M.A. Journalism Studies

Bournemouth University

Application deadline: There is no formal deadline to apply but we encourage you to apply as soon as possible
Tuition fee:
  • £ 7,500 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 13,000 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time
More information: Go to university website

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Description

This MA course in Journalism Studies aims to develop postgraduates who can critically explore the ways in which new media forms and practices are facilitating a transformational shift in news and journalism. Of particular interest is the impact the internet is having on the news industry, with relevant issues including:

  • The emergence of innovative strategies of news gathering, distribution and presentation;
  • Efforts to secure new business models;
  • Changing patterns in news consumption;
  • Challenges for government policy-making and regulation;
  • And the rise of collaborative, citizen-based approaches to news reporting, amongst many others.

Key debates concerning topics such as citizen journalism, blogging and social media will be explored in a diverse range of contexts, such as environmental, war, conflict and crisis reporting.

You will be encouraged to develop critical perspectives, enabling you to re-invigorate traditional thinking about news and journalism. You will be equipped with an understanding of how to carry out research enquiries into topics relevant to your interests.

In addition, you will consider how new types of journalism can be developed to foster renewed civic engagement among citizens, empowering you to take action on issues of local, regional and/or global concern.

What makes this journalism course different?

  • Study online news and journalism through a focus on research
  • Specialist units include: New Media Innovation; Social Media & Citizen Journalism; Environment, Conflict & Crisis News; Researching Journalism & the Internet (for further details, please take a look at our Course Content page)
  • Specialist topics covered include: online journalism, social media and blogging, converged newsrooms and changing journalism practice, user-generated content and participatory journalism, new media ethics, data journalism, crowdsourcing, interactivity, mashups, digital magazines, and mobile news
  • Students benefit from research-led teaching, in addition to top speakers from across the media industry who deliver talks and lectures on a regular basis.

Where could this journalism course lead?

Graduates from this course would be able to consider future careers as:

  • Computer-aided researcher and investigator
  • Social media and digital communication specialist
  • Civic media strategist
  • Communication and research officer for government and non-government organisations
  • Further research in academia (e.g. MPhil or PhD).

Who should do this course?

  • Graduates from a wide variety of disciplines seeking to develop research interest in news and journalism
  • Graduates with a Lower Second Class Honours degree or comparable professional qualifications (2:2)
  • Journalists and related media professionals who wish to update their knowledge and / or pursue careers in research
  • People with relevant experience from NGO or government organisations
  • Enquiries from non-standard applicants with relevant professional experience are invited, and will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

Contents

Semester One

Journalism in Global Contexts (Core Subject)

This unit aims to explore journalism in global contexts, seeking to provide insights into the issues relating to the gathering and dissemination of news in – and for – varied news cultures. Students will be challenged to debate the ethical, political, social and cultural dimensions involved in journalism products for national and transnational audiences. The purpose is to prepare students to assess journalism in today’s predominantly digital media environment.

Researching Journalism & the Internet (Core Subject)

The unit aims to provide you with a critical understanding of key issues in journalism and the internet, as well as with the methodological frameworks and scholarly skills required to research those issues. The key technological, political, social, economic, cultural and ethical implications of the internet for journalism will be used as the starting point from which you will be able to draw and link ideas, identify relevant scholarship, generate research questions and hypotheses and design a research project. A range of research methods will be introduced, putting particular emphasis on emerging techniques for the study of journalism in a globalised and online environment.

Hence, the purpose of this unit is to enable you to formulate topical research questions, choose appropriate conceptual and methodological tools and produce a research proposal that they can then use for your final research project or dissertation.

Plus one other subject, such as:-

Social Media and Citizen Journalism

This unit aims to provide you with a critical and systematic understanding of issues and debates relating to citizen journalism and social reporting.

You will examine how ordinary citizens, activists, grassroots and social movements are increasingly taking on the roles of journalists by utilising online and mobile communications in a spontaneous or bottom-up way to help report or make sense of challenges facing them.

When used in this way, participatory media such as blogs, wikis and social networks can be a democratising force and help empower citizens. Within this context, the role and purpose of traditional forms of mass media, what counts as ‘public service’ and who provides this in an online environment is subject of exploration.

However, you will also study sinister use of new media, as applied in repression of peoples across the globe – including propaganda, surveillance, totalitarianism, discrimination and mobilisation of violence.

Semester Two

Applied Research Project (Core Subject)

You will undertake an in-depth study of an aspect of journalism to be agreed with your supervisor. This will involve extensive data collection which may be based off campus, for example developing a case study of a newsroom, or a research project. You will be putting into practice the skills and methodological understandings developed in the first semester unit, Researching Journalism and the Internet, and applying them to a real-life situation. The unit is intended to be developed through independent study, aided by the oversight of a supervisor. The insights you gain may help form a foundation for your Dissertation in semester three.

Plus two other subjects, such as:-

New Media Innovation

This unit aims to explore areas where journalism and new media intersect. Focus will be on how new media innovation facilitates different forms and practices for news production, distribution, consumption and interaction. You will critically engage with key issues and debates facing a networked media landscape, where audiences as passive consumers make way for collaborative reporting, crowdsourcing.

Ways in which new media can complement and enhance existing journalistic processes will be at the forefront – including data journalism, increased transparency and accountability, as well as mobile news applications and augmented reality.

This unit also aims to equip you with an understanding of how to undertake developing online civic media projects for journalistic purposes.

However, you will also study sinister use of new media, as applied in repression of peoples across the globe – including propaganda, surveillance, totalitarianism, discrimination and mobilisation of violence.

Environment, Conflict & Crisis News

This unit aims to explore the ‘journalisms of crises’ – specifically, environmental disasters, war, terrorism and other conflict situations that are an integral part of the media coverage. It will provide insights into the ways in which journalists report such news, the constraints they work under, and the potential influence their reportage could have on the crisis concerned. The intention is to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and essential journalistic skills required to function in an informed, self-reflexive and safe manner in crisis situations.

Other optional subjects may be added according to course development.

Semester Three

Dissertation

You will undertake a self-conceived piece of independent research and produce an extended essay under the guidance of a nominated supervisor.

The unit aims to allow you to critically explore key issues and debates in journalism studies and allows you to develop a more specialised understanding in an area of your choice.

You will critically explore the relationship between journalistic practice and digital technologies. The unit not only enables you to integrate, synthesise and extend the skills and knowledge so far acquired on the course but also acts as evidence of the extent to which you have met intellectual, technical and personal skills demanded of a Master’s graduate.

Subject to approval by nominated supervisor, this unit may be taken as distance learning.

Assessment

Knowledge and understanding, intellectual skills, subject skills and transferable skills are assessed for all outcomes through coursework, and exams where appropriate. Coursework includes practical tasks, essays, and longer independent projects, and a Dissertation. Sometimes work is assessed within groups.

Research Group Seminars

Students are also invited to attend our regular Journalism Research Group seminars, where scholars from Bournemouth University and prominent guest speakers present emerging research.

Requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A good Bachelors Honours degree (2:2 or above or equivalent - all subjects considered.
  • For applicants for whom English is not their first language, there is a requirement of IELTS (Academic) 7.0 overall or equivalent with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components. Please see the International Students tab within Entry Requirements for further information.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience.

Preferred subjects

  • Applications are welcomed from graduates of a wide range of disciplines seeking to study issues and debates surrounding journalism and new media.
  • The course is particularly aimed at students interested in pursuing research, whether in academia, industry, government or NGOs.
  • The course is also aimed at current or future journalists who wish to updated their knowledge of the way the profession is evolving in the digital era.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

60 (Grade C)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Funding

For fees and funding information, please visit our website.

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