Journalism BA (Hons)

Journalism student takes shorthand
UCAS Code
P500
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2018, September 2019
Recognised
Yes

Overview

The profession of journalism has evolved rapidly over the last few years and the skills you need to excel as a journalist have changed. If you want to hold those in power to account and keep the public informed, educated and entertained, this NCTJ-accredited BA (Hons) Journalism degree course prepares you for a career as in this field.

From learning how to webcast, produce apps, layout magazine spreads and create video reports to the important skills of uncovering and writing breaking stories to deadline, you'll learn how to make the most of everything that today's 24-hour rolling news culture throws at you.

Whether your interests lie in news reporting, coverage of sport or reviewing the latest films and music, you'll develop the essential skills and experience to send you to the top of any editor's wish list.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Put your skills into practice in our newsroom equipped with the latest hardware and software used by the press
  • Work as an editorial team with other students to produce magazines, newspapers and Web articles to deadline
  • Have the chance to take exams that lead to the industry-recognised National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Diploma in Journalism
  • Learn from expert journalists who have experience working on international, national, regional and online publications
  • Work through a programme that we've developed with input from experts working at The Sun and The Daily Mail, regional media groups such as Johnston Press, Newsquest and Trinity Mirror and national public relations agencies
  • Get valuable experience and build industry contacts on a formal 10-day journalism-based work placement as part of your study
  • Have the opportunity to do further work placements throughout your degree, including a 1-year placement
  • Take shorthand training – you'll aim to reach writing speeds of 100 words per minute
  • Expand your network by meeting visiting professionals from industry bodies such as The Daily Mail, Dream Team FC, The Times, Novara Media, Sky News and the Cabinet Office
  • Study on a course rated 3rd in the country in the 2016 NCTJ league table for accredited undergraduate courses

Optional pathways

On this course, you can take an optional pathway into another subject of your choice. This will lead to one of these awards at the end of the course:

Work experience and career planning

10-day work placement

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, you'll do a 10-day work placement in your final year. We have links with many well-known media organisations. Previous students have done placements at locations such as:

  • The Daily Telegraph
  • The Daily Mirror
  • The Sun
  • The Daily Mail
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Vogue
  • Heat
  • Reveal
  • BBC

You'll get support from specialist staff before and throughout your placement to make sure you get the most out of your time in the workplace.

Other work experience

Our Careers and Employability service can also help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies, build your portfolio, develop your professional network and get your work seen by a wider audience.

Credits towards your degree

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Students have completed work placements at many top destinations, including:

  • Vogue
  • The Daily Telegraph
  • Sky Sports

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year and help with applications and interviews.

Careers and opportunities

Having an NCTJ-accredited degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism gives you many career options. Previous students have gone on to work in areas such as:

  • national, regional and local newspapers
  • magazines
  • radio and television stations
  • online publications
  • public relations
  • corporate communications and marketing
  • digital marketing and social media

Roles they've gone on to include:

  • trainee reporter
  • social media editor
  • campaign assistant
  • public relations account executive
  • digital marketing executive
  • sports reporter

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful freelancing careers with help and support from the University.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), one of three professional bodies that accredits journalism training in the UK. You'll automatically be entered into the examinations that lead to the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

The NCTJ accreditation also lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work as a journalist when you graduate. This gives you an edge over students who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.
Entry Requirements

  • 96-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Evidence of interest and some relevant experience in Journalism will be required. All applicants will be required to attend a workshop, which will include an admissions test.
    See the other qualifications we accept

  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Evidence of interest and some relevant experience in Journalism will be required. All applicants will be required to attend a workshop, which will include an admissions test.
    See the other qualifications we accept

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2018 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

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.

You’ll do a placement unit on this course, the cost of which is included in your course fees. But you’ll have to cover travel costs yourself. These will vary from £50–£500 depending on the location and duration of the placement.

You’ll need to contribute towards the cost of any exams you repeat to get professional accreditation during the course. These costs range from £25–£55.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Reporting
  • Digital Skills for Journalists
  • Journalism in Context
  • Academic and Professional Skills
  • Current Affairs
  • Government in Britain

There are no optional units in this year, although you can take NCTJ examinations in a variety of subject areas.

Core units in this year include:

  • Law for Journalists
  • Newsbeat
  • Feature Writing and News Analysis
  • Mobile and Social Journalism

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Sports Journalism
  • Press and Public Relations
  • Ethical Issues in Modern Journalism
  • Music Journalism

Core units in this year include:

  • Newsroom Production
  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Placement

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Final year project: a choice between a Dissertation or Journalism Special Investigation
  • Global Journalism and Human Rights
  • Money, Government and Power

You can also take NCTJ examinations in a variety of subject areas.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical workshops
  • group-based activities, including magazine, newspaper and Web page production
  • work placements

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There's no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 31% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 69% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 31% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 69% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 12% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 82% studying independently and 6% on work placement

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays and close textual analysis
  • in-class tests
  • media artefacts
  • seminar presentations
  • a 10,000-word dissertation
  • post-placement assessment

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

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 1 students: 22% by written exams and 78% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 15% by written exams, 23% by practical exams and 62% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 7% by practical exams and 93% by coursework

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

Apply

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

How to apply

Want to start this course this year?

There are still a few places available. To discuss your options and secure your place, give us a call on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or ask us to call you back.

Want to start this course in 2019?

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – P500
  • our institution code – P80

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Contact information
  • Admissions
  • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Get in touch

Programme specification
Subject Area
Media and journalism
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