Course information

Length

1 year full-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

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.

 

 

 

This degree is part of our School of Journalism. Find out more about what we do and other degrees we teach.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

Overview

The programme 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 practitioners. 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
  • Politics and Power, a module that delivers a basic grounding in how government and public sector operate
  • Asking the Right Questions, which teaches advanced research skills for journalists, and is delivered by expert guest speakers

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 the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

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.

International qualifications

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

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 with a 7.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

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.

Scholarships

The Department of Media and Communications often offers fee waivers for this MA. Find out more on our departmental funding page.

Scott Trust Foundation Bursary

UK applicants for this programme are eligible to apply for the Scott Trust Foundation Bursary, which consists of:

  • a bursary covering full tuition fees
  • £5,000 subsistence allowance

Find out more about applying for this bursary

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

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • 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.

Deadline for applications

There is no deadline for applications, however applicants are encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment.

When are applications reviewed?

Applications are considered in stages, based on when you apply.

  • Applications received by 31 January will be considered for a February interview day.
  • Applications received by 31 March will be considered for an April interview day.
  • Applications received after 31 March are considered on an individual basis once the April interviews are completed.
  • We may hold further group interview days during late spring and summer if there are places available.

Are applicants interviewed?

Applicants who are considered suitable for the programme based on their application will be shortlisted to attend an interview. Overseas applicants who can’t attend an interview day are interviewed by Skype.

On group interview days, you are given a tour of our facilities, as well as a presentation with the opportunity to ask any questions about studying Journalism at Goldsmiths. You’ll then be tested on your knowledge, and given the chance to write something for Eastlondonlines, the news website we run by students from the Department. You will also have a one to one interview.

Is a portfolio required?

Yes. Your portfolio should include evidence of published journalistic work, either in undergraduate student journalism or in the professional arena. You can also include evidence of journalistic or media work experience that has not resulted in published work. Some applicants may be considered without a portfolio if they can pass some written tests, interview well and meet other selection criteria.

Personal statement

In your personal statement, we’re looking for evidence that you understand the programme and what studying at Goldsmiths is all about. We’d also like you to demonstrate that you have an understanding and passion for journalism, and what being a journalist involves. You should cite your journalistic influences and media sources, as well as any relevant work experience in the field. You should also outline what you hope to achieve from the programme.

Find out more about applying.

Staff

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

Student journalism

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

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.

Visit the EastLondonLines website

Journalism students also contribute to London Multimedia News which collates London based news stories with a radio and sound focus and are able to take part in broadcasts through our radio and television studios. 

 

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

 

What our students say

Charlie Cooper

"Without Goldsmiths I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't be a journalist."

"The MA Journalism course really focused on the importance of placements alongside your studies as a way to break into the industry. I started by doing 2 weeks of work experience at the Independent and once I'd graduated, the contacts I'd made allowed me to get a full time job. I worked there as Whitehall correspondent and I'm now UK Political Correspondent for POLITICO.

Without Goldsmiths I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't be a journalist. Goldsmiths really instills confidence in its students. You know that you've been trained properly and you've had the right values instiled in you so you can go out there and do a good job your way."

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