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    Department of Journalism Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

    Learn how to find, publish and execute your own stories across a multitude of platforms, including print, web and social media, ensuring you gain the essential skills and knowledge to become a top-class multimedia reporter.
    Two boys in grey hoodies, looking down at computer screens. They are in a large room surrounded by other people sat at computers, as well as a tv screen showing a sky news broadcast in the background.

    Course description

    News reporting requires expertise in creating and publishing digital content, alongside a solid grasp of traditional skills and knowledge - take this degree and you’ll develop both. You will harness your knowledge in our newsrooms and out in the city during our production newsdays. You'll also work with a team to publish your stories on Sheffield Wire – a real, public-facing news website with its own social media channels.

    You'll apply your learning in a huge variety of ways: news writing, web publishing, shorthand, social media management, video production and media law and ethics - all in the process of hunting down and writing up stories to meet real-time deadlines with your team.

    As well as the core reporting skills required by employers, you’ll also be exposed to innovative journalism techniques, which will put you a step ahead when it comes to landing your first job.

    Our course is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists and is renowned within the industry as one of the best in the UK. We'll give you access to international, national and regional news providers on a myriad of platforms during both teaching time and exciting work placements. 

    Our alumni are intelligent and successful journalists who are excellent at both traditional newswriting and digital mobile journalism.


    Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules:

    Teeline shorthand

    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
    Writing News

    This unit is designed to introduce students to the discipline of writing news and writing for publication and relate that to an understanding of the relationship between the practice of journalism, the production values of the media and the definitions of news. Students will learn to write clear succinct and accurate English, which both presents the reader with a logical and readable narrative and demonstrates a positive understanding of appropriate news values. They will learn to apply their skills through a number of exercises of varying complexity.

    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 Journalism

    Writing effectively for print means understanding the wide range of disciplines involved in the production of the finished product. This unit will introduce students to those disciplines. They will be introduced to the practice and principles of newspaper design and production through desk top publishing. They will develop their understanding of newsgathering and writing skills through experience of a range of events such as Crown Court trials and local authority meetings. They will be introduced to the disciplines of feature writing and gain an insight into the different approaches to sustained narrative.

    30 credits
    Journalism Portfolio

    This module requires students to submit a portfolio of journalistic work accompanied by detailed explanations of the background work involved. The portfolio of journalistic work should demonstrate the student's ability to initiate ideas and undertake the necessary research to produce a finished and substantial piece of journalism in one area of the media. The subject/s must be approved by a course tutor beforehand via an assessed video pitch. The portfolio should be made up of a range of stories which together should total at least 8,000 words or 10 minutes of broadcasting and be accompanied by a description of the development and research involved in its production totalling at least 4,000 words.

    60 credits

    Optional modules

    You will choose one from the list below.

    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
    Critical Incidents in International Journalism

    In this module students will explore and analyse international critical incidents (for example, in the UK, US, Asia and Africa) and the efforts to ensure high-quality journalism that follow them. Students will engage in the critical analysis of media reform history, theories and perspectives related to critical incidents in journalism. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to develop their own media reform project and/or participate in an existing one.

    15 credits
    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. In this case, 'internationally' means from the perspective of the Global South.

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Upcoming open days and campus tours


    MA: 1 year full-time


    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.

    Your career

    Our graduates launch straight into work as journalists, trainee news reporters, content writers, digital PR specialists, video journalists and more within just 15 months of graduation. Many of them find work in huge news organisations like Reach, JPI media and Bloomberg - others launch successful careers as freelance journalists (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/1). 

    Thanks to our industry connections, we offer a huge range of work experience opportunities to students on our practical journalism programmes. To see what our students get up to during these placements, check out the #JUSPlacement hashtag on X  or read the #JUSPlacement Blog.

    You can also find out more about our graduates and where they go on to work.


    Department of Journalism Studies

    Our department is recognised within the industry as one of the best places to train as a journalist. For many years we have been the UK's only journalism department to feature in the top 5 of all three independent league tables. We have achieved several number 1 rankings, including with the Times/Sunday Times in 2018, the Guardian in 2018 and 2019, and the Complete University Guide in 2020.

    But it isn't all about rankings and statistics. Study with us and you'll learn vital practical skills, including how to spot big stories; shoot and edit audio, video and podcasts and become an expert in social media.

    Through our research staff, you'll also discover how journalism is part of an epic social narrative about right and wrong, liberty and democracy, war and peace - about the life stories of people, societies and entire continents.

    Our brilliant employability staff and unparalleled industry connections can also help you to secure some much-needed work experience to help you get ahead in a competitive industry.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree.

    We may also consider your application if you do not meet the standard academic requirements but you have considerable work experience in a media-related role.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    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.

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

    Fees and funding

    There are a number of bursaries and scholarships available, including the Dan Walker scholarship, the Scott Trust (owner of The Guardian), Journalism Diversity Fund, The Aziz Foundation Scholarship and others.

    Funding opportunities for MA degrees in journalism


    You can apply for 2024 postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +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.