Description of Programme

Indigenous journalism is a developing field in communication practice, with an increasing need for professionals and experts. This international Master’s Programme in Indigenous Journalism is a new and unique programme in the field of media and journalism in the world. Simultaneously.


Considering the growing field of indigenous media, this is necessary in order to develop the field of indigenous journalism. As of today, there is a great lack of academically trained professionals who can function as teachers or researchers in this field. The growing field of indigenous media also calls for a growing need for policy makers and professionals with an indigenous perspective. This programme meets the demand for the provision of advanced professional development for journalists, Sámi and indigenous journalists in particular.


The Master’s Degree Programme in Indigenous Journalism provides rigorous academic training for further study and deep insight into the world of journalism, while simultaneously examining the world of journalism from an indigenous perspective. An important aspect of the programme is to enable the students to reflect upon what it means to be an indigenous journalist, and what, if any, bearings this perspective has on journalistic practice. The programme offers theoretical and research based knowledge of journalism, and of the methods and skills that are required for working as journalists in advanced positions.


The programme also provides a context for an international exchange of experience, values and professional priorities of journalists in indigenous communities worldwide. It intends to attract inter alia students from Sámi and other indigenous communities, and students with a specific interest in indigenous media and journalism, with the aim of providing indigenous and other communities with media professionals, academics and policy makers in the field of media in an indigenous and multicultural context.


The programme is built on the two main subject blocks of journalism and media studies, with a special focus on Indigenous media and journalism within an indigenous context. Within these main blocks, the core areas of focus are the following:


  • Theory and methods in journalism research

  • The relations between sources, journalists and society 

  • Theory and practice of media ethics and law

  • Media and global indigenous politics

  • The role of indigenous journalism and the media in diverse societies


Programme content

The Master’s Programme in Indigenous Journalism are full time studies for 3 semesters (90 study points) or 4 semesters (120 study points) shared over 3 or 4 semesters.


The programme is structured to provide advanced instruction and learning in core areas of journalism and media studies that are mandatory. Within these courses an attention to the diversity present within indigenous populations world wide will ensure that a broad international comparative perspective is a thematic element throughout the programme.


Optional courses,  chosen from  a range of relevant courses available within the Sámi University College, will allow students to pursue specific areas in further depth and increase the potential range of learning available.


The programme is divided into the following blocks: (m = mandatory, o = optional)


Year 1


Term 1

  1. What is indigenous journalism? (m)

  2. Ethics, law and professional identity (also book exam possible) (m)

  3. Optional course e.g., Indigenous Media Rights; Sámi Language and Writing Skills; Environment Journalism, Indigenous Philosophy, Indigenous Studies (o)​​​​


Term 2

 4. Advanced journalism course for indigenous journalism; or optional course for the more advanced journalists (o)

 5. Journalism research: Theory and methods (m)

Year 2


Term 3

 6. Master’s thesis writing (including final exam and seminar for 90 credit Master) (m)

 7. Master’s thesis writing: final exam and seminar (120 credit Master) (o; for 120 sp = m)


Mandatory courses



is the foundational course of the Programme, where the central themes, issues and concepts are discussed and analysed.



contains necessary building blocks for exercising the journalistic profession. 



will lay the foundations for understanding the field of journalism from a more theoretical and analytical standpoint. This will not only prepare the students for the writing of their Master’s theses, but also give all students the knowledge and analytical skills needed for working with journalism in an advanced position or specialist role.


MASTER’S THESIS I (30 credits)

is the mandatory part of the thesis-writing for all students, which will enable and support students to write a thesis of at least 30 credits.


Optional courses


OPTIONAL COURSE 1 (10 credits):

The first optional course enables students to deepen their knowledge in one particular area of expertise. This can be inter alia in matters related to the Sámi language (such as Sámi Language and Writing) or Sámi history; Indigenous issues (Indigenous Philosophy or other Indigenous studies); or media or journalism (e.g. Environment Journalism).



The second optional course is an advanced course in journalism with an indigenous perspective. Since the cohort of students of the Programme is likely to include journalists with extensive professional experience, these students have the option to choose an additional optional course instead, e.g. from the courses mentioned above.


MASTER’S THESIS II (30 credits):

The second part of the Master’s Thesis is optional, since the Programme offers the possibility to opt for a Master’s Thesis that is only 30 credits in scope. The students who opt for a 30 credit thesis will attain a 90 credit Master’s Degree. Students who choose a Master’s Thesis of 60 credits will have the option to continue with research studies after completing their Master’s Degree of 120 credits.


About the Master’s thesis


The aim of the thesis is to deepen the student’s knowledge within the journalistic academic field and sharpen the student’s analytical skills. The Master’s thesis can be either 30 ETCS or 60 ETCS in scope.


A thesis of 60 ETCS is focused on providing scientific excellence with an aim to prepare the student for further academic training at post graduate level. It requires an academic piece of work of about 100-120 pages. A thesis of 60 ECTS leads to a competence for doctoral research.


If the candidate choses to limit the thesis to 30 ETCS, the scope of the thesis is either about 60 pages of written text, or a practical piece of journalistic work accompanied by an analytical part of 40 pages.



Learning outcomes


The students are to acquire research based knowledge about the journalistic profession, its impact and relevance for indigenous communities, and its role in shaping contemporary diverse society. After completing the programme the students will have aquired the competence to work in a professional journalistic setting in a leading or specialist role.


The students will have mastery of the legal and ethical requirements of the profession, including international regulations and conventions guiding the field. They will have a capacity for professional self reflection and for understanding the challenges faced by indigenous media.


Based upon their demonstrated capacity for independent research, the students will have the ability to advance research and policy in this area. The programme provides a pathway to achieving competence for doctoral research (120 study points).