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Journalism MA

This course offers an exciting combination of theoretical and practical study and training. Taught by highly experienced, qualified journalists, the course emphasises National Council for the Training of Journalists’ syllabus and exams, in a programme designed especially for postgraduates.


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Find out more about studying at DMU, your area of study and the amazing opportunities available to DMU students. 

Reasons to study Journalism at De Montfort University:

  • Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)
    the NCTJ accreditation is recognised by industry and internationally, it assures you that our course content and examinations have been monitored through one of the UKs leading Journalism organisations 
  • More than 20 years’ experience of teaching journalism
    our teaching staff are a range of respected and award-winning professionals and academic experts who have many years of industry experience meaning you can draw on their expertise to develop skills that are relevant for a career in Journalism 
  • Smaller teaching groups
    you will benefit from learning in small cluster groups providing you with more one-to-one teaching time, enhancing your knowledge and understanding 
  • Dedicated facilities
    access to the Leicester Centre for Journalism newsrooms which are a dedicated teaching and learning space for Journalism students 
  • Excellent graduate prospects
    graduates have a proven track record of launching successful careers for national newspapers and new agencies, magazine journalism, television and radio journalism including Channel 4 and BBC, the government and the Police Force
  • Enjoy an international experience with #DMUglobal
    students have the opportunity to take part in a #DMUglobal experience, which can enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons

Our work-based journalism course is fully accredited by the industry's training body, the National Council for the Training of Journalists. It offers a high quality professional course with emphasis on attention to your strengths and weaknesses – an approach which gives our graduates a tremendous advantage in the hugely competitive journalism jobs market. As you’ve probably heard, the hardest part of the job is getting into the industry in the first place. Industry training places are few and far between. The most reliable way is to do an NCTJ course – which leads to a qualification recognised throughout this country as well as abroad.

Successful students will gain two complementary 'qualifications'. Those who pass all the NCTJ exams gain the NCTJ certificate and satisfactory completion of all aspects of the course leads to the Postgraduate Diploma/MA, which may be awarded with distinction for exceptional candidates.

We have almost 20 years' experience in helping graduates to launch their careers and our alumni are now working as successful, award-winning journalists on national, regional and local newspapers, in public relations, television and radio, and specialist media on all platforms.

Graduate success and news

TV news chief gives guidance to journalism students

Postgraduate study at DMU leads Liam to dream journalism job



Tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent available when studying this course
The Vice-Chancellor's 2020 scholarship is available to DMU graduates studying a range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students.


More courses like this:

Investigative Journalism MA

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26


PGDip - 9 months full-time
MA - 1 year full-time

Start date: September

Fees and funding: 

For 2016/2017 entry - £4,750

For 2017/2018 entry - £5,000

Tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent available when studying this course
The Vice-Chancellor's 2020 scholarship is available to DMU graduates studying a range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Institution code: D26


PGDip - 9 months full-time
MA - 1 year full-time

Start date: September

Fees and funding: 

For 2016/2017 entry - £12,200

For 2017/2018 entry - £12,600

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

How to apply: International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online portal or direct application form

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Typically, you will be a graduate who has, during your time at university, demonstrated a commitment to a career in publications, perhaps through involvement with a student magazine or work experience in media. You should normally have:

  • A good (2:2 or above) Honours degree, or equivalent
  • An excellent standard of English (IELTS 7.5 or equivalent for international applicants)
  • A minimum of one week’s work experience in a professional newsroom

All candidates must complete a written application which will form the basis for selection at interview. Therefore, we expect a substantial and well written personal statement which evidences a strong and persuasive case for your acceptance onto the course.

Your application should demonstrate a commitment to career in Journalism and a knowledge and awareness of current affairs. At interview stage you will be asked to take NCTJ tests in the use of language and current affairs. Those who complete the tests successfully will progress to panel interviews.

Exceptionally, and where you meet the minimum entry standards of the NCTJ, applications will be accepted from non-graduates. It is anticipated this would apply to mature entrants with acceptable and relevant work experience. Those who do not meet the criteria in other ways should contact the course leader for advice.

For progression to the MA, you must complete a satisfactory research proposal.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Academic expertise



  • Practical Journalism – you will prepare for NCTJ exams and work on compiling your professional portfolio, but engage in ‘real world’ journalism and learn all the tricks of the trade. This will fully equip you for a job in journalism by giving you professional skills needed throughout your career
  • Law – understanding the law and the ethics of journalism not only keeps you and your employer safe, and makes you aware of the legal challenges you can use to be a better practitioner. You will be are fully prepared for the NCTJ exams in media law and court reporting
  • Professional Skills – research shows editors consider shorthand as one of, if not the, most important skill for aspiring journalists. You can achieve 100 words per minute and beyond in this module as well as key transferrable skills such as job search techniques




  • Public Affairs – this module includes the preparation for the NCTJ’s exam and gaining understanding of central and local government issues and processes
  • Issues in Journalism – this module studies the academic and theoretical issues surrounding the practice of journalism and work of journalists as well as the history of the media and the business and commercial challenges facing the industry
  • Dissertation – after successful completion of research methods, candidates can embark on an in-depth study and piece of academic research on a subject of their own choosing in the field of journalism.



Any journalism course is only as good as the people who will be teaching you. The journalism staff on this course have substantial experience both in the industry and in passing that expertise on to aspiring journalists. The course runs on a full-time basis from the end of September to the end of June for the PG Dip, with MA candidates fully supported during their dissertation period over the summer.

As well as an intensive taught course, you are expected to undertake a substantial amount of journalistic work on your own initiative – especially in the second semester. You should view this as a full-time course and exercises can take place between 9am–9pm Monday to Friday although occasionally weekend or later working may be required.

The course is committed to small student cohorts and individual attention for each student as well as good quality facilities. That means our students do well in tough external exams and gain skills which help them get that all important step on the first rung of the journalistic ladder.


There are two key strands of assessment. One is the NCTJ exams, for which there is substantial preparation. The other is assessment for the PG Dip, which includes a large element of continuous assessment as well as traditional essays, seminar presentations and projects. In the second semester you will produce multi-platform publications and cover your own patch of the city producing an extensive body of ‘real world’ work.

Those who choose the MA option undertake additional work in research methods and submit a final dissertation in September.

Contact and learning hours

You will normally attend around 25 hours of timetabled taught sessions per week, and can expect to undertake at least 15 further hours of self-directed study, plus additional exam preparation as needed.


You will be taught by highly-experienced journalism staff within the Leicester Centre of Journalism, who have substantial exprience in the industry and links to local and national news agencies, which enable us to keep our course content current. The staff on this course include:



Ali Haynes LLB MBA DipM is Principal Lecturer in journalism and the Programme Leader. Ali is an NCTJ qualified journalist and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. She has won many reporting, design and editing awards, and also has extensive experience of PR, specialising in campaigning organisations.

Facilities and features

Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists

Many newspapers now require prospective junior reporters to have passed the NCTJ's preliminary examinations before starting work.

The industry standard for accredited journalism courses sets a benchmark based on exam results and also stresses the need for courses to focus on skills convergence and multimedia journalism.

All NCTJ courses meet the accreditation standard and follow the NCTJ curriculum, and all are designed to give you the best possible chance to get a job in journalism.



The Journalism Fund

The fund is administered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). In addition to the NLA, the fund is sponsored by Associated Newspapers, Press Association, Pearson, Thomson Reuters and Sky.  

The fund is aimed at people without the financial means to attend NCTJ-accredited journalism courses who can show they are either socially or ethnically diverse. All applicants to the fund will need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to journalism and the potential to be successful. 

Since its launch, the Journalism Diversity Fund has awarded over 200 bursaries to financially support NCTJ students’ training, which has helped many students forge successful careers in journalism. 

Please visit the Journalism Fund website for more information.

Library services

We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus. These give access to more than half a million publications, an extensive range of DVDs, e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. 

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks. We offer a range of workshops, drop-in and one-to-one sessions, and our Just Ask service provides email and telephone support.

Opportunities and careers




This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.



Graduate Careers

Most of our graduates have a choice of several job offers before the end of the course!

Most have gone on to become reporters on local newspapers. Others have gone into national newspapers and news agencies, magazine journalism, television and radio journalism (including Channel 4 and BBC) and public relations – the latter working with the Labour Party, DMU and several police and council Press offices. We have a number of editors, deputy editors and news editors among our alumni, while many former students have scooped an array of prestigious local and national awards.

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

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How to apply

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Up to 50 per cent off select PG courses
Postgraduate events
Research at DMU
Leicester guide

Up to 50 per cent off select PG courses 

We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study, which is why we offer the Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship. This gives DMU graduates a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent on selected full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, based on academic achievement and merit. Find out more.


Postgraduate events

The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of the postgraduate open evenings or events that take place all year round. If you can't visit the university in person, you can also sign up for one of our online chats. Find out more.


Research at DMU

De Montfort University (DMU)’s growing reputation for research which benefits society has been confirmed with the publication of the REF 2014 results. Find out more.


A city like no other

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.

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