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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2021
Study at City

MA Magazine Journalism

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Entry Year:
Learn essential skills, produce print and online magazines, and complete at least seven weeks' work experience.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates

Duration

10 months

UK

Full-time: £10,610 *

EU

Full-time: £21,230 *

Non-EU

Full-time: £21,230 *

Application period

From October 2020

Campus

Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for anyone with a first degree in any subject who wants to be a first class magazine journalist. Students must have excellent general knowledge and be prepared to work across print and digital platforms with a variety of content. Students will have passion for communicating in words and pictures - and an appetite for fun and hard work is essential.

Magazine Journalism students write, design and produce the department’s showcase magazine XCity and its website Xcityplus.com. Read the latest digital edition and check out the listings at the back to find out where our graduates are working now.

Objectives

This hugely successful and well-established course prepares students for a wide range of careers in magazine and features journalism, both print and online, from glossy consumer titles to international news journals.

Skills taught range from writing long form investigative features to arts and culture reviews; polished profile pieces to podcasts and video editing for online; designing and subbing print and online pages and picture editing.

There is a strong entrepreneurial angle to the course and students learn how to research, create and launch new media products and to engage audiences. Accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, students learn from magazine and specialist journalists and around 30 visiting editors, commissioning editors and editorial directors from the UK’s leading publishing houses.

We have been running Journalism courses at City since 1976. In the years since, over 5,000 students have graduated and are now working in the media in the UK and internationally. Read an interview with one of our recent graduates about her experiences and tips on being at City.

Accreditation

Professional Publishers Association

This degree is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). The 2019 PPA reaccreditation panel described the MA Magazine programme as “a phenomenal course that consistently produces enthused, confident, highly-competent journalists with the correct knowledge, creativity, and capability to thrive in the modern magazine media workplace”.

Alumni from this course have won the PPA New Talent Postgraduate Magazine Student of the Year Award for 14 consecutive years, including a unique joint top prize for two City Magazine students in 2018.

Hear from winner, Alex Daniel, about scooping the award and how the magazine course helped him get his first job.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

You should hold an upper second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution.

You should also have a minimum of two weeks’ work experience in magazines or newspapers. This includes professional online publications and regional media. Student journalism or self published journalism, such as a good quality blog, is also considered relevant and may be enough to secure a place on the MA.

INTO City, University of London

Don’t meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You’ll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Journalism.

Other suitable qualifications

As well as new graduates, we also welcome mature applicants with substantial work experience in the industry.

English requirements

If English is not your first language, you must get a minimum overall score of 7.0 in the IELTS English language test, including at least 7.0 in the writing component of the test and no lower than 6.5 in any other component. Students from outside the UK might wish to apply for the International Journalism MA, which is specifically designed for a global cohort.

English language programmes

Don’t meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Apply now:

MA Magazine Journalism (Full time)2021/2

All applications are to be submitted online. Your application must include:

  1. A copy of your degree transcript: We require one of the following: an original transcript; a copy certified by your institution; or an electronic scan of your transcript. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to submit an interim transcript until your final transcript is available.  You may submit transcripts from your first and second years of undergraduate study.  You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your final degree transcript.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  3. Details of your work experience in journalism: Applicants should be able to demonstrate commitment to journalism through relevant work experience. You should upload details of your journalism work experience in a separate document into any of the available document upload slots.
  4. The following two articles: You may copy and paste these into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
    • Article 1: explain in not more than 200 words why you want to come on our course and what you expect to gain from it.
    • Article 2: interview someone interesting in your local area. Based on this interview you should write a 250-word article.
  5. All applicants who are considered suitable will be interviewed, either in person or electronically if the candidate is out of the country.
13/13
winners of the Professional Publishers Association New Talent awards for best journalism student were from this course (2007 to 2019)
92.6%
of graduates in employment six months after completing the course (DLHE 2014-15).
1st
We are ranked 1st in London for Communication and Media Studies in the Complete University Guide 2020
During your course

More about fees

* Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

The following organisations have 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.

Alumni views

MA Magazine Journalism alumni Selena Randhawa and Joseph Evans explain how their experience at City helped kick start their careers.

Work experience

Work experience is an integral part of the Magazine MA. Work experience is an essential step in developing your career in journalism as they help you put your learning into practice and make contacts in the industry.

Work experience is not formally assessed or arranged as part of the MA programme but your personal tutor can advise you of suitable organisations to approach and how best to make use of our extensive alumni network.

You are asked to undertake seven weeks of work experience while on the Magazine MA course. This usually happens during the Christmas and Easter break.

In a typical academic year magazine students will complete work experience at about 100 different magazines, newspapers, websites, and other media outlets.

In the past year these included:

  • Gay Times
  • Elle
  • Empire
  • Pulse
  • Radio Times
  • British Journal of Photography
  • Stylist
  • Mixmag
  • The Times Weekend
  • Standard ES magazine
  • Vice
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • Women’s Health
  • Refinery29
  • Hello
  • Marie Claire
  • Observer New Review.

Academic facilities

A broadcast from City's journalism television recording studio

You will gain practical skills in our state-of-the-art digital television studio, digital editing suites, radio studios and broadcast newsrooms.

In 2014 we completed a £12m development projects for our Journalism facilities. These facilities were developed in consultation with experts from the BBC and ITN, and were praised by the BJTC. Our facilities include:

  • A television studio: enabling simultaneous multi-media broadcast and a major expansion in the number of news and current affairs programmes produced
  • Four radio studios: enabling an increase in output and the potential to explore a permanent radio station
  • Two radio broadcast newsrooms: high-tech facilities that enable you to learn how to produce a radio programme
  • Two digital newsrooms: impressive modern facilities that enable you to learn the skills required to produce newspapers, magazines and websites
  • Two TV editing and production newsrooms: state-of-the-art facilities that enable you to learn about TV production.
  • In 2019 we added an interactive news room in collaboration with vSolution MATRIX from WolfVision costing £42,000. Included within the space is a green screen zone, as well as a radio studio integrated with a Dante audio system. In the Newsroom the emphasis is on replicating the professional workplace, with interactive technology on each group table where students produce newspaper articles, magazines pieces and TV and radio programmes about live issues.

Accommodation

We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Timetables

Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

Some modules are taught in lecture theatres, but most are small-group workshops that allow you to develop your journalistic skills and knowledge with the support of our expert academics.

Shorthand

Our students have the option of taking part in a Teeline shorthand course alongside their studies. This costs £100 (refundable if you reach 100 words per minute) and runs across two terms.

Visiting lecturers

For details of the expert academics who teach on this course see the Academic Profiles below. In addition you will also be taught by a team of visiting lecturers.

In 2019/20 the experts listed below taught on this course, but may be subject to change in future years.

Julian Linley is a multimedia creative consultant, formerly Editor-in-Chief of Digital Spy, Creative Director of Bauer Media, and Editor of heat magazine and heatworld.com

Jim Grice is a specialist in online video, formerly Head of News and Current affairs at London Live; Editor of Video at Press Association, and Bulletin Editor at Associated Press TV.

Mia Aimaro Ogden works on the arts and leisure desk of The Sunday Times. She writes regularly for the Sunday Time's Culture and Travel sections.

Visiting Professor Barney Jones started a new award winning political programme in the 1990's - Breakfast with Frost - anchored by David Frost, then launched The Andrew Marr Show. Earlier in his career he worked a producer at Newsnight, and BBC Breakfast News, and ran Election coverage at the BBC.

Ian Parkinson is a freelance broadcaster, radio and podcast producer. His work includes Executive Producer, of the Jamie Cullum show on Radio 2, and well as producer of documentaries and series for BBC Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 4 and 6Music. He’s the producer and presenter of the Rouleur Magazine Podcast.

Malvin Van Gelderen is an art director and trainer in InDesign and Photoshop. Formerly a designer of trade publications at Haymarket Press followed by 14 years as Art Director on leisure, specialist and woman's interest at IPC Media. He’s also been a designer of newspapers and colour supplement's at the Daily Mirror, The Sun, and Express newspapers.

Fred Burlage is a copy writer. He was a former Digital Editor of Business and Money at The Sunday Times, and ex Chief Sub-editor of Business and Money Sections of The Sunday Telegraph.

Catherine Pepinster is a former editor of the Tablet magazine, and was Features Editor of the Independent and Associate Editor of the Independent on Sunday.

Claire de Than is Co-Director of the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City, University of London. She is a Law Commissioner (Jersey). The author or co-author of more than 15 books.

Harriet Swain is a freelance education journalist for The Guardian; Associate Editor at *Research; and formerly the Times Higher Education’s deputy books and features editor.

Richard Ward (Shorthand)

Assessment

All MA Journalism courses at City are practical, hands-on courses designed for aspiring journalists. As a result, much of your coursework will be journalistic assignments that you produce to deadline, as you would in a real news organisation.

Assessment is part of learning, and course assessments vary to reflect the learning being achieved. They include workshop exercises, studio work, oral presentations, essays, reflections, exams and production (making journalism products), and different forms (written, oral, visual, aural), as well as being individual and team-based.

Modules

The magazine industry has never been more exciting and challenging. This course prepares you for the exciting world of magazines which may be more varied than you imagine - whether it’s writing a feature for a glossy men’s magazine or a lifestyle website, podcasting an interview, or researching and crafting a story for the newsdesk of a business-to-business publication.

All of our MA Journalism students must undertake underpinning core modules in Ethics, Rules and Standards, and a Final Project.

Core modules

  • Ethics, Rules and Standards (30 credits) - You put practical journalism in an ethical context with case studies and there are discussion groups in the second term.
  • Journalism Portfolio (30 credits) - You’ll be taught all the skills that make a great journalist – how to research, interview, report and produce content (news and features) across digital and print.
  • Editorial Production (30 credits) - You learn print and multimedia production packages, culminating in the production of a print magazine (XCity) and website (xcityplus.com).
  • UK Media Law (15 credits) - You learn the basics of UK Media Law to enable you to work in a UK newsroom.
  • The Magazine Business (15 credits) - You are given a solid grounding in all aspects of the print and digital magazine industry through master classes given by industry professionals. You learn about photography, illustration, typography and graphics.
  • Final Project (30 credits) - This module provides you with the opportunity to put into practice all the professional and theoretical skills learnt on the course in the generation of a series of features totalling 5,000 words, or an equivalent multimedia project.

Elective modules

Choose one of the following three modules:

  • Political Headlines (15 credits) - You learn the structure of British Government and how it works; and you meet journalists who report and present it
  • Data Journalism (15 credits) - You will learn up-to-the-minute journalism skills using statistics and data to provide and substantiate stories
  • Podcasting (15 credits)

Specialism journalism elective modules

In 2019-20 there were 11 specialisms on offer to MA students from the International, Magazine, and Newspaper pathways. They consist of eight, three-hour sessions.

To ensure they are taught in small groups there is cap on the maximum number in each specialism. Students are asked to list three choices. The vast bulk of students get their first choice, and everyone gets one of their three choices.

These specialisms all ran in 2020, but this does not guarantee they will all be available in 2021. The tutors may also vary.

Arts and Culture

This course will deal with intelligent arts journalism in a serious but non-stuffy way. We’ll be tackling pitching, reviewing, interviewing, profiling and commentary in the fields of cinema, theatre, music (pop and classical), books and contemporary cultural issues.

Tutor: Mia Aimaro Ogden works on the arts and leisure desk of The Sunday Times.

Finance and Business

Learn how to turn complicated financial concepts into clear, informative news stories that people want to read. Confidence in knowing how to cover business/financial/economic news gives you a useful skill to offer and can be an advantage in getting a job in journalism.

Tutor: Camila Reed is a highly experienced multi-media journalist and editor specialising in financial markets, commodities and energy.

Health, Science and the Environment

Thanks to rapid technological advances and the challenges presented by climate change, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, there has arguably never been a better time for stories about health, science and the environment.

This module will teach you how to conduct interviews, pitch stories and freelance for newspapers and magazines.

Tutor: Mark Hongisbaum. A writer and journalist specialising in the history and science of infectious disease, Mark is the former Chief Reporter of The Observer.

Humanitarian Reporting

Topics examined include disaster relief, climate change, the safeguarding of human rights, asylum/immigration issues and tax justice. Recent speakers have included one of the UKs foremost experts on the tax dodging of multinational organisations.

Tutor: John Davison worked for 20 years as a newspaper and magazine journalist, including 10 years on The Sunday Times.

Investigative Reporting

We will consider how to use the overload of information available on the internet alongside more traditional techniques of developing and maintaining contacts, interviewing sources and analysing documents to develop original, ground breaking stories. Previous trips have included visits to Buzzfeed and The Guardian

Tutor: Jason Lewis is an awarding winning investigative reporter with over 20 years experience working on leading UK publications.

Lifestyle

This specialism helps students to develop the specific skill sets and mindset necessary to shine in this broad, fun and exciting form of journalism. It highlights the influence of the creative and design industries and explores a wide range of subject matter, including food, travel, fashion, well-being and technology.

Tutor: Roger Tredre spent four years at The Independent and five years at The Observer doing lifestyle journalism.

Political Reporting

The course is intended to be a highly practical examination of the way political reporters cover the UK political scene, with an emphasis on Westminster but also with reference to the European parliament and Commission, and local government. The course will feature a visit to The Commons and The Lords.

Tutor:  Barney Jones started a new award winning political programme in the 1990's, Breakfast with Frost, then launched another Sunday political programme The Andrew Marr Show which still sets the political agenda each week.

Popular Culture

Style and writing are at the heart of the course. The first half of the course focuses on how to interview subjects. In the second part, the emphasis shifts to feature writing, reviewing, imaginative approaches for bringing ideas to the page and investigative reporting.

Tutor: David Roper, writer, broadcaster and Managing Director of Heavy Entertainment, an independent production company.

Reporting the Middle East

This module aims to introduce and explore issues in and around the Middle East. It will focus on the contemporary Middle East and on the various ways of thinking about, analysing and reporting on that region.

Tutor: Dr Zahera Harb is a senior lecturer on the MA International Journalism programme.

Security and Crime

This course covers how to report on UK based terrorism and crime. This is an extremely practical specialism. It includes how to make contacts; responding to a breaking story; and getting exclusives. Previous visits include trips to the National Crime Agency headquarters (Britain’s “FBI”), and the Old Bailey court.

Tutor: Jason Bennetto was the crime correspondent with special responsibility for security reporting at The Independent for 13 years.

Sport

The specialism will cover the key elements of sports journalism: live events, interviews, press conferences, features and news reporting. You will learn about how to work with the pack, how to work with the desk, how to draw information from an athlete.

Tutor: Glenn Moore is a freelance journalist whose current roles include covering the Premier League for the Sunday Times and presenting a podcast for Sport England.

Journalism Innovation (alternative option to a specialism)

The aim of Journalism Innovation is to develop creative, flexible and innovative journalists who can bring fresh thinking to a media organisation; create dynamic content for a start-up media enterprise; or launch their own journalistic website or other product.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

After you graduate

Career prospects

Here are a selection of jobs obtained by Magazine students within four months of finishing at City in July 2019.

  • Editorial Assistant - The Times Magazine
  • Social Community Editor - Dazed
  • Reporter - Law Society Journal
  • Acting Junior Writer - Women’s Health
  • Junior Digital Writer - Stylist magazine
  • Digital Editorial Assistant - Delicious magazine
  • Reporter - Wareable
  • Junior Writer - MoneyWeek
  • Junior Snapchat Producer - PinkNews
  • Reporter (features) - New Civil Engineer
  • News Producer - Globo International
  • City Hall reporter BBC’s Local Democracy Service
  • Assistant Editor - Early Years Educator magazine
  • Online Assistant - Country & Town House.

Magazine MA alumni

Graduates of the MA Magazine course include:

  • Zing Tsjeng - Executive Editor of Vice UK
  • Dolly Alderton - Author and podcast host of The High Low
  • James Ball - Global Editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • Alex Petridis - The Guardian’s head Rock and Pop critic
  • Susan Riley - Editor of Stylist magazine
  • Yara Silva - Group Head of Social for Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and OK!
  • Sally Shelford - Editor of ITV’s Loose Women
  • Pippa Jacks - Group Editor of Travel Trade Gazette
  • Katy Balls - Deputy Political Editor of Spectator magazine
  • Helena Lee - Features Editor at Harper’s Bazaar
  • Poppy McPherson - Myanmar Bureau Chief for Reuters
  • Kate Lloyd - Features Editor at Time Out
  • Stuart McGurk - Associate Editor at GQ
  • Kirsty McGregor - Editor of Drapers
  • Tom Loxley - Executive Editor of Radio Times and Editor of Rakes Progress magazine
  • Ali Plumb - Film critic for BBC Radio 1 and 1 Xtra
  • Ellie Austin - Editor and Editor of Live Journalism at the Wall Street Journal
  • Ben Riley-Smith - US Editor at The Daily Telegraph.

The vast majority of our Magazine MA students get jobs in journalism and regular freelance work within a year of leaving City.

100% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Application Deadline


Apply now:

MA Magazine Journalism (Full time)2021/2

All applications are to be submitted online. Your application must include:

  1. A copy of your degree transcript: We require one of the following: an original transcript; a copy certified by your institution; or an electronic scan of your transcript. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to submit an interim transcript until your final transcript is available.  You may submit transcripts from your first and second years of undergraduate study.  You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your final degree transcript.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  3. Details of your work experience in journalism: Applicants should be able to demonstrate commitment to journalism through relevant work experience. You should upload details of your journalism work experience in a separate document into any of the available document upload slots.
  4. The following two articles: You may copy and paste these into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
    • Article 1: explain in not more than 200 words why you want to come on our course and what you expect to gain from it.
    • Article 2: interview someone interesting in your local area. Based on this interview you should write a 250-word article.
  5. All applicants who are considered suitable will be interviewed, either in person or electronically if the candidate is out of the country.

Contact details

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