JonnyMcFarlane MA Journalism

Jonny McFarlane

Jonny McFarlane is a Project Editor at Newsquest, leading a team of sports journalists to produce high quality, cutting edge digital journalism via a subscription model. He was formerly Live Sports Editor of the Daily Record and Editor of Football Scotland. He was named Digital Journalist of the year in 2019. Jonny graduated the MA course in 2013.

"My experience of the MA Journalism course at Napier was fantastic and undoubtedly gave me a foundation that has underpinned everything I have achieved in my career since. I would highly recommend the MA Journalism course to anyone looking to quickly up-skill in a way that leaves you perfectly equipped to enter a competitive industry and thrive."

"Modern journalists need to have varied tools at their disposal and the course helped me to build a solid level of competency in video, audio, voice coaching, presenting and of course, the corner stone of it all, writing. Journalism has many areas, be it newspapers, websites, magazines or broadcast."

"You will leave the building with the skill set to confidently enter any of them."

"Better yet, the city of Edinburgh needs no sales pitch, it is one of the finest in Europe. The campus for journalism sits nestled in one of its leafiest and most attractive nooks. All of this means little without any facilities, but Napier's are second to none and I was surprised to find them better than many commercial media organisations when entering the industry. The teaching was of a consistently elevated standard, highly supportive with extremely good interpersonal standards."

"If you are considering a career in journalism, I'd recommend the MA as the foundation stone in building a bright future."

Charlotte Hulme

After graduating from MA Journalism in 2018, Charlotte went on to have a star-studded career with OK! Magazine.

"I would highly recommend the MA Journalism course at Edinburgh Napier. Since graduating, I have gone on to work as a showbiz journalist for OK! Magazine. The skills I learnt while studying at Edinburgh Napier were completely transferable to the newsroom and my current role, from getting used to the fast-paced nature of things to having an eye for a newsworthy story. Finally, the teaching staff deserve a big shoutout for their insightful, friendly and hands on help, with impressive experience in the industry themselves."

"Perhaps most importantly, the MA journalism course is fun for those who enjoy the practical side of Journalism. From being on camera to creating your own magazine, no two days are the same, which is very similar to journalism in the real world. Edinburgh is also a beautiful city, which is another plus when the course requires you to head outside to capture live content and vox-pops."

"Previously, I worked as a Deputy Editor at a lifestyle magazine in London before moving on to my current role at OK! Magazine. Every interviewer recognised Edinburgh Napier as being one of the best universities to obtain a Masters from, which shows how prominent the course is around the world. I want to end by giving a big thank you to Edinburgh Napier from me, for being a part of the life I have today!"

David Tanner

David had years of experience working for notable companies such as Sky Sports before coming to study with us at Edinburgh Napier.

"I was a television presenter with Sky Sports when a lecturer reached out and invited me to Edinburgh Napier to chat with students about my workplace experience. I have to say that I was really impressed with the lecturer’s willingness to connect and engage with people in the industry. On the day, I enjoyed answering the students’ questions and couldn’t resist asking them a few of my own. Their description of how positive the learning experience was on the MA Journalism course inspired me to find out more about it."

"I quickly realised that Edinburgh Napier’s multi-platform approach to journalism teaching could present me with a chance to update my skills in journalism with the potential reward of a Master’s degree at the end of it. I decided to research the curriculum and the style of learning before taking some advice and thought - "Do it; you’ll regret it, otherwise!"

"I paid for the tuition myself, and despite the late nights at the laptop followed by early rises for the school run, it was well worth the investment in both time and money. The modern job market for journalism generally stipulates that new applicants possess a university degree; so the MA Journalism course from Edinburgh Napier really provides an opportunity for people with years of industry training to skill-up for the digital age and attain something that will open doors for them."

Vanessa Taaffe

Vanessa has gone on to work for some of the biggest stories over the last five years since graduating from MA Journalism. An opportunity that may not have been possible without her studies at Edinburgh Napier.

"Before my graduation from Edinburgh Napier, I was fortunate enough to secure a role as a journalist at STV News. Starting off as an Assistant Producer then moving to a Reporter role, I was then faced with the reality of working full-time whilst also completing my third semester and delivering a dissertation."

"I had a huge amount of support from my lecturers, who brought the role at STV to my attention and encouraged the whole class to apply. Some did and some didn’t, which is a lesson I still carry forward to this day; if you don’t try, or in my case apply, you’ll never have a hope of getting it."

"Since leaving Napier, I have worked on some of the biggest news stories of the last five years: COVID-19, COP26, Brexit votes from Westminster, the proroguing of parliament, the election of a new Prime Minister, Scotland’s drugs crisis and Scottish elections to name a few. Looking back on it now, the MA Journalism course was an immensely fun and life shaping experience. It thoroughly prepared me for the world of work in my chosen career and as an added bonus, I’m still friends with many of my classmates."

Rachel Mackie MA journalism student 400x400

Rachel Mackie

Rachel was set on returning university to study journalism. Since graduating, she has gone on to work for The Scotsman publication as a crime reporter. 

"Deciding to go back to Edinburgh Napier to study journalism was the best decision of my life. Although you can never really be prepared for a whole new career, Edinburgh Napier helped me realise my goals!"

"The MA Journalism course covered all bases really well, and the teaching was brilliant. It was fun, creative and its strong emphasis on digital journalism was really crucial for the world of work. In my experience, gaining an understanding of search engine optimisation and digital content is becoming more and more important in newsrooms today."

"If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone thinking of entering journalism, it would be to get your shorthand qualification. You never know when you'll need it!"

Nicholas Mairs

After graduating, Nicholas went on to be a reporter for PoliticsHome and then later a Press Officer for the Ministry of Justice.

"The practical, hands-on learning and the brilliant facilities at Edinburgh Napier gave me an invaluable insight to working in the media, ahead of roles in the rarely predictable world of political news reporting and more recently as a press officer."

"With the campus located in the heart of Edinburgh, it was easy to have a morning meeting to discuss the topics of the day before hopping on the bus with a camera, microphone and notepad in hand to gather the interviews, clips and shots needed to create those stories. The chance to film pieces at Edinburgh Castle, record vox-pops on Princes Street and quiz the country’s decision makers at Holyrood, sometimes all in a single afternoon, made for an exciting and rewarding year."

"That variety in the course, alongside the tutors’ expertise, and the opportunities to experience working with the city’s own array of media titles, are the main reasons why I would recommend that anyone with an interest in the diverse and ever-changing world of journalism considers studying at Edinburgh Napier."

Megan Williams

After graduating from MA Journalism, Megan has since moved on to work for the United Nations as an intern. She's now travelling the world to places like Nepal. When we reached out, she had this to say about her time on the programme. 

"The MA Journalism course at Edinburgh Napier was incredible! Coming from an undergraduate degree where I was so fed up with the uninspiring lectures, the lack of contact hours with academics and the personability."

"In contrast, I was blown away by what Edinburgh Napier had to offer. I loved that there were a lot of contact hours and the teaching had a very practical focus. I got the sense that the tutors took an immense interest in all of us as individuals and did their best to guide us. For me, it has been an incredibly worthwhile experience and a year of my life that I will always look back on very fondly."

Jamie McKenzie

Since graduating in 2013, Jamie has worked in various print and digital roles for organisations like the Press and Journal, Edinburgh Evening News and the Daily Record. He now specialises in crime and court reporting for The Courier.

"One of the greatest things about Edinburgh Napier’s MA Journalism course is its variety. Whether it’s news writing, magazine production or TV reporting, you’ll get the chance to discover your niche on a practical level. The course also equips you with a set of multimedia skills which are increasingly attractive to editors looking to engage new online audiences in different ways."

"The Media Law module really stood out for me at Edinburgh Napier. The key elements of contempt, defamation and privacy law were all explained in detail during the course, which has provided a solid grounding throughout my career. A good knowledge of media law is crucial to what I do now, but I’d say it’s vital for every journalist."

"I’d also recommend learning shorthand. The skill is sometimes overlooked, but very useful when transcribing an interview quickly and accurately, especially if you’re working to a tight deadline – and of course it’s essential for court reporting."

MA Journalism Student Gianni

Gianni Mastrangioli

As an international student, Gianni has graduated from MA Journalism to work as a Press Officer for Edinburgh Trams and more recently as a Freelance Financial Journalist for a London-based magazine company.

"During my time on the MA Journalism course, I cannot stress enough how invaluable the help was from all the lecturers on the programme. Thanks to my studies at Edinburgh Napier, I was able to successfully transition from being a South American columnist to becoming a professional, UK based journalist. The thing I valued most was the friendliness and dedication shown by everyone, even at points where cultural differences may have been a barrier."

"Thanks to the MA Journalism course, I was able to find myself a job as a Press Officer for Edinburgh Trams. Likewise, I will start working as a Freelance Financial Journalist for a London-based magazine in 2022."