MA Journalism – Semester 2 Recap

I’m free! Well, not quite, there’s still a 15,000 word thesis to do. But for a next couple of weeks…I’m free!

It tastes like freedom
It tastes like freedom

Yes, I have officially finished my second semester of my MA in Science and Environmental Journalism. It started off quite calm and serene after Christmas, going to the workshops and lectures but not really having to do too much assessment work at that point. Get to April and I was off to Bristol for my compulsory work placement with BBC Focus magazine (see here for the first of several posts about that) and having to knuckle down to get all of my work done, because it was all due in a period of three weeks.



So what work did I have to hand in this semester?

Science Communication

A 1500 feature on something science based – I chose vertical farming, I even bought a book on it because it turned out to be very interesting.

Image: Inspiration Green

A 1000 self reflective report about how I wrote the feature.

A 20 minute presentation – this time it was about printing new body parts.

Specialist Reporting

Two features (one specialist and one non-specialist) equalling 3000 words. My specialist feature was based around a company called Organovo, who print living cells with their specialist 3D printer (check it out it’s really interesting). I even managed to get an interview with their VP of communications all the way in San Diego, so thank you Dad for letting me phone America for half an hour, sorry about the bill…

My non-specialist feature was a literary analysis of The Cousins War series by Philippa Gregory. I’ve been very nervous about this one but hopefully I’ll have done okay with it.

Alongside these features were short self reflective reports about why I did what I did, my list of sources and extra information.

Print Production

An eight page magazine, based on anything and everything – I chose to make a science magazine, based on experiences at Focus and having read a lot of the New Scientist. The content for the magazine had to be our own original work, but luckily we were allowed to use any work that we’d created for other modules, so I reused my vertical farming feature and turned it into the two page feature spread, complete with beautiful images similar to the one above. I was very pleased with how that turned out.


Two newspaper magazines, for this part of the brief, we could source the stories from existing newspapers, but had to find our own pictures, create a new layout and make new headlines and stand-firsts. I made my news pages in the broadsheet style.

Alongside this was a 1500 word report on the theory of layout and design, based on my experiences of making my own pages.

I will say this…page design is a lot harder that you think!

Online Reporting

This was a team based project – we had to make a blog based on a particular area. I teamed up with Sarah who’s also on my specific course and we created a blog called TechToday, which was all about futuristic technology for the home of tomorrow, which you can actually get nowadays.


So what now? There’s that 15,000 dissertation to be getting on with, I’ve got until the 15th of September to hand it in.

But alongside this is the journalism job hunt. That’s right, I’m off to join the real world. Wish me luck! 



      1. I know what you mean. I just finished the finals of my degree four days ago and I honestly don’t know what to do with myself now that I have so much free time!

  1. Congrats! sounds exciting. I cannot wait to start my Masters soon too, but in the meanwhile I am enjoying some free time too 😉

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