If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.
Course starts: 18 September 2023Apply now
If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.
Course starts: 18 September 2023Apply now
This is a four-year version of our popular BA (Hons) Journalism course, with an integrated foundation year. Study a practical journalism degree, led by professional journalists who have worked for some of the UK’s biggest titles. Work closely with industry to learn the cutting-edge skills required to make your mark in the media. Become a journalist from the day you arrive and work for our award-winning radio station and websites.
On BA (Hons) Journalism, you'll learn all the essential skills of journalism, producing content for a wide range of print and online platforms while working in our own newsroom under the guidance of staff who have worked for the likes of the Mirror, Grazia, Private Eye and many more. We'll teach you how to write and research news stories and feature articles; create video and interactive content; design newspaper, web and magazine pages; and become adept in using all the latest digital storytelling tools for websites and social media. You'll also study the development of journalism and its principles and ethics.
A key element of this course is the range of optional subjects you can take, among them modules in sports writing, fashion journalism, public relations, and investigative journalism. You’ll significantly boost your employability by graduating with both an honours degree and the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, which is the foremost industry qualification required by most employers in the media.
Teaching methods include lectures, news days, seminars, workshops and group projects. 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.
In the foundation year – you will study five modules: a module about the foundations of humanities, journalism and media theory, an essential study skills module, a foundation project module, practical numeracy skills, and a multimedia communications module or a new century module depending on your degree choice. After completion of this foundation year, you will then move onto the Journalism honours degree course.
In the first year, we will introduce you to different types of journalism and give you an understanding of Media Law and the latest digital storytelling techniques – it’s a great chance to see what kind of journalism suits you best.
During the second and third years, you’ll study topics in more depth. You’ll experience our Newsroom in action, learn how to do newspaper, web and magazine design, develop your online skills in Multi-Platform News, and consider some of biggest global challenges facing journalism in Media Ethics. You’ll also undertake a shorthand course free of charge. Throughout your study you can add to your skillset with optional modules.
In your final year, you will go on a placement at any kind of journalism or communications organisation and you’ll undertake a project – a large-scale piece of journalism which will add significantly to the portfolio of work you can present to prospective employers.
The English, Journalism and Media Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:
Get an introduction to a variety of skills that are intended to ease the transition into Higher Education. Learn what is expected of you as an undergraduate student and how to adjust to degree level study.
Bridge the gap between Further Education and Higher Education. Understand the level of work you will be expected to do at University, how to become an independent learner and how to find answers yourself.
Investigate a topic area related to your degree programme. Projects will vary according to the degree programme of study but typically the formats would include: a review paper, a practical project or analysis of data for a report. Utilise the lectures and surgeries and gain specialist input into your proposed project. While the module is based around independent learning, tutors are on hand to guide the process through the use of weekly surgeries.
Explore a range of storytelling styles employed across the media and the different strategies used to appeal to different audiences. Look at the structure, style and purpose of feature writing, reviews, interviews and news reporting. Build your own portfolio of work, featuring a range of written stories created in the various styles and develop your writing skills, with particular focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Consolidating your numerical skills, see how these can be used in real-life applications, and consider how statistical results are presented, calculated and statistics misrepresented. See how to apply this knowledge in everyday life settings, both at work and at a personal level. Take responsibility for your own learning and ensuring you are able to manage your time and work independently.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Learn the laws and ethical codes journalists must consider when preparing and publishing legally-safe and ethically-responsible content for print, online, broadcast and social media platforms. Explore areas including anonymity, libel, privacy, copyright, contempt of court and other statutes which affect journalistic practice and output.
Trace the evolution of the mass media from the advent of print journalism in the 16th century, through the establishment of the press, radio and television industries to the multi-platform digital and online technology of today.
Learn role of the journalist and the range of practical skills needed to produce news, magazine and sports content, including research, newsgathering, interviewing, copy presentation and writing style.
Develop digital skills for an online audience such as infomaps, graphics and other non-traditional storytelling techniques.
Learn to write journalism in a more creative manner, using a sense of voice and some of the techniques of creative writing to produce informative, entertaining, and occasionally provocative articles for print and online. Look at aspects of journalistic style and consider the work of great feature writers and columnists.
Choose from a range of modules including: Essential Fashion Journalism; Online Sports Reporting; Introduction to PR Theory and Practice; Making of Popular Culture Style Icons and Subcultures; Club Journalism.
Learn how to write in a range of feature styles. Discover how to put together a long-form article that provides background and context for a news story. Build on the review-writing skills you acquired in your first year. Experiment with first-person profiles and discover the world of B2B writing.
Learn industry-standard production and design skills using professional software, while experimenting with tools for print and digital platforms. Build a critical awareness of the key elements of page design, grid structures, image manipulation and graphics and their relationship with magazine, paper and digital outlets, including editing copy and taking pages from concept to delivery.
Build on the principles and practice of journalistic thought and apply them to online reports in a newsroom setting. Learn how to produce stories for online platforms, edit and proof-read them, present them effectively, add interactive elements and publish them.
Learn the skills needed to produce, record and edit audio and video content for use across social and web platforms. Explore the various approaches and best practices that continue to evolve in audio and video journalism. Discover how to generate awareness, engagement and conversion on social platforms, and how to build and engage audiences and communities in digital spaces.
Choose from a range of modules including: Public Affairs Reporting; Fashion Journalism Newsdays; Fashion Styling; Practical PR Theory and Strategy; Advanced Sports Reporting; Club Journalism.
Learn Teeline, the system of rapid handwriting used by journalists to quickly capture the spoken word. Aim for 100 words per minute, the industry standard.
Explore new and emerging digital storytelling techniques that will help your work to thrive in an online space. Build on the traditional newsgathering and newswriting techniques you have covered so far. Learn how to create immersive news journalism using a wide range of interactive techniques. Thrive in newsrooms today, and for the next decade.
Prepare for graduate employment by creating a professional employability pack. Develop advanced understanding of the commercial, organisational, marketing and publishing facets of the journalism industry through workshops and lectures. Carry out a ten-day placement at a pre-approved media organisation with learning outcomes reflected in a logbook.
Plan and produce a piece of original work, such as writing and designing a magazine, researching and writing a series of in-depth investigative articles, setting up a website with appropriate content, producing a TV or radio documentary or creating a magazine or current affairs programme.
Choose from a range of modules including: Online Investigative Journalism; Popular Music Cultures; Broadcast Sports Reporting; Advanced Public Relations; Advanced Fashion Journalism Newsdays; Advanced Fashion Styling; E-Commerce; Sports News Portfolio.
Journalism may have been regarded as a soft option a few years ago. This is no longer the case, according to award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE. A revered media presence, here he shares his expert insight into the changing face of journalism and offers advice to aspiring journalists.
Discover what it takes to become a journalist
The University of Sunderland’s School of Media and Communications has a range of opportunities and an experienced academic team to help our journalism graduates stand out in a competitive sector.
Find out how to get the most out of your Journalism degree
Want to know what it takes to become a journalist? We asked British political journalist and Associate Editor at the Daily Mirror, Kevin Maguire, to share his expert insight into what it takes to make it in the journalism industry.
Find out what it takes to become a journalist
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 515 3154.
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, T 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.
Is your qualification not displaying here? For international qualifications, search our full list of international entry requirements for this course.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 if you are from the UK/Ireland/EU settled/pre-settled.
If you are a full-time UK/Irish/EU settled/EU pre-settled student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fees for the full four years. UK and EU settled students may also be eligible to receive a maintenance loan.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
Learn more about settled status, pre-settled status, special discounts, visa requirements and Common Travel Area (CTA) agreements for the Republic of Ireland applicants 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.
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 at Tyne & Wear TV, a professional TV station run from our Media Centre.
You have the opportunity to be actively involved in Spark Sunderland, the 24/7 community radio station. 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.
Superb industry links
Be inspired by our academics and their strong industry contacts. Our experienced academics have years of industry expertise at high levels in print, online and broadcasting, including the BBC, Daily Mirror, Grazia, Private Eye and Sky.
Meet 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 Alastair Stewart, presenter at GB News and formerly ITV News. 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 Dusseldorf and to MediaCityUK.
You will undertake a work placement module in your final year, though many of our students arrange placements across three years.
Recent BA (Hons) Journalism student placements include the Guardian, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail. These placements are often the first step to a dream job in journalism.
Join award winners
Our students and graduates have been making a splash, winning awards and prizes across the board.
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