MA in Journalism

  • Length
    1 year full-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications

Course overview

Accredited with distinction by the Professional Publishers Association, this practical MA gives you the essential skills to work as a journalist for multiple audiences across myriad platforms.

Journalism is about the world outside. It’s about the story and the people who make it. It’s about being on top of the zeitgeist. And being on top of the deadlines. 

What you will learn

This MA gives you the practical skills to work as a journalist at the highest level in print and online. We will learn what news means, and where it comes from. We will give you the ability to write compelling features and interviews. We’ll also be focusing on the kinds of questions you need to ask – of the individual, the state or the organs of power. And we address how the new digital world has transformed the way we go about journalism, adding new platforms and new technical skills.

The processes we use

The programme is practice-based so you’ll be creating magazines and working on our local news website while you’re here. EastLondonLines is a live news site run from the Department of Media and Communications and covering a large area of East and South London. Working on ELL as a journalist will give you unrivalled hands-on experience of being part of an editorial team, finding and breaking news stories and features, and using digital tools like data and video.

The approach we take

You will work in a small group both during your editorial control period of Eastlondonlines and on your digital and magazine project because working in such teams is common professional practice. Underpinning the practice-based work are more theoretical modules essential to give background – these cover media law and ethics, politics and public affairs, and journalism in context. 

You’ll discover how different mediums dictate how you create a story and how to adapt your style of writing to reflect the nature of the platform, from print newspapers to digital features. 

Join us and discover how to express yourself concisely, grab the attention of readers and think on your feet in this swipe-left-and-right world. 

Professional accreditation

The MA in Journalism has just received a renewed two-year accreditation from the Professional Publishers Association, with the new, highest accolade of a 'distinction' awarded to us.  

This is now given by the Association to reward programmes of the highest overall quality which achieve a distinction level in the majority of categories in the accreditation process, which cover all aspects of the programme.

The inspection team commended the programme as 'exceptional' and said we produced 'highly motivated' students who were given 'excellent opportunities to produce real live journalism on Eastlondonlines', received 'formidable feedback' and a high level of day-to-day support in their studies. They also believed that we had achieved the right balance between introducing new digital techniques and teaching traditional core practices. And they were incredibly complimentary about the students themselves and the work they produce.



Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Terry Kirby

Modules & structure


The programme module is divided into a series of modules that cover the key practical skills and theoretical background. There are no optional modules or alternate pathways.

The four practical modules focus on the basic journalistic skills common to different media: news and feature research and writing, interviewing, image, video and data skills print and online production techniques. You will learn how to apply these skills across all platforms.

In the summer term, you work in groups to produce magazines. In the past, these have won the annual Periodical Publishers Association competition for student magazines. This year, one group of our students took the top prize in the successor Magazine Academy Awards for a magazine about independent cinema.

There are four lecture-based theoretical modules in which we give you the background theoretical knowledge to become expert practictioners. These are:

  • Journalism in Context, which places journalism in the wider political and social context
  • Media Law and Ethics, which delivers a grounding in legal issues
  • Asking the Right Questions, helping you develop key research skills
  • Politics and Power, a module that delivers a basic grounding in how government and public sector operate

Practice modules are largely assessed by portfolios of your work, while theory modules are all assessed by essays or written research work.

Guest speaker programme

Additionally, a wide range of journalists and those associated with the media are invited to speak to and network with students through various strands of our guest speaker programme - whether it is through the Asking the Right Questions module, Wednesday morning guest speakers or Thursday evening Media Forums.

Recent speakers have included Owen Jones and Felicity Lawrence of the Guardian, Patrick Strudwick of Buzzfeed and alumna Tabby Kinder from the Lawyer. Others have included Geoffrey Dobbs of the D Notice Committee and Guy Parker, chief executive of the Advertising Standard Authority. 

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


We are ranked:
22nd in the world for communication and media studies**
1st in the UK for the quality of our research***

Media and Communications

We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.

The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.

We also run – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.

And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.

Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2015
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings


All lecturers and tutors who teach on the programme have extensive experience at the highest levels of national publications and are committed to delivering that knowledge and understanding of how journalism works to our students.

Take a look at the profiles of some of our key staff, who are all highly experienced at national level in newspapers and magazines:

Terry Kirby, Programme Convener

Becky Gardiner, leader of features and and magazine modules

Angela Phillips, programme founder and Journalism in Context module leader

See more about the staff who are involved in this degree on our website.

Student work

Online publications

EastLondonLines is an independent news website run by the School of Journalism in the Department of Media and Communications.

It began in November 2009 as a means of giving students an opportunity to work as professional journalists in a real life environment. The area covered by the site is a large, diverse, multi-cultural and vibrant part of London, ranging from inner city Hackney in the North to Croydon on the southern borders of London and provides exciting and varied journalistic challenges.

The site runs throughout the year and students on all journalism programmes spend time working on the site, gaining valuable experience and building up their CVs. You work under the supervision of School academic and technical staff.

Visit the EastLondonLines website

Print publications

These are some of the print magazines which have been produced during the Sumer term in recent years:


Skills & careers

We have a whole site dedicated to the careers of our graduates. Discover the kinds of opportunities this course creates.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths


Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard and have evidence of some journalism (or equivalent) experience.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.5 (including 8.0 in the written test)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • A journalism portfolio (in English)
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Along with a journalism portfolio and personal statement, all students are required to carry out a short assessment. Admission is normally by interview and work assessment.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Find out more about tuition fees.

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