International Journalism - MA

Course Overview

The essential course information

How to apply
  • Full Time (1 year)
  • Part Time (2-3 years)
Birmingham School of Media
City Centre (from 2015)

New scholarships for 2015/16

Postgraduate Scholarships We're aiming to make a postgraduate qualification more affordable and can offer awards of up to £10,000 to selected students.

Find out more about scholarship opportunities for 2015/16

The MA in International Journalism course offers an intensive and advanced programme of study that aims to provide you with an understanding of the current theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are essential for a career in journalism practice with a global orientation or focus.

Journalism practice and professions have undergone a significant transformation over the past decade or more, and many of the forces of change are still taking place and are re-shaping the nature of the industry.

Changes in technologies of production and distribution, and in the economics of production and consumption, are shifting the boundaries between previous notions of the producers and the consumers of journalism.

Various forms and formats of journalism are also emerging, and have emerged, that challenge long-established practices. As well as these changes, however, there are also patterns of continuity in the profession.

What does the course focus on?

This course will locate the study of journalism practice within this wider context of patterns of changes and continuities, with a particular emphasis on the intercultural and global dimensions of these processes.

It will prepare you for utilising traditional as well as new media platforms for journalism practice aimed at a local or global public. Practical work is underpinned by a critical engagement with topical issues that bear on contemporary journalism practice in an international context.

The Staff

The Birmingham School of Media postgraduate programme staff offer a breadth and depth of experience that will be essential to your study experience. The teaching team include Ayo Oyeleye, Paul Bradshaw, Pete Wilby, Sue Heseltine, and Dave Harte. Many of the course activities involve other members of the school's research teams, and you will work on case studies drawn from our research and industry projects.

Which areas will I cover?

On this course, you will explore and develop a critical understanding of the theoretical ideas and concepts that relate to global journalism and learn how to apply these to real-world contemporary social issues and problems. Practice skills will be drawn mainly from online journalism and other new media platforms.

You will work in a very practical way, operating in groups, trying out ideas, and putting your new knowledge and skill into practice straightaway. The course aims to encourage a purposeful application of media production skills to a wide range of contemporary issues in both local and global arenas.

He Canling is a scholarship student from the prestigious Communication University of China (CUC). Download his article to find out about his experience of the MA International Journalism course and Birmingham School of Media.

Download He Canling’s article 'From Birmingham to Beijing' (in Mandarin)

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

You should possess a prior degree (or equivalent) at 2:1, or above, or have considerable experience in a related field and be able to demonstrate outstanding ability and potential. Good spoken and written English are vital. IELTS level 6.5 is a minimum. Applicants should have sound academic skills (research, writing, presentation), an interest in ideas and their application and some basic competence in IT skills (word-processing, Internet activities etc). Above all, applicants need to have an inquiring mind, an aptitude for finding things out, sharing and communicating ideas, and a desire to develop as an independent and self-motivated thinker.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the most appropriate online application form from the list below.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

Telephone: +44 (0)121 331 6618

Online application for UK or EU students
Sep 2015 MA Full Time (1 year)
Sep 2015 MA Part Time (2-3 years)
Online application for non-EU students
Sep 2015 MA Full Time (1 year)

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

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 FT 1 year MA £6,195 per year
Sep 2015 PT 2-3 years MA £3,100 per year
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 FT 1 year MA £11,500

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.

New scholarships for 2015/16

Postgraduate Scholarships We're aiming to make a postgraduate qualification more affordable and can offer awards of up to £10,000 to selected students.

Find out more about scholarship opportunities for 2015/16

International Students

International Students at BCU

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 reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

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

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

Employment Opportunities

Upon successfully completing the MA in International Journalism, you will have developed a broad knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues in international journalism and specific practices of production which can be utlilised either in employment in a typical news organisation or as an independent/ freelance journalist. Successful students will be self-motivated independent learners and thinkers who will have advanced and transferrable skills in production practices, research, investigation and presentation and who will be able to apply these to a variety of scenarios in the rapidly changing world of journalism.

You will have made a number of contacts and joined a number of networks whilst on the course and be ready to take your skills into the workplace. You will be able to develop a role you perhaps already have in the media industries, or embark on a new career in related sectors. Those students who aim for future academic careers will be well placed to pursue further research and collaborations.


Industry placement is not a formal part of this programme however, there will be a high degree of engagement with industries and professional practice as part of the course. There are opportunities for full-time students to explore placement opportunities in the second semester of the curriculum but this will be driven largely by the student's own initiative.

Further Studies

For anyone interested in taking their research interests forward into an MPhil or PhD speak to the course director about your particular area of expertise.

Course Structure

The content and approach of the curriculum focuses strongly on contemporary journalism skills in digital, online, and social media production, which will equip you to operate in the convergent media environment of today.

You will engage with new media platforms for journalism production and examine the impact these have on the nature of contemporary international journalism.

The taught postgraduate phase of the course will comprise four modules, in which you will be able to do a combination of theoretical and production work. The Master's component of the course entails a substantial independent production project. There will certainly be lots of interesting topics and issues to explore about the state of contemporary international journalism and we expect you to be actively involved in examining these issues in relation to a relevant social, local, national or international context. Most importantly, though, we want you to start to develop your own international journalism project ideas and to put them into practice.

You will meet with your tutors in small classes and in individual tutorials, and you will work in small groups with other students on practical tasks. We invite relevant speakers from industry, who will share their knowledge and expertise with you, and we want you to get involved in the interesting research undertaken by members of the school's Centre for Media and Cultural Research.

We encourage you to experiment, to try out innovative ideas, and to produce truly original work. Although we often draw upon insights from the past, we are always looking to the future, and we want you to develop projects or dissertations which really make a difference.

Course Modules

Globalisation and Communication (30 credits)

This theory module explores core topics and issues that will set the context for understanding the dynamics of contemporary media and creative industries.

Online Journalism (30 credits)

This production module explores a range of online and mobile journalism skills, as well as emerging legal and ethical issues. You will be running a live journalism operation, building contacts in your field and learning from those at the cutting edge of their industry, as well as each other.

In addition, an ‘experimental’ element of the module forces you to research and experiment with an area of online journalism that has particular potential for you professionally, developing your public profile in the field on the way.

New Journalism in Context (30 credits)

This module will allow you to explore and understand the wider social, political, economic, professional, technological and global contexts in which contemporary journalism is situated and how these impact the practice of journalism today.

Production Lab/Research Methods (30 credits)

You will choose one of these modules depending on whether you wish to do your MA stage via a practice or theoretical route. They are both research focused and prepare you to undertake your final MA work, which involves a substantial independent research leading to the production of either a production project or a dissertation.

These modules draw upon other taught modules which either mapped out the current state of academic knowledge in the field, or established professional conventions and explored current industry challenges.

MA by Practice or MA by Dissertation (60 credits)

This will entail the production of either a production project or dissertation through a process of substantial independent research and media practice. You will choose your own subject in consultation with an appropriate course tutor, and you will be supported by a process of supervision.

You will develop and consolidate your mastery of key skills, and knowledge of and engagement with current opportunities in the field of production or industry. This module encourages and tests skills of initiative and independent practice and takes place largely outside the classroom with support from a tutor.

Assessment Methods

Assessments usually emphasise scholarly or professional practice through which the key learning objectives are tested. Three weeks are set aside for assessment work.

Dr Ayo Oyeleye

Senior Lecturer in Media Studies; Programme Director, Postgraduate Media Programmes

Ayo is a senior lecturer in Media Studies and Programme Director of the Media Postgraduate Programme Matrix. He is an active Academic Researcher and has broad experience of teaching undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Prior to joining the university in 1991 he obtained his PhD at the Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester in 1990. Ayo’s current teaching and research interests are in the areas of international communication, Diaspora studies, global journalism, and communication for social change.

Yemisi Akinbobola

Former student and Editor-in-Chief at IQ4News, Yemisi Akinbobola talks about her time on the course, below:


Prospective students from the UK
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK


For an overview of our postgraduate courses and a range of other information please download our Postgraduate Prospectus (10Mb).

Further Information

Birmingham School of Media
Birmingham City University
City North Campus
Perry Barr
B42 2SU

Telephone: +44 (0)121 331 6618
Fax: +44 (0)121 331 6501