Sports Journalism MA

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Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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Receive a postgraduate degree accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). Gain qualifications that will make you stand out from others. Train, write and research like a journalist.

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Overview

The combination of an MA and NCTJ Diploma will significantly boost your employability as a sports journalist. This is an intensive course that trains you to think, write and research like a journalist; previous study of journalism is not a requirement. This part-time course is spread over two years, which allows you to combine it with flexible paid work and other commitments.

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.

Why us?

  • 'World-leading' research in Media, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • 95.8% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK postgraduate students)
  • National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) accredited

Course structure

On this part-time course you can expect around eight hours per week of contact time in the first year and around 14 hours per week in the second year. 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 22/23 hours 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.

Sports Journalism 1 (60 credits):

  • Sports Journalism: Principles and Practice 1

Learn the exciting practices of sports journalism from interviewing top stars to reporting on breaking sports stories, via mobile platforms and social media integrated newsroom workshops with a team of fellow trainee and professional sports journalists live from our Media Hub.

  • Essential Media Law and Regulation

Prepare yourself for the profession of sports journalism with our widely praised media law and regulation lecturers and seminars with ex-Mirror and Grazia journalist Carole Watson.

  • Public Affairs

Get to grips with the world of sports in government, local accountability and the ways in which politics affects our entire sporting world, from who licences the police at matches to the business of sports at grassroots through to international levels.

  • Shorthand

Like learning a new language, shorthand prepares you for any eventuality in the industry, from reporting at the High Court to capturing the words of that 100-year-old club legend when your mobile runs out of battery. Taught by the experienced Pauline Sandor and Elaine Hunt-Vincent.


Sports Journalism 2 (60 credits):

  • Sports Journalism: Principles and Practice 2

Build on your skills with advanced training in photography, mobile journalism, design and production, and the investigative craft of going deeper into your specialist areas whatever they might be, from motor-biking to swimming to cricket to curling (and anything in between).

  • Reporting

Preparation for the notorious NCTJ Reporting exam, this module hones your everyday craft of finding sources and getting the angle under time pressure while paying attention to SEO, analytics and social media, run as live news days in our Media Hub. Always relevant for sports journalists who will need to know how to find a good story and report to deadline.

  • Media Ethics and Society

Enjoy immersing yourself within the complex world of media ethics and focus your analytical and investigative skills on a mini-dissertation project tailored to your own interests, working with key sports lecturers such as John Price, and journalism professionals such as Rob Lawson (ex-Sunderland Echo), to fully explore the interrelation of media and society.

  • Shorthand

Take your shorthand to the next level with these advanced workshops that prepare you for the tough NCTJ shorthand exams. Taught by the experienced Pauline Sandor and Elaine Hunt-Vincent.


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.

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

The David Puttnam Media Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.911899,-1.372815

  • The David Puttnam Media Centre has a 203-seat cinema with 7.1 surround sound facility.

    We also have a live Sky feed and off-air recording facility, including DVD and Blu-ray recording, plus an extensive footage archive/library.

    The cinema is used for film screenings, critique, lectures, live broadcast screenings and student film nights.

    Cinema
  • Perfect your craft in our 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.

    In addition, technicians are available to help you use all the software and equipment. Each workstation has industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS.

  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Resources which will be particularly useful for Journalism and Media 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
    • Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Library Services - journalism and media
  • Learn in our 203 seat cinema and 7.1 surround sound facility. Get hands-on in our two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities. Access four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. Our field camera systems, comprises Blackmagic Ursa, Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro, Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with associated location kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

    Get experience with Made in Tyne & Wear, based in the Media Centre providing placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates.

    Go on-air in one of five radio studios, including a larger radio drama studio and a transmission suite for Spark, our award winning student-run community radio station. Spark has a target audience of 15 to 24 year-olds and broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Develop your skills in our digital audio post-production area with voice-over booths and 70 workstations with state-of-the-art HD Edit systems, including Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Premier Pro. You'll also use DaVinci Resolve for colour correction. 

    TV and radio studios

Facilities

The David Puttnam Media Centre is a thriving place to study and experience media. Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle and Made in Tyne & Wear, who are both based in the building. Volunteer with award winning Spark Sunderland, write for one of our suite of websites or edit Spark Magazine in our mediaHUB. Get hands on in TV and Radio Studios, Journalism and Digital editing suites. Learn from experts in this centre of excellence for training.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is


  • 2:1 classification or equivalent from a Canadian bachelor's degree
  • 2:1 classification or equivalent from a USA bachelor's degree

.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.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

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

Fees and finance

Part-time fees for this course are £344 per 10 credits.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

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.

Employability

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 Sports News, Sky Tyne and Wear, Middlesbrough FC, Norwich FC, the European Golf Tour, 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.

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