Concordia University

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Journalism

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Journalism Studies)

Note: Admissions have been suspended.

Admission Requirements. The normal requirement for admission into the MA is an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.30 scale. A journalism degree and experience in journalism or a media-related field is considered a strong asset. Applicants should understand that admission is contingent on a sound undergraduate academic record, strong letters of reference, and a convincing statement of purpose which clearly describes their academic interest in the program and intended area of research. In addition, admission is contingent on the availability of an appropriate faculty member in the Journalism Department to serve as supervisor. Applicants who lack certain prerequisite courses may be required to take a qualifying program of up to 12 undergraduate credits in addition to the regular graduate program. For the qualifying program a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (B average) is required.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose first language is other than English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by writing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) and scoring a minimum of 90 with a minimum of 20 on the written test.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits. The requirements are 18 credits of coursework, 6 credits of readings and thesis proposal, and 21 credits of thesis research.

  2. Residence. The minimum residence requirement is one year (3 terms) of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.

  3. Courses.

    Core and Elective Courses
    Students are required to complete 18 credits of course work. The following core courses are required:
    JOUR 601 Foundations of Journalistic Thought I (3 credits)
    JOUR 602 Foundations of Journalistic Thought II (3 credits)
    JOUR 603 Political Economy of Journalism (3 credits)
    JOUR 604 Research Methods in Journalism Studies (3 credits)

    Six credits of elective courses may be chosen from this list:
    JOUR 610 International Journalism (3 credits)
    JOUR 620 Journalism Ethics (3 credits)
    JOUR 630 Mediating Diversity (3 credits)
    JOUR 640 Textual Approaches to Journalism (3 credits)
    JOUR 645 Directed Study (3 credits)

    Further Requirements
    JOUR 650 Journalism Readings and Proposal (6 credits)
    JOUR 690 Thesis OR JOUR 692 Research-Creation Thesis (21 credits)

Academic Regulations

GPA Requirement. The academic progress of students is monitored on a periodic basis. To be permitted to continue in the program, a student must obtain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 based on a minimum of 12 credits. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 are considered to be on academic probation during the following review period. Students whose GPA falls below 3.00 for two consecutive review periods are withdrawn from the program.

C Rule. Students in master’s/magisteriate programs are allowed to receive no more than one C grade in order to remain in good standing in the university.

F Rule. Students who receive a failing grade in the course of their studies will be withdrawn from the program. Students may apply for re-admission. Students who receive another failing grade after re-admission will be withdrawn from the program.

Time Limit. All work for a master’s/magisteriate degree for full-time students must be completed within 12 terms (4 years) from the time of initial registration in the program at Concordia University; for a part-time student the time limit is 15 terms (5 years).

Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

Courses

JOUR 601 Foundations of Journalistic Thought I (3 credits)
This course provides a critical introduction to foundational ideas about journalism and its role in society from an historical perspective, treating journalism as a social and cultural practice. It addresses the scope and purpose of journalism and journalism scholarship and traces several threads of journalism’s historical, philosophical, ideological, and legal roots in Europe and the Americas.

JOUR 602 Foundations of Journalistic Thought II (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601.
This course examines the intellectual and institutional structures of contemporary journalism, paying particular attention to current theoretical approaches, such as media, communication, political, and feminist theory.

JOUR 603 Political Economy of Journalism (3 credits)
This course considers journalism through its organization as a cultural industry and critically evaluates journalism’s economic structures and the impact those structures have on journalism practice. Topics may include media economics, free-market theory, media ownership, the role of the government and the role of organized labour.

JOUR 604 Research Methods (3 credits)
This course examines a variety of research methods commonly used in the study of journalism, from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Students will better understand the relationship between research methodologies in solving a particular intellectual (research) problem. Through readings, the course exposes students to a series of linked research skills with a goal of helping students develop their own research practice.

JOUR 610 International Journalism (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601 previously or concurrently.
This course examines journalism as a cross-cultural and global practice, addressing such issues as media representation, multiculturalism, globalization and international news flows.

JOUR 620 Journalism Ethics (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601 previously or concurrently.
This course explores the foundations of journalism ethics and how they have evolved theoretically, historically, and pragmatically in the newsroom. The course explores the many dimensions and assumptions informing what it means to be honest, fair, and courageous in gathering, interpreting and reporting information.

JOUR 630 Mediating Diversity (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601 previously or concurrently.
The coverage of diversity issues is a critical aspect of both contemporary and historical journalism studies. Through primary source examples, case studies, and readings, this course examines journalism’s mediating function in society, paying particular attention to news media representation of minorities and marginalized groups.

JOUR 640 Textual Approaches to Journalism (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601 previously or concurrently.
This course concentrates on journalism’s use of all forms of language, from written text to sounds and images. Drawing from the literature on linguistics, semiotics, textual and discourse analysis, students consider ways in which journalists, through their use of language to describe and depict people, events, institutions and ideas, become implicated in the news they report.

JOUR 645 Directed Study (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Permission of the MA Program Director.
Students may enrol in a directed study under faculty supervision in order to undertake a specialized study of theoretical or research-related topics.

JOUR 650 Journalism Readings and Proposal (6 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 602.
In consultation with the faculty advisor, the student reviews relevant literature pertinent to the research topic and writes a thesis proposal demonstrating knowledge based upon the review of the scholarly literature.

JOUR 690 Thesis (21 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 650.
The thesis is researched and written under the direction of a supervisor. Upon completion, it is submitted to the student’s Thesis Committee. The thesis is defended in an oral examination before the Thesis Committee.

JOUR 692 Research-Creation Thesis (21 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 650.
The Research-Creation Thesis is specifically designed for students with media production experience who wish to complete an original media production using a suitable media platform, complemented by a text of approximately 10,000 words comprising of a literature and media review, a theoretical and methodological contextualization, and a critical reflection on the project and its outcomes.

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Diploma in Journalism

Admission Requirements. Entry into the program requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a field other than journalism from a recognized university with a minimum GPA of 3.00. However, students who have graduated with a Journalism degree in a language other than English may also be considered. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent together with the application which should be about 600 words outlining the student’s background, academic and work experience, and aspirations in journalism. Qualified applicants may be interviewed. Students should be aware that written assignments in workshops are in English.

Although it does not determine acceptance, applicants are advised that a working knowledge of French is important. Normally the program is taken full-time and completed in one year (three terms).

Requirements for the Diploma

  1. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 33 credits.

  2. Courses. All students are required to complete 33 credits in the following sequence:

    Summer Term (9 credits)
    JOUR 501 Research Methods for Journalism
    JOUR 502 Introduction to Reporting 
    JOUR 511 Introduction to Multimedia

    Fall Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 500 Critical Approaches to Journalism
    JOUR 504 Intermediate Reporting
    JOUR 530 Advanced Radio News
    JOUR 536 Advanced Video Journalism

    Winter Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 510 Web Editing and Page Design
    JOUR 513 Journalism Ethics and the Law

    And two of the following courses:
    JOUR 505 Advanced Reporting
    JOUR 508 Research Project 
    JOUR 528 The Digital Magazine
    JOUR 532 Documentary Video and Radio
    JOUR 542 International Journalism

    JOUR 566 Photojournalism

Academic Regulations

  1. GPA Requirement. Students having completed at least four courses are assessed at the end of the Fall term based on creditable courses completed in the program. To be permitted to continue, students must have obtained a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.70.

  2. C Rule. A student receiving a grade of C in two courses is required to withdraw from the program.

  3. F Rule. Students who receive a failing grade in the course of their studiesare withdrawn from the program. Students may apply for readmission. Students who receive another failing grade after readmission are withdrawn from the program and are not considered for readmission.

  4. Time Limit. All work for a diploma program must be completed within sixterms (two years) from the time of initial registration in the program for full-time students; for part-time students the time limit is 12 terms (four years).

  5. Graduation Requirement. To graduate, students must have completed all course requirements with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.70.

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Diploma in Visual Journalism

Admission Requirements. The normal admission requirement for admission into the graduate Diploma is an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.30 scale. Some experience in journalism, photojournalism or a media-related field is considered an asset. Applicants should understand that admission is contingent upon a sound undergraduate academic record, strong letters of recommendation, and a convincing letter of intent, which clearly describes their interest in the program. Students should be aware that course instruction and assignments are in English, and although it does not determine acceptance, applicants are advised that a working knowledge of French is important.

Requirements for the Diploma

  1. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 33 credits.

  2. Courses. All students are required to complete 33 credits in the following sequence:

    Summer Term (9 credits)
    JOUR 502 Introduction to Reporting 
    JOUR 503 Introduction to Visual Journalism 
    JOUR 507 Basics of Digital Imaging

    Fall Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 500 Critical Approaches to Journalism 
    JOUR 521 Visual Story-Telling
    JOUR 523 News and Feature Photography
    JOUR 527 Elements of Lighting for Visual Journalism

    Winter Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 513 Journalism Ethics and the Law
    JOUR 537 Visual Journalism Portfolio

    And two of the following courses:
    JOUR 508 Research Project
    JOUR 528 The Digital Magazine
    JOUR 531 Visual Journalism Photo Editing
    JOUR 532 Documentary Video and Radio
    JOUR 535 Documentary and Photographic Series

Academic Regulations

  1. GPA Requirement. The academic progress of students is evaluated by the diploma program director each term. To be permitted to continue in the program, students must obtain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.70 based on a minimum of 12 credits.

  2. C Rule. Normally, a student receiving a grade of C in two courses is required to withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing for this reason may petition the Diploma Committee for special consideration. In case of extenuating circumstances, probationary continuation in the program is considered.

  3. F Rule. Students who receive a failing grade in the course of their studies are withdrawn from the program. Students may apply for readmission. Students who receive another failing grade after readmission are withdrawn from the program and are not considered for readmission.

  4. Time Limit. All work for a diploma program must be completed within six terms (two years) from the time of initial registration in the program for full-time students.

  5. Graduation Requirement. To graduate, students must have completed all course requirements with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.70.

Courses

JOUR 500 Critical Approaches to Journalism (3 credits)
This course introduces students to a scholarly critique of journalism, both as a practice and as an institution. By interrogating specific readings, students are encouraged to consider the journalist as a cultural producer operating within overlapping social, political and economic contexts.

JOUR 501 Research Methods for Journalism (3 credits)
This course introduces students to research methods with a focus on primary sources, such as official documents, legal and financial records, access to information requests, electronic databases, as well as in-depth interviews. These methods are treated as both sources of story ideas and as essential elements of good reporting.

JOUR 502 Introduction to Reporting (3 credits)
This is a comprehensive lecture/laboratory course which lays the foundations for the writing and reporting demands of journalism. Students are introduced to the salient features of print and digital formats, and receive assignments in information-gathering and writing both in class and in the field.

JOUR 503 Introduction to Visual Journalism (3 credits)
This workshop course lays the foundation for the visual aspects of journalistic story-telling. Working with digital, single-lens reflex cameras, students acquire fundamental skills for the practice of visual journalism, becoming familiar with a variety of aesthetic, technical, ethical and theoretical concerns involved in the visual production of meaning.

JOUR 504 Intermediate Reporting (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 502.
This course is intended to consolidate the reporting and writing skills learned during the summer. Through lectures and laboratory work, students expand their knowledge of information-gathering and writing techniques, including short deadline news reporting and feature writing.

JOUR 505 Advanced Reporting (3 credits)
This workshop offers students the opportunity to perfect their reporting and writing skills and to undertake long form writing projects, ranging from beat reporting to magazine writing.

JOUR 507 Basics of Digital Imaging (3 credits)
This workshop course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of editing news photographs. Working with actual news photographs and editing software, students learn to weigh aesthetic and technical considerations with the ethical and theoretical aspects involved in the visual production of meaning.

JOUR 508 Research Project (3 credits)
The project is to be a comprehensive study and report on some area of modern media practice, or on the interaction of media and society. The subject and method must be approved in advance by the instructor of the course.

JOUR 510 Web Editing and Page Design (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 501.
This course offers lectures and workshops in web editing and page design. Specific focus is given to design features related to journalism production and news platforms.

JOUR 511 Introduction to Broadcasting (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the use of technology across audio and visualnews platforms, including audio, visual and digital equipment and software. Students learn the necessary professional, technical and aesthetic skills to produce editorially sound audio and visual stories.

JOUR 513 Journalism Ethics and the Law (3 credits)
This course examines the journalist’s responsibility in terms of both ethics and the law. It introduces students to a representative cross-section of ethical theories and codes and takes an intensive look at the most common legal issues affecting the practice of journalism.

JOUR 521 Visual Story-Telling  (3 credits)
This workshop introduces students to the dynamic and aural elements of visual story-telling in the context of multi-platform journalism. Students acquire technical skills of video and sound capture through instruction that brings to bear aesthetic, ethical and theoretical considerations.

JOUR 523 News and Feature Photography (3 credits)
This workshop course covers a range of journalistic topics – hard news, general news, features, arts, sports – to emphasize the thematic particularities of visual story-telling. The course requires students to consider and incorporate the narrative and representative dimensions of visual journalism through a variety of assignments.

JOUR 525 Special Topics in Journalism (3 credits)
When offered, content depends on the theme designated by the program.

JOUR 526 Special Topics in Journalism (3 credits)
Students who have received credit for JOUR 525 may register for JOUR 526, provided content is different.

JOUR 527 Elements of Lighting for Visual Journalism (3 credits)
This workshop course introduces students to lighting techniques for both still photography and video story-telling. Students learn to weigh technical and aesthetic aspects of lighting with the ethical and theoretical dimensions involved in the manipulation or alteration of the shooting environment.

JOUR 528 The Digital Magazine (3 credits)
This course requires students to produce the Department’s Digital Magazine. The course replicates the working conditions and journalistic experience of a digital newsroom. Students are expected to work in editorial teams to create current and update multimedia content throughout the term.
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under a JOUR 525 number may not take this course for credit.

JOUR 530 Advanced Radio News (3 credits)
This is a workshop course in which students function as reporters, writers, news readers and editors in order to learn the skills necessary to produce daily newscasts.

JOUR 531 Visual Journalism Photo Editing (3 credits)
This advanced workshop course covers the decision-making process for news, magazine and online photography, treating photo editing as a collaborative element of visual journalism. Moving beyond aesthetic and technical aspects, it situates editing within the larger context of news production, such as collaborating with reporters, editors and photo editors in the story-telling process.

JOUR 532 Documentary Video and Radio (3 credits)
This workshop allows students to perfect their skills in long format public affairs broadcasting in sound and pictures. Students learn the fundamentals of documentary production including story developments and treatment,cinematographic style, interviewing, editing and presentation.

JOUR 535 Documentary and Photographic Series (3 credits)
This advanced workshop course concentrates on the photo story, the editorial essay and the documentary essay. The course emphasizes pre-visualization, planning, logistics and realization as well as optimizing series for newspaper, magazine and online publications.

JOUR 536 Advanced Video Journalism (3 credits)
This course gives students the opportunity to perfect their skills in writing and reporting for video journalism and producing news and public affairs programming.

JOUR 537 Visual Journalism Portfolio (3 credits)
This advanced capstone workshop focuses on students creating professional portfolios, helping them create and establish their individual brands as professional visual journalists.

JOUR 542 International Journalism (3 credits)
This course examines the way journalism is practiced in a selected country or tradition. The focus of the course may change from year to year.

JOUR 566 Photojournalism (3 credits)
Using digital cameras and technology, students perform a variety of exercises and assignments to help them master the techniques used in planning, taking, and laying out news photographs.
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under a JOUR 525 number may not take this course for credit.

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