Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism - MA

Attendance:
Full Time
Starting:
September 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£5,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)
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Our MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism is a cutting edge course designed to give you the online and multiplatform skills needed to work within a growing number of jobs in the media and beyond.

Studying under internationally renowned course leaders in a city with a vibrant cultural sector you’ll learn exciting new skills in interactivity and data journalism, social media storytelling, online and broadcast journalism, multimedia production and content strategy

What's covered in the course?

Like journalism itself, this practical course is fast and dynamic, and you’ll be expected to work in a range of newsroom contexts within weeks of starting your course.

Under the guidance of award-winning journalists who have worked with organisations ranging from the BBC and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism to commercial radio and magazines, you’ll develop a keen eye for a story. You’ll also develop advanced newsgathering and data journalism techniques that help you establish the facts, experience how to work within a range of newsroom contexts and tell those stories across a range of online and social media platforms.

You’ll have access to some of the industry’s most respected journalists who are working in the field now, learn about the legal, commercial and ethical contexts surrounding the future of journalism During your study you’ll have the opportunity to work on a live, professional journalism project with a client as you make a name for yourself in your chosen sector.

You’ll also have access to the facilities at the university’s new Parkside campus, including radio and TV studios, and audio and video editing suites. You’ll have access to video and still cameras, audio recording equipment and mobile journalism kits to get out and capture the story. You’ll be expected to find and report stories regularly, experimenting with new formats and platforms while exploring and testing the latest research into this exciting period in journalism’s development.

As the course progresses you will develop more specialist skills and connect with others already in the industry, building your reputation as you prepare to enter the industry.  

“It was at Dubai Sports City, during my MA, where I first began to observe the theories taught to me put into practice in a real-time atmosphere. For me to see and implement what I'd learned for some of the world's most prestigious sporting events made me realise my decision to pursue my MA at Birmingham City University was the right one." Gautam Viswanathan

Why Choose Us?

  • You will be taught by a team of passionate professionals with vast industry experience with our staff having worked for the BBC, regional newspapers and radio stations as journalists, producers, reporters and more.
  • You’ll have access to some of the best minds and practitioners in online journalism as the school regularly has visiting guest speakers and lecturers. Guest lecturers have included Twitter’s Joanna Geary, The Times’s Julian Burgess and Jonathan Richards, and Trinity Mirror’s Alison Gow.
  • Graduates have gone on to occupy senior positions in the media as Group Digital Editor, Homes Editor, Associate Professor, Global Brand Manager, Media Executive and Consultant.
  • You’ll have the chance to work on live projects to gain industry experience. Students have worked with The Mirror, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Reuters, Centaur magazines, BBC and ITN.
  • The BBC’s newly launched Data Unit in the city, as well as a Guerilla Unit that focuses on new interactive forms of storytelling, regularly work with students and the university.
  • Employers including national broadcasters, newspapers, websites and magazines regularly contact Birmingham City University to promote new roles demanding the online skills you will learn on the course.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Applicants must have proven experience in journalism or media production (for example, video, audio, web production or print)..

Good spoken and written English are vital. IELTS level 6.5 is a minimum.

You should have evidence of your passion for new forms of journalism, along with a strong and inquiring mind and a tendency not to take no for an answer!

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £5,900 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

You will need to apply online direct to the university for this course. A link to the form will be available soon as well as details of the course fee. We'd like to send you an email once the link is available to save you checking back - just sign up for an update.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Portfolio Guidance

Applicants should submit a portfolio of examples of their media production work. That might include examples of journalism online, in print or video or audio. The more varied this is, the better. If you have any other relevant work, such as photography, web or print design, film making, research, or running online communities, then please include that too.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

You will be expected to report using your mobile phone and laptop, so you will need a good quality handset and a data plan large enough for uploading multimedia. The course often includes opportunities to visit external events and organisations. These are not compulsory but you may need to be able to cover transport costs where applicable. 

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Semester one

Both routes comprise of five core modules and two optional modules, culminating in the 60-credit MA by Practice project.

Narrative: from Media to Interactive Media (core)
20 credits

Journalism – in whatever guise – is about storytelling. This module explores a range of skills in telling stories across a range of media, from audio and video to interactivity and social media, as well as the ethical issues that narrative techniques raise. You’ll create a narrative that runs across multiple platforms.

Research in Practice (core)
20 credits

Research skills and a critical mindset are essential both in journalism and academic study. This module develops both, alongside core methodological and project management skills that aid the successful completion of the MA project, as well as the potential for routes into PhD progression beyond. 

Online Journalism option: Multiplatform, Mobile and Data Journalism
20 credits

Media production demands a wide variety of skills, from data journalism, multimedia and liveblogging to SEO and social media management. In this module you’ll get the opportunity to practise all those skills as you build your speed and adaptability in reporting regularly for a website.

International Broadcast Journalism option: International Broadcast Journalism
20 credits

This practice-based module contributes to the overall programme philosophy and aims through an exploration of professional practice in a news industry context. You will acquire and develop through application the practical and intellectual skills needed to produce news items for a range of platforms as a multi-tasking broadcast journalist in a dynamic media environment. You will develop your understanding of what constitutes news, how it’s sourced, verified and written, while engaging with the social and cultural contexts of the UK newsroom environment.

Semester two

Media Law, Ethics and Security (core)
20 credits

You will examine the ethical, regulatory and legal constraints under which media workers create content including defamation, censorship, human rights law, copyright, privacy, security and contempt and those areas of law that work to protect journalists.

In your second semester you will have the opportunity to choose from one of the following core options:

Entrepreneurship in Practice (core)
20 credits

This module will give you the confidence to think strategically about your career and build relationships within your chosen field. 

Industry Placement (core)
20 credits

This module develops professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and critical reflection upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and BCU Careers. Typically, the placement duration is 70 hours.

Online Journalism option: Specialist Journalism, Investigations and Coding
20 credits

This module provides an opportunity to develop your technical and editorial skills in depth. Focusing on a particular field, you’ll touch on a range of advanced journalism techniques before applying and developing your own skills further on an in-depth story. You will also be encouraged to develop contacts in ‘communities of practice’ around the technical and editorial areas you are particularly interested in, as you begin to build your reputation in those fields.

International Broadcast Journalism option: News and Current Affairs Production
20 credits

This module provides opportunities for students to extend and challenge their use of narrative forms to cover longer and more complex production and subject matter, while maintaining the rigour of deadline and accuracy.

MA

MA by Practice (core)
60 credits

This is your chance to produce an exceptional piece of original work that showcases your technical knowledge and your online journalism skills. Previous students have established and run new websites, published e-books and conducted in-depth investigations. They’ve also worked with organisations such as the BBC and have worked as independent freelancers.

Course Structure

The course is completed full time across three semesters covering one year. Students can choose to focus on either the online journalism route or the international broadcast journalism route.

The first semester focuses on a broad range of skills. You will explore how to tell stories across different platforms using a range of media, including text, audio, video and visual journalism. You will also be building crucial research skills.

You’ll benefit from a blend of academic learning and practical application, exploring and applying the latest industry and academic research on cutting edge newsgathering, production and distribution techniques. Alongside this you will develop essential understanding of the legal and ethical contexts surrounding modern journalism.

In the second semester you have the opportunity to explore one or more aspects of production in more depth. Those pursuing the online route pursue specialist reporting through data or multimedia, while those on the broadcast route can focus on news and current affairs within a broadcast context.

The final semester sees you developing a project to build your reputation as a practitioner in your field. Previous examples have ranged from live working news websites and documentaries to e-books, investigations, broadcast packages and portfolios of work for clients.

Hours in the classroom

Masters level study is built around the independent development of the individual’s chosen path. You will be expected to spend one third of your time - 12 hours per week - within classroom activities split across three classes, with the remainder of your time spent on independent study and practice of the techniques explored. There will also be additional opportunities to participate in newsroom production and events.


Classroom activities and projects

As part of your study on the course you will experience:

  • Live newsrooms within various contexts, from online-only to broadcast newsrooms with associated online presence.
  • Data-driven investigations that put a human face and establish the facts on topical issues.
  • Experimentation with new forms of storytelling, from virtual reality and bots to interactivity and new social media platforms.

Professional links

The course has links with a range of media organisations, leading to students working with the BBC, ITN, Mirror, Health Service Journal, Period Living, and the Centre for Investigative Journalism among others.

Overseas opportunities

The final MA project can be completed from overseas. Previous students have, for example, run a hyperlocal news site based in Canada, published a travel website in Spain, and worked for a sports agency in Qatar.

Further Study

If you wish to continue your academic studies in the field of online journalism, you have the opportunity to undertake a research degree (MPhil and PhD). If this is something you wish to consider you can speak to your course tutor for advice.

Trips and Visits

Students on the course are given regular opportunities to attend industry events and newsrooms. These have included trips to the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, FT, IPC magazines, the Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School and the Nordic data journalism conference NODA in Helsinki.

Student stories – Duarte Romero

My name is Duarte Romero and I am from Galicia in Spain. I am starting an MA in Online Journalism here at Birmingham City University, and would like to say that I've never learned so much in such a short period of time, so I'm very happy to be coming and studying here.

Obviously if you come from another country you have some inconvenience that a native student doesn’t have, basically related with language and an understanding of the native culture. For me those are the biggest challenges I had to face. First being able to write and speaking English, every day and with the highest level I could, and then learning to understand a completely different culture like Great Britain's. Particularly if you are studying journalism - it is really important to know how the politics, economy and society of the country works.

Enhancing employability skills

Our MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism course focuses on developing graduates at the cutting edge of contemporary professional practice, with a critical knowledge of the field leading practical application.

In addition to specific technical skills, students will also develop highly employable qualities in adapting to new technologies, and work towards building their contacts and reputation in the field. Opportunities to work with industry clients often lead to employment or the establishing of new enterprises. 

Placements

Students can choose to undertake an industry placement of 72 hours, work with a client on a project or research entrepreneurship in practice. Previous students have undertaken placements or projects with clients including the BBC, Centaur magazines, ITV News, the Birmingham Mail, Manchester Evening News, Birmingham City Council, Oxfam, arts and cultural organisations, and the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Link to industry

The course has strong links across all aspects of the media industry, including online, broadcast, magazines, newspapers, NGOs and new media startups. The school of media hosts the annual industry event Rethink Media, while Paul Bradshaw organises the annual Data Journalism UK conference in the city and is regularly invited to speak at industry events all over the world.

The school’s global reputation in multiplatform journalism leads to frequent approaches from media organisations looking for cutting edge expertise or student input into new projects. Examples range from Al Jazeera involving students in the design of a ‘news game’ and The Telegraph recruiting students to liveblog news events, to Centaur magazines inviting students to improve their social media performance and the BBC testing out new Snapchat content in class.  

Graduate jobs 

Graduate employability on the course is extremely high, with alumni working as:

  • Digital editors
  • Reporters
  • Social media managers
  • Data journalists
  • Data designers
  • Production assistants
  • UGC reporters
  • Journalism consultants and professors
  • Media analysts

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Additional information

The course regularly attracts Spanish-speaking students and we have a strong network of contacts in the Spanish-speaking world. Previous students have undertaken projects based in Spain and some of the course material is also available in Spanish. Paul Bradshaw is even learning to speak the language!

We have a growing network of contacts in Nigeria. Two members of staff – Paul Bradshaw and Yemisi Akinbobola – won the prestigious CNN African Journalist of the Year award for an investigation published in Nigeria, and the pair plan to do more in the region.

Canadian students have done particularly well on the course and undertaking projects in Canada as part of their studies enabled them to build their reputation in that jobs market. One now teaches journalism in Canada.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.

Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.

You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).

The Parkside Building

The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.

All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.

Mobile journalism kit

On the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism you will be finding and reporting stories using the latest mobile technology. You will be able to book out mobile reporting kit including iPads with a range of mobile journalism apps pre-installed so you can live stream video, publish direct to social media and edit multimedia on the move, along with mobile-compatible microphones. We also provide frames which allow you to attach tablets to tripods, lights and lenses, as well as special 'gorillapods' for flexible positioning of mobile kit on the move. You can book out microphone adapters to connect broadcast quality microphones to your mobile phone or tablet, and portable audio recorders for podcasting on the move.

Our Staff

You will come in to contact with a team of passionate professionals with vast industry experience with our staff having worked for the BBC, regional newspapers and radio stations as journalists, producers, reporters and more.

Course leader Paul Bradshaw is an award-winning journalist with a global profile. He combines his teaching with a role in the BBC England data unit, and is on the advisory boards for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s data team and the European Journalism Centre’s datadrivenjournalism.net.

Paul Bradshaw

Course Leader (MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism)

Paul is a leading innovator in the field of online journalism. An experienced and practising journalist, with a background in magazine and website management, he is best known as the publisher of the Online Journalism Blog, described by the UK Press Gazette as one of the country’s “most influential journalism blogs”. He has also contributed to a number of books and has published elearning books. He acts as a consultant and trainer to a number of organisations on social media and data journalism, including the Centre for Investigative Journalism, the Balkan Investigative Reporters Network, and Sky.

Professor Diane Kemp

Professor of Broadcast Journalism

Diane worked for BBC radio and television as a broadcaster, reporter and producer and for a number of commercial radio stations before joining the University. She is course director of several postgraduate broadcast journalism courses and is deputy chair of the UK’s national accreditation organisation, the BJTC.

Bob Calver

Senior Lecturer

Bob has more than four decades of journalistic experience, including 18 years as a reporter, producer and editor with the BBC. He has worked in regional newspapers, for online news sites and for magazines. Alongside his role at the University, where he teaches broadcast journalism and media law to postgraduate students, he edits two magazines - one of which he also owns and publishes. This work forms the basis of his current PhD by practice research.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295