MA Journalism (Audio, Docs and Podcast)
Page last updated 12 March 2021
Work alongside independent and BBC audio producers, and award-winning academics, to gain valuable experience, insights and contacts for your career in audio journalism.
Why study journalism (audio, docs and podcast)?
Today's fast-moving digital age has opened up enticing opportunities for journalists wanting to work in audio and radio.
Producers are needed to create high-quality programmes for podcasts, radio and audio documentaries - and graduates specialising in this field will build a compelling set of skills to develop a highly versatile portfolio career.
Why UWE Bristol?
Offered in partnership with the BBC, our MA Journalism (Audio, Docs and Podcast) is for graduates with a passion for radio, and an interest in journalism and audio documentary making.
Working with award-winning audio producers, you'll learn to develop your own radio documentaries and podcasts, as you build experience of audio collection techniques, sound and recording, working in a studio and using digital editing software.
Based at the arts-focused Bower Ashton studios, you'll be immersed in audio and radio for the digital age, putting your skills into practice, and delving into the cultural industry and its supply chain.
There's a strong emphasis on developing your technical expertise, alongside the skills needed to compete as a producer, such as commissioning, pitching and getting your documentaries to air. You'll also gain useful online skills to develop your own websites and podcasts.
You will build experience on placements in some of Bristol's most innovative cultural organisations, get to pitch your work to Radio 4 editors and work on your own projects with mentoring from industry.
Where can it take me?
By the end of the course, you'll be equipped to secure audio journalism work on a freelance or staff basis, in production companies and post-production facilities. You could work as a broadcast assistant, junior researcher, production assistant or studio manager.
You will study:
- Introduction to Media Law - an introduction to the concepts of ethics, law, broadcast regulation and press freedom. This module provides an opportunity for students to explore the impact of the reporting of crime and the justice system. Where possible, during the first semester students will attend and report on court hearings and visit Bristol Law Society.
- Advanced Media Law - examines some of the current debates about accountability, transparency and regulation, and some of the practical challenges which journalists face in their everyday work. Where possible, during the second semester, there will be an opportunity to visit the Palace of Westminster and to take part in a Question Time with local MPs.
- Journalism Collaborative Project - an opportunity for students to plan and undertake work that is related to their artistic and/or professional endeavours and career goals. The aim is to enable students to view themselves as professional practitioners and understand what is necessary in order to work as professionals in their chosen field. The module also aims to develop students' entrepreneurial capability in practice through a collaborative project.
- Multimedia Journalism 1 - students will operate as multimedia journalists in the field, studio and newsroom, putting into practice, and reflecting on, their own journalistic judgement, news sense, skills and knowledge. News days allow you to practice news reporting in a fully equipped multimedia newsroom, working as part of a team, prioritising the news agenda, researching, monitoring, news gathering and producing news for radio and online platforms.
- Podcasting and Programming - building on the audio production carried out in other modules, students will engage in more advanced production and presentation techniques and professional practices. The emphasis will be on podcast and magazine programme production. Students will research and create podcast episode/s along pre-set theme/s suitable for different audiences and create a series of live/as live magazine programmes.
- Professional Practice in Journalism - a bespoke and largely self-directed, extended production module, where students will undertake their own final project reflecting the skills and understanding of audio content and production. Students are supported by tutorials and sessions with an industry mentor to shape and layer their final narrative. It is expected that the final project will be of professional standard and a portfolio piece for prospective employers.
- Radio Pre-Production - an introduction to the specialist field of Audio and Factual programming, which will provide an overview of production processes and develop key skills for employment. Students will undertake craft skills training across specialist roles, to prepare for production and further their professional development. This module will enable students to explore and critically evaluate content and equip them with creative idea generation strategies. Students will be encouraged to work up and pitch ideas for factual programming.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
This course offers a mix of practical and theoretical teaching, using lectures, seminars and expert-led technical workshops, to build your skills in journalism, content production, podcasting and documentary making.
The course benefits from Bristol's rich activity in the cultural and media industries. As well as teaching from faculty staff, guest speakers from the BBC and independent media production companies will play a key role.
Field visits to documentary producers will enhance your learning and bring valuable industry insight. BBC staff and/or former staff will help design live briefs to prepare you for professional commissions, whether for the BBC or commercial clients.
You will be expected to work to real deadlines under real-world conditions.
You will build a portfolio to show to potential employers, and get to specialise in different areas, depending on your interests.
Formal learning takes place over two to three contact days a week and you will be expected to do the same amount of hours in self-directed study. Outside of class time, you will need to prepare course readings, and complete writing and research exercises, essays, production exercises and projects.
You will be assessed through a combination of practical work, research portfolio, exams, essays and presentations.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
You will take part in a work shadowing scheme, to get first-hand experience of producing audio and radio documentaries.
We'll encourage you to take up placements to gain insights across all relevant digital media.
We have relationships with many of the city's cultural and creative organisations, including Watershed, Arnolfini, Ujima Radio and BBC News.
Get help to find your placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
You'll have access to the latest industry-standard equipment and technology within our Bower Ashton Campus's media studios.
Facilities include live radio studios with access to the latest audio software and recording equipment.
Bower Ashton is part of our City Campus, a powerhouse of inspiration and collaboration, which spans Bristol and also includes renowned contemporary arts centres Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed.
You'll have access to a range of teaching and learning spaces, a library, student support services and extensive technical resources, and get to connect and collaborate with some of the best creative and cultural organisations in Bristol.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
You'll have the skills and confidence to put yourself forward for entry level posts in the radio factual broadcast sector including documentary, formats and presenter-led features.
Our partnership with the BBC brings opportunities for engagement, collaboration and possibly employment. The BBC highly values the talent, fresh ideas and enthusiasm of our students.
You could go on to secure freelance or inhouse work in production companies and post-production facilities, working as a broadcast assistant, junior researcher, production assistant or studio manager.
We are looking for highly motivated, creative students who are passionate about telling stories. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in an art or media related subject area or equivalent, or relevant professional experience.
For country specific entry requirements, please find your country on the Country Information pages.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview, where you will be expected to talk about your previous work (from audio, film, design, photography, writing, digital media, etc) and discuss the ideas you have for the stories you want to tell. Skype or telephone interviews will be arranged for international applicants.
English Language Requirement
International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 with 6.0 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The University accepts a large number of UK and international qualifications in place of IELTS. To find details of acceptable tests and the required grades please visit English Language requirements.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our pre-sessional English programme.
How to apply
We accept applications throughout the year but if you are working to a funding deadline, you should build this into your application process.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333