MA Journalism

Postgraduate, Full-time

Journalism MA

We equip graduates with the expertise to work across journalistic platforms to meet the demands of a multimedia industry


This course offers a dynamic, practice-focused multimedia programme closely linked to industry. We combine traditional methods with new and developing technologies to train you in multimedia journalism.

You'll learn a range of practical skills and leave with reporting and production expertise for print, online, magazine, television and radio. You'll also develop an understanding of social media and convergence issues.

You'll learn through practical experience, both in our news rooms and on an industry placement, and we also support you in getting your work published and broadcast.

Recent graduates have gone onto work at ITN, STV, BBC and magazines and newspapers across the UK and abroad.

To ensure there is sufficient time to process your application, we encourage you to submit your application by 31st July.

The course lead Simon Pia can be contacted with any questions at

Students working in the Broadcast Newsroom at Merchiston Campus

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 year

Start date:




About you
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Course details

You’ll have a passion for news and an interest in the media, plus an instinct to find and tell stories. We develop your skills to make sense of fast-moving situations and meet deadlines, while reporting a story accurately, simply and eloquently with honesty, integrity and creativity. 

Our broadcast studios and multimedia newsrooms provide an industry setting, allowing you to experience life as a journalist and develop practical skills. You’ll gain a firm understanding of media law, ethics and regulations. You’ll also develop your analytical and critical skills and writing, communication and research techniques.

You'll benefit from studying in a dynamic city that is home to many creative industries. You’ll make use of Edinburgh as a political, economic and cultural centre, providing a rich source of stories and settings for your work. Guest lectures and work placements help you develop your industry contacts, allowing you to have work published/broadcast before you leave. 

We've used our 40 years’ experience of teaching journalism to shape this degree into one of the most modern journalism courses available.

Our curriculum is developed with employers and industry contacts. We have a record of close links with BBC Scotland and STV.

Subjects include:
  • Radio Bulletins
  • Media Law and Regulation for Journalists
  • New Writing
  • TV and Multimedia News
  • Journalism, Information & Society
  • Magazine Publishing
  • Major Project

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This is a one year full-time course, starting in September, and is split up into three trimesters. You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, specialist workshops in our newsrooms and studios and independent study.

    The course is taught by a team of media professionals working across a range of multimedia platforms: Allan Boughey, writer and digital consultant; James Blake, who works for Channel 4 and STV; Simon Pia, who has worked for BBC, STV, Sky and Al Jazeera; Clare Trodden, media consultant for print and online magazines and writes for a selection of titles; Aleksandar Kocic, BBC radio producer; and Professor Alistair Duff, international expert in FOI and intellectual copyright.

  • note and pen Assessments

    You will be continuously assessed throughout the academic and journalistic assessment, such as live news days, debates, court reports, podcasts, and pitching to commissioning editors.

  • briefcase Work placement

    Work placements help you develop your industry contacts, allowing you to have work published/broadcast before you leave.

  • study abroad Study abroad

    There are no formal opportunities to study abroad however students have completed major projects overseas, recently including India, Africa, the USA and across continental Europe.

  • library Facilities

    Our Merchiston campus, situated in the heart of Edinburgh, is home to creative industries, engineering and computing students. We have excellent facilities including a recently upgraded newsroom, TV and radio studio.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Journalism Major Project ( JAC11137 )

The Journalism Major Project needs a strong subject, one that sells to editors and publishers as a work destined for prime airtime or publication.
The Journalism Major Project gives you the chance to mobilise the skills and academic understanding you have acquired on the taught part of the programme to produce a journalistic artefact or series of artefacts of publishable and/or broadcast quality which is to be accompanied by a professional pitch, with accompanying documentation and a critically reflective essay of 4000 words.,
The artefact / series of artefacts produced by journalism students must represent a substantial piece of original investigative research which can be dealt with through print-, broadcast-, online-journalism of a high-quality professional standard. The total volume of this journalistic artefact / series of artefacts will be equivalent to 7,500 words, technical equivalents (for broadcast, or work presented in InDesign etc) for this word-count volume can be found in the Journalism Major Project Handbook.

Further information

Journalism, Information and Society ( JAC11131 )

The journalist as reflective practitioner; the research base; information as commodity and natural resource; the information society and its critics; the contribution of Daniel Bell; the journalism of information; freedom of information (FOI), local and international; democracy and the fourth and fifth estates; opinion columns and punditry; Walter Lippmann as exemplar; freedom of the press; the idea of the public sphere; Jurgen Habermas and the theory of communicative action; the nature of power/knowledge; Michel Foucault; the political economy of communication and information; the agenda-setting research tradition; news value paradigms; information and media policy issues; information poverty and inequality; copyright and intellectual property; privacy and surveillance; censorship and its viability in an age of information; the press and the secret state; specialist fields, such as sports journalism and science journalism; international institutions and challenges; social justice and ethical issues; emergent media; forecasting and the study of the future; associated research topics as they arise.

Further information

Magazine Production ( JAC11139 )

The module will require you to think like a potential magazine publisher or editor: you will critically examine the range of magazines available and their routes to market, as well as investigating the various approaches and styles they adopt in order to appeal to a particular target readership. You will then apply this analysis to the creation of a new publication: learning, drawing upon and practicing a range of editorial and design skills to produce your own magazine.

Further information

Media Law and Regulation ( JAC11138 )

The module will cover libel, defamation, copyright, criminal and civil courts, criminal procedure, reporting of minors, reporting of sexual crimes and contempt of court. The module gives a basis of a legal understanding for student journalists. The principles of court reporting are also covered, including reporting restrictions.

Further information

News Writing ( JAC11119 )

This module will introduce you to the art of finding original news and feature stories, developing good angles, and being aware of your audience for print and online outlets. Core values of accuracy, attribution, impartiality and balance will be covered alongside ethical and legal awareness. Besides sourcing up to date stories and conducting interviews, you will refine your writing skills and submit tight copy to deadlines with crisp leads and engaging headlines. You will develop an awareness and understanding of all aspects of news reporting.

Further information

Radio Bulletins ( JAC11135 )

This module will enable students to realise stories and ideas through to completion of audio packages – for broadcast and online. Students will research stories and find contributors, record on location and understand the processes and paperwork required of a broadcast journalist including risk assessment and interview techniques. Students will be taught to use audio recorders, scripting, interview techniques and editing. There will also be voice coaching and presentation training essential for all broadcast journalists. This module will introduce students to terminology used in specific broadcast environments and students will expand their critical understanding of radio news values and agendas.

Further information

TV and Multimedia News ( JAC11133 )

This module develops story telling techniques for broadcast and online, with emphasis on devising creative treatments and maintaining audience focus. This includes the skills required to find and produce pre-recorded material, and also how to construct bulletins and longer programmes. As a result, students will learn practical camera and editing techniques crucial for any modern converged journalist. The module also develops an understanding of TV studio production, incorporating presenting styles and live interviewing techniques. News-days enable students to learn in a simulated work environment, where deadlines for regular bulletins and extended news programmes must be met. The module is closely linked to the industry and mirrors real industry workflows. This module ensures students understand industry demands and pressures with a deep knowledge of how newsrooms and studios operate, and continue to change. There is extensive discussion and critical assessment of contemporary issues such as ethics and media convergence. It is essential students appreciate how magazine journalism is also changing and converging with all platforms (tv, radio and online).

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:1 or above in any discipline. We look for applicants to have relevant work experience with demonstrable interest in Journalism in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

For applicants who meet the academic criteria, you will need to submit a portfolio with your application. The portfolio could include anything from articles (published or unpublished), a detailed outline of what you did on a placement, links to a video or audio clip or links to your own blog or website.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test.  The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of 6.5 with no individual component score of less than 6.0.  For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult or Mental Health)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £7,635 tba
Overseas and EU £16,875 tba

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


  • Reporter
  • Commentator
  • News Editor
  • Digital Editor
  • Feature writer
  • Political correspondent
  • Producer for broadcast and online
Student with headphones at computer working on an audio project