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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
Sky Sports News, BBC Sport, Everton FC, West Ham United FC, golf’s European Tour, the Williams F1 team, national newspapers – just a few examples of careers that all started with this course. Report from the press box at Wembley Stadium, interview Premier League chief executives, visit some of Europe’s finest football stadia, report on professional county cricket and rugby union, produce your own website or series of investigative sports articles – all while learning the latest techniques in digital, video and broadcast sports journalism and studying for UK journalism’s gold standard qualification, the NCTJ Diploma.
Our students gain thorough training for life at sports media’s cutting edge while studying Sports Journalism at Sunderland. Build both your practical experience and portfolio of published work on SportsByte, our student-run website covering sport across the North East, in our innovative mediaHUB – BBC Newcastle’s home in Sunderland and host to visiting journalists from across the North East.
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 Sports Journalism honours degree course.
During the first year, we’ll set you up with the core skills of sports journalism, including training in writing styles, research and Media Law. You’ll look at both traditional sports reporting techniques and the contemporary skills of digital sports journalism. In the second and third years, you’ll study topics in more depth, sampling our state-of-the-art facilities and tackling Multimedia Sports Journalism, Advanced Sports Reporting, and Media Ethics, while training in shorthand – a skill hugely valued by employers such as Sky Sports News - free of charge.
Throughout your course, you can build both your practical experience and portfolio of published work by taking on reporting and/or editing roles on SportsByte, our student-run website covering sport across the North East, in our innovative mediaHUB - BBC Newcastle’s home in Sunderland and host to visiting journalists from organisations such as Reach PLC and JPI Media. You can also benefit from our exclusive link-ups with Durham County Cricket Club, Newcastle Falcons rugby club and Sunderland AFC – where a part-time internship is available each year to one third-year student - to gain invaluable match day and behind-the-scenes reporting experience of big sporting stages.
In your final year, you can have your sports content published by JPI Media each week for an entire semester, and go on work placement – putting what you’ve learnt into practice and also building crucial workplace relationships. You’ll undertake a practical project, 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 English, Journalism and Media Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:
Depending on the degree you wish to study after the Foundation Year, you will also take one of the following modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Develop the essential skills be a sports journalist such as finding a story, doing an interview and producing content that will get people talking.
Learn what it takes to make a story work online and develop the skills to be a club journalist.
Essential journalism toolkit – learn what a journalist does and how you can get started. Learn how to interview, structure stories and write.
Understand the development of newspapers and magazines through the decades.
Learn laws such as copyright, privacy and libel along with the ethical regulations which are essential for every professional journalist.
Develop digital skills for an online audience such as infomaps, graphics and other non-traditional storytelling techniques.
Learn how to thrive and survive in the pressured world of live match reporting.
Develop skills in filming and editing sports video, producing audio and infographics.
What influences how sports journalists work? And how does journalism shape our world? Do some original research on a sports subject of your choice.
Develop skills in shooting and editing video content to create compelling sports content for online audiences.
Get published and build your portfolio by finding, researching, interviewing and writing news stories in our state-of-the-art mediaHUB.
Learn some of the crucial knowledge and skills that help journalists scrutinize those in power and hold them to account.
Come up with a concept and look for a new sports magazine and design its pages.
Learn Teeline, the system of rapid handwriting, used by journalists to quickly write down the spoken word. Aim for 100 words per minute, the industry standard.
Produce content from a sports news-list provided by JPI Media and get published in the Sunderland Echo.
Create an interactive CV, learn how to win jobs through interview techniques, and gain valuable experience during a two-week work placement. Develop your own sports feature for publication with words, photos and video under real word pressure.
Discuss the daily dilemmas and global challenges facing journalists today.
Work with a tutor to plan and produce your own sports magazine, website or series of investigative articles.
Create a broadcast sports package, learn how to present a bulletin or commentate on the action.
Other optional modules from across the suite of Journalism courses are available.
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on email@example.com 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, 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.
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 writing and talking about sports in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and online media, as well as for clubs or brands. 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 experiences with employers such as Sky, Sky Sports, NFL, 4ThePlayer, The Racing Post, MTV, The Guardian, ITV, 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’ll be actively involved in the Sportsbyte website and have the opportunity to get involved in Spark Sunderland, the 24/7 community radio station based in the Media Centre. Spark has won many awards 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.
You’ll be taught in some of your classes by visiting lecturers who are current sports writers, editors and football club media managers.
Other opportunities for real-world experience include Spark online magazine and Fashion North, which are linked to our Journalism and Media courses.
Superb industry links
Our academics are industry experts and have excellent relationships across sports including PFA (Professional Footballers Association) magazine, 4ThePlayer, Sky Sports, ITV and BBC.
Broaden your horizons with inspiring trips – recently students have enjoyed trips to Barcelona, press access to Wembley finals and Europa league games at FC Schalke 04 in Germany.
Our students have attended Premier League matches in the press box to see sportswriters at work and have interviewed sports celebrities themselves. Two of our students even had a FIFA tournament on the pitch at SAFC with Jordan Pickford and Duncan Watmore.
In addition, our students have also covered tennis, golf, boxing, American Football, F1, hockey, gymnastics and many other sports.
You will undertake a work placement module in your final year, though many of our students arrange placements across three years. The placement can be at a sports newsdesk, sports magazine or sports club of your choice.
All students studying this course can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp. A placement offers you a taste of the industry and can 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.
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