MA Journalism. Image of postgraduate student working on a computer

Journalism MA at Sheffield develops world-class expertise in creating and publishing digital content alongside a solid grasp of traditional newsgathering skills and knowledge. It's a degree that packs a serious punch in the jobs market and the perfect starting point for a media career.



Winner, NCTJ Top Performing Courses 2017Journalism MA/Postgraduate Diploma

Ink and paper may be a medium in decline, but in newer digital formats more people are accessing journalism than ever before. To be a successful news reporter your social media, camera and content management skills must be as sharp as your nose for a story.

The Journalism MA degree will fully prepare you for life in a fast-paced digital newsroom. Professional journalists will show you essential skills like web publishing, shorthand, video, and page layout. You’ll learn media law, ethics and public affairs from academic experts who lead their field. On production news days you’ll go out into Sheffield (or beyond) to hunt down stories and write them up to meet real-time deadlines with your team.

By the end of the course our Journalism postgraduates are agile, intelligent journalists who excel at traditional newswriting and can also create and publish an entire multimedia story online while on the move, using just a smartphone and their own savvy.

This degree is professionally accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), a key benchmark of quality recognised throughout the UK media industry. In November 2017 the NCTJ rated Journalism MA at Sheffield as the top-performing postgraduate course in the UK.

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Journalism Studies
postgraduate brochure

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There are lectures, seminars, group workshops, individual and team assignments.


You’re assessed on essays, examinations and practical journalism work – producing news stories, newspaper pages, web pages and portfolios. You’ll also have the chance to sit external examinations set by the NCTJ.


MA 1 year full-time

Postgraduate Diploma 9 months 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.

Your degree may involve travelling off campus, around or beyond Sheffield, to find and report local news for practical skills assessments.


The course comprises seven core modules and one optional module. For completing each module successfully, you gain 15 credits (except for Advanced Print Journalism, which is worth 30 credits, and your dissertation/portfolio, which is worth 60 credits). To be awarded the MA degree you must gain a total of 180 credits.

You may choose to omit the dissertation, in which case 120 credits will secure a postgraduate diploma (PgDip) rather than a masters degree.

Core modules

Students must take all seven of these modules.

Semester 2

Optional modules

Students choose one from the following modules.

Course leader

Mark BradleyThe course leader on the Journalism MA is Mark Bradley (pictured).

Mark joined the Department of Journalism Studies in 2014 after working as Group Editor for 12 websites and newspapers in the West Yorkshire region. Previously he was editor of the Halifax Courier while it was still published daily.

Mark oversaw the conversion of the West Yorkshire operations from print-based newsrooms into digital multimedia set-ups and developed editorial policy across print, web and social media channels. He has also been responsible for the career development of trainee reporters into senior journalists across the UK and Europe.

Follow or say hi to Mark on Twitter at @sheffunijourno and view his staff profile for more information.

All staff in the Department of Journalism Studies

Career opportunities

Journalism MA is ideal for hard-working, determined students with excellent English language skills and a passion for current affairs who are looking to build a career in news reporting.

The degree is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). This is a benchmark of excellence recognised by employers across the UK media industry. The course integrates the requirements of the NCTJ's Diploma in Journalism, a widely sought-after qualification in its own right.

On this course you'll undertake a substantial work experience placement. This is a chance to give a real test to the skills and knowledge you'll be developing back here in the department. The Department of Journalism Studies has a dedicated work placement co-ordinator whose job it is to match you up with a good employer suited to your areas of interest. Check out #jusplacement to see what our students are saying about their current work experience posts.

Our most recent careers survey data, for students who completed the degree in 2017, shows 100% graduate prospects, meaning that every student who responded was in graduate-level employment or further study six months after graduation. Employers of this cohort include BBC News, BBC Radio 4, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan magazine, and the Newsquest and Trinity Mirror group of news outlets.

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

Applying and
entry requirements

To apply for MA Journalism 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

Come and 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 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 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

There are no specific deadlines for receipt of applications, but we recommend you apply early as courses fill up quickly.

The online application form allows you to upload files. Please use this to send us samples of your writing in a journalistic style. Interview someone you know and write a news story based on that discussion. The story should be between 300 and 400 words and should have a news angle that a reader would find interesting and engaging. You should use the style and structure you would find in the local newspaper or website from where you live.

If you have already had articles published in print or online please include samples of or links to these (in English language only). Please also upload any other 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.

If you're based in the UK or Ireland, we will usually ask you to come for an interview. If you live elsewhere we will not normally interview you here in the department but may contact you for a telephone or online interview.

Fees and funding

Use the University's postgraduate fees calculator to find the current tuition fee for this course. Please note that fees do not include the cost of external exams administered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, should you wish to sit these.

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 Journalism MA students. These include the following.

  • The Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship is also worth £10,000 and open to high-achieving students and those from groups that are underrepresented in higher education. More info
  • Scott Trust Bursaries are awarded by the owners of The Guardian; worth £6,000 plus fee payment, they also include work experience placements with The Guardian. More info
  • Sheffield scholarships for international students are designed to support talented applicants from all over the world. More info
  • The George Viner Memorial Fund exists specifically to help broaden the ethnic diversity of journalists working in the UK and Ireland. More info
  • The Journalism Diversity Fund awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training. 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