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Journalism MFA: Who teaches this course

About the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

FASS FacultyThis course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

As a student on this course, you will benefit from a lively study environment, thanks to the wide range of postgraduate courses on offer.

The Faculty provides a vibrant and forward-thinking environment for study with:

  • courses designed in collaboration with industry professionals – keeping you up to date with the latest developments;
  • established connections with the London arts and media scene – with a range of guest speakers, professors and lecturers visiting the University; and
  • committed and enthusiastic staff – many of whom are expert practitioners as well as leading academics and researchers.

The Faculty's combination of academics and practitioners makes it a unique environment in which to further your studies and your career.

Where is the Faculty based? Most students are based at the University's Penrhyn Road campus, with our music courses taught at the Kingston Hill campus.

Staff teaching on this course

Our staff

All our tutors are practising journalists with a wide range of experience in newspapers, magazines and online.

Mary Braid, Senior lecturer in journalism

In 11 years at the Independent as reporter, feature writer and Africa correspondent, Mary Braid covered everything from the tragedy at Dunblane to the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. She started her career as a Thomson trainee and worked papers in Scotland before she got her break. Since leaving the Independent she has written for a wide range of publications and studied for a degree in psychology. Mary is currently working on her PhD on news media representations of adoption.

Beth Brewster - Head of Department, Journalism and Publishing

The director of studies for journalism, Beth Brewster, runs the department and is probably the member of staff most students get to know best. Before turning to university teaching a few years ago, she was a feature writer and editor on both magazines and newspapers, working mainly at the Observer but also at the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Mirror (where she launched the Sunday Mirror magazine), as well as for publications in the arts and heritage world. Outside journalism her many accomplishments include a book about Victorian art and a BBC television screenplay. Beth says: "The thing that thrills me the most is when I watch students grow in confidence, when I see them ready not only for success in life but also geared up with the skills and critical ability to be better journalists. That's a great buzz."

Brian Cathcart, Professor of journalism

In almost 30 years in journalism, Professor Brian Cathcart has been a foreign correspondent, book reviewer, sub-editor, defence correspondent, leader writer, sports writer, investigative reporter, award-winning author and much else besides. After starting at Reuters international news agency, he joined the Independent when it launched, rose to be deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday and went on as a freelancer to contribute articles to everything from the Financial Times to The Big Issue. Today he writes the weekly media commentary in the New Statesman magazine. Brian teaches at all three levels in the Journalism BA(Hons). "People sometimes ask whether good journalists are born or taught," he says. "I tend to reply that the best journalists never stop learning and the worst are the ones who think they know it all." Brian's best-known book is The Case of Stephen Lawrence.

Sara McConnell, Senior lecturer in journalism

Sara McConnell is another award-winner, both as an author and as a journalist in the field of property and personal finance. She has worked chiefly for the Times and Times Online, but also for the London Evening Standard, the Guardian and Channel 4. She has been both a freelance writer and an editor and lately has been involved in developing and editing Times Online's student and education pages. Her most recent book is Moving In – Buying, Selling and Renting Your Home. "It has been great to be closely involved in the development of online journalism in Britain," she says, "but though it is bringing big changes, all my experience tells me that the essential skills for online and print are the same."

James Morrison

James Morrison is a former arts and media correspondent of the Independent on Sunday (where he was short-listed for a British Press Award) and has also worked at the Daily Mail and the national news agency, the Press Association. A seasoned journalism teacher, he has been course leader of four National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) diplomas, works as a media trainer for the Periodical Publishers' Association and the British Council, and is a member of the NCTJ's public affairs exam board. Alongside his lecturing he continues to write for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday and The Literary Review. "One of the great things about journalism is its sheer variety," he says. "You never know what's round the corner - and that makes it a more exciting career than most."

Dan Townend, Associate professor in journalism

Having worked as a news editor at the Daily Mail and Daily Express, Dan Townend knows the very sharp end of tabloid journalism. He was also associate editor of The Sportsman and has worked as a reporter and news editor for two of the country's biggest news agencies. Dan, who runs the journalism department's newspaper, The River, says: "Hard news is the heartbeat of newspapers and a grounding in news reporting is the best training any young journalist can get."

Lucy Smy

Lucy Smy is the course director of the Kingston MA in journalism. During her 14 years at the Financial Times, Lucy Smy has edited or written for almost every section of the newspaper. She started work at the FT as a night sub-editor, while studying part-time during the day for her masters degree. She then moved to the world desk, first sub-editing and designing pages, then becoming a news editor. She has reported from Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. She finally moved to the 'engine room' of the paper as a companies news reporter. Lucy was at the FT as it made its first moves towards successfully integrating its print and online operations. At Kingston, Lucy runs the online news operation RiverOnline, and teaches business journalism. She continues to write freelance articles for the FT.

Maurice Walsh

Maurice Walsh has an encyclopaedic CV as both foreign correspondent and academic. As a journalist, he has worked for the Irish Times, as a Central American correspondent for the Guardian, and as a BBC reporter in Zimbabwe, Chile and numerous other Latin American countries. He has also written for the New Statesman and the London Review of Books, and has an essay, 'The Lost Priests of Ireland', appearing in Granta shortly. As an academic, Maurice has served as a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, and in 2006 obtained a PhD from Goldsmiths College for a thesis on foreign correspondents and the Irish Revolution.

Andy Beckett (Journalist in Residence)

Andy Beckett has been a feature writer for the Guardian since 1997. He studied modern history at Oxford and journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2003, for his first book Pinochet in Piccadilly: Britain and Chile's Hidden History, he was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. In 2009 he published the widely-acclaimed When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies. He has also written for the Independent on Sunday, the Economist, the London Review of Books, Prospect, the New Statesman and the New York Times magazine.

Clare Lovell, Senior lecturer in journalism

Clare's career encompasses periods as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Brussels and Lisbon, where she was made bureau chief, and more recent stints as a sports reporter covering Chelsea and the Olympics. In addition to her long tenure at Reuters, Clare has worked as a freelancer for the Observer, the Economist, the New Statesman, and the Times Educational Supplement and currently runs a sports journalism module at Kingston University.

Dominic Ponsford (Journalist in Residence)

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford has also joined as a journalist-in-residence. As the steady hand that has steered the tiller of Britain's foremost 'journalist's journal' for the past three years, and before that as its chief reporter and news editor, Dominic has an industry contacts book that's second to none. He also understands more than most the intricacies and implications of the ongoing structural transformation of the UK media in recent times. Before joining Press Gazette, Dominic followed the classic newspaper reporter career path - obtaining his NCTJ newspaper journalism certificate and working for a succession of local papers, including the Swindon Evening Advertiser.

Adam Westbrook (Journalist in Residence)

A highly experienced photo and video journalist, and a sophisticated user of Facebook, Twitter and other social media for journalistic ends, Adam Westbrook is at the cutting edge of the multimedia revolution in journalism. Having cut his teeth on an internship with CNN International at the height of the Iraq War, he now boasts Britain's third most-read journalism blog and is the founder of the UK Future of News Group, a community of journalists, academics, and entrepreneurs interested in the future of journalism in the digital age. In addition to being a journalist-in-residence at Kingston, Adam continues to work as a freelance newsreader and broadcast journalist for several independent radio stations, including Oxford's FM107.9, Touch Radio, and Viking FM. The modules on which he teaches include the undergraduate Video and Photo Journalism option. Adam's blog can be read at

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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NCTJ logoAt Stage 1, the Journalism MA is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
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