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Magazine Journalism MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2016
Part time 2 years September 2016

Choose Kingston's Magazine Journalism MA

This course is designed to give those aspiring to work in this burgeoning sector the best possible start on the road to success. It addresses subjects such as writing, subediting, production and design techniques, research skills and how to generate lively, interactive content for the web.

Key features

  • Our tutors are practising journalists with a range of experience. You will also benefit from guest speakers from national magazines and newspapers in both print and online. Past speakers have included Guardian feature writers Simon Hattenstone and Decca Aitkenhead; Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan UK; Luke Lewis, editor of NME.com; campaigning journalist John Pilger; and Jon Snow of Channel 4 News.
  • We have a successful partnership with Haymarket Network, the award-winning customer publishing division of the largest private magazine publisher in the UK, providing the opportunity to compete for Haymarket fellowships annually.
  • You can choose to study this course in combination with Publishing.

What will you study?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars and practical workshops focusing on hands-on activities, such as writing, interviewing, subediting, magazine production, blogging, and writing and uploading copy for the web. In collaboration with other students, you will produce a magazine (print and online), and will undertake at least one placement on a published title.

You will also have the opportunity to study feature writing, design and production, journalism practices and the business of magazines. Finally, you will carry out a 12–15,000-word dissertation or a related practical project.

Assessment

Articles, features, news, portfolios, case studies, presentations, essays, dissertation and work-based learning.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This module aims to provide students with the practical skills necessary to work as successful journalists, underpinned by an understanding of the constraints and tensions inherent in magazine offices, and online operations developing in a changing industry. Students will examine the structure of this fast-expanding sector, with a particular emphasis on the role played by freelance journalists and production staff in generating content.

    Students will have the opportunity to acquire the core skills for producing online and print publications which will include the use of social media/analytics/branding/research and interview techniques. They will be equipped with multimedia reporting, production and design skills in demand in the journalism industry and will be confident about telling stories through video and audio as well as the written word.

    The module offers valuable opportunities for students to work together to produce and run their own group website, and magazine, developing their teamwork skills and experiencing the reality of different job roles in a multimedia operation. This classroom experience will provide a valuable introduction to the two-week work placement all students will be required to undertake as part of the module.

     
  • Whatever the type of magazine – from quality Sunday paper supplements to women’s lifestyle monthlies – features dominate content. Though they take many forms – from the in-depth news backgrounder on the political issue of the day to the picture-led lifestyle piece – features demand similar core journalistic skills as well as a great deal of creativity and flair. 

    This module encourages students to look critically at feature writing in all its forms and to analyse exactly what makes a great feature. By reading and analysing features, the aspiring journalist can appreciate the characteristics of a good feature and learn what works and what doesn’t. The module will introduce students to the core skills all good feature writers need and help them develop and hone those skills. Students will learn how to generate winning ideas and research those ideas cleverly and exhaustively. They will learn how to identify key interviewees and interview with purpose and intelligence to produce strong quotes while keeping their peg and angle in mind. They will also study how successful feature writers manage to file sparkling and arresting copy rather than dull, run-of-the-mill prose and learn how to hone their own writing skills, edit and polish to a deadline and develop their own style.

     Students will analyse the characteristics of the various features genres and then write within those genres producing, for example, their own reviews, interviews and backgrounders. Students will be asked to consider the audience and its influence on what and how they write. They will be shown how to successfully pitch ideas to publications and encouraged to pitch for real during the course, aiming for wider publication of the work they produce in class and in their own study time.

     
  • This core year-long module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the changing journalism industry, the legal and regulatory structure within which journalists now operate and the new post-Leveson ethical landscape. As tried and tested print journalism businesses struggle to compete against the internet and public confidence in journalists plummets to new lows following exposure of tabloid excesses at the Leveson enquiry, students will be invited to examine and debate the direction and future of journalism, using this context to underpin their professional development as journalists and prepare them for jobs in the industry.  The module will make extensive use of up-to-date examples and the emphasis will be on practical application of legal knowledge and ethical responsibility in the newsroom. This will be informed by exploration and understanding of a developing body of academic work in journalism studies.

     
  • This module is designed to allow students to undertake a substantial piece of academic work, giving them the opportunity to frame questions in an area of study which interests them, then devise and carry out appropriate primary and secondary research to enable them to explore these questions.

     
  • This module is designed for students to carry out research whilst undertaking an internship within a media organisation or whilst carrying out journalistic activities such as pitching and writing freelance articles. It offers the opportunity to produce material for a portfolio related to this work. Students will work independently to conceive, plan and implement a work-related project achievable within a set timeframe. They will be given support to identify a suitable project and to decide on methods of analysis, research and production. The curriculum will be devoted to
    the students’ own subject area and research into their chosen area of study. It will examine how engagement with leading-edge theory can be translated into best practice in the workplace.

     

Optional modules

  • Teeline shorthand is taught as part of the MA journalism courses. The training is carried out using official Teeline textbooks and a teacher of longstanding experience. There are two courses – one in each semester. The semester one course, which runs from October-December, is for beginners and takes students to 60-80wpm. The semester two course builds on this knowledge and takes students who can already transcribe a shorthand note at 60wpm to speeds of 100-120wpm.

    Teeline is a shorthand system which depends on a combination of written outlines that are derived mainly from consonants. It is a useful skill in all areas of journalistic practice because it: aids accuracy; builds confidence in students' own professionalism; generates trust with interviewees and increases the speed and efficiency of  reporting. It also widens students' career opportunities.

     
  • This highly practical module will allow students to explore in depth and actively engage with the world of business journalism. This course will encourage students to develop their researching, writing and reporting skills to allow them to write professional news, interviews and features for the specialist and national press.

    Students will learn how to read balance sheets to take the financial health of companies and institutions. They will learn how to use databases and statistics, to find stories about the health of the economy, and assess the role of big business in the economic and political spheres.

    Students will come to understand important economic and financial terms and trends (for example GDP, balance of payments, stockmarket indices, house price indices, retail price indices) and use these to put business stories in context.

    Students will use their new found skills in analysing data to dig behind the statistics and find real stories about corporate activity or wrong-doing, and analyse the use and misuse of private and public funds.

    Students will demonstrate their skills in a second semester original, independent business journalism project.

    At the heart of the course, students will engage with on-going ethical debates about relationships between business and financial journalists and their sources, and the boundaries such journalists need to observe under the Press Complaints Commission and other professional codes of practice.

     
  • This highly practical module allows students to explore in depth and actively engage with the world of fashion journalism. Students will develop their researching, writing and reporting skills to allow them to write professional fashion news, catwalk and trend reports, interviews and features for specialist fashion and mainstream press and websites. They will also explore different fashion forums and build a range of digital skills such as blogging, vlogging and social media networking. They will learn about editorial styling – putting together shopping pages, makeovers and get-the-look pieces – and gain an understanding of main fashion and photoshoots. They will apply their newly-gained skills to the production of a portfolio of cutting-edge fashion journalism.

    The practices of fashion journalism will be placed in a context throughout the module. Through a series of lectures and in-class discussions students will gain insight into the fashion industry and how it works: the designers, brands, seasons and how clothes are made. They will acquire an appreciation of the fashion industry’s relationship with the media, the role and function of fashion PR, and the historical, cultural and global economic issues which fashion journalists must understand.

    Students will demonstrate their skills and knowledge in an original, independent fashion journalism project.

     
  • This module offers an introduction to and broad experience of sports journalism. It is a practical course aimed at helping students to develop their writing and reporting skills to produce professional sports copy, including deadline-driven match reports, running copy, interviews, sports news stories, profiles, factboxes, comment, analysis and newspaper/multi-media sports packages. It also aims to help students understand the context and pressures under which sports journalism is produced in the modern media.
    Workshops, alongside live reporting assignments, will be used to explain concepts and develop skills. During project work in the second half of the module, students will produce a publishable sports package. Guidance will be offered though seminars and tutorials.

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

For further information

Postgraduate admissions administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2361
Email us

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

For further information

Postgraduate admissions administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2361
Email us

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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