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The course is designed to give you an overview of the ethical and intellectual issues and debates underpinning industry practice.
Course modules cover everything from the study of news values, reporting styles, interview techniques and media law to more technical aspects of producing newspapers, news websites and online magazines, and radio and TV news packages and bulletins. You will develop an impressive portfolio of transferable skills, ranging from the ability to write lively, succinct copy to tight deadlines, to the confidence to pitch story ideas, design your own web pages and record, edit and produce your own broadcast and online news items.
Ranked 2nd in Scotland for Journalism, Publishing and PR
Guardian University League Tables 2018
You will develop key skills in journalistic writing, interviewing and researching stories, underpinned by an in-depth understanding of journalistic ethics and UK and Scottish media law. You will develop an understanding of the social, economic and political roles of contemporary media and the role of the journalist in society.
You will continue to develop your specialist skills, in-depth knowledge and practical experience. You will present a written research proposal for submission, which will normally form the basis for the master's dissertation. You will undertake a four-week fieldwork placement with a news or other media organisation at the end of the taught modules, giving you the chance to put your learning into practice.
The Dissertation can take the form of either a traditional academic study, of 15,000 words, or a practical project, in the form of an extended piece or portfolio of journalism. Practical options include documentary-style films, videos or radio packages or print, online or multimedia portfolios or long-form investigations. You will work independently on your Dissertation, under the guidance of a supervisor with academic and/or professional expertise in your chosen topic.
Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.Detailed module information
You will learn through a range of delivery modes including lectures, seminar, workshops and practical based activities. These comprise of a mix of group study, discussion, simulation and presentations of findings by teams and individuals. The nature of the course is interactive: you’ll apply theory to practice, and consider a range of problems, issues and case studies, including live client projects.
We have strong links with industry and you will have the opportunity to visit local broadcasting and hear from industry speakers throughout the course.
Access to our virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle, is also provided giving you access from home to learning materials (including videos, e-books and journals).
- Lectures - 10-20 students per group, 8 hours per week
- Tutorial - 10-20 students per group, 4 hours per week
- Practical class or workshop - 10-15 students per group, 4-6 hours per semester
- Independent Study - 4-8 hours per week
- External Visits - student numbers vary per group, 1-2 hours per semester
- Placement / Work Based Learning - 1 student per group, 4 weeks in semester 2
The course requires you to become independent 'open learners' and take responsibility for when, where and how your learning occurs. You will spend approximately 4-8 hours per week working on your own, undertaking prescribed reading, preparing for group activities and researching and writing course reports.
Typically students are assessed each year:
- 1 written exam, typically for 3 hours
- 3 written assignments, including essay
- 1 report
- 1 dissertation
- 3 portfolios
We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.
Staff Delivering on This Course
Academic staff who teach on this course come from a range of professional backgrounds within the print, broadcast and online journalism and broader communication sectors, and have links with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). Their combination of prior industry experience and ongoing contacts with leading professionals ensures that teaching is professionally relevant.
You will have opportunities to learn direct from industry professionals – through everything from guest lectures, workshops and masterclasses led by editors and specialist journalists to external visits to real-world newsrooms. Recent guest speakers have included Professor Brian Cathcart, the founder of media reform campaign group Hacked Off and former deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday.
The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.
ONLINE LEARNING & SUPPORT
All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.
STUDY SKILLS SUPPORT
The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:
- Academic writing
- Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
- Maths and statistics
- English language
- Information technology support
The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.
At the end of Semester 2, you will undertake a compulsory unpaid four-week placement, which will enable you to put into practice the theories and skills you have learned during the course. The placement will enhance your newsgathering, reporting and production skills, by giving you the opportunity to work side by side with professionals, write to deadlines for print/broadcast and the web, and gain a more rounded and in-depth overall feel for what a career in journalism entails.
Organisations that have previously hosted placements include BBC Sport, The Herald, The Scotsman, STV, Northsound, DC Thomson in Dundee, and Aberdeen’s Evening Express newspaper.
The expanding global communications industry provides excellent career opportunities for those who are equipped with a broad range of technological, creative and transferable communication skills.
This course provides you with both the academic and professional knowledge and skills required to work successfully in the journalism profession or a wide range of alternative media-based roles. We will prepare you to become an accomplished journalist who can make sense of fast-moving situations and research and report stories accurately, ethically and impartially.
Opportunities exist in broadcasting organisations such as the BBC, STV, Northsound and Original FM.
Graduates have secured employment at an array of news outlets, from local DC Thomson-owned newspapers the Aberdeen Press and Journal and Evening Express to the Perthshire Advertiser and Original FM. One student gained valuable experience at BBC Sports in Salford and covered the 2016 Rio Olympics and Wimbledon. Others have reached executive positions in the wider communications field, including Edrington Group and global PR agency Weber Shandwick.
- Applicants normally hold a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree or its equivalent in any subject area.
- Applicants with a lower degree classification and / or relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis.
English Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.
We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:
Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.
Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2020/2021
- £6,000 entire course
- £13,720 entire course
FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2019/2020
- £5,500 entire course
- £12,470 entire course
The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:
- The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
- Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
- Accommodation and living costs
- Some small travel costs may be incurred if filming/interviewing on location in and around Aberdeen is required.
For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter. For further information see:
Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.
Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.
Scholarships and Financial Awards
You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:
Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities.
We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.University Wide Facilities
The university has moved to home teaching and working following official COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government. Our staff will continue to process applications and respond to enquiries about your course during this time.
We’ve got a few options for applying to our postgraduate courses for UK, EU and international applicants.
All applicants to postgraduate courses can apply direct to the university using our online application form.
All applicants can apply direct to the University with our PDF form.