Coventry is the only institution to offer a Masters degree course in automotive journalism. Graduates have gone on to work for Autocar, Evo, What Car?, Auto Express, Classic Cars, Motorsport News, Auto Trader, cardesignnews.com and other automotive media. Others have gone into communications roles in the motor industry.

The idea for the course came from Autocar editor in chief Steve Cropley, who thought there ought to be a way of training to become a motoring journalist rather than falling into the job by accident – as many motoring journalists seem to do. Steve remains closely involved with the course as visiting professor.

The course also has strong links with the Guild of Motoring Writers, the Midland Group of Motoring Writers and local car producers such as Peugeot and Jaguar Land Rover.

The course mixes theory and practice, and covers essential journalism skills, journalism practice with a focus on automotive stories and media, and an introduction to cars and the motor industry. The course includes:

  • Automotive industry and culture - history, current and future technology, manufacturing, marketing, challenges and future
  • Journalism skills - news sources, news and feature writing, interviewing, newsgathering and research, writing for print and online, audio and video recording and editing, audience analysis
  • Specifics of automotive journalism – automotive contacts and networks, road testing, car photoshoots, driving techniques
  • Journalism law and ethics - including defamation, contempt and codes of ethics
  • Print production - digital images for print, page design and Adobe InDesign, content planning and flatplanning, managing a production process
  • Digital journalism - emerging online platforms and new methods of researching and publishing stories

Automotive magazine

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Each year the automotive journalism students produce their own car magazine, Automotive. They start with a clean sheet of paper and develop a concept, research the audience, then write news and features and create page layouts. Printed copies of the final magazine are produced, and you can also read recent issues online at Magcloud.com.

More information

For more information on the course see the course pages on the Coventry University website or contact me.

More about Andrew’s lecturing

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