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Are you a budding critic, publisher, or journalist?
Our BA (Hons) Journalism with Media Studies degree course gives you a critical understanding of the media field while providing a grounding in journalism disciplines and techniques.
You'll learn from published media researchers and expert journalists, as well as using professional-grade media analysis and production facilities. You’ll also develop transferable skills you'll be able to use in any profession.
With the option of taking industry placements and the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualifications, you can tailor your study on this course to fit your ideal journalistic or media career.
- Get further professional qualifications by taking National Council for Training Journalists (NCTJ) exams
- Refine your practice by learning from published media researchers and journalists with written and broadcast experience in local, regional, national and international journalism
- Learn more about the journalism and media industries by meeting visiting professionals from industry bodies – past guests include Dream Team FC, The Times, Novara Media, Sky News, and other local and national news and media outlets
- Gain valuable industry experience by taking optional placements throughout your degree
- Enhance your teamworking skills by collaborating with other students on other courses within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
- Capture information at up to 100 words per minute by taking shorthand training
for journalism in the UK
(Guardian University Guide, 2024)
BA (Hons) Journalism with Media Studies
- 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
Writers, journalists, and media professionals are needed across a wide range of sectors, with communications and marketing being the most popular. Due to the shift to digital and online platforms to adapt to the pandemic, this demand has grown. The non-specialist skills you'll graduate with will also help widen your career options.
The majority of our graduates are in professional roles within two years of graduating, with some progressing to postgraduate study or taking further teacher training to become educators.
Our graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:
- online, newspaper, magazine and broadcast journalism
- social media
- public relations
- corporate communications
- teaching (with further study)
Job roles our graduates have taken on include:
- campaign assistant
- editorial assistant
- PR and marketing 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.
My favourite part of the course is the range of units there are to choose from. The lecturers are all helpful and supportive. I also know there is a lot of mental health support available.
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, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
What you'll study
Core modules in this year include:
- Academic Skills and Career Planning – 20 credits
- Introduction to Media Studies – 20 credits
- Journalism in Context – 20 credits
- Media and the Image – 20 credits
- Media Law and Regulation – 20 credits
- Reporting – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- National Council for the Training of Journalists: Court Reporting – 0 credits
- National Council for the Training of Journalists: Essential Law – 0 credits
Core modules in this year include:
- Feature Writing and News Analysis – 20 credits
- Media Networks: Exploring Digital Culture – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits
- Factual Media Production – 20 credits
- Film, Media and Communication Study Exchange – 60 credits
- Investigative Journalism – 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
- Media, Culture and National Identity – 20 credits
- Mobile Journalism – 20 credits
- Press and Public Relations – 20 credits
- Professional Experience – 20 credits
- Propaganda – 20 credits
- Screen Media – 20 credits
Core modules in this year include.
- Dissertation / Special investigation – 40 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Celebrity and Society – 20 credits
- Cultures of Consumption – 20 credits
- Digital Media and Democracy – 20 credits
- Global Journalism and Human Rights – 20 credits
- Magazines: Print Media in a Digital World – 20 credits
- Media Fan Cultures – 20 credits
- Money, Government and Power – 20 credits
- News, War and Peace – 20 credits
- Placement – 20 credits
- Representing Science in the Media – 20 credits
On this course, you can do an optional work placement after your second or third year to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the 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, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. 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 a major project
- 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.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- practical workshop sessions
- group based activities
- producing magazines or webpages
Teaching staff profiles
These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this degree course.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Paul spent 15 years working in regional newspapers, including The News in Portsmouth. During this time he worked as a news editor and also edited three monthly newspapers. After a brief spell in PR, he went on to manage award-winning NCTJ-accredited diploma courses, training students and apprentices.
Paul teaches across several units including media law, reporting, newsroom production and magazine journalism.
Rae is a Teeline shorthand specialist having trained as a journalist at the University of Portsmouth, and has taught shorthand on various undergraduate degree programmes.
Rae has also spent time working in factual television production, gaining credits as both a production coordinator and researcher, with a particular focus on true crime.
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.
We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies. As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.
A typical week
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Journalism with Media Studies 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 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 have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
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.
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
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)
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 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.
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 – P5P3
- 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.