MA Global Journalism

Global Journalism MA is a far-reaching journalism degree featuring award-winning teaching, which combines research on media practice and freedom around the world with some practical newswriting experience and exciting participatory media-related events.



Global Journalism MA

1 year full time

If you're interested in research on media practice and freedom around the world and you're looking for some practical newswriting experience, the Global Journalism MA is for you.

Join up and you’ll look at journalism within the context of globalisation, comparing and contrasting media practice around the world. You'll be immersed in vital discussions around the relationship between media, society and government – at a hugely critical moment for freedom of expression.

I really like how 'young-minded' and approachable the academic staff is on this course. The course also really trains our analytical skills, which I find very important.

Mathis Claudel
Global Journalism student

Take the course and you'll engage in debates about the key issues facing news journalism in a comparative global context. You'll also get hands-on practical experience in writing for various media platforms and communicating news in the contemporary global environment.

Learning on the Global Journalism MA extends beyond the classroom. Our annual International Journalism Week is a focal point,
with high-level discussions led by media professionals, researchers and campaigners from around the world.

I've received an offer – what happens next?
Scholarships available for students from India

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Journalism Studies postgraduate brochure

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We teach through lectures, seminars, workshops and research exercises.


You’re assessed by essays, examinations and a dissertation.


1 year full-time

Our campus and how we use it

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.


The course comprises five core modules, a dissertation, and two optional modules.

These are the modules taught in the 2020-21 academic year.

Core modules

Students must take all five of these modules and complete the dissertation.

Digital Journalism for a Global Society

In the digital era, new forms and practices of journalism have emerged, alongside changes in the environment where it is practised. These changes, ranging from the decentralisation of communication to disinformation, bring into question the quality of journalism and its role in society. Meanwhile, recent developments in global politics and the global economy make the situation more challenging for journalism. This year-long module aims to give students a profound understanding of journalism in the digital era and in a global context.

Writing for the Media

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the theories and practice of writing for the media and to some of the practical reporting methods used by journalists. You'll learn about the knowledge, insights and skills required by journalists and communicators. We'll introduce you to systematic research techniques that will help you use a range of resources including the intranet and library archives. We'll also teach you how to liaise with people effectively to get the information that journalists need for their stories.

Research Methods

This module aims to introduce students to a range of social scientific research methods as they are applied for the academic study of communications, media and journalism. It provides an overview of key research methods and the different ways in which research can be conducted. Topics covered in detail include qualitative and quantitative research methods, such as content, framing and discourse analysis. We'll also introduce you briefly to other methods such as interviews and the ethics of the research process.

Research Methods also covers different aspects of information gathering, research design, project management and research presentation. The overarching aim of the module is to equip students with a basic understanding of core social science research methods, so that you have the confidence to conduct small-scale research projects such as dissertations and group work.

Journalism, Globalisation and Development

This module examines the relationship between journalism and the main challenges of globalisation and development. It analyses the place of journalism in the globally interconnected, and yet divided world. Through the discussion of key theoretical concepts and specific examples of media narratives from different parts of the world, the module explores ways in which media can assist people and communities to meet well-being challenges. It critically assesses why global media represent globalisation and development issues in a certain manner.

The topics you'll look at include:

  • media representations of the north/south divide
  • coverage of humanitarian crises and major global issues
  • the relationship between journalism and political imagining of distant others
  • the potential of new media technologies to facilitate activism and social change
Journalism in Britain

Students taking this module will learn about the historical development and current debates in the news media in the UK and also the evolution of the related field of journalism studies. We'll introduce themes which may be of interest when the time comes to think of your MA dissertation proposal in the second semester.

Dissertation (Global Journalism)

In your dissertation you'll present the findings of your own individual research project. Totalling around 15,000 words, the dissertation represents an original piece of independent research and should be based on a substantial base of primary sources and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the secondary literature. You'll demonstrate your practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field of global journalism.

You'll work independently to produce your dissertation, but under the supervision of an expert member of staff who will provide guidance and regular tutorial support.

Optional modules

Students choose two from the following modules.

International Visual Public and Political Communication

The use of images and visual material in contemporary forms of public and political communication has various roles, functions and impacts. In this module we'll introduce you to the key debates surrounding these.

We'll focus on a variety of communication, media and journalism-based media and contexts (photojournalistic coverage of war/conflict/terrorism, the role of images within political campaigns, public communication, political cartoons, visual representations of minority groups, etc) and actors (politicians, NGOs, marketing and PR professionals, terrorist organisations, protest movements, etc). In this way the module will equip you with the critical and analytical skills for interrogating dominant modes and methods of visual public and political communication.

Communication in Peacebuilding

If you take this module you'll discover the important role of communication in civil society and peacebuilding. Civil wars are the deadliest form of conflict in the contemporary world and communication is central to achieving peace and rebuilding civil society. This module analyses the communicative architecture of peace and explores how it can be rebuilt through a range of communication modes and methods.  

Media Freedom: European, UK and US Perspectives

The overall aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the international treaties and national laws safeguarding the exercise of freedom of expression by the media, the different interpretations of this freedom in Europe and the US, and the limitations to which it is subject. Particular issues include:

  • the protection of freedom of expression in the European Convention of Human Rights, the Human Rights Act and the First Amendment
  • the tensions between media freedom, hate speech and privacy
  • media freedom and political expression
  • the contrasting models of press freedom and broadcasting regulation
  • the debate on internet freedom or regulation
Radio and NGO Communication in Conflict-Affected Areas

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other such organisations are valuable information sources, mediators and actors in conflict-affected zones and use local media, particularly radio, to amplify their messages, programmes and advocacy. This module focuses on, and engages with, the public and political communication used, and sometimes misused, and even abused, by radio and NGOs, internationally and historically, during times of conflict and the challenges they encounter culturally, politically, economically, legally and institutionally.

Course leader

Emma HeywoodThe course leader on Global Journalism MA is Dr Emma Heywood (pictured).

Emma is a researcher and Lecturer in Journalism, Politics and Communication. Her research focuses on the role and impact of radio in conflict-affected areas. She has recently been awarded a large UKRI GCRF grant to investigate perceptions and representations of women’s rights and empowerment by radio in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. This builds on current work by the FemmePowermentNiger  project, which Emma leads. Part-funded by the Swedish development agency, this project assesses the impact of radio on women's empowerment in Niger and Mali.

She has also examined foreign conflict reporting of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by Russian, French and UK television news providers and also audience perceptions of this reporting. Emma has previously been awarded British Academy funding for her West Bank project, which investigated the role of local radio in NGO activities in war-affected zones.

Find out more about Emma on her profile page.

All staff in the Department of Journalism Studies

Career opportunities

The Global Journalism degree is a course for anyone looking for a far-reaching perspective on journalism across the planet. It's an especially popular choice for international students looking for a prestigious UK degree and a media career in their home nations, or a pathway to PhD research.

Recent graduates are working as reporters, editors and producers in the media all over the world, as teachers, and in communications and public relations. Employers include the International Labour Organisation, Xinhua News Agency, Daily Express and Shanghai Media Group.

Our most recent survey data from Global Journalism graduates shows:

  • 100% positive outcomes (the proportion of graduates who were available for employment and had secured employment or further study)
  • 93.8% graduate prospects (the proportion of graduates who were available for employment and had secured graduate-level employment or graduate-level further study)

See what Sheffield's postgraduate journalism alumni say in our career case studies section.

Applying and
entry requirements

To apply for the Global Journalism MA you'll need one of the following:

  • a 2:1 honours degree (we will consider a 2:2 if we are sufficiently impressed by your potential); OR
  • an alternative qualification approved by the University as degree equivalent; OR
  • substantial previous work experience in a media-related role

Entry requirements for international students

Visit us at a postgraduate open day

If English is not your first language, or your first degree was not taught in English, you'll need to demonstrate your aptitude in the language. Our requirement is for an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6 in each component, or the equivalent scores in another qualification.

If you have not yet obtained an English language qualification, you can still apply. We may give you a conditional offer based on you obtaining the English qualification later. You can do this by taking a course at the University's English Language Teaching Centre.

Pathway programmes

Our International College provides international students with pathway programmes for progression to degree study at the University.



Ready to apply?

Use the University's online application form to apply for your place.

Apply now

The online application form allows you to upload files. Please use this to send us information such as course transcripts, language certificates (if your first language is not English) or references. If you do not include these initially, we will ask you to do so later, which may delay the processing of your application.


Staged admissions

Starting with applications for the 2020-21 academic year, applications for this degree will be assessed using the University's staged admissions process. This involves a series of application and decision deadlines through the year.

Stage For applications received by: We aim to return decisions by:
A 14 October 2019 28 October 2019
B 30 November 2019 14 December 2019
C 14 January 2020 28 January 2020
D 29 February 2020 14 March 2020
E 14 April 2020 28 April 2020
F 31 May 2020 14 June 2020
G 14 July 2020 28 July 2020

In some cases, because of the high volume of applications we receive, we may need more time to assess your application. If this is the case, we will assess your application in the next stage. We will let you know if we intend to do this.

Study places are offered subject to availability. Given the popularity of these courses, places may not be available if you apply later in the cycle.

If we offer you a place, we will ask you to accept the offer and pay a tuition fee deposit (relevant International students only). If you do not accept the offer and pay the deposit within four weeks of the date of the offer letter, we may withdraw our offer.

More about staged admissions

Fees and funding

Use the University's postgraduate fees calculator to find the current tuition fee for this course.

Postgraduate student loans are available for UK and EU students to a current value of £10,280.

Several scholarship funding awards are also available to Global Journalism students. These include the following.

  • The Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship (for UK and EU students) is worth £10,000 and open to high-achieving students and those from groups that are underrepresented in higher education. More info
  • Sheffield scholarships for international students are designed to support talented applicants from all over the world. More info

Please see the Department of Journalism Studies' taught postgraduate funding page for more general details on the above, including an overview of deadlines.

Other sources of funding may be available – please see the University's postgraduate funding pages to investigate.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it’s up-to-date and relevant. This is in response to discoveries made through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. We update these web pages to reflect any changes to course content as soon as we can. If any information conflicts between these web pages and a printed brochure or prospectus, please take the information here as correct. Sometimes changes may need to be made to modules, courses, entry requirements and fees between your application and the start of your course. When these are significant in nature, we'll let you know as quickly as we can. All modules other than core modules are subject to limits on their availability, which include (but may not be limited to) class sizes and timetabling constraints.

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions
Department of Journalism Studies
University of Sheffield
9 Mappin Street
Sheffield S1 4DT

Tel: +44 114 222 2500