Concordia University

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Journalism

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Digital Innovation in Journalism Studies)

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. Applicants should understand that admission to the program 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. Applicants who do not meet the standards for admission may be required to complete 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 primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits. The requirements include three core program courses.

  2. Courses. Students are required to complete 15 credits of coursework, as well as one of the three options for research requirements listed below. The following core courses are required:

    JOUR 601 Critical Approaches to Journalistic Thought (3 credits)
    JOUR 604 Research Methods for Journalism (3 credits)
    JOUR 605 Digital Innovation in Journalism (3 credits)

    Choose two of the following elective courses:
    JOUR 502 Introduction to Reporting (3 credits)
    JOUR 503 Introduction to Visual Journalism 
    (3 credits)
    JOUR 511 Introduction to Multimedia (3 credits)
    JOUR 603 Political Economy of Journalism (3 credits)
    JOUR 610 International Journalism
    (3 credits)
    JOUR 620 Journalism Ethics and the Law (3 credits)
    JOUR 630 Mediating Diversity through Audio Story-telling (3 credits)
    JOUR 640 Textual Approaches to Journalism (3 credits)
    JOUR 645 Directed Study (3 credits)

  3. Research Requirements and Options.

    Option A.
    JOUR 650 Journalism Readings and Proposal
     (6 credits)
    JOUR 691 Thesis (24 credits)
    OR
    Option B.
    JOUR 650 Journalism Readings and Proposal
     (6 credits)
    JOUR 693 Research-Creation Thesis (24 credits)
    OR
    Option C.
    JOUR 694 Essay
     (18 credits)
    12 additional course credits in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and approved by the Department’s MA program director. If approved, up to 6 credits can be taken outside the Department.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

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

  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

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

Courses

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 learn how to do library and archival research; structure and conduct interviews; write news and feature stories for print and digital outlets, and work under stringent deadlines. Students receive assignments 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 511 Introduction to Multimedia (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the use of technology across audio and visual news 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 601 Critical Approaches to Journalistic Thought  (3 credits)
This course  introduces students to a scholarly critique of journalism, both as a practice and as an institution. Students examine specific readings from an overlapping social, political and economic context to consider the role of journalists as cultural producers.

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  for Journalism (3 credits)
This course examines a variety of research methods commonly used in the production and study of journalism, from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Emphasis is placed on primary sources, access to information requests, and electronic databases with a goal of helping students develop their own research practice.

JOUR 605 Digital Innovation in Journalism (3 credits)
This course offers lectures and workshops in digital innovation and web design, with a focus on design features related to journalism production and news platforms.

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 and the Law (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601 previously or concurrently or permission of the program director.
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 630 Mediating Diversity through Audio Story-telling  (3 credits)
Prerequisite: JOUR 601 previously or concurrently or permission of the program director.
The course is an experiential workshop that blends journalism theory and practice. Students function both as reporters, in order to learn the skills necessary to produce robust audio stories, and digital researchers tasked with examining diversity and media representation issues arising in class to explore journalism’s mediating function in society.

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 601.
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 691 Thesis (24 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 693 Research-Creation Thesis (24 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 a literature and media review, a theoretical and methodological contextualization, and a critical reflection on the project and its outcomes.

JOUR 694 Essay (18 credits)
Prerequisites: JOUR 601, 604, 605.
Students produce an essay on a research topic developed in consultation with a  faculty member that explores a specific issue relevant to journalism studies. The final essay must be evaluated by a second faculty member. The essay's length is approximately 40 pages, which does not include a bibliography. The course is normally taken in term five of the students' degree.

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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).

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

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. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  3. 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 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.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

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 523 News and Feature Photography
    JOUR 527 Elements of Lighting for Visual Journalism
    JOUR 536 Advanced Video Journalism

    Winter Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 513 Journalism Ethics and the Law
    JOUR 535 Documentary and Photographic Series


    And two of the following courses:
    JOUR 503 Introduction to Visual Journalism
    JOUR 507 Basics of Digital Imaging
    JOUR 508 Research Project
    JOUR 521 Visual Story-Telling
    JOUR 528 The Digital Magazine
    JOUR 531 Visual Journalism Photo Editing
    JOUR 532 Documentary Video and Radio
    JOUR 537 Visual Journalism Portfolio

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  3. 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 Multimedia (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the use of technology across audio and visual news 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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