Master of Journalism

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A unique qualification

This world-leading degree in journalism is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. It is the only Master of Journalism qualification in Australia or New Zealand accredited by US organisation the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

What is it like?

When you study the Master of Journalism at Massey, you will gain a qualification of top international standing. It is based on leading overseas qualifications, blending practical skills with a deeper, academic study of journalism. It will build a firm foundation for an exciting career in journalism and other media-related areas, or will help you move to the next stage of your career.

It is the only degree of its kind in New Zealand.

Lecturers leading the way

Massey’s lecturers are experienced journalists. They are respected by the industry and are contributing to this area of study, not just at Massey, but around the country. The head of the master’s journalism programme at Massey is the editor of the standard journalism textbook used at all New Zealand journalism schools from 2014 (and all of Massey Journalism's staff contributed chapters).

Industry and international recognition and accreditation

The Massey University course is the oldest continuously operating journalism school in New Zealand, having been training journalists since 1966. Recently, the journalism industry gave the Massey journalism course an award for outstanding contribution to the industry, declaring that “no institution can claim to have had a greater role in shaping journalists in this country than the Wellington course.”

Our journalism programme is part of a prestigious and small group of international programmes (and the only one in Australia and New Zealand) to be recognised by the US-based Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Accreditation recognises the Massey course's top international standing, excellent connections with industry, commitment to constant improvement, strong leadership and quality research output.

And journalism educators in the US recently judged our course’s intensive module on reporting for the web as the best teaching idea “by far”, beating out more than 50 mostly US-based courses.

Study options

There are two options for your study during this qualification, dependent upon your level of experience. Both qualifications take 18 months full-time. You may be:

Entering the journalism industry

If you have an undergraduate degree and wish to enter the journalism industry, your first two semesters (one year full-time study) will be equivalent to Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism. The remaining semester (six months full-time) is focussed on an extended, in-depth piece of journalism suitable for publication, with an additional academic component. This is known as Pathway One.

You will learn the vital industry skills to be a successful journalist in our modern society.

You will learn news reporting, web-based reporting, feature writing, sports reporting, radio and television reporting, shorthand, etc. These are all the skills journalism workplaces expect of their new recruits.

It is no wonder the programme boasts an effectively 100 per cent employment rate.

An experienced journalist looking to advance your career

The Master of Journalism offers another option for those who have journalism experience (three or more years) as well as an undergraduate degree. If you are a mid-career journalist who wishes to enhance your journalism skills, develop your managerial abilities, teach journalism, or explore the world of public relations this qualification will help you make the next step in your professional development.

The first year of your study will consist of courses that make up Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Communication or Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Business (with equivalent communication content). You will then progress to a project-based semester (six months full-time) to complete an extended, in-depth piece of journalism with an additional academic component which completes your Master of Journalism. This option is known as Pathway Two.

Close connections with industry

The Massey journalism programme enjoys a close working relationship with the country’s leading newspapers, news websites, radio stations and television stations.

Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper, for instance, has hired many of our graduates, hosts our students on work internships and funds prizes, such as the Alex Veysey Memorial Prize, for our top students.

Practical, relevant experience, while you study

For those just entering the industry, one of the most important features of the programme is the many weeks of on-the-job work experience that form part of the first year. If your first year is the Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, you will spend time over several weeks working at a media organisation, which may include newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, or web-based news organisations. You will then do a full-time work placement at a media organisation. This could be anywhere in the country, including major dailies, provincial newspapers, magazines, internet news organisations, radio and television stations.

Read more about the Master of Journalism

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate degree (or complete by time course starts)
  • Wish to become a respected journalist in New Zealand or overseas, or
  • Wish to progress your journalism career to the next level
  • Have excellent English language, and written and oral communication skills
  • Are dedicated to accuracy!
  • Have a good knowledge and interest in current affairs
  • Are interested in in-depth feature journalism
Jess Roden
Master of Journalism
Producer - Radio New Zealand

“In daily newspaper reporting it is easy to forget the effect of your stories, studying the literature around health reporting reminded me about journalism’s influence on people…”

After completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, Jess completed the Master of Journalism by researching and writing a piece of long-form journalism and an academic research report critically reflecting on the experience. Jess’s long-form journalism was on Pharmac’s funding of expensive drugs for people with rare diseases.

“I liked the idea of doing the Master of Journalism as I could do a topic I’m passionate about,” she said. “It gave me the chance to research and develop the topic in a meaningful way.” ¬†

She also saw the qualification as an important step in her plan to work overseas as a journalist.

“I’ve travelled overseas and studied in the United States. Diploma qualifications aren’t well understood overseas, but a masters is. As I want to work overseas eventually, this was a good opportunity to get a qualification they understand. A masters carries a lot of weight.”

She found the academic element of the Master of Journalism challenging, but interesting. “I looked at the pressures health reporters are under and how influential journalism can be. In daily newspaper reporting it is easy to forget the effect of your stories, studying the literature around health reporting reminded me about journalism’s influence on people.”

Her advice to others planning to do the Master of Journalism is to find a topic you are passionate about and to enjoy the experience.

Initially Jess worked as a reporter at a regional newspaper. She is now a producer for Morning Report at Radio New Zealand.


Graduates of our programme have gone on to work at New Zealand's top newspapers, news websites, magazines, radio and television stations, as well as at the BBC, CNN, SBS in Australia and countless overseas newspapers and magazines. One of our graduates, Alison McCulloch, was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for its coverage of the Columbine killings.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report ‘Moving on up: What young people earn after their tertiary education’ found that in New Zealand:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Young masters graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s journalism staff are internationally-renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with internationally-recognised specialists, for example:

Associate Professor Grant Hannis

Grant heads the master's journalism programme at Massey. He is also the editor of Intro, the standard textbook used in all of New Zealand's journalism schools. Among other topics, he teaches news writing, media law and ethics, business journalism and journalism history.

His areas of research expertise include journalism education, journalism history, reporting on diversity and consumer journalism. He is widely published in leading international academic journals.

As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, he spent six months in the United States in 2010 researching and teaching journalism at San Francisco State University. He has extensive industry experience, having worked for 14 years at Consumer magazine.

Join the engine of the new New Zealand

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