This degree programme is the broadest of our comprehensive suite of specialist journalism courses that lead to both an honours degree and the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, the nationally recognised industry entry qualification. The combination of qualifications will significantly boost your employability as a journalist.
In the first year – the foundation year – you will study 4 modules; a subject-related module, a numeracy skills module, a study skills-related module called 'Succeeding at University and Beyond' and a foundation project module. After completion of this foundation year, you will then move onto the Journalism honours degree course.
Once on the Journalism degree course, we will introduce you to different types of journalism. This is common to most of our journalism courses – it’s a great chance to see what kind of journalism suits you best. During the second and third years, you will study topics in more depth, among them Multi-Platform News, Media Law and Media Ethics. You can also choose an option in a specific genre such as Magazine Writing, Sports Writing, Investigative Journalism, or Entertainments and Games Journalism.
In your final year, you will go on a placement to a newspaper or online news organisation and you will undertake a project, a large-scale piece of journalism which will add significantly to the portfolio of work you can present to prospective employers.
Teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations, seminars, workshops, group projects and practical skills work. All our teaching staff have worked as journalists and have strong links with regional employers and industry organisations. We also invite experienced industry professionals to carry out regular guest lectures and classes.
Assessment is split between portfolios of practical work, essays, examinations, reports and presentations.
The Media, Humanities and Creative Industries Integrated Foundation Year includes four modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Optional modules are also available (across all three stages) such as Media Photography, Magazine Writing, Public Relations, Social Media Practice, Broadcast Journalism, TV/Radio Production, Foreign Languages, Media Theory.
Shorthand (additional module) - Learn the system of rapid handwriting, a skill used by journalists to quickly transcribe the spoken word.
The David Puttnam Media Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.
The Foundation Year will be £4,000. For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250, but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the three years.
In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.
Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.
If you are a full-time UK student you will be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This degree prepares you for a wide range of careers in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, Public Relations and new media industries. It is also highly relevant to many positions in industry, commerce and the Civil Service, as well as to jobs in the arts and voluntary sectors.
Recent journalism graduates from Sunderland have gained jobs with employers such as Sky, MTV, The Guardian, Racing Post, ITV, Elle, regional newspapers and PR companies.
Real-world Experience – right on campus
Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle Journalists, get advice from former Sky News Journalists and see a Newsroom in action in our innovative mediaHUB.
You have the opportunity to be actively involved in Spark Sunderland, the 24/7 Community Radio station based in the Media Centre. Spark has won many awards including four golds at the Student Radio Awards 2012, and holds the Nations and Regions Award for Best Radio Station in the North East. Students are responsible for all news-gathering, programme production and advertising.
Sunderland’s daily newspaper, The Sunderland Echo, has a weekly page called 'On Campus' that is written entirely by students at the University. It’s an opportunity to find and research your own stories, take photographs, meet deadlines and see your name in print.
Other opportunities for real-world experience available on campus include Spark online magazine, the Fashion North website, the SR-News website, the Northern Lights website and SportsByte, which are all linked to our Journalism and Media courses.
Superb industry links
Be inspired by our academics and their strong industry contacts. Our experienced academics who have years of industry expertise at high levels in print, online and broadcasting including the BBC, Daily Mirror, Grazia, Private Eye and Sky.
Rub shoulders with regional and national high-profile journalists such as Kevin Maguire, Associate Editor at the Daily Mirror and Visiting Professor in Journalism at the University, and ITV News Correspondent Alastair Stewart. Both regularly visit the University along with a host of experienced journalists to give insight into the industry via masterclasses and lectures.
Broaden your horizons with inspiring trips – recently students have enjoyed visits to London fashion masterclasses, press access to Wembley finals and Europa league games at FC Schalke 04 in Germany.
You can undertake a work placement module during your course. Placements can be with newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV and PR companies.
All students studying on-campus undergraduate Journalism courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp. By the term placement, we mean we are offering you a taste of the industry which might last anything from two days to four weeks on a part-time basis.
Join Award Winners
Our students and graduates have been making a splash, winning awards and prizes across the board.