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Kingston University is ranked No 1 in London for journalism, publishing and public relations (Guardian University Guide League tables 2020).
Do you aspire to work on magazines? This course will give you 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.
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
Our tutors are practising journalists who share their wide range of experience. This course also features guest speakers from national magazines and newspapers in both print and online. Past speakers have included Rachel Rodriguez – social media producer at CNN International, Zing Tsjeng – UK editor of the feminist channel Broadly, Guardian feature writer, Simon Hattenstone and Jon Snow of Channel 4 News.
Work placements, leading to job offers, have been at GQ, Grazia, Hello! and Spindle online. We have a successful partnership with Haymarket Network – the award-winning customer publishing division of the largest private magazine publisher in the UK. This offers the opportunity to work on joint projects, which have included programmes for the London Olympics.
In 2017 our MA Magazine Journalism students won a prestigious national Student Publication Award in the Best Newcomer magazine section for the Kingston University magazine, Woke (online). And in 2018 the student magazine Persist was shortlisted for the Best Design category. Persist (in 2018) and fellow student magazine Loudly (in 2019) were shortlisted for Best Magazine Design at the Student Publication Association Awards.
Our Magazine Journalism MA prepares you to work in the magazine industry. It gets you ready for anything you might come across: from writing features for a women's weekly or putting together a news story for a trade publication to making a video or building a brand. It offers detailed, hands-on grounding in core journalistic skills, including feature writing, news gathering and writing, design, production and media law. Context is provided through the study of the business of magazines, ethics and journalistic practices. You can choose to study shorthand as an optional extra.
You'll be expected to take five core modules, four of which are worth 30 credits each; the other one worth 60 credits. You can choose from three Specialist Journalism modules, but you must choose one. Altogether you'll need to complete 180 credits.
You can also study shorthand in order to assist with your NCTJ exams.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops covering writing, interviewing, subediting, magazine production, blogging, and writing and uploading copy for the web. You will produce a magazine (print and online), and undertake at least one placement on a published title.
You will also write a 12–15,000-word dissertation or carry out a related practical project.
This year-long module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the legal and regulatory structure within which journalists operate. In recent decades, the industry has changed significantly as it adapts to the opportunities and challenges of the internet age. You will be invited to examine and debate the direction and future of journalism, thinking about everything from legal restrictions on reporting to fake news to the public's perception of journalists.
As well as counting towards your MA, this module leads to the NCTJ's Essential Law and Ethics exams.
This module aims to provide you 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. You 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.
You 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. You 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 you to work together to produce and run your own group website, and magazine, developing your 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. This module encourages students to look critically at feature writing in all its forms and to analyse exactly what makes a great feature. You will learn how to generate winning ideas, research those ideas thoroughly, and turn that research into eye-catching copy. You will also learn how to pitch ideas to publications, and be encouraged to pitch for real during the course.
Students wishing to undertake a substantial piece of academic work can opt to take the dissertation module, which is carried out between May and September, after core teaching has finished. Once you have narrowed down your area of interest, you will be given a supervisor who will work individually with you to help you develop your ideas, frame a hypothesis and conduct appropriate primary and secondary research. The MA dissertation is a good bridge for any students wishing to pursue further study, at PhD level or beyond.
Students who wish to go straight into the workplace can opt to do a Practical Journalism Project module while they work, in lieu of a dissertation. This module includes a piece of academic research as well as a portfolio of journalism produced as a working journalist. You will also be asked to reflect on your practice, considering how you can learn from your experience and develop as a journalist. This module takes place between May and September, after core teaching has finished.
All students on the MA Journalism course study Teeline shorthand, and the module is also available to those studying MA Magazine Journalism. Shorthand is an extremely useful skill for journalists, and one prized by employers: it generates trust with interviewees and increases the speed and efficiency of reporting. You will be taught Teeline, which uses written outlines derived from consonants, by a teacher of longstanding experience; the aim is to reach a speed of 100 words per minute (wpm) by the end of the course.
Shorthand exams at 60, 80 and 100 wpm, count towards the NCTJ diploma.
In this module, you will build practical skills in searching for and developing original investigative stories from online datasets as well as learning how to make use of basic digital tools to visualise your findings in dynamic graphic formats. An understanding of the role and context of data journalism in the light of developments in online ‘data dumping' by ‘hacktivists' is paramount. You will consider accompanying changes to the role of the professional journalist as the traditional ‘gatekeeper' to news and information.
These are exciting times to be involved in data journalism and the module will equip you with the skills necessary for the newsroom and beyond.
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 will help you develop your writing and reporting skills to produce professional sports copy, including match reports, interviews, sports news stories, profiles and comment. You will also explore the context and pressures under which sports journalism is produced in the modern media. During project work in the second half of the module, you will produce a publishable sports package.
Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Tier 4 visa.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
There are always interesting activities taking place at Kingston and exciting opportunities to take advantage of. The Journalism department holds lunchtime lectures every Wednesday, delivered by accomplished professionals in their fields. Recent guest speakers include:
We normally expect candidates to have:
We normally invite candidates for an interview with the course director or another senior member of the team. Students who are based overseas can arrange for an interview by email or telephone.
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.5 in Writing and at least 5.5 in each other element. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
You will be taught and assessed through working on articles, features, news, portfolios, case studies, presentations, essays, dissertation and work-based learning.
When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.
Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.
At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.
11% of your time will be spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Type of teaching and learning
Assessment typically comprises exams and coursework (such as essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose.
Type of assessment
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 8 - 10 students and lecture sizes are normally 10 - 20. However this can vary by module and academic year.
This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art and you'll be based at Penrhyn Road campus for most of your teaching. It is a lively environment in which to further your studies and career, thanks to the wide range of courses and the combination of academics and practitioners.
The University provides:
Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:
The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) offers bursaries under its Journalism Diversity Fund to students applying for NCTJ-accredited courses who can demonstrate a commitment to journalism and who meet the fund's criteria.
Kingston graduates have been awarded full bursaries from the scheme to continue their postgraduate studies at the University.
The journalism department has a dedicated newsroom, fully equipped with dual-booting iMacs, professional newswires from Rex Images and the Press Association, 24-hour news channels and industry standard software such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro.
You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including the Learning Resource Centre. This offers:
Kingston is just a 30 minute train journey away from central London, where you will find the biggest concentration of press and publishing in the UK. This gives you the opportunity to undertake work experience in high-profile media environments.
The Magazine Journalism MA at Kingston has been an incredible and valuable experience that will without a doubt help me in my career as a journalist.
The module I was most excited to begin was Features Writing. Each assignment provided me with a new challenge, especially when it came to interviewing subjects. I also wrote features on the #MeToo movement and about the relationship between college students and on-campus police.
The module that had the most benefit to me was Creating Magazines: Content and Context. We took an in-depth look at magazines, understanding how each section works to build the magazine as a whole. I acted as editor, deputy editor, and art & pictures editor of our student magazine, Persist. Acting in those positions taught me even more about magazine journalism and was the most exciting part of the process.
Studying at Kingston University gave me a wealth of opportunities to learn about journalism through practice. I served as editor of our masters student-run magazine, which introduced me to all aspects of producing a publication: pitching, writing, editing, designing and more editing. Walking away with a magazine of which I was very proud made it all worth it. I've shown it to employers, who have been quite impressed with the quality of the work. But, for me, the highlight of the whole experience was winning an award from the Student Publication Association, naming our magazine a Highly Commendable Newcomer Publication.
As I enter the journalism industry, I won't serve as a magazine editor just yet. But I can aspire to that role. I have honed my skills and feel as though I have what it takes to succeed, thanks to the MA Magazine Journalism course.
Although I had a BA in English, I had no experience as a journalist before I started at Kingston. I decided on the Magazine Journalism MA because it seemed extremely practical. I felt it would prepare me for a career in the industry better than other courses.
Once I started the course I knew I had made the right choice. I loved learning from lecturers who also worked as journalists in the national press. Producing MOUTH with my peers offered real insight into what it takes to create a magazine.
The best part of the course for me was the month-long internship. I completed mine at Zest. Once I finished, I was offered a part-time position as a features assistant. And now, less than a year after graduation, I work at Zest full-time. Kingston definitely set me on the right track for what I hope will be a long and successful career as a journalist.
Studying an MA at Kingston is the perfect way to begin a career in the media. From features and news writing, to advertising knowledge, design experience and a focus on online experience, you will graduate well-equipped to apply for many more jobs than just being a news reporter.
Without that broad training, I couldn't have secured the three jobs I've had since graduating – staff writer at Haymarket Media Group, web shifts at the Daily Express and writing the Harrods Style Guide. I also worked freelance for The Telegraph – something I was never brave enough to try before my MA.
I enjoyed the practical aspects of the course the most, from crafting our own magazine to designing layouts and writing investigative features. It is a really hands-on course. You learn about teamwork, delegation, tackling real-life press day dilemmas – everything I've been required to know was taught to me at some point during my MA.
Our Magazine Journalism MA prepares you to work in the magazine industry. It gets you ready for anything you might come across: from writing features for a women's weekly or putting together a news story for a trade publication to making a video or building a brand. It offers detailed, hands-on grounding in core journalistic skills, including feature writing, news gathering and writing, design, production and media law. Context is provided through the study of the business of magazines, ethics and journalistic practices. You can choose to study Teeline Shorthand as an optional extra.
You will benefit from guest speakers from national magazines and newspapers in both print and online. Past speakers have included:
You'll also have chance to undertake work placements on professional publications which have previously included:
The department has a successful partnership with Haymarket Network, the customer publishing division of Haymarket Publishing. Haymarket runs an annual scheme for students in which you can apply to take part in specific projects. In the past these have involved:
Participants can compete for Haymarket Fellowships, which come with a substantial cash prize. Several students who have worked on the projects have secured jobs at Haymarket after graduation.
We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. the number of modules or credits in a year for part-time postgraduate courses, as a result of the pandemic.
In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21 (from September 2020 to December 2020). The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.
We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.
Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.
While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.
Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
On campus classes, class sizes will be smaller, in line with social distancing measures. Online (synchronous) activities will be delivered via videoconferencing apps that will enable a full range of class sizes to be used as appropriate.
Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.
Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.
As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.
The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.
Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.
In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.
The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.