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Master in Arts Sports Journalism

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  • Objectives
    The MA in Sports Journalism will provide students with the opportunity to study in a specialised field of journalism, allowing them to work and gain the skills and experience of sports reporting. At the same time they will be able to develop a better understanding of the structure of sport and accompanying theoretical issues. Using the University’s excellent relationship with local sport teams, clubs and institutions, students will be able to report on sports events as they happen, build contacts in the industry and gain valuable work experience.
  • Academic Title
    MA Sports Journalism
  • Course description
    Introduction

    Sports Journalism is one of the fastest growing and increasingly popular branches of journalism. Opportunities in the media industry for sport journalists are on the increase in this exciting and competitive industry. The MA Sports Journalism at the University of Lincoln will offer the requisite skills to students, along with tuition from industry professionals, opportunities to report live from sports events and to build contacts in the sports media industry.

    Key features

    Students will also be taught by industry professionals, with experience in all aspects of sports broadcasting and writing, and will benefit from the opportunity to produce material for Siren FM, Lincoln’s new community radio station, based on the main University campus

    The campus also has links with the BBC, both regionally and nationally, the local newspaper – the Lincolnshire Echo and its own community radio station SIREN FM. These sources offer students a rich variety of work experience in the industry, where they can use the skills and knowledge they develop on their course in a professional environment

    Lincolnshire has a rich variety of sport for students to become involved in, including Lincoln City Football Club, a highly competitive non-league structure, Market Rasen racecourse and Cadwell Park which hosts the British Superbike Grand Prix

    The University of Lincoln has a growing relationship with local sports teams and institutions, offering students the opportunity to make good professional contacts.

    Course Content

    Semester A –Certificate level:

        *

          Core Writing – Students will learn the key skills required to write as journalists and then focus those skills in science journalism. The module offers an essential introduction to reporting, researching, interviewing, news values and news writing necessary for employment in all areas of the profession.
        *

          Core Broadcast (Radio and TV) – Students will learn the key skills to become broadcast journalists and adapt those skills to their specialist field. This module allows students to experience first hand the differences between the broadcasting and print mediums in an increasingly ‘converged’ media landscape. Radio production provides an excellent means of improving verbal communication skills for all involved.
        *

          Core Legal – All aspects of law relating to the media with some focus on issues in science. This challenging module uses real case studies and up to date research to provide students with an understanding of the framework within which the industry operates, and the ethical dilemmas involved.
        *

          Journalism and Society – This module provides students with a basic appreciation of systems of power, covering national and local government structures and institutions with a further emphasis on those related to decision making in the sphere of science and environment.
        *

          Students doing the full Masters will take Research Methods. This module provides methodological understanding, support and advice on the final project. Students prepare a presentation and a written proposal for a dissertation, a documentary project, or a portfolio of articles. Assessment of this module forms part of the overall project assessment.

    Semester B –Diploma level:

        *

          Specialist Reporting - In this module students decide on a specialist subject area, study the nature of correspondents’ work in their chosen field, and also prepare longer ‘feature’ pieces aimed at specifically targeted audiences. Writing and research skills are relevant to all media platforms.
        *

          Production (Print or Broadcast) – Students will focus on one medium, producing a magazine or radio magazine programmes. This module provides the requisite technical knowledge and experience of professional practices such as layout and design in print, and running orders in broadcast.
        *

          Online Journalism Explores and critically evaluates online journalism sites and develops models for the best use of Internet resources. It will encourage students to use the web as a means of publication and develops skills in news, feature writing and design applicable to online journalism.
        *

          Work Placement – Students will take up a work placement in one or several different media organisations of their choice and receive prior guidance, together with career advice. Students are encouraged to be flexible, thorough and focused in their approach.
        *

          Contemporary Issues in Sports Journalism: This module is a ‘must’ not only for aspiring sports reporters, but also for those who take an interest in how sport issues relate to the world of news and current affairs.
        *

          Optional ‘elective’ modules (students to choose one of the following options):
              o

                Arts Reporting: This module deals with the skills of the reviewer, whether it is literature, film, exhibition, TV, events or the creation of other media artefacts.
              o

                International Human Rights: Integrating theory and practice, students are given a grounding in the fundamental contemporary world issues, as well as the opportunity to participate in discussions and to do their own research and writing on selected areas of conflict.
              o

                Comparative Media History: This module enables the student to appreciate trends and changes within media industries worldwide on a comparative basis between countries and between platforms.
              o

                Journalism and Literature: Explores the relationship between literary production and different genres of journalism, through detailed case studies of significant writers, including Daniel Defoe, William Hazlitt, George Orwell, George Sand, Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, Tom Wolfe and Arundhati Roy.
              o

                Ethics in Science: This module follows on from the Law and Journalism and Society modules in Semester A to provide more in-depth reflection on philosophical issues and an opportunity for students to consider more fully the kind of dilemmas that they are likely to encounter as working journalists.

    (*Please note that modules may vary from year to year.)

    Semester C – Masters level:

        * Dissertation, portfolio of articles, webpages, chapters for a book or radio documentary.

    Students spend the final semester during the summer on self-directed learning, having already decided on the form of media product that they will produce. Each person is allocated their own tutor for support and guidance. This final project provides an opportunity to research and make an in-depth study of the student’s chosen subject. Whatever the platform for delivery, this is a challenging piece of long-form journalism that will attract the interest of future employers and prove that the student can achieve a truly high standard, reflective investigation and product at Masters level.

    For those students who choose to stay on within the Academy to study for a higher research degree, a dissertation provides the ultimate evidence of their ability.

    Postgraduate opportunities

    The MA in Journalism can form the starting point for progression to MPhil or PhD.

    Assessment

    Assessment for this course is mainly assignment-based.

    Shorthand: Weekly classes in shorthand will be offered throughout the first two semesters of the programme.

    Career opportunities

    By the end of the course, students will be equipped to apply for jobs as journalists and specialist sports correspondents across a range of print-based, online and broadcast media. Alternative employment opportunities lie in the related areas of promotional and sports science and lifestyle technical and/or feature writing, public relations, business to business and corporate communications.

    For those students who choose to take up reporting work of a more ‘generalist’ nature, they will be able to offer a speciality and subject knowledge that is increasingly in demand within a range of work areas.

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