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Course starts: 18 September 2023Apply now
Sky Sports News, BBC Sport, Everton FC, West Ham United FC, golf’s DP World 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.
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:
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.
Gain an introduction to the roles of sports journalists. Learn the history and traditions of sports journalism, recent developments in the profession and current sports news issues. Develop an understanding of key sports, and how these sports are structured and run. Build your sports journalism skills writing content for the SportsByte website and learn techniques for analysing a variety of sports reporting.
Discover a range of tools and techniques for publishing sports content online. Learn how to use a basic content management system to create a website and populate the site with a range of written, audio and visual content. Explore techniques for curating content, gathering user-generated content and interacting with audiences.
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.
Develop the skills needed to prepare and write a variety of sports copy, and to film, record and edit broadcast sports journalism content. Learn how to gather relevant information from interviews and press conferences, and how to write for/broadcast the various stages of the sports news cycle, contributing regular content for the SportsByte website.
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.
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.
Get prepared for life working in the media department of a professional sporting organisation. Discover the employment opportunities for sports journalism graduates in this field. Learn about the differing priorities of “club” journalism versus traditional sports journalism, the dynamics of daily interaction with high-profile players, coaches and club executives, and how to promote a club “brand” across a range of multimedia platforms while maintaining editorial standards.
Choose from a range of modules including: Reporting Public Affairs; Design and Editing Skills; Broadcast Sports Reporting.
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.
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.
Builds on skills developed in earlier modules to gain a systematic and critical understanding of the skills required to be a sports news journalist. Develop your sports news writing skills, while learning how to source and investigate your own, original sports stories, greatly expanding your portfolio of published work.
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: Reporting Public Affairs; Design and Editing Skills; Broadcast Sports Reporting.
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, 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.
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.
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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