Study a graduate program in journalism
What will I study in a graduate journalism program?
If you think you have what it takes to break the next big news story, edit Vogue magazine or make a compelling documentary, you should follow your journalistic dream and take a graduate journalism program.
Aimed at motivated students looking to break through into their first job, postgraduate courses in journalism focus on providing you with the skills you’ll need to get into this competitive industry. You can expect to take modules in news writing and gathering, media ethics and law, shorthand and interview techniques.
Depending on whether you choose to specialise in print, broadcast or online journalism, you can also expect to learn technical editing skills and how to shoot video footage.
As most graduate journalism courses are vocational, you should also expect to be asked to gather news stories almost immediately. Postgraduate courses will normally be split equally between the classroom and the newsroom.
Length of program
The length of a graduate journalism program depends on where you study and what area of journalism you choose to specialise in. Postgraduate courses generally last the following duration in these countries:
- UK – 1-2 years
- US – 1-2 years
- China – 1-3 years
- Canada – 1-2 years
Graduate journalism programs are generally open to anyone with an undergraduate degree, regardless of what subject it was in. Some relevant writing experience or technical skills can be useful on competitive courses.
If you are studying in a country where the first language is different from your own, you may be required to take a language test to prove your skills.
A good postgraduate course in journalism should focus on providing students with the skills needed to enter the profession immediately. However, journalism is one of the most competitive industries to try and break into, so it’s not unusual for recent graduates to undergo a period of unpaid work or an internship to gain experience.
Entry into paid positions normally begins with an editorial assistant role, which involves helping a particular department with small articles, picture research and fact checking. As you progress, you can expect to gain more responsibility over editing other people’s work and planning the structure of your website, magazine or programme.
Some of the jobs included in this field are:
- PR manager
Fees and funding
The cost of graduate journalism programs varies widely from country to country and also depends on the status of the course and university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:
- UK - £4,500 - £17,000
- USA - $5,000 - $30,000
- Germany €2,000 - €5,000
- Canada - $4,000-8,000
- China – RMB 21,000-24,000
What to do next
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