Postgraduate Course

MA International Journalism

MA International Journalism

Overview

The details
International Journalism
October 2024
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

This course is for students seeking to take their journalism experience to an advanced level and for students who have no background in journalism but are eager to supplement their academic knowledge with journalism skills. The course is open to people with degrees in other fields or with equivalent professional experience. It is offered as a one-year full-time degree or as a two-year part-time degree. It introduces students to the theory and practice of journalism in a global context. It has an international scope and deals with the practice of journalism across different media, cultural and regulatory environments. Students will have the option to tailor their studies by choosing a practice- or theory-led route depending on their interests and career ambitions. The practice track is useful for students who are coming from other disciplines but want to supplement their knowledge with journalism skills; the theory track is useful for those considering a PhD in journalism studies. Our MA is the first in UK to offer complete training in cutting-edge Open-Source Journalism techniques. The course is also enhanced by its link to Essex's prestigious Human Rights Centre, which will give students an opportunity to contribute directly to issues of contemporary significance by participating in the Digital Verification Corps.

Students would usually attend a two-hour seminar for each module each week. Seminar groups would usually have about 10-15 students.

Why we're great.
  • Publish your own work in our annual creative writing journal, Creel
  • Our journalism teaching staff have a broad range of up-to-date, hands-on industry experience
  • Join a diverse network of distinguished alumni

Our expert staff

Within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

The course will be taught by a team of experienced journalists with strong academic credentials who have covered conflicts and crises around the world, including Dr Idrees Ahmad and Dr Fatima El Issawi.

Your future

A number of our graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as journalists.

The MA in International Journalism prepares you for a rapidly transforming journalism sector and gives you transferable skills for a range of other careers in the fields of communication, human rights, politics, entertainment, environment, and migration.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree, or international equivalent in any subject.

Applicants without a formal qualification but with significant appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply.

We encourage applicants from the arts, humanities, business, sciences and the social sciences.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please contact our Graduate Admissions team at pgquery@essex.ac.uk to request the entry requirements for this country.

English language requirements


If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 6.5 in writing and 5.5 in all other components.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

Students will be required to complete four core modules, each worth 20 credits, before they take on a project or dissertation worth 80 credits. They will also get to pick an optional module from Human Rights, Creative Writing, Film, Politics, and Sociology depending on their preference. These are the core modules:

Journalism Practice 1

This is the core practice module. It will focus mainly on reporting, writing, and digital skills. The aim is to give students the ability to research newsworthy stories and write with accuracy, brevity, and clarity. The first four sessions will focus on news writing. The next three will focus on feature writing. The last three sessions will be devoted to podcasting, with an emphasis on storytelling.

Journalism Practice 2

This module focuses on visual storytelling. It starts with photography since composition, lighting, and subject are fundamental to all visual stories. Students then introduce the element of motion through mobile journalism. The module ends with rigorous training in editing techniques. Throughout, students will deconstruct and analyze the best works of visual storytelling so they can adapt or incorporate the same ideas for their own stories.

Open Source Journalism

This module starts with traditional investigative research methods—analysing documents, using archives, accessing public records, using FOIA. The latter half will focus entirely on cutting edge, digital open source journalism where students will learn to collect, analyse and document publicly available online information for use in law, advocacy, or journalism. They will learn to authenticate audio-visual data, geolocate photos and videos, and mine social media for useful information. Students will also learn advanced fact-checking methods.

International Journalism

This module forms the conceptual core of the degree. It introduces students to key issues in international journalism and the practical challenges of gathering and reporting news in an international context. It complements students' practical skills with analytical tools to address contemporary trends in global journalism and an understanding of different political, regulatory, and cultural contexts. Students will also gain knowledge from experienced foreign correspondents on the practicalities of reporting from conflict zones, minimizing risks and handling constraints.

Journalism Project

For students taking the practice track, the Journalism Project is the culmination of the MA International Journalism. It gives them the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills as a journalist as they devise and investigate their own topic with a written submission of 10,000 – 12,000 words OR a 20 minute documentary podcast OR a 15 minute video documentary.

Journalism Dissertation

For students taking the academic track, the Journalism Dissertation is the culmination of the MA International Journalism. It gives students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills as an academic researcher as they devise and investigate their own topic with a written academic dissertation of 15,000 words (excluding bibliography and footnotes) on an issue of contemporary relevance in journalism studies.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

LT994-7-FY or LT995-7-FY
(80 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Journalism Practice 1 (Words and Sounds)
(20 CREDITS)

This is the core practice module. It will focus mainly on reporting, writing, and digital skills. The aim is to give you the ability to research newsworthy stories and write with accuracy, brevity, and clarity. The first four sessions will focus on news writing. The next three will focus on feature writing. The last three sessions will be devoted to podcasting, with an emphasis on storytelling.

View Journalism Practice 1 (Words and Sounds) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Journalism Practice 2 (Visual Storytelling)
(20 CREDITS)

This module focuses on visual storytelling. It starts with photography since composition, lighting, and subject are fundamental to all visual stories. You are then introduced to the element of motion through mobile journalism. The module ends with rigorous training in editing techniques. Throughout, you will deconstruct and analyze the best works of visual storytelling so you can adapt or incorporate the same ideas for your own stories.

View Journalism Practice 2 (Visual Storytelling) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

International Journalism
(20 CREDITS)

This module forms the conceptual core of the degree. It introduces you to key issues in international journalism and the practical challenges of gathering and reporting news in an international context. It complements your practical skills with analytical tools to address contemporary trends in global journalism and an understanding of different political, regulatory, and cultural contexts. You will also gain knowledge from experienced foreign correspondents on the practicalities of reporting from conflict zones, minimizing risks and handling constraints.

View International Journalism on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

LT901-7-FY or LT993-7-SP
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(30 CREDITS)

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£10,000

International fee

£21,700

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

If you are applying to a masters course in the department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies you must provide a piece of critical academic writing (2,500 words) on a topic relevant to your application.

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Visit Colchester Campus

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Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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