Law and Government for Journalists
In a nutshell
This NCTJ accredited course has been designed to be a springboard to a challenging and rewarding career in journalism.
During your time with us, you will learn the skills that you will need to become an incisive, thoughtful and successful journalist.
As well as a general professional grounding in journalism, you will also be able to specialise in your second semester in news journalism, broadcast journalism or sports journalism, depending on which pathway you choose in your second semester.
A nine month Postgraduate Diploma is also offered on this programme:
Upon graduation, you will be awarded a PgDip or MA degree and will have had the opportunity to achieve the NCTJ Diploma (seperate fees apply) - all are important qualifications to help launch your career in the UK media industry.
- study at our state-of-the-art MediaCityUK campus adjacent to the BBC and ITV.
- learn from lecturers with strong journalism backgrounds and undertake placements in the industry.
- have the opportunity to earn the Diploma qualification from the National Council for Training of Journalists.
All about the course
This is a highly intensive course with a focus on UK professional practice and only for you if you are fully committed to becoming a working journalist. You will study modules closely aligned with the NCTJ Diploma syllabus, so that, in addition to achieving an MA/PGDip, you are able to pass the required NCTJ components such as Essential Media Law and Essential Journalism.
During trimester one, you will study the basic skills of news writing and digital storytelling (including producing simple video content). You will also study media law and ethical practice.
In trimester two you will specialise by taking one of the three pathways - news, broadcast or sports journalism. You will be able to gain the NCTJ Diploma irrespective of the pathway you choose. During this trimester you will be required to complete industry placements.
Throughout trimesters one and two there is regular shorthand tuition - a traditional skill still valued by the modern news industry, including broadcast organisations. You will be expected to achieve a shorthand speed of 100 words per minute.
Once you pass the Postgraduate Diploma at the end of trimester two, you are eligible to study the optional MA Major Project in trimester three (summer) to be submitted in mid-September.
Work placements are arranged during trimester one and trimester two.
You will be able to sit NCTJ examinations through the academic year and also complete the NCTJ Portfolio during trimester two, when you will be encouraged to sit the NCTJ's shorthand exam.
Students are encouraged to achieve the NCTJ Gold Standard Diploma (candidates must achieve A-C grades in every NCTJ subject taken including the mandatory modules and pass 100 words per minute shorthand).
Separate exam fees are charged by the NCTJ to complete the Diploma.
NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund
Students who earn a place on the MA/PGDip programme are eligible to apply to the NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund which awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training.
You will learn that incisive and ethical news gathering and reporting are underpinned by a sound knowledge of UK media law and an understanding of the workings of central and local government. You will gain a broad comprehension of the legal and political processes which enable journalists to operate more effectively.
News and Ethics
This module is designed to help you to become effective news gatherers and to be able to write accurately, fluently and incisively in news reporting, while being acutely aware of the ethical obligations and professional standards expected of the 21st century journalist and laid down in industry codes of practice. You will also be introduced to video journalism for online platforms.
This module will enable you to become effective news gatherers and be able to write accurately, fluently and incisively in news reporting and news features to a publishable standard recognised by the news industry. It is designed to help you to become multi-skilled and employable in journalism and in related areas. Our newsdays will also help you to complete the NCTJ’s E-Portfolio.
The exciting field of sports journalism encompasses everything from football matches and rugby games to global Olympic events. In this elective module, you will learn essentials skills for writing clear and concise sports copy, interviewing players and officials, and producing match reports for print and online sports publications.
This module explores the practice of broadcast journalism. You will look at radio and television journalism in the UK, including ethical frameworks and regulations you must work towards (this will also assist with preparation for NCTJ exams). You will develop news gathering skills for broadcast news and understand what stories work best in this medium. You will learn how to write to pictures, use audio edit stories effectively. You will produce a portfolio of work.
This module will provide research and professional skills, including writing grant and funding applications; project management; conference organisation and the building of an online digital profile. Students will also visit local libraries, museums and arts organizations, where opportunities for archival research and work experience will be provided; and industry and guest-expert speakers will offer guidance on career development.
This is a piece of independent work that will build on the practical, intellectual and research skills of trimesters one and two. It provides an opportunity for yous to follow your own interests, demonstrate your strengths and produce a rigorously researched and clearly written/produced portfolio of original journalism that is capable of achieving publication/broadcast for a relevant media organisation.
This is a student-led project which is produced under supervision (supported by tutorials) and builds on the learning outcomes of your chosen pathway.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
The majority of the course is delivered largely through workshops and students are assessed mainly by coursework and projects, with some formal examinations.
School of Arts and Media
The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students.
Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.
You will be based at a unique digital learning, teaching and research space at MediaCityUK. We will be located at the heart of national BBC departments and hundreds of creative, digital and media organisations. Specialist facilities include high spec radio and television studios and a multi-platform newsroom.
All tutors, full and part-time, are highly regarded journalists with print, broadcast and/or online backgrounds.
Programme leader Ian Wood joined the University in 2014 after more than 20 years working in newspapers, pioneering advances in digital newsrooms. He was the news editor and deputy editor of the Manchester Evening News before being appointed as editor of the daily Plymouth Herald newspaper.
Dr Martin Hamer has worked for BBC News, BBC Sport, the Press Association and national, regional and local newspapers during a 33-year career in journalism. He is an online expert, published author and a former Programme Leader in Digital Journalism at the University of Sheffield.
Caroline Cheetham has print and broadcast experience in local and regional newspapers, plus national BBC radio. She still works regularly for BBC national radio, is a health feature writer for the Daily Mail and a news freelance for The Sun.
Andrew Lindsay is an experienced news and sports journalist and broadcaster who has worked for ITV and the BBC. He began his career in local newspapers before becoming a respected reporter and presenter.
Specialising in breaking major stories from the field and investigative journalism, Andrew Fletcher is a very experienced news reporter, as well as being a presenter for both BBC and ITV.
Paul Broster, the Director of Journalism here at Salford, is a highly experienced national and regional news and features journalist. He still freelances for national dailies, including The Sun and Daily Express.
What about after uni?
Thanks to our close links with the media industry the MA Journalism programme has a very strong record of graduates gaining employment. Students have gone on to work with national broadcasters like the BBC, Sky and ITV as well as leading UK print and online media organisations like Bloomberg, the Manchester Evening News and the Cavendish Press national news agency.
During the course, you will get the opportunity to undertake industry placements in your chosen specialism area. This gives you valuable experience of working in newsrooms, having content published or broadcast, and the chance to establish useful links with professionals. Our placement partners include the BBC, ITV (Granada Reports), the Manchester Evening News, Bolton News, Key 103 and local news agencies.
What you need to know
The continuing high reputation of the course depends on the quality of teaching and learning and the calibre of graduate.
- This course is based at our MediaCityUK campus.
- Work / industrial placement opportunity.
- International students can apply.
We interview all suitable applicants, who also sit an aptitude test. Only those most committed and determined to become journalists will thrive on this course.
You need to show a passion for journalism, but you must also provide evidence to demonstrate you have taken steps to turn this enthusiasm into reality. Tell us why you want to be a journalist and what your ambitions are within the industry. Which journalists do you admire and why? What relevant experience have you already had? Which organisations, publishers and/or broadcasters have you worked with? What other relevant experience have you had? What is the best piece of journalism you have produced so far? (provide a link).
You should be prepared to demonstrate that you have a broad working knowledge of current affairs. Where do you get your news? What are the key issues affecting journalism right now? How will the media industry change in the years ahead and what role do you hope to play?
You should also set out why you want to study at the University of Salford. Explain what aspects of our course appeal to you and how you are suited to our programme.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 7.0, with a written element of 8.0 and no element below 6.0, is proof of this.
Standard entry requirements
A good honours degree (2.1 or above) with a personal statement and evidence of engagement with journalism (i.e work experience).
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2019/20||£7,776per year|
|Full-time international||2019/20||£14,310per year|
|Full-time home/EU||2020/21||£7,920per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£14670per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students 2020/21
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.
For more information go to International Scholarships