MA Journalism

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £7,250

Home (per credit): £40.28

International (full-time, per year): £15,600

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

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About this course

A vocational programme taught using industry-standard facilities so you gain the hands-on experience you will need in your day-to-day work as a journalist.

  • Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)
  • Practical training in research and writing as well as multi-media production
  • Teaching from journalists with many years’ experience and links to local newspapers, TV companies and radio stations 
  • Opportunities for industrial placements with media organisations
  • Taught in the £38 million Redmonds Building with industry-standard facilities including newsrooms, studios, editing booths
  • Opportunity to sit professional National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) exams and acquire their full diploma
  • Publish work on LJMU Journalism's Liverpool Life website


This highly vocational Masters programme provides practical training in multi-media journalism and will further your understanding of the law and how public bodies work. You will also develop skills in analysis and interpretation, initiative and research, which are useful in any career.

Professional body recognition

Students will have an opportunity to sit professional National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) exams and acquire their full diploma during their studies.

Students studying on NCTJ accredited courses are more appealing to employers looking for multi-skilled recruits who know the fundamentals of journalism and can operate to professional standards.

Find out more about the NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund to help cover some costs of training.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)

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  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

You will be given an in-depth understanding of journalism as a profession and, throughout the course, we strive to highlight to you the full range of career options available to you when you leave.

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Your career and academic development are at the heart of our course design. In particular, you can expect to enjoy career opportunities in areas such as: journalism, public relations, information management, press offices in local and central government and international organisations.

In addition, you may wish to continue to PhD study, for a career in academia. As well as gaining these highly valuable research skills, you will be equipped with a number of transferable skills that will be highly valued in related industries such as marketing, PR, new media, broadcasting and writing.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core modules

Media Law, Regulation and Court Reporting
20 credits

This module covers basic knowledge of the English legal system, including of court processes the hierarchy of the courts; contempt of court and related matters; the rules of the court protecting anonymity in the reporting of children and sexual offences; reporting the courts – court procedure and reporting restrictions; open justice and challenging court orders; defamation and related matters; copyright; privacy and confidentiality; regulation – the role of the Editors’ Code and the Broadcast Code; ethics in newsgathering – including reporting children and vulnerable people; protecting journalists’ sources and the right to report.

The module will prepare you for the NCTJ professional diploma examinations in Essential Media Law and Court Reporting.

Journalism in Context
20 credits

This module provides a critical understanding of journalism theory and concepts.

Subject areas will include the impact of the digital revolution, patterns of media ownership, the implications of the demise of local journalism and the emergence of the democratic deficit.

It will also incorporate principles of communication practices in the digital age, for example PR, embedded journalism, churnalism and clickbait.

You will explore and critically analyse journalism regulation and media freedom and will be able to examine key ethical issues in practical journalism including representation of disadvantaged group and reporting trauma.

Journalism in Context will provide a challenging insight into journalism practice and will equip you with a theoretical knowledge base which you can then develop further into a dissertation or personal study project in your final semester.

This module complements Media Law, Regulations and Court Reporting by enabling you to reflect on the theory of legal, regulatory and ethical frameworks within the context of practical journalism issues.

Research Skills for Journalists
10 credits

This module teaches skills required for Masters dissertation or Masters practical project, including providing an understanding of research methods and the production of research papers and dissertations. It should develop the students' research skills and allow them to plan and develop the early part of the dissertation or practical project.

Major Journalism Dissertation
60 credits

This module will assist you to produce a written dissertation that researches a key issue relating to News or Sports Journalism and which demonstrates mastery in its analysis and evaluation. It will cover research aims and objectives, research questions and hypothesis; literature review and underpinning theories; paradigms: positivism and interpretivism; research methodologies: quantitative and qualitative approaches; research methods; data collection and analysis; validity and reliability in research; ethical issues and writing up academic research.

Major Journalism Practical Project
60 credits

The major research project is an extended piece of research giving the student an opportunity to study in depth a topic or issue of their choosing, with clear boundaries achievable, and to produce a professional piece of independent journalism in a suitable format as negotiated with the supervisor.

You will be expected to integrate newly acquired production skills and knowledge together with advanced research skills at Masters level.

All knowledge and skills gained on the course should be applied to produce a highly professional piece of written and/or broadcast journalism, which is adaptable for a targeted outlet and therefore highly applicable and relevant in displaying an ability to multi-skill and produce and present across different media platforms. Examples include a series of online/multi-media features, a long-form radio documentary, a TV documentary, a series of print features for newspapers or magazines.

Portfolio and Professional Practice
20 credits

Public Affairs for Journalists
10 credits

Multi-Platform Journalism
20 credits


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Full-time students can expect 16-18 contact hours per week over three full days. Two days a week will be spent with a combination of self-directed study and practical work.

Teaching methods

You will receive taught elements through a mixture of seminars, workshops and tutorials. One to one tutorials will be combined with group seminars/workshops, with some bespoke workshops for smaller groups.

You will have access to the Liverpool Screen School's industry-standard facilities in Redmonds Building, helping you secure the hands-on experience you will need in your day-to-day work as a journalist. These facilities include edit suites, newsrooms, radio sound studios and a TV studio.

Applied learning

Our strong links with local newspapers, television companies and radio stations mean that there will be opportunities for invaluable work experience during the course, and you will be encouraged to get involved with various student media outlets in Liverpool, including our own website.

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The modules and assessments for the programme will reflect the NCTJ syllabus and will include essential journalism, news writing, multi-platform journalism, media law, public affairs and shorthand.

Students will hear from a range of guest speakers, including: 

  • Liam Thorp – Politics Editor, Liverpool Echo (Reach Plc)
  • Vidar Hardeng – Law and Ethics diversity consultant – ITV News
  • Sophie Corcoran – News reporter, Hull Daily Mail
  • Jenny Kirkham – News reporter, Liverpool Echo
  • Graham Beecroft – Talksport, BBC Merseyside, football correspondent
  • Connor Dunn – Sports reporter, Liverpool Echo
  • John Pickford – Editor-in-Chief, Bauer Radio News
  • Michael McCann – Freelance sports broadcaster (Cricket World Cup)
  • Mark Nicholls – War/conflict reporter – freelance regional and national journalist
  • Anna Kessel – Women’s Sports Editor, Telegraph Media
  • Steve Sutcliffe – Online reporter, BBC Sport
  • Emma Jones – BBC 5 Live sports journalist + LUTV presenter
  • Alice McKeegan – Head of Football, Manchester Evening News
  • Abigail Edge - Google News Lab - teaching fellow
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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Assessment will be mostly portfolio-based, with some exams in law, shorthand, media regulation and court reporting. Your Major Project/Dissertation will be 15,000 words or equivalent.

Course tutors

David Toomer

David Toomer

Programme leader

There has never been a greater need for accurate and professional journalism produced by skilled and qualified journalists. Taught by a team of dedicated professionals, this course will equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to forge a successful career in this exciting industry.

We have strong links and industry endorsements from Sky News/Sky Sports News, BBC Sport, Reach Plc, and we have an excellent range of industry speakers who will come in and give guest lectures.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. Redmonds is shared by the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and Liverpool Business School, making for a rich blend of student learning experiences. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2.2 honours degree in a relevant subject area (e.g. English Language, English Literature, Politics, History, Law, Sociology) is preferable, although degrees in non-relevant subjects will also be considered

  • non-standard applications from those without a degree will also be considered 

Additional information:

  • All short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an informal interview (via Skype/telephone/Zoom if not possible in person and for international students)
  • International students should have recognised qualifications equivalent to a British Bachelors degree preferably in a relevant subject (e.g. Journalism, Media Studies, English Language, English Literature, Politics, History, Law, Sociology) with a pass of at least 2:2 plus an IELTS score of 7.5 (minimum 7 in each component) or an equivalent English language test accepted by UKVI

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

All applicants undergo an informal interview (Skype or telephone if living abroad or cannot attend in person), a few basic writing activities, general knowledge and use of English to ensure the degree is right for you as well as your ability to cope with the rigours of an accredited programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course