Professor Jason Whittaker - Programme Leader
Jason joined Lincoln in 2015 as Head of the School of English and Journalism. He worked for more than fifteen years as a journalist and magazine editor, specialising in technology and computer journalism. His main research interests are the posthumous reception of William Blake in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as developments in digital publishing. He has published widely on these subjects, as well as on magazine journalism more generally.School Staff List Make an Enquiry
The MA International Journalism is an innovative new programme delivered in partnership between the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the University of Lincoln, designed to equip new generations of journalists to report impartially on critical global issues facing society today.
The programme offers students the opportunity to learn from leading industry professionals through a rich course of study, made up of both theoretical and practical sessions, all of which are delivered online with academics and practitioners from the University of Lincoln and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Covering topics spanning the human impact of climate change to human rights issues, access to land and property rights, and social enterprise, the Thomson Reuters Foundation is known globally for producing the highest quality independent journalism that informs professionals, policymakers, and the public in countries around the world.
Underpinned by the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s commitment to reporting the under-reported, this course is designed for graduates from a wide range of disciplines with a passion for exploring and explaining the events that impact the lives of people all over the world.
Students can benefit from unique newsday experiences integrated into the course, working on real-time assignments through online workshops with Thomas Reuters trainers.
This full-time, one-year programme will be delivered through theoretical and practical sessions, all of which are delivered online with academics and practitioners from the University of Lincoln and Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Students can experience real-time deadlines on newsroom assignments, creating copy to the most rigorous editorial standards, fit to ‘go out on the wires' to a global daily audience of up to a billion people, during five intensive three-day periods of work-based learning.
In addition, they will explore self-directed lessons which will build up their knowledge of working in an international news agency. Topics may include 'The Reuters Way', newsgathering for agencies, mobile journalism, reporting international affairs, and reporting human rights.
Modules are delivered online, with a mixture of live workshops that provide formative feedback and developmental work on students’ journalistic skills, as well as self-paced materials that students work through to build up their knowledge of the activities of reporting international news.
Contact and Independent Study
Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the stage of study.
Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study.
We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.
This second term module is designed for students who have an interest in the theory and practice of political reporting. Increasingly, journalists need a critical understanding of the underlying concepts for political acting such as liberty, justice, rights, law, and how they are realised in our contemporary democracies. Students will engage with global politics in a connected world as well as notions of crisis in modern democracy and the concept of post-democracy. It will also reflect on the role played by the media in contemporary societies. 1. Global politics in a connected world. This part of the module builds on ethical and legal considerations explored in the Professional Practice module, examining how reporting in diverse parts of the world connects to events and activities around the globe. 2. The module explores essential concepts of political theory such as liberty, justice, rights, and law as well as participation and representation. It discusses how these concepts are reflected in a democratic political system, as well as the rise of factors such as populism as a symptom of democratic crisis. 3. The module explores the most common models of political storytelling such as personalisation, breaking news, live blogs, analysis, comment, political features. It will further present examples for new political storytelling in digital media such as BuzzFeed or FiveThirtyEight, and look at how innovations such as social media have shaped political stories.
This module runs in the first term and focuses on core journalistic writing skills that integrate with the Professional Practice module offered at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Teaching is delivered at Lincoln, and the schedule works across three blocks, each of which comprises three weeks of teaching on a specific aspect of journalism. 1. Newswriting Essentials. This introduces students to the fundamentals of reporting in terms of storytelling, interviewing and introductory legal and ethical elements. 2. What is the News? This block focuses on determining what constitutes news, with sessions dealing with news values, making editorial judgement and finding angles for stories. 3. News Features. The module concludes with the elements that contribute to news feature writing, including colour pieces and long-form journalism.
This module runs throughout the year, drawing upon the skills learned in the other three related modules and provides the opportunity to put these into practice through workshops and news days. It will comprise a series of blocks, each of which runs for approximately three weeks. Subjects dealt with on the module include: 1. Core Digital Skills. This is the foundation for many of the other kit-based skills, in terms of working towards digital output as core to student activity. In this section, students will build upon key attributes of running and maintaining content management systems, the initial stages of building digital content and formulating a digital strategy via social media and other platforms, and begin their training using the Lynda.com suite of programmes that the University subscribes to. 2. Visuals and Data. This block comprises two interrelated components: visual design (including use of images/photography) and data visualisation. This will build on skills learned in the first block to explore effective techniques for conveying information to readers. 3. Digital Storytelling. This brings together the first sets of key skills built up in the first semester to create packages for international stories. 4. Audio and Podcasting. Following on from the Mobile Journalism module in Professional Practice, these sessions will build up students’ skills in audio techniques and reporting. 5. Digital Video Skills. This block will continue the skills building from the previous one, with a focus on video editing. 6. News Days and Storytelling. While News Days will comprise aspects of the programme throughout the year, this is a final opportunity to put writing, contextual and professional skills into practice alongside production skills.
The module builds on the skills developed in earlier modules, and consists of independent research, writing and supervision for the production of a final project. Students create a journalistic portfolio comprising stories in a relevant format (written, video, audio, interactive) on topics relevant to international journalism. The student independently implements research strategies and selected approaches, with the supervisor’s advice, to achieve the final project to Master’s standard. All work produced for this module must be original and not work that was previously submitted as part of the course, whether at Lincoln or the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Work may be submitted that is produced outside of previous modules and which has been published by other organisations (for example news stories submitted to journalism outlets).
The Professional Practice module is provided by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with training primarily in London (with some delivery in Lincoln) and is designed to enable students to experience the conditions of working with an international news agency. These sessions typically take the form of intensive, three-day workshops with sessions in the first part on: 1. The Reuters Way. This series of workshops introduces students to the processes and workflows of Reuters, with explanations of how the bureaus work and the expected attitudes and approaches for agency reporters. 2. Newsgathering for Agencies. Students will be provided with intensive training for collecting information and understanding how to apply news values and editorial judgement.
The Professional Practice module is provided by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with training primarily in London (with some delivery in Lincoln) and is designed to enable students to experience the conditions of working with an international news agency. These sessions typically take the form of intensive, three-day workshops with sessions in the second part on: 3. Mobile Journalism. Students will engage with ways of getting closer to the story, as well as tools for editing packages on the go and in the newsroom. 4. Reporting International Affairs. In these workshops, students will explore the issues involved in dealing with current affairs reporting in areas such as international politics, conflict, disasters and migration. 5. Reporting Human Rights. Again, this will explore issues in reporting in areas such as LGBT+, human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and land rights.
† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.
Students are assessed via a series of portfolios that develop their skills in news writing, multimedia storytelling and professional activities, and essays which develop their understanding of international current affairs.
The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.
Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.
There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.
Students are expected to cover the cost of their travel to all teaching sessions, plus any associated accommodation and general living costs.
Applicants will require a first or second class honours degree from any subject. Relevant professional experience will also be considered.
If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages:
Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:
If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses.
These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.
At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.
"We are proud to partner with the University of Lincoln to equip more journalists with the skills they need to ensure the continued flow of unbiased information to the public globally."Antonio Zappulla, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation
The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.
This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.
Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.Find out More
Conduct in-depth research into an area of your choice, with the help of dedicated skills sessions and under the guidance of an academic supervisor.
This programme aims to provide the professional and practical training needed for a career in the exciting world of journalism.
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