Automotive Journalism MA | Coventry University
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Automotive Journalism MA 2018/19 entry

Course code:

AHT015

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018
January 2019

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321


Overview

If you have a passion for cars and communication, this course can help you turn that passion into a career. Some of our graduates find jobs in automotive media, for example at Autocar, EVO, Top Gear, Car Throttle, Pistonheads and What Car? Others manage PR for automotive companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Continental.

Endorsed by the Guild of Motoring Writers, the course capitalises on our strong industry links: motoring publishers like Haymarket, Dennis and Bauer; motoring journalist groups like the Guild and the Midland Group of Motoring Writers; and successful local car producers such as Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin. It was developed and is delivered in partnership with experts from the automotive publishing industry. 

The course combines journalism theory, practical skills and study of motoring and the automotive industry. You will be taught by Andrew Noakes, an award-winning motoring journalist, author and editor, alongside a team of specialist tutors each of whom has considerable practical journalism experience. As well as web, audio and video content, you will get the chance to write and design your own magazine, Automotive, which is published online and in print form.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following body:

Guild of Motoring Writers

This course is endorsed by the Guild of Motoring Writers, the largest and most prestigious organisation of automotive editorial professionals in the world with well over 500 members in the UK and overseas.

What our alumni say

The course didn’t just teach me how to be an automotive journalist, it also enabled me to make connections with some of the industry’s biggest and most influential players. Having MA Automotive Journalism on your CV is one of the most powerful tools you can have in securing work experience and a full-time job.

Sam Sheehan, MA Automotive Journalism, graduated with a Distinction in 2014, now senior staff writer at Autocar magazine

Course information

From the outset, this course aims to immerse you in the world of automotive journalism and equip you with the skills needed to become an automotive journalist.

Our students have found themselves invited on a press launch to write about new cars, reporting from press day of the Geneva motor show for a unique live blog or writing articles on motoring issues and motorsport for our in-house Automotive magazine and website.

Automotive manufacturing, a $1trillion global business employing more than 50 million people, is experiencing far-reaching change. Issues over environmental sustainability and climate change, changes in vehicle use and ownership models and trends towards electric and autonomous vehicles are all discussed during the course. Journalism is also experiencing a revolution with the emergence of digital platforms and the gradual decline of print readerships. As a result it is a fascinating time to be involved in automotive media.

We aim to provide you with the essential knowledge and practical skills required for a successful automotive journalism career. You will get used to working with multiple forms of media – generating traditional print, audio and video content, all the while embracing new technologies and creating parallel digital content, including social media, blogs and web-based content.

You will learn the key techniques required in automotive media. These include how to work with press offices to obtain vehicles for testing, and then how to evaluate and describe vehicles for specific audiences. We also consider other forms of automotive journalism including news writing, interviewing, motorsport reporting and writing about classic vehicles and automotive history.

Scholarships

For information on our scholarships, please see Fees & Funding

Modules

Overview

You will have the opportunity to organise photo-shoots, interviews and video/audio recording, often in multiple locations – working to a series of tight deadlines, as you would in professional employment. You can also develop a portfolio of journalistic work in anything from writing ‘news in brief’ stories for websites to full-length features, video material and audio podcasts.

In the final stage of your course, you will be able to explore issues in automotive media that interest you further through an extensive individual research project, with support and guidance from specialist tutors. Past students, for instance, have created their own automotive websites, analysed in depth the content of the Top Gear TV show, looked into media coverage of electric vehicles and explored the viability of long-form automotive journalism in the digital age.

Modules

  • Semester 1

    • Automotive Industry in Context 
    • Multiplatform Journalism Practice 1 
    • Journalism Law and Ethics
  • Semester 2

    • Multiplatform Journalism Practice 2 
    • Specialist Professional Practice
  • Semester 3

    • Specialist Journalism Research and Analysis 
    • Journalism Research Project

Content is guided by the professional journalism bodies, including the Periodicals Training Council (PTC), Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) and National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

In more detail...

  • Design and edit Automotive Magazine, which is published in digital and print form.
  • Become part of the Student’s Union Source Media team contributing to its radio, TV and news platforms.
  • Access to professional audio, video and photography equipment via our dedicated Media Loan Shop and studios.
  • World leading research in ‘Learning, Media and Communication in the 21st century’ – 71% rated 4* and 3* in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
  • Coventry University is ranked 13th in the Guardian University Guide 2019.
  • High levels of student satisfaction – 100% on the Automotive Industry in Context module; 92% overall for the broad subject of ‘Media Studies’ in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016, above the sector average of 84%.
  • Research expertise in new approaches to film, television, the web, photography and digital distribution, global media and communication and digital media, including social media, digital archiving, internet publishing, free media and piracy.

Specialist resources include a wireless-enabled suite of newsrooms, TV studio, video and photography studios, darkrooms, video editing suite, radio studio.

Your main study themes are:

  • Professional journalism practice: We focus on the practical, creative and technical skills associated with professional automotive journalism practice. We will cover a range of topics, including: development of ideas and acquisition of sources; handling information; basic interviewing; note-taking and record-keeping; identification of potential publications/markets in relation to target audiences; introduction to news, features and opinion; industry history and structure; and conventions and techniques of specific journalistic forms/genres. As the course progresses, you will develop a more advanced understanding of the need to tailor the product to a specific target audience, including specialist outlets, how best to develop the story, analyse source material, applying conventions and understanding techniques of production. 

  • Journalism law and ethics: We will provide an introduction to the aspects of law and ethics that impact on journalism, including those relating to contempt, defamation, privacy, freedom of information, and human rights, so you are better able to identify potential legal and ethical challenges.

  • Automotive journalism: We aim to develop your professional practice in this specialist field. Throughout all course modules you will be encouraged to produce automotive news, features and other material and we will cover specialist areas of automotive media such as road testing, technical writing and automotive photography techniques.

  • Automotive industry: We aim to develop your knowledge of the technical, economic, cultural and aesthetic practices within the automotive industry. We cover the business of the automotive industry, the marketplace, socio-political issues, automotive cultures, automotive futures, automotive design and automotive technologies.

The course can be studied full-time over one year, starting in September. It is also possible for part-time students to study alongside the full-time students, usually taking two to three years. Modules are taught over approximately 11 weeks with formal teaching typically taking place over three full working days or fewer.

Your course will be based on a series of lectures, seminars, discussions and workshops, with a focus on practical assignments and the production of journalism for a range of media, using physical and virtual networks to distribute and promote content. In the past, students have reported from the Autosport International show, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Test Day, the Geneva motor show, the Shanghai motor show and the Chinese Grand Prix. Their work has been published in our own Automotive magazine and website (http://automotivejournalism.uk) as well as by a range of automotive media, including Autocar, BBC Top Gear magazine and carthrottle.com.

You will have opportunities to experience every aspect of professional practice by working both individually and as a team to produce a group project. Identifying the stories, carrying out the research and finally delivering the required product to a professional standard and to a deadline, often working across more than one medium, prepares you for work in a modern newsroom.

The teaching team includes part-time tutors who continue to practice as journalists and full-time academics who have recent experience in journalism. Andrew Noakes, our specialist automotive tutor, has more than 25 years of experience as a motoring journalist. As well as having written more than 20 books on automotive topics, he has also written for numerous car magazines, launched and edited magazines, and is currently the chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers. Other staff include an award-winning BBC presenter and producer, a news reporter with extensive experience in newspapers and BBC radio, a specialist in digital media and emerging platforms, and a former news and features writer with wide experience of global news reporting and academic research.

Our links with the automotive media and motor industries have helped to secure work placements and internships for students with Autocar, Top Gear, Ferrari, EVO, Autosport and many more. One student worked at Ferrari’s UK press office to support a prestigious annual event held at Silverstone, including production of the event programme. Others have worked with automotive websites on coverage of motor shows or helped out on cover photo shoots for car magazines.

You will be taught in our wireless-enabled newsrooms, using our professional-standard radio studios and state-of-the-art specialist TV studio, The Tank, which features professional-standard cameras, mixing facilities, fibre optic wiring throughout and triple glazing providing professional grade soundproofing.  

You will also have opportunities to take part in educational and cultural visits at home and abroad, where you will be able to develop your knowledge and skills through fieldwork and group projects. Students have visited the Prodrive motorsport facility in Banbury, Jaguar Land Rover plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich, Morgan’s factory in Malvern, the Autosport International show and NEC Classic Motor Show and events such as the Guild of Motoring Writers AGM and the Castle Combe track day.

Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all project briefs. Assessment forms vary and include: a law test, essays, presentations, original creative writing and a dissertation or project.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Coursework, tests, essays: 60%
  • Dissertation or project work: 30%
  • Presentations: 10%

On the successful completion of 180 level Masters credits, awards may be made with a ‘Distinction’ or ‘Merit’, based on the achievement of an average mark of at least 70% or 60% respectively. Students may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if they achieve 120 credits and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if they achieve 60 credits. Students may only progress to the final stage of Masters programmes after meeting the requirements for award of a Postgraduate Diploma. 

60% assessed by coursework, tests, essays

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • Generic and specialist automotive journalism content, theories, concepts, terminologies, idioms, literature, industries and technologies.
  • How different genres, perspectives and styles have developed.
  • The legal, administrative and political context of automotive journalism, together with the legislative and ethical framework within which journalism is bound to operate.
  • The philosophies, assumptions, ethical considerations and methodological approaches of specific journalism genres such as investigative reporting, feature writing and reviewing.


On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Understand, explain and evaluate the current issues, debates and controversies within the automotive industry and its wider social, environmental and political context. 
  • Describe and utilise the specialist terminologies of automotive design, production systems, marketing, distribution and consumption, and the wider cultural context of automotive products and their uses and meanings.
  • Critically evaluate journalism artefacts, media texts, and sources including social media and ‘citizen journalism’ as part of the production of a specified outcome.
  • Identify suitable sources from which to search for, retrieve, confirm and analyse data and evidence, selecting relevant methods, skills and techniques to complete a variety of journalistic tasks.
  • Formulate and justify a research design and strategy for the investigation of a specific field of enquiry, specifying appropriate approaches and techniques and relating methodological approach and the research question.
  • Identify, interpret and critically analyse the terms, concepts, languages and key phenomena of automotive design, development, production, marketing, distribution etc.
  • Analyse, interpret and explain issues and controversies in the social, cultural and organisational context of the automotive industry eg. environmental legislation, political/safety lobbying and pressure groups.
  • Use a wide range of creative and technical skills in multiple media platforms (print, digital, audio, and video) to produce content which meets professional journalistic standards.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 10 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 3 hours of small group seminars each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 7 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 25 hours of self-directed studying, including guided study using handouts and online activities in your own time.

Our course is designed to reflect the international context of automotive journalism. We cover the issues facing the motor industry in different world regions, and the social and economic factors which influence the organisation and development of the industry on a global scale.

You will be given opportunities to engage with international students at home and abroad; students on the course not only come from the UK, but also the USA, Australia, China, India, Turkey, Greece, Malta and Dubai. We also offer a range of short visits and field trips abroad; financial support is available for students to develop their own overseas trips, together with advice on planning and obtaining press accreditation for events. Previously, students have taken advantage of this support to visit the Geneva motor show, the Porsche museum in Stuttgart and the Nüburgring Nordschleife; others have undertaken work experience placements as far afield as South Africa.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,264

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15



12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


What our alumni say

The course didn’t just teach me how to be an automotive journalist, it also enabled me to make connections with some of the industry’s biggest and most influential players. Having MA Automotive Journalism on your CV is one of the most powerful tools you can have in securing work experience and a full-time job.

Sam Sheehan, MA Automotive Journalism, graduated with a Distinction in 2014, now senior staff writer at Autocar magazine

Entry Requirements

Normal entry requires a good honours degree in any subject and/or equivalent professional experience.

Normal entry requires a good honours degree in any subject and/or equivalent professional experience.

 

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS of 7.0 overall (or equivalent). Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Normal entry requires a good honours degree in any subject and/or equivalent professional experience.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 7.0 overall (or equivalent). Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

What our alumni say

The course didn’t just teach me how to be an automotive journalist, it also enabled me to make connections with some of the industry’s biggest and most influential players. Having MA Automotive Journalism on your CV is one of the most powerful tools you can have in securing work experience and a full-time job.

Sam Sheehan, MA Automotive Journalism, graduated with a Distinction in 2014, now senior staff writer at Autocar magazine

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£6,500 (per year)


January 2019

£6,500 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£6,500 (per year)


January 2019

£6,500 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£12,500 (per year)


January 2019

£12,500 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Kevin Ash Scholarship

The Kevin Ash Scholarship is for a student on the MA in automotive journalism, run by Coventry University.

It provides a one off payment of £1500 towards course fees, plus a package of work experience, including the Daily Telegraph, Bauer Media, a motorcycle PR company, major manufacturers, including Triumph, a dealer and a trainer, plus the Motorcycle Industry Association press office.

The bursary is provided by the Motorcycle Industry Association in memory of the late Kevin Ash – a motorcycle journalist with an international reputation, who died in 2013.

The purpose of the award is to encourage and equip an automotive journalist to write about motorcycles, as well as cars.

View further details on this scholarship. To register your interest in the Coventry course and the Kevin Ash Scholarship contact Coventry University’s senior lecturer in automotive journalism Andrew Noakes a.noakes@coventry.ac.uk

What our alumni say

The course didn’t just teach me how to be an automotive journalist, it also enabled me to make connections with some of the industry’s biggest and most influential players. Having MA Automotive Journalism on your CV is one of the most powerful tools you can have in securing work experience and a full-time job.

Sam Sheehan, MA Automotive Journalism, graduated with a Distinction in 2014, now senior staff writer at Autocar magazine

Career prospects

This course is designed to prepare you for specialist positions as a reporter for consumer and business-to-business automotive websites, or as a writer for automotive marketing and public relations.

The course aims to give you the skills and knowledge needed for success in these roles, and makes you stand out among a large number of applicants for these jobs.

As Autocar’s Steve Cropley puts it: “How badly do you want to get into automotive journalism? If your answer is “very”, one route stands out: joining Coventry University’s one-year master’s degree course. It’s the world’s first and only such avenue dedicated solely to automotive journalism… more than 60% of our graduates have found jobs and those are far better odds than you’ll find using other routes.” 

The depth of your general journalism knowledge also opens up a far broader range of positions in media outlets, broadcasting organisations, newspapers and publications, as well as opportunities in emerging digital media.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Graduates have secured jobs with Autocar, Autocar China, Autocar India, Top Gear, Pistonheads, CAR Magazine, EVO, Car Throttle, Auto Express, Road and Track, Motorsport News, Auto Trader, What Car?, cardesignnews.com and many other automotive media.

Others have gone into automotive PR with Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Continental, while other graduates have entered the motor industry in marketing roles with Audi and Jaguar Land Rover.

What our alumni say

The course didn’t just teach me how to be an automotive journalist, it also enabled me to make connections with some of the industry’s biggest and most influential players. Having MA Automotive Journalism on your CV is one of the most powerful tools you can have in securing work experience and a full-time job.

Sam Sheehan, MA Automotive Journalism, graduated with a Distinction in 2014, now senior staff writer at Autocar magazine
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. The 18/19 PG Contract will be published shortly.