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Journalism

PgCert | PgDip | MSc
PgCert | PgDip | MSc Journalism

Robert Gordon University offers a MSc Journalism course, which focuses on the study of news and current affairs journalism in all its guises – from ‘traditional’ print, radio and TV coverage to the increasingly interactive approaches of news gathering and reporting to audiences of today’s online, digital and emerging multimedia platforms.

The MSc Journalism course covers everything from the study of news, reporting styles, interview techniques and media law to more technical aspects of producing newspapers, news websites and online magazines, and radio and TV news bulletins. You will develop an impressive portfolio of transferable skills, ranging from the ability to write lively, succinct copy to tight deadlines, to the confidence to pitch story ideas, design your own web pages and record, edit and produce your own broadcast and online news items.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date

September

Course Length

12 months

Stage 1

You will develop key skills in journalistic writing, interviewing and researching stories, underpinned by an in-depth understanding of journalistic ethics and UK and Scottish media law. You will develop an understanding of the social, economic and political roles of contemporary media and the role of the journalist in society.

Stage 2

You will continue to develop your specialist skills, in-depth knowledge and practical experience. You will present a written research proposal for submission, which will normally form the basis for the Masters Research Project. You will undertake a four-week fieldwork placement with a news or other media organisation at the end of the taught modules, giving you the chance to put your learning into practice.

Stage 3

The Research Project can take the form of either a traditional academic study, of 15,000 words, or a practical project, in the form of an extended piece or portfolio of journalism. Practical options include documentary-style films, videos or radio packages; print; online or multimedia portfolios or long-form investigations. You will work independently on your Research Project, under the guidance of a supervisor with academic and/or professional expertise in your chosen topic.

 

Modules

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information. 

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

You will learn through a range of delivery modes including lectures, seminars, workshops and practical-based activities. These comprise a mix of group study, discussion, simulation and presentations of findings by teams and individuals. The nature of the course is interactive: you’ll apply theory to practice, and consider a range of problems, issues and case studies, including live client projects.

We have strong links with industry and you will have the opportunity to visit local broadcasting and newspaper organisations, and hear from industry speakers throughout the course.

Access to our virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle, is also provided giving you access from home to learning materials (including videos, e-books and journals).

Activity Summary

  • Lectures - 10-20 students per group, 8 hours per week
  • Tutorials - 10-20 students per group, 4 hours per week
  • Practical class or workshop - 10-15 students per group, 4-6 hours per term
  • Independent study - 4-8 hours per week
  • External visits - student numbers vary per group, 1-2 hours per term
  • Placement / work based learning - 1 student per group, 4 weeks in term 2

How long is a Journalism course?

The Journalism MSc can be successfully completed within 12 months.

Independent Study

The course requires you to become independent 'open learners' and take responsibility for when, where and how your learning occurs. You will spend approximately 4-8 hours per week working on your own, undertaking prescribed reading, preparing for group activities and researching and writing course reports.

Assessment

Typically students are assessed each year:

  • 4 written assignments, including essay
  • 1 report
  • 3 portfolios
  • 1 research project

Feedback

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

Staff delivering on this course

Academic staff who teach on this course come from a range of professional backgrounds within the print, broadcast and online journalism and broader communication sectors, and have links with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). Their combination of prior industry experience and ongoing contacts with leading professionals ensures that teaching is professionally relevant. 

You will have opportunities to learn direct from industry professionals – through everything from guest lectures, workshops and masterclasses led by editors and specialist journalists to external visits to real-world newsrooms. Recent guest speakers have included Professor Brian Cathcart, the founder of media reform campaign group Hacked Off and former deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday; Chris Mason, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Any Questions and co-host of its Newcast podcast; Kerry Buist, former campaign manager for the People's Vote Scotland and Conservative Party special adviser; BBC investigative journalist Mark Daly and veteran BBC producer and journalist Sandy Bremner.

 

Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

 

Placements

At the end of Term 2, you will undertake a compulsory unpaid four-week placement, which will enable you to put into practice the theories and skills you have learned during the course. The placement will enhance your newsgathering, reporting and production skills, by giving you the opportunity to work side by side with professionals, write to deadlines for print, broadcast and the web, and gain a more rounded and in-depth overall feel for what a career in journalism entails.

Organisations that have previously hosted placements include BBC Sport, The Herald, The Scotsman, STV, Northsound, DC Thomson in Dundee, and Aberdeen’s Evening Express newspaper.

Job Prospects

The expanding global communications industry provides excellent career opportunities for those who are equipped with a broad range of technological, creative and transferable communication skills.

This course provides you with both the academic and professional knowledge and skills required to work successfully in the journalism profession or a wide range of alternative media-based roles. We will prepare you to become an accomplished journalist who can make sense of fast-moving situations and research and report stories accurately, ethically and impartially.

Is Journalism a good career choice?

Opportunities exist in broadcasting organisations such as:

  • BBC
  • STV
  • Northsound
  • Original FM

Graduates have secured employment at an array of news outlets, from local DC Thomson-owned newspapers the Aberdeen Press and Journal and Evening Express to the Perthshire Advertiser and Original FM. One student gained valuable experience at BBC Sports in Salford and covered the 2016 Rio Olympics and Wimbledon. Others have reached executive positions in the wider communications field, including Edrington Group and global PR agency Weber Shandwick.

 

WHAT IS NEEDED FOR AN MSC IN JOURNALISM?

  • Applicants normally hold a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree or its equivalent in any subject area.
  • Applicants with a lower degree classification and / or relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact admissions@rgu.ac.uk for further information.

 

Tuition fees for this MSc Journalism course are as follows:

For Academic Year 2021/2022

Full time

  • UK Students - £6,000 entire course
  • EU Students - £6,000 entire course
  • International Students - £13,720 entire course

For Academic Year 2020/2021

  • UK/EU Students - £6,000 entire course
  • International Students - £13,720 entire course

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and living costs
  • Printing
  • Some small travel costs may be incurred if filming/interviewing on location in and around Aberdeen is required.

Disclaimer

For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter. For further information see:

Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

 

Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

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