Media, Law and Ethics (899P4)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module aims to develop students' practical and critical understanding of the ethical, regulatory and legal dimensions of journalistic and media practice. This will include introducing a range of ethical guidelines for journalists and media practitioners, the ethics processes within the university research environment, whilst also examining press freedoms around the world.

The module will cover the codes of conduct and guidelines from a range of organisations such as those used by the BBC, IPSO, Ofcom, the NUJ and UNICEF. Students will also examine regulatory issues in a range of international jurisdictions and the legal constraints that journalists and media practitioners have to negotiate. The module also explores copyright, data protection, freedom of information and intellectual property laws as they relate to journalistic and media practice.

Students will also be given the opportunity to critically reflect on legal, ethical and regulation issues in the fields of journalism and media practice.


50%: Lecture
50%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.