Journalism with English Language
Language, culture and communication for journalistic purposes
Why take this course?
Are you interested in the technical structures of the English language, and using them to find and communicate a story to the public? Whether your goal is writing for magazines, newspapers or new media, you will learn the skills of journalism alongside linguistic study.
We aim to help you become an ethical and reflective journalist, with experience of journalistic work and significant knowledge of another subject.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Put your skills into practice in our fully equipped newsroom
- Benefit from studying under expert journalists with experience working on international, national, regional and online publications
- Complete a ten-day journalism-based work placement
- Undertake a formal ten-day journalism-based work placement as part of your study, with further placement opportunities encouraged throughout your degree.
- Spend a 'sandwich' year in industry
What opportunities might it lead to?
Portsmouth graduates have a good record of finding employment and the focus on our journalism course is on making you employable as a graduate journalist. Our excellent links with the industry ensure your work placements - whether formal or informal - will challenge and inspire you.
The University of Portsmouth is an approved exam centre for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), a body traditionally associated with the newspaper industry. Students have the opportunity to sit a number of NCTJ examinations, but applicants are advised that if they wish to complete all the NCTJ core examinations, they should apply to our BA (Hons) Journalism.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- editing magazines
- working on fashion blogs
- new media
- public relations
- further academic study
I love my course because it has a great mix of practical and theory work – also, the teachers are great.
Rachael Job, BA (Hons) Journalism with English Language student 2013
Want to start this course in 2017?
Apply through UCAS Clearing
Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing
Come to our next Open Day
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
- 2017 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
- The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 32 points from A level English. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5566
- School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
In the first year there is a blend of practical and theoretical learning. You’ll begin practical training in the techniques of journalism, alongside units in theory, law and ethics relating to journalistic practice. Shorthand is also a core topic, and our training will enable you to reach speeds of 100 words per minute. You will also lay the groundwork for your linguistic study in the course.
You will study the following units:
- Journalism in Context
- Academic & Professional Skills
- Current Affairs
- Language, Society and Mind
- How Language Works
This year allows you to start specialising in the areas that interest you most. Choose to focus on specific media forms or writing styles alongside the study of the language they use.
You will study the following units:
- English Forms and Function
- Law for Journalists
- Feature Writing and News Analysis
You will choose options from:
- Analysing Media Discourse
- Forensic Linguistics
- Press & PR
- Mobile and Social Journalism
- Press and Public Relations
- Music Journalism
- Sports Journalism
- Ethical Issues in Modern Journalism
- Learning from Experience
The final year offers you a range of options to choose from in both parts of your study. Depending on your interests, you also have the choice between a dissertation or undertaking a special exercise that boosts your journalistic skills.
You will study:
- EITHER Dissertation OR Journalism Special Investigation
You will choose one option from:
- Writing and Producing Magazines
- Money, Government and Power
- Global Journalism and Human Rights
- Digital Media and Democracy
- News, War and Peace
You will choose one further option from:
- Workplace Discourse
- Writing to Persuade
- English in a Historical Perspective
- English in the World
- Researching English Vocabulary
As well as the standard lecture and seminar format of learning, there is also a hugely practical element to your study. Practical workshop sessions and group-based activities will sometimes see you producing magazines, newspapers or web pages to a deadline. We prize this training aspect of the course.
The formal Placement and Digital Portfolio unit in the third year requires students to organise their own placement under the guidance of specialist staff and often drawing on the contacts of journalism lecturers. Extensive guidance is given to students in lectures and seminars on how to obtain the placement and what to do to gain the best possible experience while there. Employers for these placements complete a pre-placement health and safety check and an end of placement report form, highlighting the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and this is discussed in tutorials with each student on their return to university.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
- Year one students: 28% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 72% studying independently and 0% on work placement
- Year two students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 79% studying independently and 0% on work placement
- Year three students: 10% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 90% studying independently and 0% on work placement
We assess you in a range of ways, including through:
- essays and close textual analysis
- in-class tests
- media artefacts
- seminar presentations
- a 10,000-word dissertation
At the end of the third year formal placement, students complete an assessed piece of work – an evaluative report analysing the employer’s role in the industry and reflecting on their own personal and professional development.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
- Year one students: 37% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 59% by coursework
- Year two students: 15% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 68% by coursework
- Year three students: 0% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework
Our students work on real-life journalism in our state-of-the-art newsrooms under the watchful eye of real journalists. We combine that with rigorous background theory and it's all aimed at preparing them for life as a multi-skilled journalist who can cope with the pressures and demands of employers when they first step into a newsroom.
Facilities & Features
Opened in 2007 by former Times editor Charles Wilson, our industry-standard newsroom is home to Portsmouth's journalism students. It’s equipped with the latest hardware and software used by today’s press, replicating the activity and experience of professional journalists.
You'll also become familiar with the tools and techniques used by correspondents out in the field, from cameras to data connections.
Studying at Portsmouth
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network, so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, in addition to the University's 3rd Space.
We encourage our journalism students to gain the work experience in newsrooms that journalistic employers, in particular, expect their new staff to have. Students should expect to gain at least two weeks’ work placement each year while at university, and most gain much more, some obtaining 10 weeks or more by the time they graduate.
A wide range of employers are keen to offer valuable placement opportunities to students on University of Portsmouth programmes. These include national, regional and local newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and online publications and companies involved in public relations, corporate communications and marketing.
Editors and reporters from newspapers and magazines visit throughout the year and give great advice and insider tips.
Sarah Morcom, BA (Hons) Journalism with English Language student
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. These will be in the region of £500. You will be required to contribute towards the cost of any repeat examinations to gain professional accreditation. These costs range from £25 - £45.
Careers & Opportunities
This is a vocational course, and we would expect you to graduate with the skills needed to find employment as a journalist on websites, magazines and newspapers. However, this is not the only route open to you; you’ll gain valuable transferable skills in analysis, writing, presentation, editing, design, and so on, which will stand you in good stead to enter a wide range of careers.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- campaign assistant
- editorial assistant
- PR and marketing assistant
- trainee reporter
In your third year, you may complete a ten-day journalism-based work placement. This is a great opportunity to gain relevant work experience, learn more about the professional application of journalism and produce material for your portfolio which may also be used for NCTJ professional qualifications. What’s more, impress future employers by getting some real-life work experience under your belt. Past students have gained work placements on a variety of weekly, evening and national newspapers, national magazines, radio and television stations and web publications.
This course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you’re involved in alongside your study. A sandwich year is also available, and we positively encourage informal journalism placements in holiday periods. Informal placements are not
assessed, but are still added to your CV as they add to employability at the end of the degree.
For all placement opportunities, the team from the Faculty Placement and Internship Centre can help with approaching companies and applications. It also has a jobs board advertising current positions.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
The teachers who all have a background in journalism have also been extremely useful, from their good advice to their expert teaching skills. Also, their journalism contacts have helped me with obtaining work experience throughout my degree.
Rachael Job, BA (Hons) Journalism with English Language student 2013