Automotive Journalism MA

 

Course Code

AHT015

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Up to 2 years full-time (with professional experience)

Start date

September 2023

The information on this page is for 2022-23 entry and should be used as guidance for 2023-24 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.


Course overview

Study level: Postgraduate

Turn your passion for cars and communication into a fulfilling, full-throttle career. The unique Automotive Journalism MA provides a purpose-built route into jobs with biggest brands in automotive media.

This course immerses you in the world of automotive journalism and equips you with the skills needed to help you stand out among the large number of applicants for sought-after jobs in automotive media and the motor industry.

  • Supported by the Guild of Motoring Writers, the world’s largest organisation for automotive editorial professionals.
  • The course team is led by an award-winning motoring journalist, author and editor, and includes specialist tutors with practical journalism experience in fields ranging from news and feature writing to video production to virtual reality.
  • You will have the opportunity to write, design and produce your own automotive magazine, Automotive, which is published online and in print form.
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Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

We help you to acquire the essential knowledge and practical skills needed 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 have access to our newsrooms equipped with industry-standard media production software, and professional equipment from our dedicated Media Loan Shop. Our media facilities include professional-standard radio studios and a state-of-the-art specialist TV studio, The Tank4.
  • Our links with the automotive media and motor industries have helped students to secure work placements and internships for students with Autocar, Top Gear, Ferrari, EVO, Autosport and many more2. 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.
  • Graduates have secured jobs with Autocar, Autocar India, Auto Express, BBC Top Gear, Pistonheads, CAR Magazine, Car Throttle, What Car? and many other automotive media. Others have gone into automotive PR with brands like Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen and SEAT, and with specialist automotive PR agencies.

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is recognised by the following bodies1:

The Guild of Motoring Writers

Guild of Motoring Writers

This course is supported by the Guild of Motoring Writers body for 2022/23.


Midland Group of Motoring Writers

This course is supported by the Midland Group of Motoring Writers body for 2022/23.


For anyone who loves both writing and cars, enrolling on the Automotive Journalism MA is a complete no-brainer. Not only did it teach me some invaluable skills, but it also enabled me to build connections and secure a job which I could never have dreamt possible previously.

George Hill, MA Automotive Journalism, graduated with a Distinction in 2021 and now staff writer at What Car? Magazine
Student sat inside the hub looking at his phone

What you'll study

You will learn how to write automotive news and feature stories for print, digital and broadcast media using professional facilities, equipment and software. You will be taught key techniques including how to work with press offices to obtain vehicles for testing, and then how to evaluate and describe vehicles for specific audiences. You will also gain an insight into automotive history, culture, design, technology and production, developing your knowledge of the automotive industry and the challenges and opportunities it faces.

In the final stage of your course, you will 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.

You’ll organise photo-shoots, interviews and video/audio recording working to a series of tight deadlines, as you would expect in professional employment. You’ll 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.

Modules

  • Focuses on the fundamentals of journalistic practice concentrating on practical, creative and technical skills. Topics addressed include: ideas, markets and sources; interviewing; notetaking and record keeping; news and feature writing; industry history and structure; conventions and techniques of specialist forms and genres. You will acquire practical skills through the production of journalistic pieces, with the support of the module team.

    Compulsory

  • Covers the principles and practice of public relations (PR). It provides you with the necessary transferable skills to construct, execute and apply public relations strategies to meet the objectives of an organisation, often with the absence of complete data. You will be introduced to the code of ethics for public relations and critically engage with debates around ethics and law as it is applied to PR.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to enable you to develop a critically informed understanding of the automotive industry as a specific set of technical, economic, cultural and aesthetic practices. Topics include: the business of the automotive industry; the market-place; socio-political issues; automotive cultures; automotive futures; automotive design and automotive technologies.

    Compulsory

  • Provides you with the opportunity to acquire and develop specialist knowledge and skills in your chosen field. It builds on practical journalism skills and techniques learned in earlier modules, making it possible for you to expand the depth of the content you create. This professional practice module also aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop professional, ethical and reflective skills at an advanced level within your chosen discipline and experience the working practices of your intended profession.

    Compulsory

  • This module focuses on key skills of emerging forms of journalism including new digital storytelling platforms, social media and mobile journalism. The key themes include the importance of a more advanced understanding of the need to tailor the product to a specific target audience, including specialist outlets: developing the story, analysing source material, applying conventions and understanding techniques of production.

    Compulsory

  • Introduces a range of research tools and associated methods needed to undertake independent research on identified themes and issues in specialist journalism and public relations – relating to texts, audiences and industry. It provides grounding in a range of analytical techniques and ways of interpreting materials, and examines how these can be used to explore contemporary themes and issues which concern journalists, and journalism, as well as public relations in the UK and around the world. Concentrating mainly on textual analysis, the module helps to prepare you for research-led inquiry relating to journalism and public relations, including their major research project and investigative journalism.

    Compulsory

  • The Major Project provides you with an opportunity to create an original and intellectually critical extended piece of writing. You will produce either (1) a dissertation of 10,000 words or (2) an appropriate practice project/portfolio in any media format together with a reflection of up to 3000 words, on a theme or topic or issue which is relevant to your specialist journalism and/or public relations interest and worthy of a sustained in-depth inquiry.

    Compulsory

  • Covers a series of topics related to intercultural and transnational communication, professional development and management/leadership.

    Compulsory

With professional experience option

The professional experience opportunity2 enables you the opportunity to apply for optional professional experience in semester 1, which, upon successfully securing an opportunity, will extend the duration of your master’s to either 16, 20 or 24 months. The professional experience provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability.

Please note that the optional professional experience modules incur an additional tuition fee, which for 1 semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for 2 semesters of professional experience is £2,666.67, and for 3 semesters of professional experience is £4,000.

Professional experience may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Professional experience opportunities are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the professional experience option.

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.


How you'll learn

Each module is taught over approximately 11 weeks with formal teaching typically taking place over two full working days per week.

Andrew Noakes, our specialist automotive tutor, has more than 25 years of experience as a motoring journalist. An award-winning former car magazine editor, he remains a working freelance automotive writer with numerous articles for car magazines and websites to his credit, as well as more than 20 books on automotive topics. He has served as chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers and a committee member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. Other tutors include specialists in digital media and emerging platforms, and a former news and features writer with wide experience of global news reporting and academic research (teaching staff are subject to change).

You can join this course full-time over one year, or part-time over two years. Part-time students study alongside the full-time students, and cover exactly the same modules. If you’d like to learn more about part-time study, please use our request information form.


Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours will vary from semester to semester. On average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week and where possible formal teaching sessions are grouped into two days each week.

You will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 25 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual Assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

Students have reported from the Geneva motor show, the Shanghai motor show, the Chinese Grand Prix and many other international events. Opportunities vary depending on the timing of events, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements, and are therefore not guaranteed2.

Coventry is the perfect place for the world’s only automotive journalism master's degree. This city was the birthplace of British car manufacturing and it’s still a vibrant automotive centre today. Jaguar Land Rover, Polestar, Stellantis, Geely and the London Electric Vehicle Company all have a presence here and there are facilities nearby for Aston Martin, BMW, Toyota, JCB and Triumph. There’s growing expertise in electric vehicle battery technology and hydrogen fuel cells.

Andrew Noakes, Course Director MA Automotive Journalism 2022
Andrew Noakes driving a car looking through the windscreen

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in any subject and/or equivalent professional experience.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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A good honours degree in any subject and/or equivalent professional experience.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full time Part time
UK £11,200 per year Request fee information
International £18,600 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.


Facilities

Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities4.

  • Media Loan Shop: As a student, you’ll have access to Coventry University’s specialist Media Loan Shop. This well-stocked facility offers an extensive range of specialist, professional photography and film equipment.
  • Televison Studio: TV studio is the latest addition to our media facilities. You’ll have access to our on-campus TV studio The Tank, with its specialist TV studio equipment, including large cameras, mixing facilities and fibre-optic wiring throughout.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of this course, you should know how to:

  • Create automotive content to professional standards, for digital, broadcast, print or social media.
  • Understand how automotive journalism works and how it relates to the automotive industry.

You should be able to:

  • Apply a wide range of journalism and communication skills and knowledge to the production of automotive content to professional standards.
  • Work creatively, sustainably and independently within professional situations, employing a range of journalism strategies and techniques.
  • Critically evaluate and analyse the broad range of factors that impinge upon professional and creative activities within automotive journalism and the broader communications industry.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and successfully engage with a range of audiences, genres and media platforms within automotive journalism.
  • Feel prepared when applying for job roles within automotive media.

The Automotive Journalism MA prepares you for work as an automotive journalist with consumer or business-to-business media or as a content creator for automotive marketing, social media and public relations. Coursework assignments and deadlines are designed to mirror industry practice as far as possible to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in a professional multi-platform environment.

This course is designed to prepare you for specialist automotive journalism roles with consumer and business-to-business automotive websites, or as a content creator in automotive marketing and public relations.

The course gives you the skills and knowledge needed for success in these roles to help you stand out from the large number of applicants for these sought-after jobs.

Where our graduates work

Graduates of the Automotive Journalism MA have secured roles with the biggest brands in automotive media including:

  • Autocar
  • BBC Top Gear
  • Car
  • Classic Cars
  • Car Throttle

And we have graduates who have gone into roles in social media, PR and marketing for automotive companies such as:

  • Honda
  • Volkswagen
  • SEAT
  • Polestar
  • Hyundai

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 in automotive media and those are far better odds than you’ll find using other routes.

Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief, Autocar
Students studying in pods in the library

How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University 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.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. 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.

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