This is a highly-flexible Masters, suitable for graduates from any discipline, not just journalism. Through optional modules and coursework, you can specialise in a genre of journalism that interests you and decide whether to focus on practical skills, research, or both.
£6,550 for the full course or £730 per 20 credits* (2021/22)
£14,700 for the full course (2021/22)
Markeaton Street, Derby Campus
Tailor this MA to your interests and aspirations: with only one prescribed module per trimester, you will have plenty of choice around what you study
Choose your focus: if you want to be a journalist or are already working as one, you can focus on developing or refreshing your practical skills. However, if you’re more interested in further study or academia, you can focus on developing your research and intellectual skills
Our journalism facilities are some of the best in the country, including radio studios, a television studio, video editing suites, Mac suites and a newsroom featuring the latest software
We’ll make sure you have an exceptional student experience, with more contact hours than most universities and staff that go the extra mile to support you.
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
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:
data journalism and data science, which will help you understand and apply the approaches journalists use to re-interpret and mediate this information to a wider audience;
entrepreneurial journalism, which can help you create or improve your own business; and
work-based learning, in which you can learn while being immersed in the journalism industry.
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:
writing for different sorts of newspapers or magazines
producing radio or TV packages, and
creating content for online publications.
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:
three radio studios
a fully equipped television studio
video editing suites
Mac suites and a newsroom featuring the latest industry-standard software — we often get the latest versions of recording and editing software before commercial radio stations do!
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.
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
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.
You will need a 2:1 undergraduate degree or relevant experience.
Fees and funding
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£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
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.
MA or MSc
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.
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.
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.
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
Access to the Equipment Centre which stocks a huge range of cameras, audio equipment, and accessories which are available for booking by students at no cost
Various field trips, for example; Alton Towers, Shrovetide Football, the Bradford National Media Museum and Escape rooms
Mandatory trips to media companies or other interesting organisations. Previous trips have included visiting BBC Radio Derby, the Derby Telegraph, the Nottingham Post and BBC News and Sport at Salford
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Some equipment including storage drives (approx. £10) and external storage drives (approx. £50 - £100) for camera use
Optional costs not included in your fees
It is useful but not essential to have a smartphone (£50 - £750)
Some students choose to buy accessories for the phone such as external microphones (approx. £10 - £15) and tripods (£5 - £25)
Some students also find it useful to purchase their own laptop for use in the field but this is not required (from £150)
It is also possible that you will want to travel to cover particular news stories - as this is not required by the course, the cost is not covered 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.