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If you love writing and reporting, our Journalism with Creative Writing degree course can help you turn your abilities with the written word into a fulfilling career.
You'll study, experience, and combine the complementary disciplines of factual journalism and creative writing. One day you might write a news report about a local charity or review a concert, and the next author a short story, a poem, or a play script.
You'll also develop research skills and learn about the structure and mechanisms of the industries you could end up working in – from getting a script approved to legal issues surrounding publishing news stories.
You’ll graduate ready to dive into a career in professional writing, with the skills and knowledge you need to get started in whichever writing field you choose.
- Get further professional journalistic qualifications by taking National Council for Training Journalists (NCTJ) exams
- Refine your practice by learning from published authors of novels, poetry and screenplays, and journalists with written and broadcast experience in local, regional, national and international journalism
- Grasp of the role of journalists in democratic society by learning about media law and industry code
- Enhance your discipline and teamworking skills by collaborating with other students on other courses within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
- Gain valuable industry knowledge and experience by taking an optional placement
- Capture information at 100 words-per-minute writing speed by taking shorthand training
for journalism in the UK
(Guardian University Guide, 2024)
Work towards your NCTJ Diploma
On this course, you can choose to take the examinations that lead to the industry-recognised NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.
If you want to do the full NCTJ diploma alongside your degree, apply for our BA (Hons) Journalism course instead.
Skills and qualities you 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.
BA (Hons) Journalism with Creative Writing
- A levels - BBB-BBC
- UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. (calculate your UCAS points)
- T-levels - Merit
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
- International Baccalaureate - 25
You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.
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.
We look at more than just your grades
While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.
Engage in hands-on learning and practical workshops in our newsroom, using the same hardware and software as news professionals. It features 25 Apple iMac computers with suites of image-editing, design and audiovisual tools as well as large monitors and TVs with Google Chromecast and 4K Apple TV capability.
Careers and opportunities
As traditional communication and literature move towards web and digital, the demand for journalists and writers is growing. Print newspapers and magazines may be declining, but digital versions are replacing them. In addition, social media, blogging, TV and film production, and other platforms contribute to the demand for journalists and writers. Graduates with strong transferable skills are also sought in related industries such as public relations or communications.
As a graduate, you'll have diverse writing skills that will help you in most sectors.
You can also freelance or pursue postgraduate studies.
Areas our graduates have gone onto include:
- broadcast, print and online journalism
- creative writing
- public relations
- arts management
Our graduates have worked in a variety of roles, including:
- trainee reporter
- social media editor
- digital marketing executive
- theatre manager
- editorial assistant
Ongoing careers support
Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience. You can also venture into freelancing, or set up and run your own business with help from the University Startup Team.
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
Our Journalism courses offer two placement opportunities during your studies: a placement year, and a 10-day work placement. Both placements are optional on our combined Journalism courses.
- The placement year takes place after your second or third year, and you can work in any area you choose. You can work for an agency, company or organisation, or join forces with fellow students to set up and run your own business.
- The 10-day work placement happens during your final year, and is strictly journalism-based. You'll work with a company or agency.
Both placements will give you longer-term industry skills, knowledge and experience, as well as boost your CV and employability after graduation.
To make sure you get the most out of your time in the workplace, you'll get support from specialist staff before and throughout your placement – including our Creative Careers team.
Our in-faculty Creative Careers team has extensive recruitment experience and knows the creative sector well, making it easier for students to find placements within the creative industries.
They can guide you through every step of the application process, including:
- Searching for the ideal job through their database of vacancies
- Giving tips on how to write an interesting CV that will catch employers' attention, no matter the role
- Organising mock interviews, so you can hone your technique and familiarise yourself with the recruitment environment
- Writing your startup business proposal – if you're going down the self-employment route
The team will continue to give you support throughout your placement year.
Should I go on a placement year?
It is not only about making tea and coffee in an office: a placement can transform your career, personal, and study development. Our students who've been on placements say they were the best experiences of their lives.
Find out more about the benefits of doing a placement on our Creative Careers blog.
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
- Sky Sports
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.
What you'll study
- Academic Skills and Career Planning – 20 credits
- Journalism in Context – 20 credits
- Media Law and Regulation (L4) – 20 credits
- Reporting – 20 credits
- Telling Tales – 20 credits
- True Stories – 20 credits
- Feature Writing and Media Research – 20 credits
- Creative Writing and Critical Thinking – 20 credits
- Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits
- Factual Media Production – 20 credits
- Feature Writing and Media Research – 20 credits
- Film, Media and Communication Study Exchange – 60 credits
- Finding Form - Fiction – 20 credits
- Finding Form - Nonfiction – 20 credits
- Finding Form - Speculative Fiction – 20 credits
- Investigative Journalism – 20 credits
- Mobile Journalism – 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language – 20 credits
- Press and Public Relations – 20 credits
- Professional Experience – 20 credits
- Social Media and Journalism – 20 credits
- Specialist Journalism – 20 credits
- Student Enterprise – 20 credits
- Dissertation – 40 credits
- Journalism Special Investigation – 40 credits
- Digital Media and Democracy – 20 credits
- Fact and Fiction – 20 credits
- Fan Fiction – 20 credits
- Global Journalism and Human Rights – 20 credits
- Magazines: Print Media in a Digital World – 20 credits
- Money, Government and Power – 20 credits
- Placement – 20 credits
- Travel Writing: Global and Local Engagements – 20 credits
- Writing Project (with Publishing) – 20 credits
On this course you can do an optional work placement after your second or third year to get valuable experience working in the journalism, advertising, public relations or marketing industries.
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 mentoring and support to make the most out of your placement year.
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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed. This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.
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.
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'll spend your time
One of the key differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision.
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.
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 support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:
Types of support
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.
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
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 require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.
You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.
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.
Course costs and funding
- 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 – £18,100 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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 need to contribute towards the cost of any exams you repeat to get professional accreditation during the course. These costs range from £13–£55.
If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)
How to apply
To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – P5W8
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
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.
Applying from outside the UK
As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things.
You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
Find out what additional information you need in 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.
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.