steward, MA International Relations


The MA Broadcast Journalism: Theory and Practice 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.


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.


Putting skills into practice by reporting on real news stories - an MA Broadcast Journalism student interviews former Labour MP Ian Gibson.

This course gives you space to develop your skills as a journalist, researching, writing and recording the stories that you will find every week.

You will explore the rapidly changing world of the professional journalist. You will work in modern TV studios, develop content for online sites, and record radio and television interviews and news reports. You will have the opportunity to produce content with the BBC, Future (our partners in community radio) BBC Television and other local media outlets.

You will gain the legal knowledge to enable you to navigate the complex world of media law and ethics, and studying in an internationally recognised school of political and international studies, you will develop your knowledge of government and administration direct from leading academics in the fields of Law and Politics.

If you are passionate about news - online and on TV and radio, this is the course for you.


This MA degree is designed to give students both core practical and theoretical skills and understanding in the field of journalism and electronic communications – equipping you for work within the communications industries, or a related career.  As well as gaining practical broadcast and journalistic skills, you will develop the ability to reflect critically on the nature and limitations of news coverage.

You will practice interviewing, reporting, video and radio production and learn how to produce and structure news stories for broadcast and online dissemination. Every year, students have the opportunity to join a number of visits, including political and media institutions locally, in London, and in Northern Europe, working with partner academic institutions in Belgium. The course has a close working relationship with BBC Voices, a community production unit based in Norwich, which gives many students an opportunity to work on video production with BBC producers. Practical aspects of the course are taught by experienced broadcast journalists.


The course is made up of a number of core modules which run throughout the year. These are ‘Broadcast Journalism’, ‘Contemporary Journalism, Ethics and Practice’, and either ‘Essential Public Affairs and Law for Journalists’ (recommended for students envisaging a Journalism career in the UK) or ‘Media and Society’ (recommended for students envisaging a career elsewhere).

All students will complete a ‘Dissertation by Practice’, which is a production of a substantial work of video or radio journalism.

There is one other optional module, selected to reflect the individual student’s interests.

Broadcast Journalism

This module will provide you with a thorough overview of all aspects of broadcast journalism including journalism skills – reporting and editorial - as well as technical elements of television and radio news production 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. We work with local media to arrange work experience placements and other production opportunities.  

Final assessment for this module includes observation of students during an extended session working as a professional journalists from the department’s own electronic newsroom in the centre of Norwich.

Contemporary Journalism, Ethics and Practice

This module will enable students to develop reporting and writing skills while developing their appreciation of a proper ethical framework for journalism. Students will look at how newsrooms are run, the reporter’s working day, and how stories are found and developed.

This module looks at changes within the industry. It will also 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.

Essential Law and Public Affairs for Journalists

Students will learn how law and legal process impact upon newsgathering and publication for audio and audio-visual media. They will be made aware that legal precedents established in online practice (now a core element of multi-platform journalism) are gaining more widespread application.

Teaching will survey the judicial system of England and Wales and a journalist’s rights and responsibilities within it. Public Affairs covers principal elements of the UK political system, including the electoral process, the roles of elected members of local authorities, British and European parliaments; the role of civil servants, politicians, political parties, government communication techniques, contemporary political issues and government finance.

Students shall be given opportunity to practice the rights, responsibilities, and techniques of journalists in relation to the British system. Students will be helped to develop 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.

Media and Society

This module is designed to provide all students studying media related postgraduate degrees with a broad, current and inter-disciplinary understanding of the media today. The guiding philosophy informing this module is the belief that in order properly to understand the media, it is essential to have a wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary understanding of the modern media. This means understanding the legal, economic and political dimensions of media, as well as understanding its cultural role and its role in the wider global order.

Media and Society looks at the structure of the media industry today. It analyses 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.

Dissertation by Practice

The dissertation by practice is an opportunity for you to produce a video or radio project which 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 your supervisor. Modern digital video, audio and editing equipment will be available to you for this project.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module gives students a wide and detailed grounding in all aspects of radio and television journalism and news production. Core topics include audio and video editing, camera work, sound and studio and location production techniques. Students will develop practical production skills such as bulleting preparation and writing to picture. They will collaborate, in small teams, in the production of radio and TV news programmes and reports. This module is restricted to those students taking the Broadcast Journalism MA. Other postgraduate students interested in the topic are welcome to apply to join the Practical Media module.




The module will demystify the close world of the professional journalist and enable students to understand what gets into the news (and what does not) and why. It helps students develop practical skills and techniques in the production of all forms of journalism (in an age of media convergence, the ability to produce good clean copy is equally as important as the production of multi-media assets). Weekly practical exercises will help them develop reporting skills and the techniques of online presentation required to ensure access to an audience. The module will look at the development of journalism, primarily in the West, the development of new forms, such as Online Media and the challenges facing journalism in the contemporary environment. Students will develop their own Online presence. The module will include a number of talks by industry practitioners from a variety of backgrounds.




Students are required to write a dissertation of a length as specified in their MA Course Guide on a topic approved by the Course Director or other authorised person. The dissertation by practice allows students to demonstrate their ability to carry out a work of broadcastable journalism.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

There are two 'pathways' for Broadcast Journalism MA students. PPLM7012Y is aimed at domestic students or students who envisage working as journalists in the UK or those who have an established interest in UK law and politics. Students who foresee their careers developing in other parts of the world are advised to take PPLM7009Y:

Name Code Credits


Teaching in the UK Law sessions will survey the judicial system of England and journalist's rights and responsibilities within it. It will look at the influence and role of European institutions and legislation. Practical sessions will include visits to Magistrates and/or Crown Courts. Students will learn how law and legal process impact upon newsgathering and publication for print and audio-visual media. Taught sessions will reflect on the principles of democracy, defamation, intellectual property, freedom of the press, freedom of information, press regulation and the public interest as these relate to news coverage. The Public Affairs sessions will study the structure and operation of British central and local government, including Parliament and the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies. The principal elements of the UK political process will be taught, including the electoral processes, the role of elected representatives, civil servants, politicians, political parties, finance, government and government communications techniques. Students will be given opportunity to practice the rights and responsibilities of journalists in relation to UK and EU systems. Students shall attend and report local and/or national political proceedings.




This module is intended to provide all students studying media related postgraduate degrees with a broad, current and inter-disciplinary understanding of the media today. The guiding philosophy informing this module is the belief that in order properly to understand the media, whether as a lawyer, economist, development studies professional, media studies specialist or political scientist, it is essential to have a wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary understanding of the modern media. What we shall be doing over the year therefore is looking at the structure of the media industry today in the UK and globally. We will consider, from several different academic perspectives, how media content is constructed, what factors and influences go to shape content and how content may be controlled and even censored. We will also look at the media industry, examining how it is currently organised and managed, what factors influence its current organisation and consider how it might develop. We will also examine how media affects people and society and consider also the assumptions that are made about the impact of the media. Finally, we will seek to draw together key aspects of modern media.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

(Alternative options either within or outside PPL may be selected, with the agreement of the Course Director. This will depend on places being available):

Name Code Credits


This module draws on normative political theory and contemporary political science to consider how the concept of democracy has changed since it originated in ancient Greece and looks at the critiques of democracy advanced by critics and opponents especially in the 20th century. The ideas and values underpinning democracy will be interrogated and some recent solutions for today's 'democratic deficit' including electronic democracy and cosmopolitan democracy will be evaluated.




This module is about the relationship between feminisms and the cultural history of (primarily) US and UK television from second wave feminism to the present. It thus charts the dialogue between feminism and television in Anglophone contexts from the 1970s through to the 2010s, focussing on flashpoint moments for feminism (e.g. the women's liberation movement; millennial postfeminism; the global financial crisis) and touchstone texts (e.g. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Prime Suspect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Girls, Scandal) that have resonated particularly strongly with female audiences (e.g. soap operas; lifestyle TV; women centred dramas), struck a chord with feminist concerns (e.g. work/life balance, sexual freedoms, empowerment, the politics of relationships/singlehood/friendship), and generated foundational criticism by feminist television scholars. It will be structured chronologically, and topics may include feminism and female audiences; action heroines on television; the figure of the female detective; women's work; intersectional identities (queerness, post-racial discourse, masculinities) and recessionary culture.




The module examines one of the pressing issues of political theory, constitutional law, democracy, and media regulation: why is free speech important and what if any should be its limits? Students are introduced to some of the classic defences of free speech found in the writings of J.S. Mill and the judicial decisions of Oliver Wendall Holmes. Following on from this they will examine the question of free speech as it relates to freedom of the press and new media. Students will also explore the question of the limits of free speech, particularly in relation to hate speech. At this point students will have a chance to examine human rights instruments and laws pertaining to the issues, including the ECHR, the Human Rights Act 2008, and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2008, as well as a range of legal cases from courts across the world. During the module the students will be exposed to a range of deeper ideological debates among liberals, libertarians, multiculturalists, and critical theorists. The approach will be multidisciplinary drawing on politics, philosophy, and law. Finally, the format of the module will be a two-hour class each week, comprising research-led teaching, seminar discussions, practical exercises, textual reading, balloon debate, and essay writing and research-skills mini-sessions. The module will rely heavily on formative feedback on presentation and essay writing skills, building to one assessed long essay and a seminar performance mark.




Working from the assumption that the media are an integral part of modern political life, this module examines the way in which politics is represented in the media and reviews critically the argument about 'bias'. It also explores the arguments around the ownership and control of media, the increasing use of the media by political parties and the changing relationship between citizens and politics engendered by new communication technologies.




This module enables students to develop an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of public affairs, interest intermediation, and the strategies used by interest, advocacy groups and others to influence the political process. As well as covering the main debates in the academic literature, it draws directly on the experience of practitioners and offers unique insights into this under-studied area of politics.




Hollywood has remained a dominant force in film production, distribution and exhibition in recent decades, despite competition from other local and transnational cinemas. This module aims to explore the success of the Hollywood system through a focus on the industry itself, and the films it produces, particularly those that have been most successful at the domestic and international box office. The module will, therefore, cover a range of relevant topics that may include: what kind of films does Hollywood invest in? Is financial gain the best lens to judge issues of 'popularity'? Who are the target audiences for those films? What is the role of the audience in receiving and popularising these hit movies? What is the relationship between domestic theatrical release, circulation in foreign markets and distribution in other media such as television, film, and DVD?




The module looks at the history of China and Japan from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. The attempts at modernisation, conflict between the two nations, their relationships with the Asian region and the United States are covered. Their contrasting attempts to develop in the postwar period are investigated. We also assess their current policies and the issues of importance to China and Japan in the twenty first century, and assess whether they can move beyond the legacy of this difficult history.




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:

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


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.


All applications for postgraduate study are processed through the Faculty Admissions Office and forwarded to the relevant School of Study for consideration. If you are currently completing your first degree or have not yet taken a required English language test, any offer of a place will be conditional upon you achieving this before you arrive.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

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

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards

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

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: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515