MA | Postgraduate Taught

Media and Broadcast Production

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 years (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
  • Overview

    Overview This MA offers an integrated programme of study in the theoretical, applied and creative aspects of contemporary broadcasting. Students will be introduced to theoretical approaches to broadcasting, as well as to basic techniques useful for broadcast practice.

    The programme is designed to appeal to graduate students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, particularly those with backgrounds in English, politics, history, journalism, cultural studies and creative writing. Previous academic study of or practical experience in the media is not essential, though it would be beneficial.

    Media and Broadcast Production highlights

    Industry Links

    • The degree draws upon our relationship with BBC NI, together with other media organisations and professionals, giving students access to a range of events and opportunities to engage with the lively media landscape in Northern Ireland and beyond.

    Student Experience

    • Based in the School of Arts, English and Languages, the MA in Media and Broadcast Production offers a combined academic and practical approach to the study of broadcasting, encouraging students to consider both aspects individually and together.
    • Students are encourage to develop their own interests throughout the degree, guided by the staff, whose backgrounds cover academia, industry and broadcast journalism.

    EU Referendum

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Course DetailsAll students undertake five core modules and one optional module during the taught semesters of the programme. They then undertake a dissertation, which can be either a significant piece of independent written research on a topic of their choice, or a practical production accompanied by a reflective essay.

    While individual modules may focus more on either the academic or practical aspects of the course, throughout the degree both aspects are brought together. This means that the academic theory should inform the reflective aspect of the practical modules, while the experience of creating programming should allow students to better understand the theoretical material, its benefits and its limitations.

    Core Modules:
    Media and Broadcast Analysis
    This module introduces students to the academic analysis of broadcasting and media. In doing so, the aim is to provide students with an understanding of a range of different methods for conducting their own research, and for understanding other academics' research. Students will be introduced to the semiotic analysis of television and radio, as well as the analysis of audience and of broadcast brand. The historical development of broadcasting in Britain will be covered, including core concepts, such as that of public service broadcasting, which shape the media environment to this day. Through considering these ideas and element, students should develop their understanding of the media and broadcast environment in ways that aid their practical work as well as allowing them to consider how their own work, as well as that of others, can be interpreted by different audiences. Students should provide their own examples of programming and material, but will also be supplied with examples, including archival material, audience research etc. Assessment is based upon an essay, with the subject determined by the student in consultation with the module convenor.

    Television Documentary Practice
    This practice based module will explore documentary filmmaking in the context of television and broadcast commissioning structures on the island of Ireland and the UK. Students will be encouraged to combine their theory and practice to become informed practitioners, aware of the commissioning structures and current industry practices, yet capable of reflecting critically on their own practice.
    With a particular emphasis on production for television and online, students will develop and enhance practical filmmaking skills to a level appropriate to stage, through workshops on camera, editing, interview design and lighting. Masterclasses with industry professionals, screenings and lectures will also form important aspects of course delivery. Students will develop an enhanced knowledge of the ethical implications for their work, learn to work to editorial guidelines and within the broadcast industry regulations (Ofcom), but will also engage with the wider issues of the social and cultural roles of documentaries in, for example, science communication, construction of ideas of heritage, and national and local debates around current issues in the humanities and social sciences. Other aspects of the course include script writing for television and voice presentation/voiceover skills. In addition to broadcast-specific approaches, students will engage with interdisciplinary research, particularly in developing the content for their documentary productions.
    Research is a hugely important aspect of documentary production and this module therefore takes the view that documentary can be a powerful expression of practice based research and relevant case studies will be screened as part of the course. The social, political and cultural significance of the genre will be explored. Cognate work will be examined and the notion of documentary as 'truth' will be challenged. Students taking this module will have the opportunity to create a significant practical documentary film/video to add to their portfolio of work.

    Broadcast Journalism
    This module introduces students to the practice of broadcasting, particularly the practices of radio and television broadcast journalism. This includes consideration of the regulatory and ethical framework surrounding broadcast journalism, writing and performing for broadcast, as well as recording and editing sound. Students will be assessed based on their production of some audio vox pops, and on their writing and performance of a piece to camera. The assessment also consists of a reflective statement on the practical work, which includes a consideration of the professional requirements of the recorded pieces, and how they might be received by an audience unaware of the process of creating them and any problems that may have arisen.

    Broadcasting Genre
    This module examines the uses and significance of genre in broadcasting. It covers theories of genre, the relationships between genre in different media (including literature and cinema), and the uses of genre by broadcasters, producers and audiences. Through the module, students will develop their own case studies focussing on a genre of their choice, feeding their research into the seminars. They will engage with questions around how genres are formed and used, why people categorise things in genres, how genres interact with policy and taste formations, and how generic descriptions and canons change over time. This will all contribute to a final assessed essay based on the work developed through the module.

    The Radio Documentary
    This module develops the skills needed for students to produce a multi-faceted industry-standard radio feature, incorporating interview clips, sound effects, music and a script. The module takes students through the production process from the initial idea, through the gathering of material, to scripting and editing. The module examines the history of the radio documentary and analyses changes in the genre. Students will also benefit from visits by industry experts, relating the practical sessions to current industry practices.

    Optional Modules:
    From Page to Stage
    This module in practice-based drama exposes students to the principle of collaboration as the essential creative axis at the core of all drama production. Starting with a blank page, students will work together to devise, develop and produce a single piece of original drama for either stage or radio or screen of no more than 30 minutes duration. They will then see this new script through to production. With particular emphasis on teamwork, and the practical processes and pressures involved in collaborative writing and collaborative production, each seminar will explore a separate aspect of the dramatic process with students working together to share the challenges of writing, editing, rehearsing, directing, designing and producing.

    Media Discourses of Crime and Deviance

    Censorship, Regulation and Audiences
    This course will explore censorship, film regulation and audiences with British Cinema. It will use a variety of historical and contemporary case studies to explore the legislative and industrial frameworks, which shape practices of film censorship and the critical and cultural debates which surround discussions of the regulation of cinema. It will look at local examples of film censorship to examine the hierarchies of power at work in exhibition and regulation of film and cinema. It will also examine the role played by audiences in determining what will and what will not be shown. Case studies may include Last Tango in Paris, The Exorcist, The Devils, The Life of Brian, The Hunger Games, Casino Royale.

    Media and Broadcast Production Dissertation
    Each student will develop and produce a dissertation based on a topic which they select, in consultation with their supervisor. The Broadcast Literacy dissertation may take the form of a traditional academic dissertation, or a broadcast piece with associated reflective statement. Students will undertake their dissertation work independently over the summer, supported by their supervisor.

    People teaching you

    Dr Derek Johnston

    School of AEL

    Career Prospects

    This programme is designed to offer a range of highly useful skills, experience and understanding regarding broadcasting and contemporary media, which would be useful in a range of careers, including broadcasting, journalism, marketing, press and public relations, advertising and teaching. Some students choose to continue their studies to PhD level on a chosen specialised topic in Media and Broadcast Production.

    Learning and Teaching





    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    Written assignments

    Practical assignments, accompanied by a reflective essay

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in an Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences subject.

    Applicants with qualifications below 2.1 Honours degree standard may be considered if they can demonstrate appropriate relevant experience. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) £5,900
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £5,900
    Other (non-UK) EU £5,900
    International £16,400

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2019-20 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Media and Broadcast Production costs

    There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme

    How do I fund my study?

    From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

    A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

    More information on funding options and financial assistance.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
    Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2019 Entry.

    Download a prospectus

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