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Course starts: 18 September 2023Apply now
Sky Sports News, BBC Sport, Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, Everton FC, Newcastle United FC, golf’s Ryder Cup and 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 club executives, visit some of Europe’s finest football stadia, report on professional county cricket, produce your own website, sports TV episode or series of investigative sports articles – all while learning the latest techniques in digital, video and broadcast production sports journalism and studying for UK journalism’s gold standard qualification, the NCTJ Diploma.
You'll gain thorough training for life at sports media’s cutting edge while studying Sports Journalism at Sunderland. Working in the mediaHUB, you'll build your practical experience and portfolio of published work on SportsByte, our student-run website covering sport across the North East. Develop cutting-edge sports production techniques using our state-of-the-art TV studios and outside broadcast equipment. Learn about the day-to-day media operations of major sporting organisations in the Club Journalism module.
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.
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.
Gain an introduction to a range of tools and techniques for publishing sports content online. Learn how to use basic online sports journalism techniques, including use of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in headlines/intros and social media to promote online content, how to source and gather user-generated content, and adding genuine multimedia value to online content. Cover basic statistics and data journalism skills, and the possibilities for gathering and presenting stats/data effectively in sports content. Participate in workshops delivered by guest speakers from various online sports journalism platforms.
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.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
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, present 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.
Our typical offer is:
|High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade: SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement||GPA 3.0 or above and: Sat score of 1100/1600 from SATs AP (Grades 3+ in at least 2 subjects) ACT (score of 26+)|
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at email@example.com for further advice.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
If you are studying an HND or Foundation Degree you may be able to enter the final year of our degree courses. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our NCTJ accreditation, we will also invite you to an informal interview. We’d like to hear about you, why you’re interested in sports journalism, and tell you a bit more about our course and what makes us special.
The annual full-time fee for this course is:
The tuition fee includes the NCTJ exam fees. It covers the cost of one attempt at all seven exams required for the NCTJ Diploma, including each shorthand speed.
Tuition fees for part-time students are £6,935 per 120 credits. Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Student visa to study in the UK.
*European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area), and Swiss nationals who do not qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme are classed as international, however, for 23/24 admission you will receive a European student fee scholarship and will pay the home tuition fee rate for the duration of your studies. The discounted fee will be reflected in your offer letter. Learn 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 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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