Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Are you a journalism graduate or industry professional who wants to move your career in a new direction?

If so, this flexible programme will enable you to master the key skills and knowledge required for career development in the contemporary media.

The programme also aims to develop your intellectual skills and creative insights to enable you to become a reflective practitioner with sustainable and flexible career options.

You will learn to analyse critically and challenge theories of contemporary journalism and business practice and to exploit that understanding in the development of new practice and innovation.

You will be able to tailor this course to suit your needs. The programme begins with an introductory module called Journalism Today. You will explore the contemporary media industries and reflect on your own experience and learning. From there, you will go on to plan your MA journey and decide which pathway you wish to take through this postgraduate programme. 

Entry Requirements

  • Either an undergraduate degree in journalism or a related media subject, typically at 2:1 or above.
  • Or evidence of professional journalism/media industry experience with an undergraduate degree typically at 2:1 and above in any subject.
  • Appropriate computer literacy and internet access.
  • International applicants are required to have an IELTS score of 7 or equivalent.
  • Applicants will also be interviewed either in person or via electronic means.

Programme at a Glance

Semester 1

  • Journalism Today  (20 credits)


  • Multimedia Content (40 credits)


  • Journalism Innovation (40 credits)

Semester 2

  • Theory Today (20 credits)

Semester 2 and 3

Plus Either

  • Placement (40 credits) 


  • Dissertation (40 credits) 


  • Project (40 credits)

Plus 60 credits made up from:

  • Data Journalism (20 credits)
  • Drone Journalism (20 credits)
  • Photo Journalism (20 credits)
  • Cross Industry Perspectives (20 credits)
  • Media Law and Regulation (20 credits)
  • Reporting Politics (20 credits)
  • Journalism Leadership (40 credits)
  • Broadcast Newsroom (40 credits)

Further Information

Are you keen to futureproof your career and experiment with doing what’s next for journalism, today? Join our world-leading research and innovation studio, and the UK’s oldest journalism school.

We aim to bring people together to rethink how journalism can enrich lives. This flexible programme will enable you to master the key skills and knowledge required to harness the exciting opportunities in the contemporary media. The course is underpinned by a passionate belief that through innovative thinking we can achieve excellence that delivers real-world industry impact. You will develop intellectual skills and creative insights to enable you to become a reflective practitioner with sustainable and flexible career options. We want you to see the big picture. You will learn to analyse critically and challenge the theory of contemporary journalism and to exploit that understanding in the development of new skills, technologies and innovative practice.

The programme culminates in a placement, project or dissertation which can be tailored to develop a major project of your choosing. This programme has been re-launched for 2018 with the aim of appealing to non-journalism graduates, journalism undergraduates and industry professionals who are looking to extend their skills and knowledge base for sustainable career development. The course benefits from staff who are internationally renowned practitioners including:

Clare Cook

Clare Cook

Google Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund external examiner and project Principal Investigator, co-author Social Media for Journalists Principles and Practice (Sage) and Nesta’s hyperlocal revenues in Europe. See www.clarecookonline.com

Francois Nel

François Nel

Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship, editor of both the annual  World Press Trends, and World News Publishers Outlook reports for the World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA),  National Teaching Fellow 2013,  Fellow of the European Entrepreneurship Educators (3EP) Programme, former Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford,  and founding convenor of the Digital Editors Network, UK.

John Mills

John Mills

Researcher spanning journalism, the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented paper, mobile journalism, wearables, HCI, drone journalism and innovation theory. Founding member of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ Global Alliance for Media Innovation.

Our community is interdisciplinary and includes researchers, policy makers, students, business people, entrepreneurs, technologists, and designers. The Media Innovation Studio has also built up a discussion community who are internationally renowned practitioners.

Our lecturers who teach on journalism practice modules worked as professional journalists before they moved into teaching. Some still combine working in industry with their university role.

The media industry has gone through dramatic change over the last decade. It is likely to change even more over the coming years. This course aims to ensure students have sustainable and viable career options.

Industry contacts

Thanks to the world-class research of the Media Innovation Studio, students have the opportunity to meet and work with editors from around the world. Students can take part in the Digital Editors Network, the leading academic-industry think tank. Thanks to our strategic partnerships, such as the Global Alliance for Media Innovation, we have internationally acclaimed guest speakers including media studies professor Mark Deuze, digital editor in chief Alison Gow, REACH PLC, and leading media development practitioner Sameer Padania. The course benefits from a partnership with Reach PLC (formerly Trinity Mirror) the UK’s largest regional publisher. Students will have the opportunity to go on regular placements at their new digital publication Lancs Live.

Google News Lab

UCLan has become only the third UK partner in the Google News Labs University Network.

Google News Lab University Network provides in-person training, when possible, and online training materials to professors and students on topics ranging from immersive storytelling, data journalism, trends, trust/verification and more. The benefits of this newly formed connection with Google News Lab for UCLan students are huge. It not only provides them with networking opportunities but also the chance to learn from current experts and professionals in the field.

"Journalism could scarcely have ever been more important to society - yet both its delivery and funding models are in existential doubt. This is a timely course that seeks to address that, and future proof a new cohort of journalism leaders capable of creating the right content, and means of financing and delivering it, in the 2020s."
Alex Connock,  Leader in Residence

"The old Journalism Leadership programme, of which I’m a proud alumnus, was excellent. The proposed new programme is promising to be even better, content wise."
Jethro Goko,  Publisher: Associated  Newspapers, Zimbabwe (Titles include Daily News and Financial Gazette)

"UCLan was invaluable in preparing me for digital journalism and revealing the crucial need for constant innovation, flexible organisations and brave leadership if journalism is to survive and thrive." - Paddi Clay, award-winning radio journalists and newspaper columnist, South Africa.

Paddi Clay has 40 years experience in journalism, media management and training covering radio, print and online. She acquired her journalism skills as an intern in print, went into radio reporting with the first independent radio station in South Africa and covered southern African politics during the 80s and 90s for foreign radio networks. She also consulted on programming at the public broadcaster and was involved in the start-up of several new radio newsrooms. While studying for her Masters with UCLan Paddi was appointed to the start-up team of TimesLive and its ground-breaking multimedia unit and later became Managing Editor of the website.

Paddi Clay

Award-winning radio and newspaper columnist, Paddi Clay

"The programme transformed how I thought about news, audiences and leadership. The course content was exactly what I needed then (and continue to draw on now) to navigate the huge and on-going disruption of the media industry. And I met smart, amazing people who I count as great friends to this day."
Alison Gow, Editor in Chief, Reach Plc Regionals, UK

"It’s critical that those seeking a sustainable way forward footing for journalism take time out of the newsroom to think and learn from others when assessing new opportunities and ways of working. This will ensure that when they consider introducing changes to their newsrooms they have had time to think critically about the implications for journalism - and the communities their newsrooms serve."
Cherilyn Ireton, Executive Director of the World Editors Forum of WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

"Innovation is the lifeblood of future publishing and it runs through every UCLan course."
Keith Harrison, Leader in Residence

Recent graduates

Kyle Bessey, former UCLan journalism undergraduate, worked with REACH Data Unit as part of data journalism and learned new skills using drones in journalism.

“The MA course has been a versatile and varied experience, and the range of different modules has allowed for my own skill set to develop and expand as well as my knowledge of the journalism industry. The style of teaching paired with the projects has led to great connections and a progressive and informative experience. The best part of the MA course is the course leaders: their dedication and motivation to help you to succeed is what’s got me through, and they become genuinely interested in your life and education. They show how much they care and this allows the student to thrive while studying this degree.”

Graduates include Kirsty Styles, award-winning podcaster, investigative journalist and co-founder of a pioneer public speaking programme. She was the only student to speak at the World Association of Newspapers and Publishers annual congress in 2019 having developed comedy as a public engagement strategy for journalism as part of MA Journalism.

Kirsty Styles



How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

Journalism at UCLan has an excellent record for journalism training and employability. We have been teaching journalism in Preston for more than 55 years and we have a worldwide network of top industry professionals who began their careers here.

Our lecturers who teach on journalism practice modules worked as professional journalists before they moved into teaching. Some still combine working in industry with their university role.

The media industry has gone through dramatic change over the last decade. It is likely to change even more over the coming years. This course aims to ensure students have sustainable and viable career options.


Professional Accreditation

This course does not have specific course accreditation because it is likely that students on this programme will have already completed NCTJ exams. Our undergraduate programme BA Journalism is NCTJ-accredited and we are an accredited NCTJ exam centre. We may be able to arrange for students on this programme to complete the NCTJ diploma exams if they wish, subject to timetabling considerations.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Journalism is based in Greenbank Building where we have five newsrooms, a TV studio and four radio studios. The university has invested more than £250,000 on improving these facilities over the last couple of years.

You may also have sessions in our Media Innovation Studio on the top floor of the Media Factory.

Virtual Tour


Students carry out placements with employers such as the BBC, ITV, Sky, national and regional titles and magazines and in the new creative media industries.

Our students have gone on to work for organisations such as the BBC, ITV, Sky, national and regional news titles, magazines, new digital media industries, corporate communication and many more.


Final year undergraduate and postgraduate journalism students have the opportunity to get involved in our annual cJAM employability event.  cJAM shakes-up the traditional career fair format and gives UCLan students face-to-face time with up to 30 successful industry professionals all of whom have come to the event with the offer of valuable work placement opportunities.  The cJAM event format consists of four main components:

  • Students hear from keynote industry speakers who share their personal career journey and how they got to where they are now.
  • The industry Q&A session allows students to ask questions to gain further advice and insight.
  • Informal networking opportunities during the breaks and lunch.
  • The key element of cJAM is the giant speed pitching session.  The students have eight minutes one-to-one time to pitch to selected industry guests to try and win a placement. Students can choose to pitch an idea, their reasons for wanting a placement with that particular company or to showcase their enthusiasm, skills and talent.  Immediately following the pitching session, placements are decided on and the event closes with all the winning students being presented with their placement awards.

Advisory board

We are committed to staying at the cutting edge of journalism innovation. We therefore draw directly on expertise through our advisory board including:

Jethro Goko, a proud alumnus of UCLan, is a former editor and media and advertising executive in South Africa — who currently publishes Zimbabwe’s Daily News and The Financial Gazette newspapers. He has also acted as communications and public affairs advisor to many major regional and global private sector and public institutions.

Steve Matthewson, London Bureau Chief S&P Global Market Intelligence, News Desk EMEA financials, and previously The Guardian Head of Business and Professional Networks.

Jethro Goko

Research-informed practice

Teaching is informed by the cutting-edge research with projects and prototypes funded by Google Digital News Initiative, Nesta and more. We work with a principle of open innovation - as much with the Global Forum for Media Development, European Journalism Centre, Internews Europe and UNESCO as with start-ups, community groups and other universities. Adelphi Research Network’s monthly meetings in Preston open to researchers, would-be researchers and research students. We have a Visiting Researcher Programme open to researchers and senior practitioners worldwide who wish to collaborate with UCLan scholars for up to six months. We are currently developing a doctoral summer school for innovative research methods.