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 2020
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Do you want to study the UK's best Journalism undergraduate degree? Our BA (Hons) Journalism course has been awarded the Best Performing Undergraduate Course for 2017-18 by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). This is based on the number of students gaining the Gold Standard for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism. 

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 in this field.

From learning how to podcast, 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.

Accredited by

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.

95% Graduates in work or further study (Unistats data on DLHE 2017)

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this Journalism degree 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

Careers and opportunities

Having an NCTJ-accredited degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism gives you many career options.

What can you do with a Journalism degree?

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

What jobs can you do with a Journalism degree?

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.

The University of Portsmouth's Journalism degree was exciting, enjoyable and everything I needed to walk straight into a full-time reporter's role at a daily newspaper.

Byron Melton, BA (Hons) Journalism

What's the future demand for journalism graduates?

The world always needs journalists to tell us what’s going on. Hard copy print media such as newspapers and magazines may be on the decline but digital versions are replacing them. Meanwhile, social media and other opportunities for online reporting also help keep demand high for journalists.

Online reporting is expanding all the time, creating new opportunities and redefining the role of the journalist. Related industries such as PR or communications also attract journalism graduates with strong transferable skills.

Graduates of this journalism course will have the multimedia skills to take advantage of the changing nature of journalism.

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Journalism degree

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

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

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll practice good academic writing, note-taking, referencing and research skills. You'll also learn about the requirements, conventions and academic skills for undergraduate study.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Write a competent undergraduate essay according to the university’s guidelines on referencing and bibliographic presentation
  • Identify appropriate study methods to facilitate your academic progress
  • Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses in terms of transferable and subject specific skills
  • Recognise basic employability skills related to the journalism industry
  • Understand and engage with academic texts
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars, lectures and a practical class.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 156 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,250-word written assignment including essay (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also explore digital media issues such as ethics, veracity of sources, how to engage and develop audiences, social media, and the opportunities and threats posed by digital content providers. You'll learn to produce work that conforms to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) Code of Practice. The module will also contribute to the requirements of the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the veracity and value of online sources
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in the context of digital journalism content
  • Demonstrate an understanding of developments in digital reporting techniques and content
  • Apply creative and imaginative practical journalism techniques in a digital context, including written, audio and visual elements
  • Reflect on the impact of digital journalistic content on online audiences
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study relevant philosophies, debating whether it would be better to adopt a deontological or teleological stance as a practising journalist. You'll also get an introduction to current affairs. This will include how reporting can change depending on the publication, the medium and the country.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on the morality of journalistic behaviour
  • Relate practical journalism skills to a theoretical framework
  • Articulate and discuss ethical issues via an individual presentation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of current affairs issues
  • Analyse differences in press coverage of current affairs
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (25% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical awareness of the historical development of modern journalism
  • Provide an understanding of the relationship between the journalist, power and society
  • Provide an understanding of the interaction between technology and journalism
  • Apply empirical and normative theories of journalism to understand how communication and media affect society
  • Develop an awareness of the importance of ethics and communication law to the practice of journalism
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500 coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop your knowledge of how media law impacts publishing platforms in England and Wales and the legal pitfalls facing journalists and publishers. This module prepares you for the National Council for the Training of Journalists' professional examinations in Essential Media Law and Regulation and Media Law: Court Reporting. It will also contribute to your understanding of the NCTJ’s Ethics and Regulation module.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Assess the dangers and defences in key areas of media law impacting on journalists working in a variety of platforms
  • Explain how key reporting restrictions impact on crime and court reporting
  • Examine the current application of media law by the UK news media
  • Analyse scenarios and advise an appropriate course of action
  • Assess the impact of statutory and voluntary regulatory systems on the UK news media
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 123 hours studying independently. This is around 7 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word essay (40% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour written exam (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine current journalism techniques and explore the development and application of these skills against an ethical background. You'll learn to produce work that conforms to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) Code of Practice. This module will also contribute to the requirements for the news writing examination of the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate creative newswriting techniques, writing copy to the required style and length, as well as to a professional deadline
  • Assess and select the strongest news angle for a news story
  • Reflect upon the legal and ethical constraints upon journalists
  • Assess and demonstrate an understanding of the audience across media platforms
  • Imaginatively apply the skills needed to build an online portfolio of journalism
  • Work independently to source news and feature content appropriate to digital platforms
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes, workshops and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 700-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

The module will focus on how to develop a feature, with an introduction on specific types of features content. gain during the module will help you meet the requirements of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Write a review for a chosen publication, to deadline
  • Demonstrate journalistic skills and judgement when selecting a feature for a named publication
  • Produce a feature to an editorial standard suitable for a named media platform and audience
  • Critically evaluate the differing needs of audiences across print and digital media organisations
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of features content in engaging audiences, driving traffic and generating revenue
  • Learn and apply different research methods used in Journalism and Media studies and produce a research proposal
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes, workshops and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 153 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 250-word coursework exercise (20% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (40% of final mark)
  • a 750-word coursework exercise (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

This module prepares you for the National Council for the Training of Journalists professional examinations in Essential Media Law and Regulation and Media Law: Court Reporting. It contributes to your understanding of the NCTJ’s Ethics and Regulation module, and you will also develop shorthand skills in preparation for the NCTJ exams in shorthand, a core part of the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Assess the dangers and defences in key areas of media law which impact on journalists working on a variety of platforms
  • Explain how key reporting restrictions impact on crime and court reporting
  • Examine the current application of media law by the UK news media
  • Analyse scenarios and advise on an appropriate course of action
  • Assess the impact of statutory and voluntary regulatory systems on the UK news media
  • Record information accurately using shorthand
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 92 hours studying independently. This is around 6 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute written exam (65% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour practical skills assessment (35% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within self-employment, freelancing or business start-ups
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within your chosen area of employment
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll do this by engaging in interdisciplinary work, developing an appreciation of other creative disciplines and understanding how professionals collaborate.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate independent, analytical and creative attributes
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective team player, able to provide leadership and to support the success of others
  • Communicate clearly and effectively using various methods and to different audiences
Teaching activities

On this module you'll work independently and in groups with regular tutorial support, and also attend some briefings and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a group presentation (40% of final mark)
  • an individual portfolio (40% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study relevant philosophies, debating whether it would be better to adopt a deontological or teleological stance as a practising journalist. You'll also learn about key issues facing the journalism industry, including public interest, privacy, regulation and chequebook journalism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on the morality of journalistic behaviour
  • Compare and contrast philosophical theories in relation to issues raised in the practice of journalism
  • Critically examine a variety of key issues fundamental to the industry of journalism
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll follow the typical timeline of industry programme pre-production and learn the key skills of content generation, research and storytelling, to get your ideas off the ground. You'll also explore the key elements of producing a factual programme, how the commissioning process works, how to cast the right people, how to get your idea noticed and how to tell compelling stories.

What you'll learn

You’ll learn the key skills of content generation, research and storytelling.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work as part of an editorial team
  • Develop, pitch and produce factual programming to an industry standard
  • Produce factual media that is technically proficient for broadcast using video recording tools
  • Learn to pitch confidently, and to present and defend an original idea
  • Understand how the commissioning process works, from concept to transmission
  • Understand the factual narrative and develop a topic into TV
  • Critically evaluate a range of factual media programming for audience consumption
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral team assessment and accompanying paperwork (30% of final mark)
  • a 7-minute set team exercise and accompanying paperwork (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll work as part of an international team, communicating your findings in writing and through a web page.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Assess key theories in intercultural communication research
  • Collect data/information and analyse it from an intercultural perspective
  • Research a certain aspect of culture and communication 
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word coursework report (10% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework assignment (40% of final mark) – group website project
  • a 1,500-word written coursework assignment (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

Delivery of material will be based on a newsroom environment, and conform to the IPSO code of conduct. Your work on this module can also contribute to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification. You will also further develop shorthand skills, preparing you for the NCTJ examinations in shorthand, a core part of the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Produce a brief audio slideshow to a technical and editorial standard suitable for distribution via the web
  • Use traditional and social media news gathering techniques to generate real world stories from a geographical area to deadline
  • Consider legal, ethical and professional considerations in the newsroom and justify approaches
  • Record information accurately using shorthand
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 88 hours studying independently. This is around 5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a shorthand coursework test (35% of final mark)
  • a coursework portfolio (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine the history of public relations, terminology used, and practical skills required to work in the field.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically examine the roles and responsibilities of public relations work
  • Analyse and critique the linguistic differences between public relations material and journalistic writing
  • Research and produce materials for in-house public relations scenarios (including online)
  • Analyse the ethics of public relations and marketing
  • Demonstrate your ability to manage a PR campaign (including online and social media)
  • Work as a member of a group to research, prepare and deliver an oral presentation for an external client
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes, workshops and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word portfolio (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll produce video and photographic content for online platforms.Techniques learned and content created in the module will contribute to the National Council for the Training of Journalists' coursework requirements.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Construct visual content using a smartphone or tablet
  • Research and construct a journalistic package involving text, images and video
  • Justify and reflect on the execution of the smartphone package in the context of mobile journalism best practice
  • Demonstrate understanding of the potential of social media to drive web traffic
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend an introductory lecture, workshops, and a tutorial to prepare you for your final assessment.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework exercise (30% of final mark) – you'll create a short story for a mobile audience using text, images and video
  • a coursework exercise (70% of final mark) – a journalism content package created and edited entirely on your smartphone, for an online audience, including two short videos, a text story and a rationale

What you'll do

You'll form a small group (typically with 4 other students) and work through areas such as designing, manufacturing and pitching ideas. The knowledge and skill you will get through this module will help you to run your own business, but are also transferable skills you can use in many other careers.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on your effectiveness at tasks that use employability skills such as project planning, communication, time management, leadership and teamwork
  • Evaluate the theory and complete the practice of establishing and running a business enterprise
  • Understand the systems commonly used to plan, record and monitor business decisions and company transactions
  • Critically reflect on the factors that contribute towards the success or failure of business start ups
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently (including group work). This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • a 2,000 word report (50% of your final mark)
  • an oral assessment and presentation (50% of your final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll develop your writing and industry standard multimedia production skills, preparing you for roles in the modern journalism industry. This module will also contribute to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Organise, plan and execute journalistic work in news teams to a professional standard
  • Demonstrate and apply multimedia journalism techniques for a digital platform
  • Critically evaluate legal and ethical issues in newsroom practice
  • Analyse and apply decision making and news judgement skills
  • Apply software and production skills to video editing
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word essay (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

Your 10-day placement will be with a newspaper, magazine, broadcaster, and online publication, or within a public relations department or an organisation’s corporate communications function. You'll have the help of the work placement coordinator when arranging your placement.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Examine and evaluate a professional media organisation
  • Reflect on your performance in a working environment
  • Critically evaluate working practices, relationships with colleagues and key decision-making processes in a professional working environment
  • Review your own professional strengths and weaknesses in the light of experience and feedback from employers
Teaching activities

On this module you'll spend time on placement and attend seminars and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 174 hours studying independently, including your placement period. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll base your dissertation or project on your own enquiry and research of a specialised topic. Depending on the aims and methodologies of the project, your research can take many forms.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an achievable dissertation/research project proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry, within an ethical framework, to a specific and focused area relevant to Journalism
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning
  • Communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic community or civil society
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend project supervision meetings, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 382 hours studying independently. This is around 11.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word coursework exercise (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word dissertation (90% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice
  • Manage and complete tasks in a study abroad environment
  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Review your personal development
  • Review your employability prospects and how the placement has improved them
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll produce a series of investigative features on a linked them in print format for a specific target market. You'll carry out original interviews and material you produce may be suitable for various journalistic awards.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design a viable Journalism Special Investigation proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the field of Journalism
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis, researching and writing to a specific and focused area relevant to Journalism
  • Manage your own learning
  • Communicate according to relevant ethical frameworks in formats appropriate to a specific audience
  • Create material to a professional standard for a specified target publication
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend project supervision meetings and supervised time in studio/workshop.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 388 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (20% of final mark)
  • a 6,000-word portfolio (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

For example, does digital media provide effective forms of communication between citizens and politicians, or are Facebook and Twitter more suited to trolling? This module explores how emerging technologies are reshaping who holds power in a democracy.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop knowledge of digital media relevant to different actors of political communication, such as parties, social movements, and citizens
  • Critically evaluate the impact of digital media on political communication and democracy
  • Analyse the role of digital media in democratic governance
  • Apply empirical and normative theories of politics to understand how communication and media affect society
  • Evaluate the impact of digital media on political communication for wider audiences
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study the role and responsibility of journalism towards global issues such as conflict, disasters, and crisis. You'll also look at the media's potential to raise awareness of, ignore or misrepresent and even exacerbate human rights issues.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical awareness of the social role of journalism, and its potential to solve human rights issues
  • Examine contemporary human rights issues and their coverage in the news
  • Critically reflect on the determinants and factors that influence the reporting of human rights issues
  • Demonstrate theoretically informed approaches to, and close readings of, relevant texts and scholarship
  • Structure a mature and sophisticated argument informed by theoretical and empirical examples
  • Conduct independent targeted research that results in a critically, theoretically and empirically informed analysis
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also look at how the role and influence of global financial markets affect politics. To familiarise yourself with the markets, you'll take part in an informal stock market portfolio, buying and selling virtual shares.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Examine how the financial markets work
  • Critically evaluate the influence of the markets on the UK political process
  • Critically analyse how power in Britain is used
  • Examine and reflect on the ability of the press to hold those with power to account
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll learn what it means to work for a brand, and you'll produce content for various media platforms. You'll also learn about the difference between business, consumer and customer markets, and how to create an editorial mix for a flat plan.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Create an original magazine and explain its suitability for a particular market sector
  • Critically analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats posed by rival publications
  • Critically evaluate the marketing and branding process of magazines
  • Work constructively in an editorial team to produce a magazine to a professional standard
  • Produce flatplans and dummy issues of an original magazine
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 163 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word portfolio (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word portfolio (70% of final mark)

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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 or special investigation
  • 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

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.

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.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

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

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff who’ll teach you on this degree course. 

Ian Tapster, Course Leader
Ian spent 20 years working as a financial journalist at the Financial Times and The European, as well as running his own company. Ian’s teaching encompasses modules that cover British politics, current affairs and financial issues. He also maintains an interest in the importance of ethics in contemporary journalism.
Emma Beatty, Senior Lecturer
Emma delivers the magazine module for the Journalism course, having previously worked at The Royal Opera House as its Features Editor for online and digital copy. Before that, Emma was Deputy Editor of The Art Newspaper, a monthly publication for art world insiders, and prior to that, helped edit and produce Minerva, a journal for ancient art lovers.
Bernie Saunders, Senior Lecturer
Bernie is a Senior Lecturer in Media Law and Journalism. Bernie has been a journalist for nearly 40 years, working for regional and national publications at home and abroad, and has been involved in the education and training of journalists for many years. Bernie’s special areas of interest are media law, court and crime reporting, and news and feature writing.
Claire Perry, Senior Lecturer

Claire is a former journalist who has worked on a range of regional papers, covering general news, from council meetings to murder trials. She was also a features writer, trying her hand at flying planes and training with the England Women's football team. Claire has also worked as a music journalist and sports reporter, specialising in football and cricket.

Dr Susana Sampaio-Dias, Senior Lecturer
Susana worked as a journalist and news producer for RTP Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, the Portuguese public service broadcaster, before coming to Portsmouth. Susana lectures across the undergraduate programme in Journalism, including in theoretical and methodological modules, and specialises in teaching and researching human rights, press freedom and the security of journalists.
Dr James Dennis, Senior Lecturer

James is a specialist in political communication, with a particular focus on social media, political participation and citizenship, and digital news. His first monograph, Beyond Slacktivism: Political Participation on Social Media, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.

James also has experience working in industry, carrying out social media research with the BBC World Service and the British Council.
Catharine Russell, Senior Lecturer
Catharine began her career as a reporter, feature writer and sub-editor on regional newspapers before spending several years as Features Editor at the Press Association. Catharine went on to become an assistant editor at Teletext, the former ITV and Channel 4 text service, and more recently has worked in marketing and PR at a number of UK universities. Catharine now delivers a range of journalism and public relations units.
Mary Williams, Principal Lecturer

Mary is a smartphone journalism specialist, focusing on the impact of mobile devices and associated emerging and immersive technology on content creation and delivery in journalism and HE teaching. She also teaches all types of reporting from social-friendly content to longform articles across news and sports journalism, video filming and editing. Her background involves working for media and PR companies.

Gillian Wray, Senior Teaching Fellow

Gillian Wray is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Gillian is the Level 5 Year Tutor and is the co-ordinator for the Academic and Professional Skills module. She teaches shorthand at Level 5, supervises sandwich placements and is the School academic lead for Student Wellbeing.

Ask me anything about BA (Hons) Journalism
An 'ask me anything' session with BA (Hons) Journalism Course Leader, Ian Tapster

Watch this video for answers to questions such as 'What career prospects could I expect from completing this course?' and 'How does this course keep up-to-date with current issues and topics?'

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Journalism degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, workshops  for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

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

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You’ll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

Student support advisor

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

Academic skills tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Creative skills tutors

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

IT and computing support

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty 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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Journalism degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

See alternative English language qualifications

Selection process
  • Evidence of interest and some relevant experience in Journalism will be required. All applicants will be invited to attend a workshop, which will include an NCTJ story writing task.

What skills and qualities do I need for this journalism degree course?

As well as meeting the entry requirements, you'll need good written English skills, curiosity, enthusiasm, adaptability, determination and a willingness to meet people.

How can I prepare for this journalism degree?

Evidence of good ability in written and spoken English is required, so having a GCSE in English is essential.

Many applicants take humanities-related A level subjects that sharpen their writing skills, such as English, politics, media studies or history. However, journalism covers many areas, so knowledge of science-related subjects is also useful.

Try to gain work experience on a local publication, or on a school or college newspaper or magazine.

You could also start a personal blog as this shows initiative and gets you used to writing regularly.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,300 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 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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 module 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 £13–£55.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Common journalism questions

Journalism is all about finding things out, making sense of them and passing on that information.

This could be through a sports report, a fashion show feature, a campaign, or holding powerful people and organisations to account.

Journalists need determination, stamina, a good sense of humour, self-confidence, curiosity and the ability to get on with people from all backgrounds.

A reporter reports the news for immediate delivery, while a journalist will try to get under the surface to discover the background to the story.

You'll learn how to tackle both of these roles on this course.

A degree in journalism teaches you all the basic skills you need to become a practising journalist. It also provides you with transferable academic skills and knowledge of journalism's place and role in a modern society.

Journalism is exciting, challenging, rewarding and no days are the same. You meet fascinating people and cover stories that make a difference to people's lives.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

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

If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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. 

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.

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