Sports Journalism MA - University of Sunderland

Course overview

NCTJ logo‌This Masters is one of the few postgraduate degrees in the UK to be accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). The combination of an MA and NCTJ Diploma will significantly boost your employability as a sports journalist. This course is ranked 6th out of the 17 UK NCTJ postgraduate courses by performance.

This is an intensive course that trains you to think, write and research like a journalist; previous study of journalism is not a requirement. You will learn how to write previews, match reports and sports features, and you will also cover media ethics and law, reporting and shorthand. In the final stage of the course, you will undertake a dissertation or a practical project, such as a sports journalism website or a series of in-depth articles.

We encourage you to publish your work and build up your portfolio. Opportunities for publication include SportsByte, our student-run website covering sport across Sunderland.
An important benefit of a Masters at Sunderland is the relevance of our research expertise, which includes sports and magazine journalism as well as web writing and social media. Sunderland hosts the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS) and our Media Department has been recognised for producing some world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Journalism diversity fund logo ‌The Journalism Diversity Fund is aimed at people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their journalism training.

Candidates must be from a socially or ethnically diverse background, be able to demonstrate genuine commitment to becoming a successful journalist and have secured a place on an NCTJ-accredited course.

George talks about the experience of studying at the University of Sunderland and the facilities designed for students from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Sports Journalism 1 (60 Credits)

  • Sports Journalism: Principles and Practice 1
  • Essential Media Law
  • Essential Public Affairs
  • Shorthand

Sports Journalism 2 (60 Credits)

  • Sports Journalism: Principles and Practice 2
  • Reporting
  • Media Ethics and Society
  • Shorthand

Sports Journalism 3 (60 Credits)

You will complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice, or you will complete a practical project which can be either a series of articles, a magazine, a newspaper or a website. As the culmination of the course, it will build on all the skills and knowledge that you have gained in the previous stages.

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of commitment and independent working. The course aims to stretch your creativity and maximise your sense of personal fulfilment.

In Stage 1 and Stage 2, you will have approx 22/23hrs teaching per week. This is arranged so that you have Friday off each week.

We encourage you to publish your work. The department has strong relationships with local and national media including Johnston Press, NCJ Media and Room 501 Publishing.

Assessment methods include essays, projects, presentations, and a major project/dissertation. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

The facilities at the David Puttnam Media Centre help you gain skills in areas such as writing, page design, online research, managing production, IT, and time management and presentation skills.

The mediaHUB

Throughout your time in Sunderland you will have an outlet for your creative talents in the mediaHUB, a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre that will give you a real taste of life as a working journalist. The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning Spark Radio and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

Journalism/PR suites

We have four journalism suites, each with 18 Apple Mac workstations with design applications and video editing. There’s an additional open access project completion suite with 20 more workstations and colour laser printing.

Broadcast Journalism Newsroom

The Broadcast Journalism Newsroom has 20 workstations plus a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. Each workstation has industry-standard software including Newscutter, Burli and ENPS.

Technical support

The Journalism Newsroom has another 20 Mac workstations and offers drop-in sessions run by a rota of working journalists who can advise on projects, assignments and your personal portfolio. These sessions are available every day of the week during term time. In addition, technicians are available to help you use all the software and equipment.

Radio studios

We have six radio studios including a transmission suite for 107 Spark FM, our student-run community radio station and a city centre hub.

TV studios

We have two broadcast-quality TV studios complete with green room and changing facilities. Equipment includes four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. We have over 40 full HD tapeless field camera systems.

Other media facilities

We have a live Sky feed and off-air recording facility, including DVD and Blu-ray recording, plus extensive footage archive/library. There is also a 203-seat cinema with full HD projection, 7.1 surround sound facility and the capability to play 3D feature films.

University Library Services

We’ve got a wide range of books, journals and e-books on relevant topics, with many more available through the inter-library loan service. Some useful resources for your studies include:

  • Lexis, which provides full-text newspaper articles as well as access to legal information
  • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
  • British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research

Location


The David Puttnam Media Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's,
St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

We will consider applicants with professional and vocational experience.

If you are suitably qualified, we will invite you to an interview to assess whether this is the right course for you.

We may ask you to undertake a short course that covers essential skills and knowledge, before you join the main Masters course.

If English is not your first language, you should have an IELTS (or equivalent) score of at least 7.0.

After 6 April 2015 you must take your IELTS exams at one of the test centres listed on the UKVI website. If you took your IELTS exam before 6 April 2015 this does not apply, and your qualification is still valid regardless of which test centre you used.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Postgraduate loans

From 2016/17, tuition fee loans will be available to UK/EU postgraduate students for the first time. Find out more about the eligibility criteria.

2016/17

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £4,500 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,000 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

On completing this course, you will be equipped for employment at an advanced level, with opportunities throughout the sports journalism industry. Potential roles include various positions across the communications, media, marketing and sports industries.

The course’s accreditation by the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ) will boost your employability within journalism. You can choose, at an additional cost, to gain the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism.

Recent Sunderland graduates are now working with organisations such as Sky Tyne and Wear and Durham County Cricket Club.

During the course we encourage you to gain industry experience which will enhance your skills, build up a valuable network of contacts and boost your employability. The Department has close links with regional organisations including North East Press and NCJ Media. The North East is famous for its sport and you will have opportunities for match visits, press conferences and interviews at local clubs including Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United, Newcastle Falcons and Durham CCC.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751
Email: enterprise@sunderland.ac.uk

Support

Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet your Personal Tutor at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Further support is provided by our technicians who help you make the most of the University’s equipment and software.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

As a professionally accredited centre for journalism education, we provide you with an opportunity to influence the future teaching of journalism. You can become an NCTJ student representative and attend a national council meeting once a year.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

"The department's links with Sky Tyne & Wear have helped me the most in my career."

Chris Hoy case study image

Chris Hoy

Commercial Lending Manager, Newsource Commercial Finance

"I was looking for a change, having worked in finance for several years I was ready for something different and more interesting.

"Sunderland offered a 'life-changing experience' and I was impressed by the range of courses on offer and the lecturers were friendly when I got in touch. I'm a big sports fan and had always wanted to pursue a creative career, so an MA in Sports Journalism sounded like a good fit. The course was well constructed and is accredited by National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

"By far the best thing about studying Sports Journalism at Sunderland is knowing that the lecturers have all been there and done that. With so much real-world experience, the lecturers (and the visiting lecturers) give real-world advice and practical guidance on the best way into the industry.

"I enjoyed the challenge and the fact that I was doing something I enjoyed - I found it easier to get out of bed each day!

"The course was very hands-on. By contributing to Sportsbyte, I was working on real news stories from the very beginning. In the first few weeks, I went to a press conference at the Stadium of Light and was interviewing Steve Cram for Sportsbyte. After that, I covered loads of sporting events from rugby to netball, news stories and interviewed a range of interesting people for features.

"Over the summer (before I'd graduated) I did some freelance shifts for Sky Tyne & Wear, which was a lot of hard work but very enjoyable. The department's links with Sky Tyne & Wear have helped me the most in my career. I got a paid job starting the day after my last exam.

"The visiting lecturers and speakers were also of a very high standard and gave me the chance to network and build contacts. Thanks to that I have been published in most of the local press as well as in the Guardian online.

"I would advise new students to give the course your best efforts and make the most of it because time flies. If I had my time again I would have done this course 10 years earlier!"

Apply for this course

To apply for this course use the relevant link below.

    Next Open Day

  • For further information on future postgraduate events, please contact the Student Helpline on +44 (0)191 515 3000.

Contact Sunderland

For more information, contact the Programme Leader:

Dr Alex Lockwood
Tel: 0191 515 2101
Email: alex.lockwood@sunderland.ac.uk

Read more about some of the staff that would teach you on the MA Sports Journalism course:

For more general information, contact:

The Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 3592
Email: admenquiry@sunderland.ac.uk

Social media: To see what events we run and to ask a question about this course, contact the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media on Facebook and Twitter.

Programme Starts  
Monday 19th September 2016 Apply now

The details

Course Name Sports Journalism
UCAS Code
CID1075
Classification MA
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 1 year
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 September 2016
UK/EU Fee £4,500
Intl Fee £11,000

Entry requirements

Good honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent qualification

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