MA Journalism

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Train to become a journalist with this intensive, practical course that combines traditional methods and developing technologies to meet the demands of a multimedia industry.

  • Napier code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    1 year

  • Award:


  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

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.

Journalism MA

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.

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.

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 also have a partnership with STV to deliver local TV.

Subjects include


  • Radio Bulletins
  • Media Law for Journalists
  • New Writing
  • TV and Multimedia News
  • Journalism, Information & Society
  • Magazine Publishing


  • Major Project

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

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

We have a high success rate for placing our graduates in jobs. You may find work as a:

  • reporter
  • editor
  • press officer
  • feature writer
  • commentator
  • production worker in broadcast, print or online

Recent graduates have gained full-time work across media platforms. The industry placement you'll undertake as part of your course is particularly valuable for making contacts and can often lead to an offer of employment. Placements are a vital opportunity to gain industry experience and show editors and potential employers what you can do.

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. 

English language requirements

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

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Home/EU £6,630 £6,850
Overseas £14,130 £14,550

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Dissertation ( JAC11106 )

The module comprises a taught programme in trimester 2, which covers advanced literature reviewing, framing and generating research questions, methodological issues (including reflexivity), qualitative research methods, critical analysis, scholarly writing and presentation. Students undertake independent study under supervision to produce a 15 000-word dissertation on a topic appropriate to the student's programme of study (Trimester 2).

Further information

Journalism Production Dissertation ( JAC11134 )

The Journalistic Production Dissertation needs a strong subject, one that sells to editors and publishers as a work destined for prime airtime or publication. The Journalism Production Dissertation 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 substantial literature review of 9000 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 6,000 words. Students can find examples of broadcast equivalents for this word-count volume in the Production Dissertation 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

Media Law for Journalists ( JAC11132 )

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

Public Affairs ( JAC11136 )

This module will cover the reporting requirements in the UK of covering elections, political events and meetings, sourcing stories and quotes from government departments and non-governmental organisations such as charities and lobby groups. A journalist’s view of the political process, tiers of government and devolved governments will be covered in the module. It will set out the social, economic and political factors which both create news and frame the news. Newsgathering for issue-based social policy and human rights stories will be studied as well as the challenges of working on an international story. The role of the journalist in the parliamentary lobbying system will be looked at. Examples of best practice in campaigning and investigative journalism will be deconstructed to understand the construction of the story. The interplay of the roles of the reporter as messenger, informant, interpreter, gatekeeper, investigator and campaigner will be looked at in each aspect of public affairs. A visit to the Scottish parliament will help to scope the journalism practices of reporting social, economic and political stories and identify key journalists and reporting trends in each of these areas.

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.