Postgraduate Courses in Journalism

By Kevin Branigan - Last update

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If you are working towards a career in media or public relations, a postgraduate course in journalism makes a great starting point. Having a background in journalism will demonstrate that you have a skill set featuring strong communication skills. A skill set which is easily transferable to a wide range of job roles.

Postgraduate Courses in Journalism Trends

Journalism falls within the overall category of mass communication, for statics purposes. In 2015-2016, just over 500 students enrolled in mass communication postgraduate courses in Ireland. This made mass communication (including journalism), the 16th most popular type of postgraduate degree course in 2015-2016 in Ireland.

Postgraduate Courses in Journalism for Professional Reasons

People who study journalism receive tuition in a wide, easily transferable skill set. A skillset that obviously, will be of great use if they intend to work in a journalistic role. However, the skill set can be applied to any job role where skill in communicating using the written word is required. For example, working in public relations.

Skills Learned Through Postgraduate Courses in Journalism

If you study for a postgraduate qualification in journalism, you will learn a wide range of skills. Depending upon the institute teaching the course, the curriculum may vary. Typical parts of the journalist curriculum are:

  • News writing – researching and reporting in written form on breaking news events.
  • Feature writing – preparing in-depth, fully researched features for newspapers and magazines.
  • Online journalism – creating journalistic content that is suitable for publication online.
  • Subediting – checking, correcting and improving the work of other journalists.
  • Newspaper layout and design – how to leverage page real estate to deliver the most effect.
  • Public relations – extending, maintaining brand image through public communication of corporate messages.
  • Radio and sound production – how to use radio and spoken word to present journalistic content.
  • TV and video production – how to use TV and video channels to present journalistic content.
  • Media analysis – analysing trends in news, with a view to shaping journalistic content to fit emerging news trends.
  • Communications – skills related to both presenting facts, and also discovering them through direct research such as interviews.

Areas of Specialisation for Postgraduate Courses in Journalism

Studying for a postgraduate qualification in journalism will allow you to specialise in specific facets of journalism. Depending upon the institution you intend to study with, available specialisations may include:

  • Broadcast journalism – specialising in TV, radio and other broadcast media for journalistic purposes.
  • Documentary journalism – preparing in-depth fact-filled journalistic content, designed to educate as well as inform.
  • Investigative journalism – performing in-depth research, and piecing together complex facts to produce news content.

Job Roles Which Completing Postgraduate Courses in Journalism Will Open Up

Receiving a postgraduate qualification in Journalism will open up a number of potential careers. There are those which are primarily journalistic in role, and this includes:

  • Broadcast journalism – covering all of the different types of job role we see on television. Including channel anchor, news reader, weather reporter etc.
  • Investigative journalist – either working for a newspaper or magazine or as a freelancer.
  • Sports journalism – either in written form or as a TV or radio sports journalist.

Having a journalism qualification also grants access to a number of associated job roles, such as:

  • Public relations – a journalistic background provides the communication skills needed in PR.
  • Freelance writer – as a qualified journalist, you will have the writing skills needed to begin an eclectic freelance career as a writer.
  • Technical writer – combining writing skills, with technical knowledge.

These are just some of the career paths that a qualification in journalism can open up. There are many more.

In Conclusion

Overall, studying for a postgraduate course in journalism will give you a firm foundation in media-related skills. Whether you intend to pursue a career as a pure journalist or branch off into a related field.

Kevin Branigan

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