Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£6,550 for the full course or £730 per 20 credits* (2022/23)

International fee

£14,700 for the full course (2022/23)

Course level




Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

The highlights

Focus on what matters to you

This new MA Journalism is designed to ensure you learn and apply all the core skills of a journalist, as well as giving you the opportunity to specialise in the areas that interest you. These interests could be journalism genres — football and other sports, travel, politics, technology, science, fashion etc — or formats, such as podcasts, radio, TV, newspapers/magazines, online and more. The MA will also challenge you academically as you study the context and underlying principles of journalism, both in the UK and further afield.

Most of the modules are optional, so you can choose to follow a path that’s largely practical, research-orientated or a blend of the two. Towards the end of the programme, you can also choose whether to write a traditional masters-level thesis or opt to undertake a practical journalism project accompanied by an academic essay.

"This programme will give you a boost for any career in journalism. You'll develop critical thinking, research and practical skills. Graduating with this masters means you can work in local, regional or national newspapers. You will have the skills to work in PR and content management. You will have the opportunity to build a portfolio to prepare you for the competitive media industry. The programme will provide you with the tools to work as a freelancer or create your very own content business."

Ivana Ebel, Programme Leader

female journalist filming interview
radio studio

A blend of new and traditional skills

In an age of digital news, there has never been a more exciting or challenging time to study journalism, because all businesses now need to have content production skills. This MA enables you to produce compelling content for both traditional and emerging media platforms. We’ll consider the use of smartphone technology, and the requirements of always-on, personalised news and information.

There are optional modules in:

Alongside more contemporary skills, we also help you learn the traditional knowledge, skills and attitudes of a journalist, which are still essential. These include the curiosity and tenacity to find and tell stories, awareness of your ethical responsibilities, and an understanding of the role journalism plays in complex and unpredictable situations.

Develop your portfolio and experience

To help build your skills, confidence and experience, we will encourage you to produce professional-standard content and publish it via media outlets. This is especially true if you opt to take the ‘Journalism Masterclasses’ module which runs over the first two trimesters.

This module gives you the opportunity to choose from a series of practical masterclasses delivered by experts in various forms of journalism. There will be a minimum of 12 topics to choose from, and these could include:

These masterclasses are open to all postgraduate humanities students, so you will find yourself mixing with students on other programmes, which can broaden your understanding of issues and widen your network.

Our academics have extensive links with media companies, individual journalists, and other industry organisations such as regulators and societies. You can use these links to help you find work experience and projects with national, regional, and local newspapers, BBC and independent radio, specialist reporting groups such as the BBC’s combined data unit, the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and many others.

Outstanding journalism facilities

The facilities for journalism at Derby are some of the best in the country. These include:

Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Contemporary Perspectives in Journalism
  • Project Modelling and Methods
  • Master’s Thesis in Journalism
  • Major Journalism Project
  • PGDip Independent Study
  • Audience Studies
  • Freelance Journalism
  • Journalism Masterclasses
  • Investigating Journalism and Politics
  • Data Journalism and Data Science
  • Work experience in Journalism
  • Journalism Masterclasses

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

We use a range of approaches to enable your learning. These include lectures, seminars, tutorials, debates, workshops and guest speakers from the media industry. In addition, there is an emphasis on self-directed study, as you would expect for a masters.

We have a blended learning strategy, which means that in addition to face-to-face teaching, you can also find materials for all modules on the virtual learning environment, which will support your independent work.

How you are assessed

There are a variety of ‘summative assessments’ towards the end of each module, such as essays, oral presentations, reports that draw on qualitative and quantitative data, and critically reflective pieces. 

On the more practical modules, you will create journalistic content that can be published by professional media outlets, using a variety of platforms and technology. You will be able to choose the journalism genre and media format for these assessments. We will usually ask you to write short academic essays to accompany this practical work, which contextualise and reflect on what you have produced.

As well as the summative assessments, we will ask you to undertake regular small-scale tasks — such as asking you to explain theories and concepts or asking you to produce a small piece of journalistic content. We’ll provide feedback on these activities to help you evaluate your own strengths, weaknesses, abilities and talents: a critical part of masters-level study.

Who will teach you

Ivana Ebel with a student

Dr Ivana Ebel
Programme leader

Dr Ivana Ebel is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism working with undergraduate and research students. She has broad international experience and holds a PhD in Communication and Media Sciences. 

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You will need a 2:1 undergraduate degree or relevant experience.

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


£6,550 for the full course or £730 per 20 credits*

£730 per 20 credits


£14,700 for the full course


Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply


This MA provides great preparation for a career in journalism or communications. You could go on to work for local, regional, and national newspapers, the BBC or independent radio, specialist magazines, and a wide variety of online businesses.

Alternatively, you could work in PR and marketing roles for public, private or third sector organisations, thanks to your advanced writing skills, knowledge of traditional and digital forms of communication, and your ability to gather and interpret qualitative and quantitative data.

The intellectual and research skills you can gain on this Masters — particularly if you write a thesis — can also be ideal preparation for a PhD in journalism; something we offer at Derby.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2021 - August 2022 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.