MA
2022 start September 

Broadcast Journalism

Department of Journalism Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

Learn how to hunt down stories, then record and edit your content for TV, radio and online. Sharpen up your skills in our Broadcast Zone, which simulates a real studio.
Image of postgraduate Journalism student with equipment

Course description

Determined, articulate, and fascinated by current affairs and radio and television news? Learn journalism in our purpose-built Broadcast Zone, using industry-standard tech, then go out into the city to put your skills to the test.

We've invested heavily in audio and video facilities, so you'll be immersed in TV, radio and online techniques right from day one. Nurture your skills using our TV news studio and gallery, radio studios and production booths, and high-tech editing suite – all laden with the same industry-standard equipment and software used by the professionals. You'll learn how to record and edit material using our tech, and how to tell stories online. We'll show you mobile journalism techniques so you can create and publish digital content wherever you are, with some bespoke treatments for social media.

You’ll learn how to hunt down stories and develop your interview technique so you can ask the high-impact questions that matter. Our experts in media law, regulation and public administration will make sure your journalism is responsible and ethical as well as hard-hitting. On production newsdays, you'll work against the clock as part of a team that goes out into the city to find the news, shoot footage and create bulletins to meet tough deadlines back at the Broadcast Zone. It's demanding work – but that's how our students finish the degree newsroom-ready, as complete broadcast journalists.

This degree is professionally accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council, an important benchmark of quality recognised across the UK media industry.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

Researching News

Finding, researching, and developing news stories is a basic journalistic skill and one that is common to all media. This module is intended to equip students with the understanding, knowledge, insights and skills necessary for effective journalistic research and news gathering. It seeks to develop in students some of the basic practical skills involved - such as effective interviewing and researching - with the development of 'news sense' and an understanding of the potential sources of news in a variety of settings. It will demonstrate the generic nature of news gathering skills across all media.

15 credits
Broadcast News

This module introduces you to news production for radio, television, the web and social media. You will learn basic technical skills covering recording and editing for radio and television, and the conventions of writing and presenting. It emphasises the nuts and bolts of radio and television news bulletins and starts the process of encouraging you to use production techniques effectively. You'll learn how to use a content management system and begin to learn how writing for the web differs from writing for broadcast. You will apply newsgathering and interviewing skills in broadcast situations which are structured to simulate the professional working environment. You will also have one to one voice training sessions to improve presentation skills.To get the most out of this module, you should be listening to and watching as great a variety of broadcast news as you can. A typical week might include some combination of 'Today' on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Sheffield, Hallam FM, BBC 5 Live Breakfast Programme, the main television news bulletins, Sky News and BBC News as well as all the regional programmes you can find, particularly `Look North' and `Calendar'. You should also log on regularly to news websites and if you haven't already done so, join Twitter (www.twitter.com) and follow as many journalists as you can find.

15 credits
Law for Journalists

This module aims to develop students' understanding of legal constraints on journalists working in the UK, including defamation and contempt law. Students will also study how matter can be published in the public interest, and how a journalist can challenge invalid restrictions. There will also be a study of the Editors' Code of Practice and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

15 credits
Ethics and Regulation

This module examines some of the major ethical controversies in journalism. Students will explore debates about the tension between freedom of expression and the exercise of responsibility, and about the need to balance privacy rights with publishing material in the public interest. There will also be study of regulation, truth-telling, media representation of vulnerable groups and journalists' relationship with their sources. Students will explore how ethical behaviour is encouraged in journalism, and consider how the industry codes seek to achieve this in the UK.

15 credits
Power and Society - The Institutions of Government

This unit explores the institutions and organisations which significantly affect the nature of our society and which effect change within it. It explores the nature of the relationships between local, national and international institutions of government and seeks to equip journalists to understand how those relationships reflect or effect the decision making processes in society. It will also examine the structures and processes of the institutions of government at local, national and European level.

15 credits
Advanced Broadcast Journalism

The focus of this module allows you to build on the basic skills developed in JNL6008. You will work on features, bulletins and programmes covering a range of formats and styles and further develop your online skills. A key exercise is a block of radio and television newsdays.

30 credits
Broadcast Journalism Portfolio

This module requires students to submit a substantial piece of journalistic work in either radio or television. The project should be accompanied by a detailed written appraisal of the editorial and production processes involved.

60 credits

Option modules:

Dealing with data for journalists

News reporting relies increasingly on knowing how to understand and analyse data. ¿Now that information is abundant, processing is more important.¿ (Philip Meyer). Data science is the scientific discipline that feeds into this new type of journalism. It provides methods for collecting and systematizing data, which is then analysed using a combination of statistical and machine learning techniques, and finally presented in an appealing and understandable format. This module will equip students with the confidence to appreciate and apply the most widely used statistical techniques, which constitute the very core of data science and, hence, facilitate responsible evidence-based journalism.

15 credits
Communicating with the Media

This module will provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to communicate messages through the media. Case studies and practical workshops will allow students to learn about the practice of media communication. They will learn how the media operates and how to communicate messages through interviews, press conferences and news releases. Topics covered in the module will include the development of communication strategies, the understanding of news values and news cycles and strategies for successful and ethical communication.

15 credits
Reforming Journalism in a Global Environment

In this module, students will explore efforts made over the years to ensure high quality journalism. They will engage in critical analyses of theories and perspectives relating to high quality in a democratic society. They will be introduced to the activities of media reform campaigners. They will have an opportunity to develop their own media reform project and/or participate in an existing one.

15 credits
Global Journalism: 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. In particular, it aims to facilitate students in developing knowledge of topics including 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. The module seeks to expose students to European, UK and US laws, as well as to other jurisdictions where comparative analysis is appropriate.

15 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

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

Assessment

You’re assessed on essays, examinations and practical broadcast journalism – producing news stories, radio and TV news items and features, web pages and portfolios.

Duration

MA - 1 year full-time

Student profiles

Image of Dan Walker, sports journalist, broadcaster and MA Broadcast Journalism graduate

I did the Broadcast Journalism MA at Sheffield. The most valuable part of the course was the work experience. That gave me a real idea of what working in the industry would be like. When I did get a job, I felt like I was already up and running.

Over the years I’ve worked in local and regional radio and TV and was a presenter on the BBC News Channel for a few years before moving into network TV about 12 years ago. I currently present BBC Breakfast three days a week and host Football Focus every Saturday.

Dan Walker
Broadcaster and MA Broadcast Journalism graduate

Entry requirements

You must have one of the following:

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

Overall IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Fees and funding

There are a number of bursaries and scholarships for students on the journalism, magazine and broadcast courses, from the Scott Trust (owner of The Guardian), Journalism Diversity Fund, The Aziz Foundation Scholarship and others.

Funding opportunities for MA degrees in journalism

Apply

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Contact

journalism-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 2500

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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