Journalism with Creative Writing BA (Hons)
BA Hons Journalism with Creative Writing
If prose is your passion, this Journalism with Creative Writing degree lets you keep your options open while you transform your talent with the written word into a successful career.
You'll learn about and experience factual reporting and fictional writing, combining the complementary disciplines of journalism and creative writing. You might compile a news report about a local charity or review a concert on one day, then the next day work on a short story, poem or play script.
You'll also hone your research skills and learn about the structure and mechanisms of the industries you could find yourself working in – from the process of getting a script approved to legal issues surrounding publishing news stories.
You'll graduate ready to get stuck into writing professionally, equipped with the knowledge and experience you need to get started in whichever field of writing you choose.
BA (Hons) Journalism with Creative Writing degree entry requirements
- A levels – BBB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112–120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 25
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this Journalism with Creative Writing degree course you'll:
- Combine the factual world of journalism with the fictional world of creative writing
- Learn how to research and write news stories and articles, and layout magazine pages
- Study modules from our BA (Hons) Journalism course, which was awarded the Best Performing Undergraduate Course for 2017–18 and 2018–19 by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)
- Get to grips with video as a journalistic and creative medium
- Have the opportunity to take NCTJ exams, giving you further professional qualifications
- Be taught by published authors of novels, poetry and screenplays, and journalists with written and broadcast experience in local, regional, national and international journalism
- Learn about media law and industry code, and get a deeper understanding of the role of journalists in a democratic society
- Develop the techniques you need to write effectively across many mediums, including magazines, TV screenplays, theatre scripts, and poetry
- Have access to our industry-standard journalism newsroom, exclusively open to journalism students, which contains 25 Macs loaded with the Adobe Creative Cloud 2019 suite
- Have the opportunity to work alongside students from related courses in TV and broadcasting, photography, and fashion, benefiting from their expertise and perspectives
Transferable skills you'll learn, which you can use in all areas of your life, include:
- Writing skills
- Professional interview techniques
- Communication skills
- The ability to research and synthesise arguments and information
- Presentation skills
Careers and opportunities
When you finish this Journalism with Creative Writing degree course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.
In the last DHLE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) survey published in 2017, 100% of our creative writing graduates and 95% of journalism graduates were in work or further study 6 months after graduation.
What can you do with a Journalism with Creative Writing degree?
Areas that you could go on to work in include:
- broadcast, print and online journalism
- creative writing
- public relations
- arts management
What jobs can you do with a Journalism with Creative Writing degree?
Previous graduates from our journalism and creative writing courses have gone on to work in roles including:
- trainee reporter
- social media editor
- digital marketing executive
- theatre manager
- editorial assistant
Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.
After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can 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 and build your CV.
What you'll study
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year (apart from your optional placement 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.
- Academic and Professional Skills
- Journalism in Context
- Law for Journalists
- True Stories
- Telling Tales
- Feature Writing and News Analysis
- Creative Writing and Critical Thinking
- Film, Media and Communication Study Exchange
- Smartphone Journalism
- Investigative Journalism
- Social Journalism Theory
- Specialist Journalism
- Press and Public Relations
- Finding Form – Fiction
- Finding Form - Non-Fiction
- Factual Media Production
- Professional Experience
- Engaged Citizenship through Interdisciplinary Practice
- Student Enterprise
On this course you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in the journalism, advertising, public relations or marketing industries.
Previous journalism and creative writing students have completed placements at organisations that include:
- Vogue Magazine
- The Daily Telegraph
- Sky Sports
- Red Apple Creative's audio book production team
- Debenhams' online in-house magazine
- Dolby Laboratories' field marketing team
You can also start your own business in your placement year.
We'll help you secure a placement that fits your career goals. You'll get support from our Placements Office with applications interviews and assessment days. You'll also get mentoring and support to make the most out of your placement year, including visits from lecturers.
- Journalism Special Investigation
- Journalism Dissertation
- Global Journalism and Human Rights
- Digital Media and Democracy
- Money, Government and Power
- Writing and Producing Magazines
- Fan Fiction
- Travel Writing
- Fact and Fiction
- Writing Project (with Publishing)
Changes to course content
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.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- practical workshops in the newsroom
- group-based activities, such as magazine and web-page production
- one-to-one tutorials
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- in-class tests
- media artefacts (e.g. producing a video or magazine)
- practical and written exams
- short stories
- a collection of poems
- a public relations campaign
- final-year dissertation
You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
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 with Creative Writing 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.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – early October to January
- Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
- Teaching block 2 – February to May
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
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:
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
- 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 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 In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £15,500 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.
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 modules.
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 need to contribute towards the cost of any exams you repeat to get professional accreditation during the course. These costs range from £13–£55.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – P5W8
- our institution code – P80
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’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
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.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What skills and qualities do I need for this Journalism with Creative Writing degree course?
As well as meeting the entry requirements, you'll need:
- excellent writing skills and a passion for writing
- a sense of curiosity and creativity
- a willingness to learn and develop yourself
- good communication skills
Starting a blog can demonstrate and enhance your writing skills before you apply. Experience in journalism is also a plus, such as working on a school or college paper.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.