The CNN Academy UCD Clinton Institute MA in Journalism and International Affairs is a one-year programme that combines practical training in audio, video, digital, and social storytelling with academic expertise in international affairs.
In today’s media ecosystem, journalists need to be able to produce engaging content for a savvy digital-first audience while understanding the structures and dynamics that shape global issues and relations.
This is the first English-language Masters programme CNN has co-designed in collaboration with a university partner, combining journalistic and academic excellence in an innovative curriculum that is challenging and employment-orientated.
The programme will equip new generations of journalists to report on critical global issues of the day, from climate change, to human rights to terrorism. It will appeal to and reward those with a passion to not only understand the world but explain it in ways that are informative and transformative.
Connecting the Classroom to the Newsroom
The MA will combine theoretical discussion with experiential learning to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of international news media and the skills to undertake leading roles in that environment.
The syllabus is co-created and delivered by CNN Academy and UCD Clinton Institute, connecting the classroom to the newsroom, affording direct collaboration with the news industry and access to best practices in cross-platform journalism and news production.
Throughout the programme, students will learn about approaches to storytelling, international standards and ethics in journalism, and verification techniques. Each week, students will tackle key subject areas through modules at the Clinton Institute that draw on the CNN Academy Hub e-learning platform. CNN journalists, editors and producers will participate via live interactive seminars and also provide hands-on audio, video and digital production training at UCD Clinton Institute to equip the students with the tools they need to tangibly apply the media lessons they are learning.
Students will produce a podcast episode at the end of the first trimester and a video story at the end of the second trimester. Moreover, students will have the option of submitting their MA thesis in the format of multiplatform journalism with guidance from CNN journalists.
Students will also work through recent case studies from CNN reports that illustrate the ideas that have been discussed in seminars, and will have access to CNN’s Newsource platform where they will find the latest reports from across the CNN network.
The practical, training components supported by CNN will be complemented by the Clinton Institute’s academic expertise in the field to provide core modules in research skills, international journalism, new media and international conflict, cybersecurity and political communications. These will be integrated to provide an innovative curriculum that will enable students to be reflective practitioners.
Work produced by students during MA programme using CNN material will feature on the Clinton Institute’s media platform (America Unfiltered) that provides a range of media productions (commentary, podcasts and videocasts). The platform will be integrated with teaching and learning on the new MA, providing students with opportunities in online storytelling and news media production. There will also be opportunities for students to publish work on CNN.
The programme is designed to equip students with a foundational understanding of newsroom best practices and trends shaping the way we report the news and cover stories. On graduation they will have learned skills to create and produce multimedia journalism, to think conceptually about newsmaking practices and about their relationship to environments of international affairs. The MA will enhance student career pathways, principally in the international news industry and also in ancillary sectors that value knowledge of international communications.
Applicants do not need to have prior experience in journalism to enrol in this program. It provides an education and training programme for aspiring journalists while also being suitable for those seeking continuing professional development.
An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ level 8) in a relevant subject area with a minimum upper second class honours UCD GPA of 3.08, or the international equivalent is required.
Applicants without the above degree qualifications but with extensive work experience in a relevant sector will be considered.
IELTS - An average score of 6.5 over all components and a minimum of 6.0 in each band on the Academic Version.
Applicants must submit the following:
Academic references OR professional references
Personal statement – explain why you would like to join the programme
Either a 300-word thesis proposal – What aspect of international journalism would you like to research and write on in some depth? Do you have something fresh to say about this topic?
Or a 300-word multimedia production proposal - What is a story you are passionate about telling the world? Why is your angle on this story unique and how do you propose to tell this story for audiences on multiple platforms?
Optional – a sample of your journalism or multi-media work
Following review of above materials, suitably qualified candidates will be shortlisted and invited to interview.
As admissions to the MA in Journalism and International Affairs (MAJIA) is highly competitive we operate a staged admissions process. The overall class experience when selecting candidates is considered. Suitably qualified candidates will be shortlisted and invited to interview.
Early application is advisable, as places may not be available if applying later in the admissions cycle.
Eligible applicants may be placed on a reserve list and reviewed in a subsequent stage.
Stage 1 – application received by 6 August 2021
Stage 2 – application received by 1 October 2021
Fees & Scholarship
Fees Full-Time (EU and non-EU): 25,000 EUR
The MA in Journalism and International Affairs (MAJIA) Scholarship will be competitively awarded to students demonstrating exceptional academic or journalistic ability.
The Scholarship comprises a stipend payment of 10,000 euros payable to successful students after their commencement of the programme. The scholarship is payable in three instalments, each trimester of the academic year. The scholarship may be used to cover education-related expenses, including living expenses and/or tuition fees.