Automotive Journalism MA 2020/21 entry

Course code:

AHT015

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020
January 2021

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information

Course code:

AHT015

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020
January 2021

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information

Course code:

AHT015

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020
January 2021

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information

Overview

If you have a passion for cars and communication, this course can help you turn that passion into a career. Most 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.

Currently endorsed by the Guild of Motoring Writers, the course capitalises on our current 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 have the opportunity to be taught by faculty which currently includes 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 contribute towards the content and design of the university’s own automotive 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 recognised by the following body:

Guild of Motoring Writers

Guild of Motoring Writers

This course is currently endorsed by the Guild of Motoring Writers for the 2020/2021 intake, the largest and most prestigious organisation of automotive editorial professionals in the world with well over 500 members in the UK and overseas. Should this endorsement lapse, we will notify all applicants and students as soon as possible.

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.

Previously, 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 may all be 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 have the opportunity to 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 be taught 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

Course specification
Download PDF

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 expect 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 asked 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.

This course includes the  Global Professional Development module. Each of the participating postgraduate courses have an individually tailored version of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Global Professional Development module.

These modules are offered for the 2020/2021 intake. Should these modules be discontinued, we would inform all applicants and students as soon as possible.

Modules

  • Semester 1

    • Automotive Industry in Context 
    • Journalism Practice, Law, and Ethics
    • Public Relations

  • Semester 2

    • Specialist Professional Practice in Journalism and PR
    • Research and Analysis
    • Advanced Journalism: Digital, Social, Mobile

  • Semester 3

    • Global Professional Development – Entrepreneurship
    • Major Project

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

Officially endorsed by the Guild of Motoring Writers

In more detail...

  • Coventry University is ranked 15th in the Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • 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.
  • Opportunities to 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. (terms and conditions apply)
  • World leading research in ‘Learning, Media and Communication in the 21st century’ – 71% rated 4* and 3* in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
  • 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%.

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 be offered opportunities todevelop 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, which aims to to help you to better 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 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, should prepare you for work in a modern newsroom.

The teaching team currently includes part-time tutors who continue to practice as journalists and full-time academics who have recent experience in journalism. Andrew Noakes, our current 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 has recently served as chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers. Other current 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 previously helped students 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. Placements and internships are subject to availability and additional costs may apply

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 offered opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills through fieldwork and group projects. Students have visited Aston Martin at Gaydon, 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. Visits are subject to availability and additional costs

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include coursework, tests, essays, dissertation or project work and presentations.

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 around 12 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks into personal tutorials, practical classes, workshops and/or seminars.

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 have in the past also included students from the USA, Australia, China, India, Turkey, Greece, Malta and Dubai. We also offer a range of short visits and field trips abroad; 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.

International experiences are subject to availability, competitive application, meeting visa requirements and additional costs.

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 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five.

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 2016/17)


3,482

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


21,000

and counting

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

12

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 production editor at pistonheads.com

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 evidence of equivalent English language skills). 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 evidence of equivalent English language skills). 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 production editor at pistonheads.com

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 2020

£9,200 (per year)


January 2021

£9,200 (per year)


Starts

Fee


September 2020

£9,200 (per year)


January 2021

£9,200 (per year)


Scholarships

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

Starts

Fee


September 2020

£14,700 (per year)


January 2021

£14,700 (per year)


Scholarships

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

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

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

Graduate Immigration Route visa

Based on current information from the UK Government, international students whose study extends beyond summer 2021 may be eligible for a visa under the UK Government’s Graduate Immigration Route, which will enable students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to two (2) years. Check the most up to date guidance available to check your eligibility and any updates from the UK Government before making an application or enrolment decision.

This course is designed with an aim 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 to help make 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 may also open 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 aims to give you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university's Talent 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 production editor, pistonheads.com
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021