Journalism student takes shorthand
UCAS Code
P500
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Do you have the ambition to become a reporter who keeps the public informed and holds those in power to account? This BA (Hons) Journalism degree course – accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) – will prepare you for a career as a journalist.

Learn how to uncover and write breaking news stories, produce publications across print and digital media, and adapt to the fast-paced 24-hour news environment.

Earn the industry-recognised NCTJ Diploma in Journalism with help from our teaching team of experienced journalists, hone your craft on professional placements and become an outstanding journalist any editor would appoint.

Course highlights

  • Stand out to future employers by taking exams leading to the gold-standard NCTJ Diploma in Journalism
  • Learn from lecturing journalists with experience in international, national, regional and online publications
  • Expand your network by meeting visiting professionals from organisations such as Dream Team FC, The Times, Novara Media, Sky News and the Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street
  • Gain industry experience with a 10-day journalism-based work placement and an optional placement year
  • Take shorthand training to capture information at a writing speed of up to 100 words per minute
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), one of three professional bodies that accredits journalism training in the UK. You'll automatically be entered into the examinations that lead to the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

The NCTJ accreditation also lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work as a journalist when you graduate. This gives you an edge over students who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

From work placement to full time role at Portsmouth Football Club

Ollie Marsh, a graduate of our BA (Hons) Journalism degree, now works for Portsmouth Football Club in the media team. Find out how he achieved his dream: from doing a work placement at the club, to securing a full time position.

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Journalism

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–120 points (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25 

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

All applicants will be invited to attend a workshop – which will include an NCTJ story writing task – and must bring a portfolio of work.

For more information on the workshop and how to put together a portfolio, read our Journalism creative portfolio guide.

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Your facilities

Newsroom

Engage in hands-on learning and practical workshops in our newsroom, using the same hardware and software as news professionals. It features 25 Apple iMac computers with suites of image-editing, design and audiovisual tools as well as large monitors and TVs with Google Chromecast and 4K Apple TV capability.

More about the newsroom

Careers and opportunities

The world always needs qualified journalists to tell us what’s going on. Print media such as newspapers and magazines may be on the decline, but digital versions are replacing them.

Online reporting is expanding all the time, creating new opportunities and redefining the role of the journalist. Related industries such as PR or communications also attract journalism graduates with strong transferable skills.

With a Journalism degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, you'll have the multimedia skills to take advantage of the changing nature of journalism.

You can also continue your studies to postgraduate level.

Graduate roles

Our graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • trainee reporter
  • social media editor
  • campaign assistant
  • public relations account executive
  • digital marketing executive
  • sports reporter

Graduate areas

Our graduates have worked in areas such as:

  • national, regional and local newspapers
  • magazines
  • radio and television stations
  • online publications
  • public relations
  • corporate communications and marketing
  • digital marketing and social media

Ongoing careers support

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience. You can also venture into freelancing, or set up and run your own business with help from the University Startup Team.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

A woman in a black frill top, standing by a white wall, smiling to camera

...I've absolutely loved my journey at the University of Portsmouth and have completed a course that has significantly helped my professional development and boosted my future career prospects.

Dina Grinevica, BA (Hons) Journalism alumna

Placements

Our Journalism courses offer two placement opportunities during your studies – a placement year and a 10-day work placement.

  • The placement year is optional. It takes place between your second and third year, and you can work in any area you choose. You can work for an agency, company or organisation, or join forces with fellow students to set up and run your own business.
  • The 10-day work placement is essential. It happens during your final year, and is strictly journalism-based. You'll work with a company or agency.

Both placements will give you longer-term industry skills, knowledge and experience, as well as boost your CV and employability after graduation.

To make sure you get the most out of your time in the workplace, you'll get support from specialist staff before and throughout your placement – including our Creative Careers team.

Creative Careers

Our in-faculty Creative Careers team has extensive recruitment experience and knows the creative sector well, making it easier for students to find placements within the creative industries.

They can guide you through every step of the application process, including:

  • Searching for the ideal job through their database of vacancies
  • Giving tips on how to write an interesting CV that will catch employers' attention, no matter the role
  • Organising mock interviews, so you can hone your technique and familiarise yourself with the recruitment environment
  • Writing your startup business proposal – if you're going down the self-employment route

The team will continue to give you support throughout your placement year.

Featured placement

Emma – JaxPR

Emma, interning as a Marketing Assistant, reveals how she adapted to the pandemic and the skills and new career potentials she's discovered during her one-year placement.

Read Emma's placement story

Placement destinations

We have links with many well-known media organisations. Previous students have done placements at locations such as:

  • The Daily Telegraph
  • The Daily Mirror
  • The Sun
  • The Daily Mail
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Vogue
  • Heat
  • Reveal
  • BBC
  • Sky Sports

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Journalism degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll practice good academic writing, note-taking, referencing and research skills. You'll also learn about the requirements, conventions and academic skills for undergraduate study.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Write a competent undergraduate essay according to the university’s guidelines on referencing and bibliographic presentation
  • Identify appropriate study methods to facilitate your academic progress
  • Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses in terms of transferable and subject specific skills
  • Recognise basic employability skills related to the journalism industry
  • Understand and engage with academic texts
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars, lectures and a practical class.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 156 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,250-word written assignment including essay (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also explore digital media issues such as ethics, veracity of sources, how to engage and develop audiences, social media, and the opportunities and threats posed by digital content providers. You'll learn to produce work that conforms to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) Code of Practice. The module will also contribute to the requirements of the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the veracity and value of online sources
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in the context of digital journalism content
  • Demonstrate an understanding of developments in digital reporting techniques and content
  • Apply creative and imaginative practical journalism techniques in a digital context, including written, audio and visual elements
  • Reflect on the impact of digital journalistic content on online audiences
Teaching activities
  • 44 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 4 hours of tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 156 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study relevant philosophies, debating whether it would be better to adopt a deontological or teleological stance as a practising journalist. You'll also get an introduction to current affairs. This will include how reporting can change depending on the publication, the medium and the country.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on the morality of journalistic behaviour
  • Relate practical journalism skills to a theoretical framework
  • Articulate and discuss ethical issues via an individual presentation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of current affairs issues
  • Analyse differences in press coverage of current affairs
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (25% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical awareness of the historical development of modern journalism
  • Provide an understanding of the relationship between the journalist, power and society
  • Provide an understanding of the interaction between technology and journalism
  • Apply empirical and normative theories of journalism to understand how communication and media affect society
  • Develop an awareness of the importance of ethics and communication law to the practice of journalism
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500 coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop your knowledge of how media law impacts publishing platforms in England and Wales and the legal pitfalls facing journalists and publishers. This module prepares you for the National Council for the Training of Journalists' professional examinations in Essential Media Law and Regulation and Media Law: Court Reporting. It will also contribute to your understanding of the NCTJ’s Ethics and Regulation module.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Assess the dangers and defences in key areas of media law impacting on journalists working in a variety of platforms
  • Explain how key reporting restrictions impact on crime and court reporting
  • Examine the current application of media law by the UK news media
  • Analyse scenarios and advise an appropriate course of action
  • Assess the impact of statutory and voluntary regulatory systems on the UK news media
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 123 hours studying independently. This is around 7 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word essay (40% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour written exam (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine current journalism techniques and explore the development and application of these skills against an ethical background. You'll learn to produce work that conforms to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) Code of Practice. This module will also contribute to the requirements for the news writing examination of the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate creative newswriting techniques, writing copy to the required style and length, as well as to a professional deadline
  • Assess and select the strongest news angle for a news story
  • Reflect upon the legal and ethical constraints upon journalists
  • Assess and demonstrate an understanding of the audience across media platforms
  • Imaginatively apply the skills needed to build an online portfolio of journalism
  • Work independently to source news and feature content appropriate to digital platforms
Teaching activities
  • 44 hours of practical classes, workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 700-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

The module will focus on how to develop a feature, with an introduction on specific types of features content. gain during the module will help you meet the requirements of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Write a review for a chosen publication, to deadline
  • Demonstrate journalistic skills and judgement when selecting a feature for a named publication
  • Produce a feature to an editorial standard suitable for a named media platform and audience
  • Critically evaluate the differing needs of audiences across print and digital media organisations
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of features content in engaging audiences, driving traffic and generating revenue
  • Learn and apply different research methods used in Journalism and Media studies and produce a research proposal
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes, workshops and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 153 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 250-word coursework exercise (20% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (40% of final mark)
  • a 750-word coursework exercise (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll gain a broad overview of how local and central government operate and interact. You'll also study shorthand, in preparation for the NCTJ shorthand exams. Gaining these qualifications will help you gain the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, and provide you with core employability skills for a career in journalism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyse how British central and local government works
  • Examine the relationship between central and local government
  • Record information accurately using shorthand
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
  • 55 hours of practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 112 hours studying independently. This is around 7 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • an 800-word written assessment (30% of final mark)
  • a set exercise, as a 1-hour exam (35% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (35% of final mark)

What you'll do

Delivery of material will be based on a newsroom environment, and conform to the IPSO code of conduct. Your work on this module can also contribute to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification. You will also further develop shorthand skills, preparing you for the NCTJ examinations in shorthand, a core part of the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse a published dataset and apply decision making and news judgement skills
  • Generate a range of real world stories from a geographical area to deadline using traditional and social media newsgathering techniques
  • Consider legal, ethical and professional considerations in the newsroom and justify approaches
  • Record information accurately using shorthand
Teaching activities
  • 88 hours of practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 112 hours studying independently. This is around 7 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework portfolio (40% of final mark)
  • coursework assignment including a 500-word essay (25% of final mark)
  • an exam (35% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll produce video and photographic content for online platforms.Techniques learned and content created in the module will contribute to the National Council for the Training of Journalists' coursework requirements.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Construct visual content using a smartphone or tablet
  • Research and construct a journalistic package involving text, images and video
  • Justify and reflect on the execution of the smartphone package in the context of mobile journalism best practice
  • Demonstrate understanding of the potential of social media to drive web traffic
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend an introductory lecture, workshops, and a tutorial to prepare you for your final assessment.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework exercise (30% of final mark) – you'll create a short story for a mobile audience using text, images and video
  • a coursework exercise (70% of final mark) – a journalism content package created and edited entirely on your smartphone, for an online audience, including two short videos, a text story and a rationale

What you'll do

You'll also explore the impact of social media companies on the news industry. This module will develop your knowledge of participatory journalism and user-generated content.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the impact of social media on journalism
  • Recognise and contrast the techniques and strategies used by news organisations in response to the challenges of digital news
  • Critically evaluate how social media is changing the relationship between journalists and the audience
  • Apply empirical and normative theories of media and communication to understand the implications of social journalism for civic learning and citizenship

 

Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500 word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000 word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

Optional modules

This module combines the Work Placement and Self Employed Placement, so you can alternate between shorter periods of an industrial placement or start-up experience.

What you'll do and learn

With the support of the Creative Careers team, you can find, apply for and complete a year of a work placement with a variety of employers - previous placements have been offered from NBC, Disney, Warner Bros. and a variety of SME's in the region.

Teaching activities

You'll be offered supervisor visits (online, by phone or in person) to support your experience in the workplace.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of your final mark).

 

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within self-employment, freelancing or business start-ups
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within your chosen area of employment
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll do this by engaging in interdisciplinary work, developing an appreciation of other creative disciplines and understanding how professionals collaborate.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate independent, analytical and creative attributes
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective team player, able to provide leadership and to support the success of others
  • Communicate clearly and effectively using various methods and to different audiences
Teaching activities

On this module you'll work independently and in groups with regular tutorial support, and also attend some briefings and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a group presentation (40% of final mark)
  • an individual portfolio (40% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll follow the typical timeline of industry programme pre-production and learn the key skills of content generation, research and storytelling, to get your ideas off the ground. You'll also explore the key elements of producing a factual programme, how the commissioning process works, how to cast the right people, how to get your idea noticed and how to tell compelling stories.

What you'll learn

You’ll learn the key skills of content generation, research and storytelling.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work as part of an editorial team
  • Develop, pitch and produce factual programming to an industry standard
  • Produce factual media that is technically proficient for broadcast using video recording tools
  • Learn to pitch confidently, and to present and defend an original idea
  • Understand how the commissioning process works, from concept to transmission
  • Understand the factual narrative and develop a topic into TV
  • Critically evaluate a range of factual media programming for audience consumption
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral team assessment and accompanying paperwork (30% of final mark)
  • a 7-minute set team exercise and accompanying paperwork (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

Study abroad placements are done in year 3 of a 4 year sandwich degree structure. Enhance your learning experience by adding a global dimension to your studies and develop knowledge and skills essential for roles in the global workforce. Participation in this module is subject to a selection process, supply and demand you'll be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Where activity is to be undertaken in a non-English speaking country, you'l need to evidence your language ability and plans for improving your language competency.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your course within a global context
  • Manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Reflect critically on your personal development during your study abroad, identifying the transferable skills you acquired and their relevance to future study and employability
Teaching activities
  • 5 hours of tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 20 hours studying independently. This is around half an hour a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000 portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

What you'll do

Study abroad placements are done in year 2 of a three year degree. Enhance your learning experience by adding a global dimension to your studies and develop knowledge and skills essential for roles in the global workforce. Participation in this module is subject to a selection process, supply and demand you'll be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Where travelling to a non-English speaking country, you'l need to evidence your language ability and plans for improving your language competency.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your course within a global context
  • Manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Reflect critically on your personal development during your study abroad, identifying the transferable skills you acquired and their relevance to future study and employability
Teaching activities
  • 3 hours of tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 20 hours studying independently. This is around 1 hour a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000 portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

What you'll do

You'll examine the history of public relations, terminology used, and practical skills required to work in the field.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically examine the roles and responsibilities of public relations work
  • Analyse and critique the linguistic differences between public relations material and journalistic writing
  • Research and produce materials for in-house public relations scenarios (including online)
  • Analyse the ethics of public relations and marketing
  • Demonstrate your ability to manage a PR campaign (including online and social media)
  • Work as a member of a group to research, prepare and deliver an oral presentation for an external client
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes, workshops and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (35% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word portfolio (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll get experience in the newsroom, producing specialist journalism copy to industry standards and deadlines. The specialist areas of journalism you can choose from are music, sport, or fashion and lifestyle.

What you'll learn

You’ll learn the key skills of content generation, research and storytelling.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise and reflect on the changing issues and context of specialist journalism in the digital age
  • Produce a package of specialist journalistic stories to deadline
  • Critically analyse the social and cultural issues surrounding your specialised area
  • Research and produce specialist journalistic copy for digital and/or print media platforms showing an appreciation of the needs of the audience
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework portfolio (60% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll form a small group (typically with 4 other students) and work through areas such as designing, manufacturing and pitching ideas. The knowledge and skill you will get through this module will help you to run your own business, but are also transferable skills you can use in many other careers.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on your effectiveness at tasks that use employability skills such as project planning, communication, time management, leadership and teamwork
  • Evaluate the theory and complete the practice of establishing and running a business enterprise
  • Understand the systems commonly used to plan, record and monitor business decisions and company transactions
  • Critically reflect on the factors that contribute towards the success or failure of business start ups
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently (including group work). This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • a 2,000 word report (50% of your final mark)
  • an oral assessment and presentation (50% of your final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll develop your writing and industry standard multimedia production skills, preparing you for roles in the modern journalism industry. This module will also contribute to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ ePortfolio qualification.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Organise, plan and execute journalistic work in news teams to a professional standard
  • Demonstrate and apply multimedia journalism techniques for a digital platform
  • Critically evaluate legal and ethical issues in newsroom practice
  • Analyse and apply decision making and news judgement skills
  • Apply software and production skills to video editing
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (70% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word essay (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

Your 10-day placement will be with a newspaper, magazine, broadcaster, and online publication, or within a public relations department or an organisation’s corporate communications function. You'll have the help of the work placement coordinator when arranging your placement.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Examine and evaluate a professional media organisation
  • Reflect on your performance in a working environment
  • Critically evaluate working practices, relationships with colleagues and key decision-making processes in a professional working environment
  • Review your own professional strengths and weaknesses in the light of experience and feedback from employers
Teaching activities
  • 37.5 hours on placement
  • 20 hours of seminars
  • a 2-hour lecture
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 140 hours studying independently, including your placement period. This is around 7 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll base your dissertation or project on your own enquiry and research of a specialised topic. Depending on the aims and methodologies of the project, your research can take many forms.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an achievable dissertation/research project proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry, within an ethical framework, to a specific and focused area relevant to Journalism
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning
  • Communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic community or civil society
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend project supervision meetings, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 382 hours studying independently. This is around 11.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word coursework exercise (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word dissertation (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

Study abroad placements are done in year 3 of a 4 year sandwich degree structure. Enhance your learning experience by adding a global dimension to your studies and develop knowledge and skills essential for roles in the global workforce. Participation in this module is subject to a selection process, supply and demand you'll be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Where activity is to be undertaken in a non-English speaking country, you'l need to evidence your language ability and plans for improving your language competency.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your course within a global context
  • Manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Reflect critically on your personal development during your study abroad, identifying the transferable skills you acquired and their relevance to future study and employability
Teaching activities
  • 5 hours of tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 20 hours studying independently. This is around half an hour a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000 portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

What you'll do

Study abroad placements are done in year 2 of a three year degree. Enhance your learning experience by adding a global dimension to your studies and develop knowledge and skills essential for roles in the global workforce. Participation in this module is subject to a selection process, supply and demand you'll be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Where travelling to a non-English speaking country, you'l need to evidence your language ability and plans for improving your language competency.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your course within a global context
  • Manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Reflect critically on your personal development during your study abroad, identifying the transferable skills you acquired and their relevance to future study and employability
Teaching activities
  • 3 hours of tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 20 hours studying independently. This is around 1 hour a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000 portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

What you'll do

You'll produce a series of investigative features on a linked them in print format for a specific target market. You'll carry out original interviews and material you produce may be suitable for various journalistic awards.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design a viable Journalism Special Investigation proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the field of Journalism
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis, researching and writing to a specific and focused area relevant to Journalism
  • Manage your own learning
  • Communicate according to relevant ethical frameworks in formats appropriate to a specific audience
  • Create material to a professional standard for a specified target publication
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend project supervision meetings and supervised time in studio/workshop.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 388 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (20% of final mark)
  • a 6,000-word portfolio (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

For example, does digital media provide effective forms of communication between citizens and politicians, or are Facebook and Twitter more suited to trolling? This module explores how emerging technologies are reshaping who holds power in a democracy.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop knowledge of digital media relevant to different actors of political communication, such as parties, social movements, and citizens
  • Critically evaluate the impact of digital media on political communication and democracy
  • Analyse the role of digital media in democratic governance
  • Apply empirical and normative theories of politics to understand how communication and media affect society
  • Evaluate the impact of digital media on political communication for wider audiences
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study the role and responsibility of journalism towards global issues such as conflict, disasters, and crisis. You'll also look at the media's potential to raise awareness of, ignore or misrepresent and even exacerbate human rights issues.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical awareness of the social role of journalism, and its potential to solve human rights issues
  • Examine contemporary human rights issues and their coverage in the news
  • Critically reflect on the determinants and factors that influence the reporting of human rights issues
  • Demonstrate theoretically informed approaches to, and close readings of, relevant texts and scholarship
  • Structure a mature and sophisticated argument informed by theoretical and empirical examples
  • Conduct independent targeted research that results in a critically, theoretically and empirically informed analysis
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also look at how the role and influence of global financial markets affect politics. To familiarise yourself with the markets, you'll take part in an informal stock market portfolio, buying and selling virtual shares.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Examine how the financial markets work
  • Critically evaluate the influence of the markets on the UK political process
  • Critically analyse how power in Britain is used
  • Examine and reflect on the ability of the press to hold those with power to account
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll learn what it means to work for a brand, and you'll produce content for various media platforms. You'll also learn about the difference between business, consumer and customer markets, and how to create an editorial mix for a flat plan.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Create an original magazine and explain its suitability for a particular market sector
  • Critically analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats posed by rival publications
  • Critically evaluate the marketing and branding process of magazines
  • Work constructively in an editorial team to produce a magazine to a professional standard
  • Produce flatplans and dummy issues of an original magazine
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 163 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word portfolio (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word portfolio (70% of final mark)

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

  • essays and close textual analysis
  • in-class tests
  • media artefacts
  • seminar presentations
  • a 10,000-word dissertation or special investigation
  • post-placement assessment

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical workshops
  • group-based activities, including magazine, newspaper and Web page production
  • work placements

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this degree course.

Ian spent 20 years working as a financial journalist at the Financial Times and The European, as well as running his own company. Ian’s teaching encompasses modules that cover British politics, current affairs and financial issues. He also maintains an interest in the importance of ethics in contemporary journalism.

Emma delivers the magazine module for the Journalism course, having previously worked at The Royal Opera House as its Features Editor for online and digital copy. Before that, Emma was Deputy Editor of The Art Newspaper, a monthly publication for art world insiders, and prior to that, helped edit and produce Minerva, a journal for ancient art lovers.

Claire is a former journalist who has worked on a range of regional papers, covering general news, from council meetings to murder trials. She was also a features writer, trying her hand at flying planes and training with the England Women's football team. Claire has also worked as a music journalist and sports reporter, specialising in football and cricket.

Susana worked as a journalist and news producer for RTP Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, the Portuguese public service broadcaster, before coming to Portsmouth. Susana lectures across the undergraduate programme in Journalism, including in theoretical and methodological modules, and specialises in teaching and researching human rights, press freedom and the security of journalists.

James is a specialist in political communication, with a particular focus on social media, political participation and citizenship, and digital news. His first monograph, Beyond Slacktivism: Political Participation on Social Media, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.

James also has experience working in industry, carrying out social media research with the BBC World Service and the British Council.

Catharine began her career as a reporter, feature writer and sub-editor on regional newspapers before spending several years as Features Editor at the Press Association. Catharine went on to become an assistant editor at Teletext, the former ITV and Channel 4 text service, and more recently has worked in marketing and PR at a number of UK universities. Catharine now delivers a range of journalism and public relations units.

Mary is a smartphone journalism specialist, focusing on the impact of mobile devices and associated emerging and immersive technology on content creation and delivery in journalism and HE teaching. She also teaches all types of reporting from social-friendly content to longform articles across news and sports journalism, video filming and editing. Her background involves working for media and PR companies.

Paul spent 15 years working in regional newspapers, including The News in Portsmouth. During this time he worked as a news editor and also edited three monthly newspapers. After a brief spell in PR, he went on to manage award-winning NCTJ-accredited diploma courses, training students and apprentices.

Paul teaches across several units including media law, reporting, newsroom production and magazine journalism.

Rae is a Teeline shorthand specialist having trained as a journalist at the University of Portsmouth, and has taught shorthand on various undergraduate degree programmes.

Rae has also spent time working in factual television production, gaining credits as both a production coordinator and researcher, with a particular focus on true crime.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Journalism degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, workshops  for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You’ll do a placement module on this course, the cost of which is included in your course fees. But you’ll have to cover travel costs yourself. These will vary from £50–£500 depending on the location and duration of the placement.

You’ll need to contribute towards the cost of any exams you repeat to get professional accreditation during the course. These costs range from £13–£55.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – P500
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What skills and qualities do I need for this journalism degree course?

As well as meeting the entry requirements, you'll need good written English skills, curiosity, enthusiasm, adaptability, determination and a willingness to meet people.

How can I prepare for this journalism degree?

Evidence of good ability in written and spoken English is required, so having a GCSE in English is essential.

Many applicants take humanities-related A level subjects that sharpen their writing skills, such as English, politics, media studies or history. However, journalism covers many areas, so knowledge of science-related subjects is also useful.

Try to gain work experience on a local publication, or on a school or college newspaper or magazine.

You could also start a personal blog as this shows initiative and gets you used to writing regularly.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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