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University of Hertfordshire

MA Journalism and Media Communications 2014/15

This MA gives you a bit of everything – PR, advertising, journalism and marketing


Contents About the course


Modules 4- 6 Start dates and entry requirements


MA Journalism and Media Communications About the course This course aims to develop professional skills in the area of Journalism and Media Communications by combining theory and practice. This is a conversion course and we will teach journalism skills and corporate communications theory and practice. We welcome students from a range of undergraduate disciplines who would like to develop journalism skills to work in either magazine publishing, corporate communications or advertising. Journalism and corporate communications are distinct professions, but they do have a shared skill-set, particularly in the area of digital media which, once acquired, will enable you to work in either profession.

Employability is a key characteristic of the course and the optional work experience module will enable you to consolidate knowledge and skills learnt during the course and appreciate professional standards and levels of performance. This is the professional route through the MA, but you can opt for a classic academic route by electing to take a dissertation or an extended project instead of the work experience module.

If you want to develop your professional communication skills then this is the course for you. You will gain practical writing and IT skills necessary to operate effectively in a professional media environment. For example, you will learn how to write features, develop press kits, build websites, update web-based content and use social media tools as part of a corporate communications strategy. 3

Journalism and Media Communications


Trends in international journalism To offer more flexibility and to allow you to explore journalism and media production on a global scale, we now offer a new module ‘Trends in International Journalism’, which gives you the opportunity to develop a deeper insight into the theoretical and cultural framework of media and journalism. Writing for magazines and newspapers and understanding the magazine business This module is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the magazine industry and how magazines work. Study will cover the distinction between B2B, consumer, customer and in-house magazines. It will also review key types of consumer magazines, including general consumer and specialist consumer, as well as regional and local consumer magazines. It will include an understanding of magazines in terms of market sector and audience. Revenue models, budgets – including editorial budgets – methods of distribution, advertising, marketing, printing processes, circulation and distribution will all be studied. The purpose and nature of magazines as a form of corporate communication, both internal and external, will also be examined.

Corporate communications, PR and advertising practice In the first part of the module, you are introduced to corporate communications, from classic PR to an integrated approach and the challenges of the future. After discussing different models and organisational structures of corporate communications, the module places a focus on the media industry and looks at the ways in which companies develop a reputation and corporate identity as well as aspects of strategic planning. We will then focus on the internal aspects of corporate communications, such as employee relations, in-house magazines and company websites. Subsequently, we will explore the classic marketing mix and analyse the benefits and disadvantages of individual tools, before having a closer look into the areas of sponsorship and event management. Subsequently you will develop your own corporate communications strategy and learn about aspects such as creative and media implementation as well as budget planning. Finally, we talk about the ethical aspects of corporate communications and relationship management. Communications technologies This module provides you with a detailed understanding of the contexts and practice of print-based magazine publishing and web design for online publishing. The course will examine key questions regarding copyright and legal issues, internet technologies and the production process. In particular, it focuses on learning a range of technical skills including basic text formatting, editing and manipulation of images for print and web, content management systems, blogs, video/podcasts and social networks. These techniques and tools are located within the context of current debates on ‘new media’, communication and society.


Journalism and Media Communications


Research methods: critical and theoretical debates This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the theoretical approaches and related critical methodologies which are influential in the scholarly analysis of media texts. Areas covered may include: quantitative and qualitative methods (essential differences and complementarities), content analysis and media sampling, interview and survey strategies and interpretation, audience research methods and consumption studies, focus groups and observation in studying culture via archive and online research, technological convergence, new business models and audience fragmentation. There will be an emphasis on the practical application of these theoretical approaches, and you will be invited to assess the strengths and limitations of each.

Research methods: advanced research skills This module is designed to help you to develop some of the advanced skills necessary for postgraduate study. Topics covered may include using search engines and databases, accessing electronic journals, interdisciplinary research, planning and structuring longer pieces of work, writing abstracts, constructing annotated bibliographies, presenting research to an audience, and writing for publication. This module will equip you to embark on your Master’s final project and any further postgraduate research and you will develop a valuable portfolio of transferable skills relevant to a wide range of graduate careers.

The MA really was the best thing I ever did and I really recommend all of your students to get as much experience as they can alongside their studies, so that they can get as much out of the course as I did


Journalism and Media Communications


Dissertation/extended project This module will give you the opportunity to investigate and write/visually demonstrate ideas about an area of individual interest in depth and detail. The emphasis is on independent thought, research and writing, but this will be supported in an agreed programme of supervision. The topic should be appropriate to postgraduate level, and chosen by you in consultation with your supervisor. The dissertation should be 13,000-15,000 words in length, and aim to make a distinctive contribution to work in the relevant field.

Work placement This module will give you the opportunity to work in a professional environment and put into practice the knowledge and skills developed over the year. You will be expected to have spent a minimum of 20-25 days on an internship or on a work experience placement.

I have managed to arrange a one-month work placement at the Sunday Times. I will be working on investigative journalism there


Journalism and Media Communications

Start dates and entry requirements This course starts in September and is one-year full-time. You should have the equivalent of a UK second class honours degree in a field related to humanities or business. You must also satisfy the University’s English language requirement for this course, IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 95.

If you have not yet achieved the required English language level for entry to this course you could complete one of our English language preparatory programmes prior to your chosen degree. For more information please see

Simon Midgley, the Guardian

The MA in Journalism and Media Communications at the University of Hertfordshire is a new breed of master’s degree is plugging the training gap for today’s digital media by giving students the skills and the flexibility they need for a career in a sector undergoing radical change



University of Hertfordshire Hatfield Hertfordshire AL10 9AB +44 (0)1707 281249 GA13335_JMC/DC/06_13

MA Journalism and Media Communications 2014/15  
MA Journalism and Media Communications 2014/15  

MA Journalism and Media Communications 2014/15 Details the course and module content as well as start dates and entry requirements