Journalism BA (Hons)

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Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

If you are applying for the full-time course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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Get a solid grounding in journalism practices before specialising if you wish to. Get published from day one in the mediaHUB, our bustling multimedia newsroom, home to BBC Newcastle in Sunderland. Graduate with an NCTJ Diploma and a portfolio of published work to impress prospective employers.

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Overview

This course gives you an understanding of the different types of Journalism, allowing you to explore and uncover your area of interest. You’ll have access to industry experts, placements, field trips and publishing opportunities that build your skills as a Journalist. Graduate with both an honours degree and the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, the nationally recognised industry entry qualification, significantly boosting your employability as a journalist.

Increase your practical experience by taking on reporting, editing and/or managerial roles on one our websites covering sport, news, entertainment and fashion. Get involved in award winning Spark Sunderland or Spark magazine, all based in our innovative mediaHUB, BBC Newcastle’s home in Sunderland and host to visiting Journalists from organisations such as Trinity Mirror (Newcastle Chronicle, Journal) and Johnston Press (Sunderland Echo).

NCTJ Accredited Course Logo       125 wide BBC Newcastle Logo

Why us?

  • Accredited by the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ)
  • Take advantage of facilities such as 360 degree cameras, the bustling mediaHUB, TV studios, radio studios and our 204-seater cinema
  • Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle Journalists, based in our innovative mediaHUB
  • Broadcast weekly TV shows, present and produce on Spark Sunderland, our 24/7 FM radio station
  • All our teaching staff have worked as senior journalists
  • Superb industry contacts with regular masterclasses and news-days run by Sky News, Sky Sports News, BBC, ITV and Guardian journalists
  • Guaranteed placements, including opportunities at the biggest broadcasters in the world
  • 95% of our BA (Hons) Journalism students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students)

Course structure

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.

During the first year, we will introduce you to different types of journalism, give you an understanding of Media Law and online skills – 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, you’ll experience our Newsroom in action and consider Multi-Platform News, and Media Ethics, and undertake a shorthand course free of charge. You'll also have optional modules in specific genres 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’ll also undertake a project, a large-scale piece of journalism which will add significantly to the portfolio of work you can present to prospective employers.

Part-time study

If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the day time and you will be studying alongside full-time students.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Essential Journalism (20 credits)

Essential journalism toolkit – learn what a journalist does and how you can get started.

  • Media Histories (20 credits)

Understand the development of the mass media from inception to present day.

  • Feature Writing (20 credits)

Develop your writing style and learn how to communicate clearly and effectively.

  • Essential Media Law and Regulation (20 credits)

What you can say and when can you say it. Essential for media professionals.

  • Digital Storytelling (20 credits)

Develop skills in non-traditional storytelling techniques for an online audience.

 

Optional modules are also available (across all three stages) such as Media Photography, Magazine Writing, Fashion Journalism, Public Relations, Sports Journalism, Social Media Practice, Broadcast Journalism, TV/Radio Production, Foreign Languages, Media Theory.

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Journalism and PR Studies (20 credits)

Examine various approaches to studying journalism and PR. Shorthand Learn the system of rapid handwriting, a skill used by journalists to quickly transcribe the spoken word.

  • Video Journalism (20 credits)

Find interesting stories, and shoot and edit them into compelling video content.

  • Design and Production Journalism (20 credits)

Use professional tools and software, experiment with design for print and digital platforms.

  • Newsroom (20 credits)

Experience the thrill of working in a live newsroom in our state-of-the-art Media Hub.

  • Public Affairs (20 credits)

Learn how to report power, how key organisations work and where to go to find the important stories.

 

Optional module

  • Shorthand

Learn the system of rapid handwriting, a skill used by journalists to quickly transcribe the spoken word.

 

Final year (national level 6):

  • Multi-Platform News (20 credits)

Work on gathering a variety of original work for your portfolio using a range of journalistic styles.

  • Journalism Practice, including placement (20 credits)

Gain valuable experience during a two-week work placement and learn how news organisations work.

  • Media Ethics (20 credits)

Explore the concepts of freedom of expression, looking at the conflicts between public interest and personal privacy.

  • Journalism Practical Project (40 credits)

Plan and produce a piece of independent work such as a magazine, a series of in-depth articles or a website. Shorthand 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,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.911899,-1.372815

  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Resources which will be particularly useful for Journalism and Media studies include:

    • Lexis, which provides full-text newspaper articles as well as access to legal information
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
    • British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research
    • Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Library Services - journalism and media
  • The mediaHUB is a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre where you will get a real taste of life as a working journalist.

    BBC Newcastle have a team of journalists based here, and they are joined by visiting journalists from organisations such as Trinity Mirror (Newcastle Chronicle, Journal) and Johnston Press (Sunderland Echo).

    The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning radio station Spark, and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

    The ground-breaking workspace is designed to be a professional environment and even has a cloud filled sky line, funky colour scheme and a shed for a meeting room. It includes plenty of workstations each with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS, and a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. The whole space is managed by an ex-Sky Journalist, who is on hand, with her team to point you in the right direction.

    The mediaHUB
  • Learn in our 203 seat cinema and 7.1 surround sound facility. Get hands-on in our two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities. Access four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. Our field camera systems, comprises Blackmagic Ursa, Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro, Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with associated location kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

    Get experience with Made in Tyne & Wear, based in the Media Centre providing placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates.

    Go on-air in one of five radio studios, including a larger radio drama studio and a transmission suite for Spark, our award winning student-run community radio station. Spark has a target audience of 15 to 24 year-olds and broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Develop your skills in our digital audio post-production area with voice-over booths and 70 workstations with state-of-the-art HD Edit systems, including Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Premier Pro. You'll also use DaVinci Resolve for colour correction. 

    TV and radio studios

Facilities

The David Puttnam Media Centre is a thriving place to study and experience media. Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle and Made in Tyne & Wear, who are both based in the building. Volunteer with award winning Spark Sunderland, write for one of our suite of websites or edit Spark Magazine in our mediaHUB. Get hands on in TV and Radio Studios, Journalism and Digital editing suites. Learn from experts in this centre of excellence for training.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is


  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement


If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at admissions@sunderland.ac.uk for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

If successful you will be required to attend an applicant day where you will have a short informal interview with an academic member of staff.

Fees and finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an International student

Part-time fees

Tuition fees for part-time home and EU students are £5,000 per 120 credits. Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, find out more here.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student at the graduation ceremony

Employment

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 master classes, press access to Wembley finals and Europa league games at FC Schalke 04 in Germany.

Work placements

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.

  • Ben Holden won the NCTJ Sports Journalism award 2016, winning a space in the NFL press box at Wembley match to see the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals
  • Eve Conlon, took Bronze at The Charles Parker Prize 2016 for her piece Student Gamblers. and featured in a special programme on BBC Radio 4 Extra
  • Alice Winney, won the Royal Television Society North East Student Award for News 2017 for her story about flooding in Corbridge
  • Bethany Elsey, shortlisted for Royal Television Society North East Student Award for Best Documentary
  • Amy Stark, won NCTJ Best Student Project 2016 for her project Weird and Wonderful Subcultures
  • Luke Bidwell, highly commended NCTJ Student Sports Journalism Award 2016
  • Sophie Dishman, highly commended for Best Reporter in the National Student Publication Association (SPA) Awards 2017
  • Ryan Lim, shortlisted for Best Photographer in the National Student Publication Association (SPA) Awards 2017
  • The University of Sunderland was an amazing stepping stone to help me kick-start my career.
    BethanyJaneElsey-course

    Bethany-Jane Elsey

Meet our academics

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