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MA Radio Production

  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

The development of DAB, internet radio and podcasting is creating exciting opportunities for radio producers, and this course will enable you to take advantage of these new technologies – as well as more traditional media – to communicate with audiences in a creative and exciting way.

You will engage with the crafting of radio programmes on a variety of media platforms in production genres including Drama and features alongside your theoretical study of Narrative Construction. Professional development is explored and you will have the opportunity to engage with industry, with guest speakers, station and events visits. The course builds towards a final production project in which you will create a complete 30-minute programme to broadcast standard. An alternative research-focused option is available if you feel that is more suited to your strengths.

Production lecturers on the course have experience of working for leading national radio stations and our industry guests cover a range of production genres. You will develop in areas suited to your own strengths under their expert supervision, and can even test your skills in industry during the course, with the opportunity to take up a placement for three to four weeks if you wish.

Key information

Next start date:

September, 2016

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

1 year

Entry requirements:

An Bachelor Honours degree. 2:1 or above or equivalent professional qualification. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Core units

  • Radio Production & Theory: A large part of this unit is devoted to practical exercises in programme making, individually and as part of a production team. You'll become familiar with a range of technical equipment, including digital editing and mixing programmes, study the historical development of radio and radio genres and discuss theoretical issues with radio and sound.
  • Narrative Constructions: Establishing a social, cultural and intellectual context for production work on the course, in combination with the other practical and professional skills taught, this unit offers a foundation for the effective realisation of production work. You'll collectively engage with narrative theory in a critical and analytical forum.
  • Advanced Radio & Audio Production: You'll be expected to produce radio and audio for broadcasting and audio-on-demand. You'll also develop production skills to make work of consistently professional quality, and show creativity, an awareness of the radio and audio media, the industry and listening qualities.
  • Professional Practice: An introduction to key skills and knowledge you'll need for employment in the media industries.

Option units (choose one)*

  • Master's Production Project: You'll create a 30-minute radio programme of broadcast standard, which you'll discuss with a tutor. Your programme can be used as part of your show reel for future employers. Along the way, you'll use our Media School facilities and have regular one-to-one tutorials with current radio practitioners.
  • Master's Research Project: You can produce a practice-based research artefact supported by a written analysis, or an individually or collaboratively written paper. The latter consists of a written investigation into an aspect of practice, supported by media artefacts.

*Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Course aims

  • to create an understanding of production processes and programme management skills required for entry into the radio industry
  • to develop your understanding of new technologies and their role in programme-making
  • to work in a collaborative environment which reflects industry practice
  • to nurture a critical understanding of the potential of sound to carry narrative in a variety of genres.

Teaching methods

Practical workshops in modern radio technology are supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials where you'll explore projects and working methods. The course is taught by practising industry professionals and visiting practitioners. Team-work and individual work creates a positive ethic and an opportunity for you to develop in your own way.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MA Radio Production.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Background and experience

For MA Radio Production we are looking for applicants who:

  • Enjoy working with other people
  • Are flexible with time and energy levels
  • Are creative, and enthusiastic
  • Can adapt to varying demands/workloads
  • Are genuinely excited by radio.

We will also look at applicants with relevant industry experience such as practising freelancers seeking to move into independent production, community organisers interested in running RSLs, and overseas students keen to explore radio broadcasting in their own countries.

In addition to this, we are seeking students capable of acquiring the necessary technical skills quickly, as well as possessing a range of creative ideas for which such skills are the support.

Selection methods

The academic team will look at your online application including your qualifications, personal statement and any work experience. Please make sure your application stands out from the crowd and leaves us in no doubt you want to study at Bournemouth University.

If considered, you will then be asked to attend an interview at Bournemouth University. In cases of students not living in the UK a telephone/Skype interview will be arranged.

The interview will mark you on the following criteria and you can request feedback afterwards:

  • Commitment to radio/audio media
  • Capacity for level 7 inquiry
  • Commitment to academic study
  • Evidence of engagement with radio output
  • Relevant work or volunteer experience

For more information, take a look at our post graduate how to apply pages.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • Qualification equivalent to a UK Honours degree 2:1 or above
  • Applicants without a first degree but with significant industry experience may be considered in exceptional circumstances
  • An interview is required
  • Applicants are encouraged to provide details of relevant work experience.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the AskBU Enquiry Service for more information.

Preferred subjects

All subjects considered but applications are particular welcomed from the following groups:

  • Recent graduates with an undergraduate degree (typically 2:1 or above) in any discipline who want to take their expertise and apply it within the media context
  • We particularly welcome applicants with an undergraduate degree in the area of media practice (e.g. interactive media production, script-writing, music design, journalism, advertising)
  • Undergraduate degree in humanities subject with some student, college or Community Radio experience
  • Applications are also welcome from experienced professionals working within the media industry
  • Mature students with relevant experience or qualifications
  • Overall you must have a passion for radio.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  •  IELTS (academic) 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.

Careers

We are the first university in the UK to gain Accredited Training Establishment status in SADiE and are also an AVID Protools training facility. Former students are now employed at a range of high-profile organisations, including the BBC (Radio 4,World Service, BBC local radio, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2), online stations and podcasts, commercial radio and independent production companies; many have found success as freelancers*.

As a Radio Production graduate, you will be prepared to undertake roles such as*:

  • Commercial assistant
  • Radio producer
  • Radio editor
  • Station sales assistant
  • Broadcast journalist.

Industries worked in 

  • Radio
  • Media
  • Production.

Further study 

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU pages.
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

How you can get involved

BIRSt radio station logo

BIRSt Radio

Producing creative, innovative and interactive audio, BIRSt was the first UK student-run internet radio station.
Nerve media

Nerve Media

Whether you're interested in the radio station or the monthly magazine, get involved with various writing and production opportunities.

Additional information

Your career and development

Your career and development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.