Financial Journalism MA
Open Evening: Wednesday 19 June
Join us on Wednesday 19 June (17.00-19.00) to find out more about the Financial Journalism MA and talk to academics about the course and applying. Book your place now.
The Financial Journalism MA course is designed to train journalists to the highest professional standards in reporting business, economic and financial news.
It aims at producing the next generation of financial journalists who will excel at covering the current crisis and have the ability to spot the next one.
The course benefits from its location in the City of London, one the world's leading financial centres, with its concentration of major media companies and financial institutions.
Graduates of the Financial Journalism course are now working at leading business media organisations including Bloomberg, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, Financial Times and the BBC.
Video: understanding the economy
In this video Professor Steve Schifferes (director of the Financial Journalism MA) presents research into what the public thinks about the coverage of business and economics.
The course is suitable for UK/EU graduates or non-EU graduates with good English skills. It is also suitable for existing journalists who want to specialise in financial journalism, and for individuals with a background in the financial sector who want to work as journalists.
- You should be able to show that you have a commitment to journalism through relevant work experience, which might include work on a university/college publication, or work experience, ideally in a publication dealing with business, economics or finance.
- You should have at least a good second-class degree in any subject, ideally in social sciences, economics, or business. Considerations will also be given to mature applicants with substantial work experience in the financial sector and/or journalism.
- You should have good basic numeracy skills
- You should be able to demonstrate some knowledge and experience of finance and economics, which could be demonstrated either through academic qualifications or practical experience
- We are looking for enthusiasm and interest - someone who wants to be a financial journalist and is prepared to work hard to achieve that goal.
- Interviews will be required for all students, normally for UK residents at a selection day in April, and for overseas students by telephone or Skype.
- Application deadline is 1 April. Students applying after this date may be selected on a rolling-admission basis if places on the course become available.
Other Suitable Qualifications
Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students
If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma in Business, Law and Social Science. The course offers a route to City University London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, located in purpose built study facilities. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma at INTO City University London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this Masters degree.
For students whose first language is not English, we will provide support in this area but an IELTS score of at least 7.0 is required (including at least 7.0 in the written test).
City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than 6 months
- Students on courses of less than 6 months
- Students on a pre-sessional English Language course
For more information see our main Visa page.
- Start Date:
- 23 September 2013
- Full-time (10 months). We advise our students that they need to be available for classes and assignments from Mondays to Fridays during working hours, and occasionally outside those times.
The MA Financial Journalism course aims to develop the practical skills and knowledge you need to work in a full multimedia environment, as well as the analytic understanding of the key concepts and issues in financial journalism.
By the end of the course, you will have had extensive training in the best professional practice of reporting business and financial news, working across television, radio, print and online media.
You will have developed professional skills such as interviewing, researching and writing news stories and features, and will also understand how to obtain and use key economic and financial data, using state-of-the art Bloomberg and Reuters terminals.
You will have a firm grounding in key concepts in finance and economics, and the ability to understand and manipulate financial data and critically analyse the context and assumptions within statements by key policy makers.
The course is taught in two distinct ways: the compulsory modules teach practical journalism skills and the more specialised financial journalism electives cover key topics. You are required to take the overview course on financial journalism but can choose two out of a number of electives which look in more detail at particular aspects of business and financial journalism.
Course StructureCompulsory modules
Elective modules (take any 2)
Read the full Financial Journalism MA programme specification.
Teaching and Assessment
The MA Financial Journalism is led by Professor Steve Schifferes, former BBC economics correspondent, and includes both practical training in multimedia journalism skills as well as a more analytic approach to contemporary issues.
The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical workshops, and group and individual assignments which allow hands-on practical experience. You will also carry out a major project of your own in the summer term, under supervision, on a topic of your choice, to publishable or broadcast standards.
There are four key group assessments covering online, print, broadcast radio and television production. This usually includes an online production day on the UK annual budget, producing a live special report, and radio and TV production weeks during which you will produce a live half-hour current affairs business programme.
The Financial Journalism MA is taught by an outstanding faculty, all of whom have years of practical experience as financial journalists for such organisations as the BBC, Reuters and the Financial Times. The course also benefits from close collaboration with Cass Business School.
Guest speakers have included Jim O'Neill, vice-president of Goldman Sachs and the inventor of the BRICs concept, and Spencer Dale, chief economist at the Bank of England.
Extra workshopsWe offer a range of practical skills workshops for financial journalists - from numeracy training and ethics to using the Freedom of Information Act and forensic accounting, all taught by leading experts in their fields.
Class visitsThroughout the year of the course there are opportunities for you to visit and gain inside experience at a number of leading media organisations including: Reuters, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, the BBC and the Wall Street Journal, as well as key institutions such as the Bank of England and the Financial Services Agency.
Read the full Financial Journalism MA programme specification.
Recommended ReadingSample reading list for 'Key issues in financial journalism' module:
• Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big to Fail
• Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean, All the Devils Were Here
• Anya Schiffrin, Bad News: How the Media Missed the Story of the Century
• Rajan Rajanastan, Fault Lines
• David Wessel, In Fed We Trust
• Michael Lewis, The Big Short
- Full-time EU: £9,500 (2013 entry)
- Full-time Non EU: £19,000 (2013 entry)
The Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation funds studentships for applicants to the MA in Financial Journalism. In the past the Foundation has paid the full tuition costs for one in four students enrolling on the course. Please see their website for details of how to apply.The following organisations have also supported students in the Department of Journalism in the past. This is not a guarantee of future sponsorship, and you are advised to check the websites of these organisations for details of future bursary and scholarship schemes.
- NUJ (George Viner Memorial Fund). See the George Viner website.
- Postgrad Solutions. Two bursaries of £500 each, open to both international and UK students. See the Postgrad Solutions website for more information.
- British Council: Chevening awards. Usually for non-UK/EU students. See the Chevening website for further information. Please note: the deadline for 2012/3 Awards has passed.
Placements are an integral part of City's approach to journalism education, and provide valuable experience and useful contacts for future employment.
Students on placement do not just make the coffee, but publish articles under their own bylines. For example, of the class of 2012, Kimiko de Freytas Tamura wrote extensively for the Beyondbrics blog and Maria Tadeo wrote in the personal finance section of the Financial Times. Similarly, of the class of 2011, Emily Blewett and Huayuan Lu both had articles published on the BBC News website.
You are encouraged to find at least two placements during the year: one in the extended winter break, and one in the spring or summer after coursework is finished.
Paid internships on a competitive basis are available during the summer at Bloomberg and Reuters. In the past two years, a substantial proportion of places in the Bloomberg training scheme in London have been awarded to students from City's Journalism Department, including those on the Financial Journalism MA course.
We give you substantial support in finding placements, including sessions on CV writing, interviewing techniques and job search, as well as our extensive contacts with leading media organisations and our alumni network.
In recent years, some organisations have offered places exclusively for students on the MA Financial Journalism programme (although competitive and requiring completion of an application and interview process).
Although the course has been running only since 2010, students on the Financial Journalism MA are demonstrating impressive success in getting paid jobs in business and financial journalism.
All but one of the students from the class of 2010/11 found paid employment as financial journalists within six months of graduation, many with the leading media organisations in this field. And three months after finishing their course, the class of 2011/12 appears on track to duplicate their success.
Among their destinations were:
- Bloomberg News (Billionaires team; television producer)
- BBC News (business reporter on BBC website)
- Mandate wire (Financial Times group, Hong Kong)
- Argos Media (energy reporting news wire)
- Blackrock (New York)
- Bloomberg News (television producer)
- Wall St Journal/Dow Jones (markets reporter, Tokyo)
- Financial Times group (Pensions Weekly, Financial Times, Debtwire, and China Confidential)
- BBC News (researcher and fixer, business unit)
- Energy Intelligence
This extraordinary success rate, with several students receiving multiple job offers, demonstrates the respect that leading employers have for City graduates in financial journalism.
Find out more about City University London
We will accept applications until the course is full.
Please submit the following:
One application form. You can download a pdf file of our application form below. An online application form will be available shortly.
- Two references. We prefer you to submit one academic reference, and one reference from a journalism- or finance-related work placement.
Please note that you are responsible for ensuring that your references reach us at the same time as your application.
- A copy of your degree transcript. We require one of the following: an original transcript; a copy certified by your university; or an electronic scan of your transcript. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to submit your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.
- Details of your work experience in journalism or the financial sector. Applicants should be able to demonstrate commitment to financial journalism through relevant work experience. Either include these on a separate sheet with your postal application, or copy and paste the details into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
- The following two articles. Either include these with your postal application, or copy and paste them into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
Article 1: explain in not more than 250 words why you want to come on our course and study financial journalism, and what you expect to gain from it. Please include relevant details of your interest and experience in both journalism and the financial agenda. (This replaces the "Statement in Support of Application" requested in the application form.)
Article 2: a 250-word article on a topic of your choice in business or financial journalism, based on your own personal investigation of the topic, including an interview with someone relevant to the topic.
We will accept applications until the course is full. We suggest that you submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
It is your responsibility to submit a completed application, including references and articles specified above.
Most interviews will take place between March and June 2013.
You should expect to hear whether or not you have been selected for a place on the course within a week or two of your interview.
Please return all application material, marked "Postgraduate Applications 2013", to: Admissions, Graduate School of Journalism, City University London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK.