City University launches first-ever Podcasting MA in London, starting September 2023

Former Bauer media executive Brett Spencer will run Centre of Podcasting Excellence alongside MA course

City University of London is launching a “first-of-its-kind” Master of Arts in Podcasting, which will start from September 2023. 

The hands-on course will teach students a combination of technical and practical skill sets needed to create and publish their own podcast with core modules focused on audio storytelling and production, ethics in podcasting, UK media law, pitching, social media, and audience development. Additional elective modules include a range of specialism topics from voice and presenting skills to political headlines.

“[The degree] is one that covers the full spectrum of skills needed to thrive in the podcasting industry,” said Professor Mel Bunce, head of the journalism department at City University, “from audio production and visualisation, through to business and audience development”.

Learnings from the course were curated based on consultation from a range of industry experts across major podcasting and audio platforms including Spotify, independent podcast company Acast, Sony, trade association Audio UK, and the BBC.

“A course like this is massively valuable to the podcasting industry in the UK,” said Acast senior vice president of marketing communications and brand Lizzy Pollott. “... it’s the perfect time for an educational institution to… offer the opportunity for people to gain a thorough grounding in podcasting, and the business of podcasting, to funnel even more experienced -- as well as more diverse -- academically trained talent into our industry.”

The degree will also be taught by a range of experienced podcasters including award-winning broadcaster and head of podcasting at City University, Sandy Warr, emmy award-winner and current supervising editor of NPR’s current affairs podcast Up First, Fernando Pizzaro, and 6F6 Productions director and award-winning producer, Mark Sandell. 

In addition to the Podcasting MA, City University has also launched a Centre of Podcasting Excellence led by former BBC News editor and Bauer digital content director Brett Spencer. The centre will host a number of events involving the podcasting industry with guest speakers, short courses, and monthly in-person events. 

“The UK podcast industry sorely needs a professional qualification -- as with many aspects of the internet, anyone can be a creator, but there are few institutions championing high standards,” said managing director of media production company Rethink Audio Matt Hill. “As the medium becomes more popular and influential, we need a workforce that understands its responsibilities in terms of ethics and law just as much as any other media sector.”