Journalism BA

Journalism

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
ABB
UCAS code:
P500
Start date:
September 2017

The best thing about journalism at Sussex is what we teach. We base our Journalism BA on a practical and academic understanding of an ever-changing and challenging media environment.

You learn from professional journalists working in the field, and analyse the changing role of journalism in the digital age.

You’ll gain the skills to work across a range of multimedia platforms including television, print, radio and web. There is 24/7 access to specialist facilities, including:

  • a news room
  • edit suites
  • a sound-proofed studio.

Accreditation

We're currently seeking accreditation by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC), the largest accrediting body of journalism courses in the UK.

The facilities here are amazing. There are so many opportunities to practice and hone my skills at Sussex.”Rhys Baker
Journalism BA 

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

ABB

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

Additional requirements

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences. Successful applicants will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

Advanced Diploma

Typical offer

Pass with at least grade B in the Diploma and A in the Additional and Specialist Learning.

Subjects

The Additional and Specialist Learning must be an A-level (ideally in the humanities or social sciences).

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Typical offer

DDM

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

Additional requirements

Successful applicants will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, with at least grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually don’t accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses.

However, we do accept one of the following qualifications for our International Foundation Years:  

  • Senior High 2 at an average grade of 75% with a minimum of five academic subjects including key subjects
  • Senior High 3 at an average of 70% or above in a minimum of four academic subjects including key subjects.

If you successfully complete the International Foundation Year you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. 

Check which qualifications we accept for the International Foundation Year.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at AABBBB.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

7.0 overall, including at least 6.5 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 185 overall, including at least 176 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 185 overall, including at least 176 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

67 overall, including at least 62 in all four skills

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

Level 5, including at least 4 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 80%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 80% or Grade 2

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Skype interviewYes
Transfers into Year 2

No

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked in the top 10 in the UK for Journalism (The Guardian University Guide 2018).
  • Offering a balance of theory and practice, our approach combines academic excellence with practical expertise.
  • Placement opportunities, workshops and guest lectures provide you with insight into journalism in practice, direct from professionals in the field.

Course information

How will I study?

From the start of your course, you'll develop practical skills across print, audio, video and online journalism. You also study and gain skills in photography.

You have regular opportunities to reflect on your own journalistic practice.

Alongside this, we introduce you to key debates in media studies and journalism. This allows you to understand the regulatory and industry contexts journalism operates in.

Modules

Core modules

How will I study?

You:

  • advance your broadcast journalism skills in radio and television
  • study the legal and ethical frameworks that guide professional journalistic practice
  • engage with current political and social issues within the context of local, national and global news production
  • prepare for, engage in and reflect on a period of work experience in the field.

You also take part in engaging and challenging news production days. These provide an excellent opportunity to hone your skills under industry-like conditions.

Modules

Core modules

Options

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

Your studies culminate in a major practical journalistic project of your choice and design. Using workshops, tutorials and seminars you prepare, design and execute your project.

Emphasis is placed on independent study, research skills, critical analysis and originality. You select specialist options that suit your interests.

Further news production days take place in the final year of your study.

Modules

Core modules

Options

You’ll benefit from our staff’s experience in the news industry and expertise in the critical study of journalism.”Dr marina dekavalla
Course Convenor, Journalism BA

Fees

UK/EU students:
£9,250 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£9,250 per year
International students:
£18,750 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Your future career

At Sussex, you’re given the chance to develop real-world skills outside the classroom. 

You can write for our student newspaper, present a feature on our television channel, or host a programme on our radio station. You have the opportunity to go on work placements and gain real-world experience – we have links with Brighton newspaper The Argus and a range of broadcasters.

Our expert teaching means you’ll develop skills in communication, writing concise copy, editing and reporting.  

You’ll be prepared for a range of careers including working in the national or international press, digital and broadcast media and public relations.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Sussex graduates are imaginative, ethical and hard-working, with practical know-how – ready to work in any contemporary media environment.”professor Ivor gaber
Professor of Journalism

Creative Production: Photography

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Please note: space on Media Practice modules is very limited. Only students for whom a practice module is a requirement of their home institution's programme will be considered for a place on these modules, and only then if places are available.

This module introduces you to the still image and encourages you to reflect critically on issues of form and representation in relation to your own work. You will learn key processes and techniques involved in digital imaging: research, composition, exposure, and editing. You will work individually to complete set exercises both in and out of class, and produce a series of images to a set brief.

Journalism, Research and Writing 1

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

The module introduces you to the practical and analytical skills involved in professional news writing, news gathering and research. In the autumn term the focus is on print media and you will learn about conceptual issues linked to the production of print news and features (such as news values, narrative structures and objectivity in reporting) and you will also acquire the skills necessary for the production of print news and features. Legal and ethical constraints on the work of journalists will also be covered in the module. You will work individually and collaboratively in order to produce stories, evaluate sources, carry out interviews and revise writing. The module will also encourage you to critically evaluate examples of news and feature writing, news gathering and research and to reflect critically on your own production practices.

 

Questioning the Media B

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module examines ways of questioning media forms, texts and systems. It explores the breadth of media studies through attention to the ways in which media matter in the formation of individual and collective identities and in the practices of everyday life. In the more public world, to what extent are media key to providing knowledge and enabling the debate necessary to the practices of democracy? The module enables you to build on your own experiences of media as consumers, audiences and users. It encourages critical attention to how the field of media studies has historically been forged through its key figures and to the tools for questioning the media they have developed.

The module ranges across media and genres, engaging with both contemporary and historical material. Topics may include: audience pleasure and identity; representations and power; public knowledge; the social impact of the rise of digital media.

Key terms may include: criticism, critical thinking, identity, textual analysis, representation, semiotics, power, public knowledge, institutions.

Embedded in the module is the development of study skills appropriate to the study of media at undergraduate level, including organising study time, note taking, essay writing and referencing, with particular attention being paid to constructing arguments and being critical.

Debates in Media Studies B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module explores some of the most well-known and widely regarded theoretical and critical approaches used in the study of media today. It also identifies and analyses the debates circulating around those approaches.

In asking 'What is the subject of media' and 'How should we study it', different approaches come up with very different answers. Media can be approached as ritual, (global) industry, meaning-maker, technology, dreamworld, everyday life, work place, sensual pleasure machine. Focus can switch from media production and organisation to analysis of media output, to exploration of consumption and use, to the bigger issue of media in society.

In carving a way through this complexity, the module will introduce a few key frameworks – for example 'political economy', 'critical race studies', 'psychoanalysis', 'feminist media theory' – and alert you to how differences of approach have emerged depending on the specific medium or cultural form (radio, TV, cinema, internet, newspaper, advertising, music etc). However, a repeated reference point for the module is the cultural output of media and methods analysis, especially modes of textual analysis.

Journalism, Research and Writing 2

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The module further develops the knowledge and skills that you acquired in Journalism, Research and Writing 1. The focus in the spring is on broadcast media – radio and television. The concepts discussed focus on similarities and differences between the production of print and broadcast media contents and hence concepts such as the 24/7 news cycle, interactivity, storytelling and similar will be discussed. You will also consider whether the production of contents for broadcast media raise additional legal and ethical concerns (compared to print news and features). The module will enable you to further develop your practical skills of information gathering, interviewing and reporting and apply these to radio and television outputs. Similarly to Journalism, Research and Writing 1, you will be encouraged to critically evaluate radio and television contents and also your own production practices.

Online Journalism

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module will build on two modules in the autumn term: Journalism Research and Writing 1 and Photography. It will also be closely linked to the spring module Journalism Research and Writing 2.

This module will enhance your knowledge and skills for the online news environment. You will improve your information-gathering skills with web-based tools, learn how to integrate social networking media into the process of news gathering and dissemination, learn to write news for the web and mobile devices, and produce and package journalistic content for online consumption using multimedia tools. You will also explore ethical issues in online journalism and critically reflect on their practice of online news production.

Broadcast Journalism (Radio)

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Using models derived mainly from the BBC, but also from National Public Radio and other broadcasters around the world, this module will introduce you to a range of audio broadcast journalism genres from documentaries to features to essays.

The relationship between narrative structures, aesthetic modes and content will be analyzed in best-practice examples as a foundation for your own production of a 10-minute podcast (packaged for the web) on a non-fiction subject and style of their choice.

Theoretical readings will focus largely on the evolution of the audio documentary, the creation of media narratives for audio, audio-specific strategies for content communication, and styles and aesthetics of well-know radio documentarians and journalists. Theoretical discussion will keynote storytelling skills that are transferable to other spheres (especially video and online multi-media journalism).

Law, Ethics and Governance

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module aims to develop your practical and critical understanding of ethical and legal duties, regulatory issues, reporting restrictions and guidelines for journalists. It will cover the major codes of conduct in the news industry, particularly those used by the BBC, the Independent Television Company, Ofcom, the Standards Commission, the National Union of Journalists and the Press Complaints Commission.

In relation to journalism ethics, it will cover legal constraints on what journalists may or may not do – eg defamation and contempt laws, how matters can be published in the public interest, and how journalists can challenge invalid restrictions. Freedom of Information law will also be addressed and you will be encouraged to make your own submissions to authorities leading to exclusive news stories for publication. You will also be given the opportunity to reflect critically on legal and ethical regulation issues in the field of journalism.

News, Politics and Power B

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module explores media and politics and, more broadly, the media and questions of power. It focuses on current affairs with a stress on news; although other forms of factual content (for instance TV docudrama, web blogs, broadsheet lifestyle spin-offs) are also covered.

The module considers the role media can play in producing our understanding of the globalizing world in which we live. It asks how media frame, organize, and contextualize events, both as they take place, and in relation to the collective memories that emerge after the event. It also asks how the media themselves are managed, manipulated, and influenced – variously by governments, media owners, professional newsrooms codes, and/or by public pressure.

Finally the module is centrally concerned with the role the media play in relation to the citizen and the state. It is through the optic of citizenship, particularly in relation to the public sphere, that questions concerning the power of the media are addressed. Thus the module explores how a wide range of media contribute to the maintenance or erosion of a democratic society and an informed citizenship.

Second Year News Days

  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 2

This is a non-assessed module that allows for additional news days to be timetabled in the first and second term for modules studied at Level 5. These news days are required as part of the accreditation process by the BJTC, which requires 15 news days at Level 5. Two of these must be consecutive news days, and will be placed in reading week.

Broadcast Journalism (TV)

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will build on Journalism Research and Writing (level 4) and will introduce you to a range of television journalism genres and the technical skills required to produce competent medium-specific broadcast materials. It encourages you to reflect critically on theoretical issues in relation to your own and others' work, and explore and discuss the relationship between text and context.

Study on the module will encourage the academic scrutiny of television news output by critically reflecting on news production practices, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the development of television news and current debates in journalism theory and practice.

Theoretical readings will focus largely on the evolution of television news, its key charcteristics and specific strategies for content communication. Study on the module will teach you to research, write and produce quality reports and broadcast packages for television and the web. The aim is to ensure that you can gather/evaluate information and render it into clear, accurate, rigorous, medium-specific, compliant and engaging news stories for a range of audiences.

Journalism Work Experience

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module is designed to allow you to gain practical work experience in an area of relevance to your degree.

During your work experience, you'll apply practical skills and theoretical knowledge acquired so far in a working environment. The range of suitable media organizations is wide and includes print media as well as radio and television broadcasters, however, the key issue is that you are involved in some form of journalistic work during your work experience. At the end of the work experience, you will write a report in which you critically reflect on professional journalism as practiced in the given media organization.

Preparation for work experience will include reflecting on the kinds of organizations/work places that you might be interested in and why, and compiling a CV and a portfolio of selected stories produced so far. During the period of work experience, you will be required to observe, learn and reflect.

The aim is to use the experience as an opportunity to develop and reflect on personal and social skills in the work place; the demands of time management; and technical, organisational and/or creative achievement as appropriate. The module will enable you to compile necessary documentation in relation to work, such as portfolio containing CVs and development plans, as well as help you to assess your skills and perform SWOT analyses and a Key Skills Audit. On this module, you will draw both on the ‘hands on’ knowledge gained during the work experience and, where appropriate, your academic study.

Journalism in Crisis A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Journalism and Crisis offers a diversity of approaches for studying journalists and journalism around the world. It charts the opportunities, challenges and crises facing journalism in an increasingly global field. The module examines the impact of developments in journalism that have resulted in it becoming an international phenomenon operating in global networks as opposed to within national or cultural borders. It looks at journalism in crisis (as a practice) and journalism as it responds to and communicates crises in the world. It explores the blurring between entertainment and news, as well as the formerly clear division between journalism, public relations and business communication. The module draws on specific examples of global media events to examine these issues and enables students to creatively and critically explore the challenges of consuming and producing globalised stories.

Media Events

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module explores the role of media &ndash both ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ – in shaping the public's experience and understanding of major political and cultural events. It examines how such events have not just been reported on by the media but have very often been constituted by them. We will draw upon historical examples from the past 120 years, but also examine fresh instances of 'media events' as and when they arise in contemporary news coverage. The approach is global and interdisciplinary, combining historical case studies with detailed analyses of contemporary reporting on TV, radio, newspapers, and social media. In so doing, the module introduces you to key debates concerning the power of media to influence moods and opinions and some of the ethical issues which arise from this power.

Cases studies may be clustered under the following headings:

  • Global events (eg sinking of the Titanic, the Apollo moon landing);
  • Witnessing and compassion (eg the Holocaust, or famine and disaster);
  • Fear and panic (eg the coverage of violent acts or Sars, bird flu, MMR etc);
  • Politics and war (eg. Cold War rhetoric on American TV in the 1950s and 1960s).

Advanced Journalism Skills

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module introduces you to basic characteristics of non-linear storytelling as practiced on the websites of professional and citizen journalists. Readings on the subject as well as examples of actual websites will enable you to address underlying conceptual questions (eg do journalistic practices and narratives differ in online and offline environments? Does non-linear storytelling alter the relationship between journalists and their audiences?) as well as practical issues faced in the production of online journalism. The module aims to combine a critical approach to online journalistic outputs while developing a practical understanding and hands-on approach to your own online projects. You will complete a web-based journalistic project upon the completion of the module.

Third Year News Days

  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

This is a non-assessed module that allows for additional news days to be timetabled in the first and second term for modules studied at Level 6. These news days are required as part of the accreditation process by the BJTC, which requires 15 news days at Level 6. Five of these must be consecutive news days, and will be placed in the intersession week.

Journalism Project

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module involves the development and production of a critical journalism project on a topic of your choice. The module builds on your practical, analytical and critical skills acquired in the course of your study and enables you to develop these skills further by working on pieces of print or broadcast (radio or television) journalism. You will be required to engage in research for your project and engage with academic and other reading on the area you wish to develop as a means to framing your own project. 

Work on the project is supported through weekly workshops/seminars focussed on particular conceptual issues and practical skills that you face as well as thorugh tutorials with a project supervisor. You will have the opportunity to develop presentations and report back to the seminar group on progress with your projects on a regular basis. You are also expected to reflect critically on the whole process in a project report.

Consuming Passions

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores consumption practices within specific social, cultural and historical contexts. It will build upon other modules you have undertaken throughout your degree and enable you to draw interim conclusions to processes through which people make sense of objects – and other culturally significant things – and how they are appropriated into everyday life. It also explores consumption as a basic human activity through which people engage with and understand their position in the world. It will locate social, historical and culturally specific consumption practices within wider processes of identity-creation and differentiation. Finally, consumption will be discussed in the context of the development of 'consumer cultures' and globalisation.

'Consuming Passions' will take a dynamic and deliberately interdisciplinary approach to a number of key concepts central to the study of 'culture'. It will draw upon and critically examine the variety of ways in which cultural and sub-cultural groups acquire, interpret, use and develop such things as film, music, food, sexuality, fashion, literature and art, and include the study of material and visual cultures.

The weekly topics are related and have been chosen deliberately to interact with one another in intriguing and unexpected ways. You are strongly encouraged to make original and imaginative leaps and connections during seminar discussions and in both your coursework and your extended essays, in which you may also re-examine, in greater depth, some of the topics you may have encountered in earlier modules.

Documentary, Reality TV and 'Real Lives'

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

During this documentary module you'll analyse documentary production in its historical and cultural context and focuses on new developments in documentary production, reality TV formats, feature documentary and alternative documentary production. In addition we'll address emerging documentary production in the developing world.

The module covers foundational thinking in documentary; theorisations of different modes of documentary; reality TV; debates over documentary's truth claims; the boundary between documentary and fiction; dramatisation and reconstructions; and international independent documentary production.

Media, War and Terrorism

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores in depth the complex role of modern media in the conduct and public understanding of contemporary war and conflict. It seeks to foster an understanding of the methods used by militaries, journalists and film makers and in the shaping of discourses around war and conflict in both the past and present.

It will provide you with interests in film, television and journalism with an indepth overview of the main historical and theoretical thinking around the subject of war and media. The approach is global and interdisciplinary, combining historical perspectives with textual analysis of contemporary media including news, documentary, film and emerging online media in both ‘Western’ and non-Western parts of the world.

Subjects covered might include:

  • an analysis of the key theoretical perspectives through which the relationship between media and war can be examined
  • the history, development and debates around military-media management strategies (for example, official and un-official censorship, access clauses, embedding, public relations and strategic communications) through which the military attempt to manage (predominantly mainstream) media coverage of their activities
  • an critical exploration of the ways militaries utilise their own media in the conduct and strategizing of contemporary war and conflict where media (leaflets, radio, social media) is integrated into battlefield strategy, particularly in counter-insurgency warfare. These strategies might include, for example, psychological operations; influencing activities, target audience analysis
  • current debates around war (and peace) journalism as a distinct practice (including war journalism and objectivity, peace journalism)
  • current theoretical and political understandings of the cumulative effects of military management and journalistic practice on the conduct of war and conflict (including the debates around the CNN effect, media and conflict generation, mediatisation)
  • the role of media actors (war correspondents and film makers in particular) in representing war and implications for public understandings
  • war, media and memory including ongoing debates and theorization of the relationship between media, memory and history in specific relation to war and conflict.

Science and the Media

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Scientific controversy makes for a good story but it is also an important site of enquiry for media and science students. From human cloning to the internet, science and technology make up a central aspect of the form and content of the contemporary media. Science communication, public engagement with science, and scientific imaginaries, are key components of both factual and fictional genres from the press and the cinema, to the arts and science policy. Understanding the media as a central feature of contemporary science and techno cultures, and science and technology as central to media cultures, equips successful students with the ability to evaluate some of the key contemporary issues in society.

Using historical and contemporary case studies such as nuclear energy and biotechnology, the module might include any of the following issues:

  • fact and fraud
  • hypes and hopes
  • media publics and science
  • science and art
  • science communication and public engagement with science
  • relationships between science practice and science fiction
  • cultures of news production and science reporting
  • science as culture

The module considers the relationship between scientific cultures and key institutions in the UK and globally. These include (for example) Hollywood, the Wellcome Trust and the Science Media Centre. The role of science fiction and feminist interventions in science and technology studies also provide cross cutting aspects of the course.

Celebrity, Media and Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Celebrities are an enduring feature of popular culture, from cinema to the news. Spectacular individuals permeate our media landscape via social media, high fashion and internet gossip.

This module encourages you to engage with historical and contemporary cultures of celebrity. It fosters a critical understanding of the construction of stardom, and of the political and cultural climates in which different kinds of celebrities and their fans emerge. In looking across the spectrum of celebrity in transnational and local contexts, you will engage with notions of:

  • intimacy and distance
  • authenticity and performance
  • intertextuality and emotion
  • glamour and disgust
  • labour and identity.

Comedy and Cultural Belonging

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Comedy is, above all, a cultural form that invites its audiences to feel that they belong – to a social community, a class, a locality, a nation, a subculture, a gender, a sexual identity, an ethnic group, a community of interest, or a complex intersection of several of these.

This module explores the relationship between comedy and belonging by considering a number of conceptual fields, such as:

  • theories of the comedic
  • questions of identity formation
  • notions of representation and stereotyping
  • structures of power and resistance
  • the sexual politics of jokes
  • concepts of carnival and excess
  • the idea of a 'national sense of humour'
  • the use of comic strategies by 'minority' groups
  • the complexities of camp
  • the role of class in cultural consumption.

The initial focus is on 20th-century British popular comedy. The comic texts and practitioners studied might include Alan Bennett, Mike Leigh, Victoria Wood, the music hall tradition, the Ealing comedies, the Carry On films, Morecambe and Wise, The League of Gentlemen and The Royle Family.

Everyday Life and Technology

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module investigates the overlapping technological, cultural and social dimensions of technology (particularly communication technologies, but also other domestic technologies) as they are encountered in everyday life. It explores these issues through an investigation of historical and contemporary examples (the telephone, the radio, the television, the mp3 player, the fridge, the computer and the internet) and discusses how domestic technologies are socially shaped, re-shaped, experienced and consumed. During the module you will consider major theoretical approaches to the study of everyday technologies as well as debates about their consequences and significance.

Feminism and Digital Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Performing the Urban: postcolonial perspectives

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Performance cultures provide a unique insight into urban and social transformation. Addressing urban dance, music and language scenes, among other things, this module opens up a range of debates on the relationship between performance cultures and the urban. This in-depth exploration engages critically with theoretical perspectives on performance and and addresses the main frames through which performing the urban can be understood. You will, for example, consider the history of urban performance cultures and how they are made in different places. Developing these intellectual tools, you will enter into a series of applied discussions on performance culture’s relation to youth politics, multiculture and cosmopolitanism, and cultural technologies whilst considering the intersection of these topics with race, class and gender. You will consider how we might understand contemporary urban politics and perhaps even counter stories of its demise. You will discuss the multicultural and diasporic formation of urban performances, and how the use of YouTube by urban musicians might be similar or different to the use of sound systems or pirate radio. In the final session, you will look out to consider the future of performance cultures in the context of the urban, and indeed how the weeks’ prevision discussions prefigure different futurities.

This module will engage with a range of materials of interest to UK, EU and international students. Discussions on the relation of time to performance culture will draw on examples of changing language use in urban places. Analyses of space will engage with performances of the ‘hood, ghetto and post-code. The evaluation of struggle will consider the politics of riots/uprisings in addition to more mundane expressions of racialised, classed and gendered resistance drawn form urban ethnographies. The analysis of multiculture and cosmopolitanism will engage with the biographies of singer songwriters such as Prince, MIA and Wiley in addition to South Asian dance music. The analysis of transforming relationships between performance culture and technology will include a comparative exploration of sound systems, pirate radio and online music videos.

The module’s engagement with music, digital media, film, and everyday cultural practices, will be of interest to undergraduate students in cultural studies, media and communications, and music and film, in addition to students from wider social science and humanities disciplines. In particular it will build on MFM second year modules on ‘culture, race and ethnicity’, ‘digital cultures’, ‘gender, space and culture’, ‘media, memory, history’ and ‘sound culture and society’; and joint second-year cultural studies modules such as ‘cities and urban lives’ and ‘culture and performance’.

Overall, the module will provide you with the substantive, historical and theoretical means to analyse and engage with the complexities inherent in performing urban culture.

Subjects covered include:

  1. An introduction to urban performance culture, including an outline of foundational studies on urban culture.
  2. Key theoretical perspectives through which urban performance culture has been addressed, in particular focusing on ‘performativity’, vernacular and dialogue.
  3. A discussion of performance cultures in time, their relation to the past and the creative transformations they undergo.
  4. An evaluation of how performance culture is constituted in space (in particular urban space).
  5. An critical discussion of performance culture as a site of political struggle and how this intersects with class, race and gender.
  6. An analysis of performance culture as a manifestation of multiculture and cosmopolitanism.
  7. An analysis of the transforming relationships between urban culture and technology.
  8. An evaluation of the future of urban culture.

Political Communication

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will present a critical review of key aspects of contemporary theory, research and practice in political communications. It will allow you to explore how these may be challenged by and transformed by new technologies and by sophisticated methods for shaping personalised messages. Using an interdisciplinary perspective, you will examine the key theoretical concepts pertaining to political communication as normally understood in the West, then pose normative and empirical questions on how they can be assessed outside those contexts.

The module will provide you with the ability to assess the role and function of communication in the public sphere and to evaluate the management and practice of communication within the political process. Throughout, you'll be encouraged to consider and reflect on political communication within and across different national and regional contexts.

If you meet the academic requirements for this course you will be invited to take part in a Skype interview.

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