Skip to main content
Interested? See

Journalism Innovation & Leadership

2 Years
January 2023
Campus Taught

This flexible, part-time Postgraduate Certificate and MA programme is tailored to news innovators eager to lead. And leaders eager to innovate. By growing their competence, their confidence, their networks as well as their career options.

The Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme offers a flexible learning plan that will equip forward-thinking media professionals to successfully lead teams, projects and organisations in an increasingly complex and competitive media landscape.  

This programme gives you the choice to earn a Postgraduate Certificate in 30 weeks over one year or an MA in 70 weeks over two years - all while remaining in your current work role.

This course is for you if you want to: 

  • Challenge organisational effectiveness and create agile strategies to drive transformation and resilience  
  • Develop an advanced data mindset and the skills to gain insights about audiences – and to act on them to enhance performance  
  • Understand how to adapt newsroom workflows, organisational structures and mindsets to meet changing demands 
  • Develop the practical knowledge to manage innovative projects and diverse teams 
  • Explore innovation methods such as design thinking and co-design  
  • Stress test new business and revenue models for news in an increasingly complex and competitive market 
  • Think deeply about what the issues shaping journalism today means for us all tomorrow  
  • Build the personal and professional competencies to grow your team, your organisation – and your career.  

Although this award is usually undertaken or completed in 1 or 2 years, you have up to 3 years to complete. This will depend on the number of modules you take each year.

Why study with us

  • The Guardian University Guide 2022 shows we remain amongst the best. We are ranked No 1 in the North West and No 2 in the UK for Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations.
  • Tap into a senior industry mentor focused on helping you achieve your potential. Whether you choose to complete the 30-week PGCert over one year or the 70-week MA over two years.
  • To support the next generation of diverse news leaders we offer tuition-fee scholarships funded by the Google News Initiative (GNI) and International Media Support (IMS), the Denmark-based media development agency.

What you'll do

  • We use an innovative Flipped Learning Approach that combines readings and weekly online discussions with Intensive Learning Blocks (on campus or online) which are packed with industry case studies and interactive workshops.
  • Applied Learning Projects enable you to apply insights generated in the course directly to your own business contexts – creating tangible and real-world impact that is directly connected to your learning
  • You will join a diverse international cohort and be mentored by a leading industry professional draw from our links with organisations such as the UK Society of Editors, the Digital Editors Network, and the World Association News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

Programme structure

You'll be able to enrol for the postgraduate certificate after which you'll have the opportunity to take the additional modules required to earn the MA award.

In year one you'll complete two modules JN4530 and JN4531 for the Postgraduate Certificate.

Once these modules have been completed you'll have the option to continue on to a second year. In which you'll complete two more modules JN4526 and JN4527 to gain an MA.

Module Overview

Course Delivery

This course is taught face-to-face at one of our UK campuses.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information. However, our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may cause alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses. Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies or revisions to subject benchmarks statements. As well as to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Looking to start your postgraduate journey?

Are you wondering what postgraduate student life is really like? We have a range of events taking place so you can find out more and ask any questions you have about studying with us

Find out more

View the course facilities

Academic expertise

Industry links

Journalism has been taught at Preston since 1962, making it the oldest such university programme in England. Our research was rated as World Leading in the last Research Excellence Framework assessment and our researchers continue to provide insights for practitioners and policy makers, as well as for students and scholars.

We are part of WAN-IFRA's Global Alliance for Media Innovation and a partner of the Google News Initiative, the Digital Editors Network and International Media Support, the Denmark-based development agency.

Our programme’s current Board of Industry Mentors and Advisors include:

Neil Benson Business consultant specialising in media and leadership. Chair of the Editors’ Code of Practice committee. Former group editorial director at Reach plc.

  • Paddi Clay Media trainer and consultant, based in South Africa
  • Matt Cooke Head of Partnerships & Training, Google News Initiative
  • Joanna Geary Senior Director for Curation, Twitter, NYC
  • Jethro Goko Publisher, Associated Newspapers, Zimbabwe
  • Alison Gow Editor in Chief (Digital), Reach Plc Regionals, UK and current President of the Society of Editors,


  • Alan Hunter for Head of Digital, The Times and Sunday Times, UK
  • Cherilyn Ireton Director, World Editors Forum, WAN-IFRA
  • Lyndsey Jones, Transformation consultant, strategic advisor and coach; author of forthcoming business education book Going Digital; former executive editor of the Financial Times.
  • Ian MacGregor Editor Emeritus, The Telegraph Media Group and Chair of the Society of Editors
  • Lisa MacLeod Independent consultant, Vice-President of the World Association of News Publishers, former head of digital for Tiso Blackstar, and a former associate editor of the Financial Times.
  • Steve Matthewson London Bureau Chief & Head of Financial Institutions

News (Acting) at S&P Global Market Intelligence

  • Dietmar Schantin Founder of the Institute for Media Strategies
  • Dmitry Shishkin, Independent digital consultant and Leader in Residence at UCLan. He serves on the Board of the World Editors Forum of the World Association of News Publishers.
  • Inga Thordar, Executive Editor of CNN Digital Worldwide, overseeing all international news, sport and programming teams.

"It’s critical that those seeking a sustainable way forward for journalism take time out of the newsroom to think and learn from others when assessing new opportunities and ways of working. This programme ensures they have 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 News Publishers. Member, Board of Industry Advisors and Mentors

Industry Links

  • The programme is supported by the Google News Initiative (GNI) which enables 15 scholarships for postgraduate certificate participants, facilitation of the industry mentoring scheme, and access to cutting-edge insights from other GNI grantees worldwide.
  • The programme is supported by International Media Support (IMS), an international, Denmark-based organisation that works with the media in countries affected by armed conflict, human insecurity and political transition. IMS provides two MA scholarships which support media partners to experiment and learn. Enabling them to lead the way in developing innovative strategies for resilient public interest media reaching relevant audiences who are able to share, discuss and act on trusted, ethical, inclusive content.

Future careers

The Journalism Innovation and Leadership programme aims to foster the next generation of diverse leaders and innovators our industry needs to thrive.

Fees and Funding


Scholarships and Bursaries

We have a wide range of scholarships, bursaries and funds available to help support you whilst studying with us.

Select your country and see eligibility information and how to apply by selecting more info on the cards below.


This course is based in the School of Arts and Media located in the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page