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.
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
Modules & structure
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 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
- 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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We are ranked:
1st in the UK for the quality of our research* Joint 1st in the UK for effective teaching** 8th in the world for communication and media studies***
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 EastLondonLines.co.uk – 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.
*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
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
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.
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.
Skills & careers
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.
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 7.0 with a 7.5 in writing
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
- A 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.
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.
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.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Find out more about tuition fees.
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