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In the UK for Journalism, publishing and public relations in The Guardian University Guide 2021

Journalism BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): P502
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Course accreditation:

  • NCTJ logo

This dynamic and vocational award-winning course combines practical training in news journalism on all platforms – newspaper, magazine, mobile and tablet.

Digital technology has revolutionised the way we consume information, and journalists play a vital role in gathering information and reporting on unfolding world events, current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment across multiple platforms, to meet our increasingly voracious appetite for real-time news.

The BA (Hons) in Journalism has been developed in close association with major media organisations to provide an industry-recognised qualification that is highly valued by employers.

This course is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Why take a NCTJ-accredited course?

Courses accredited by the NCTJ teach the Diploma in Journalism, a key qualification in the industry which editors look for when hiring trainee journalists. While on the course you’ll sit NCTJ exams, leading to the NCTJ Diploma. All fees for these exams are included in your course costs.

Having the diploma qualification under your belt sets you apart from the rest and shows you have the knowledge, skills and aptitude to succeed in the newsroom. Some editors may not even consider an applicant if they haven’t achieved the diploma, so why close off those opportunities? The diploma will equip you with up-to-date skills in digital developments, social media, video, media law, ethics and much more.

Practical training in journalism is at the heart of all NCTJ-accredited courses and students are expected to report on patch, undertake work experience and take part in dedicated news production days.

NCTJ website 2020
  • NTU is in the UK’s Top 20 for Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations in the Guardian University Guide 2021 (20th).
  • NTU is in the UK’s Top 30 for Communication and Media Studies (including Journalism) in the Complete University Guide 2021 (25th).
 

Journalism facilities in the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism

Take a tour of the studios, newsroom and equipment you'll use on your course with your course leader, Tracy Powell

Video

What you’ll study

As well as the traditional skills of writing for newspapers and magazines, interviewing, media law, politics and shorthand, you’ll be given digital skills including writing for online, the use of social media in journalism, and creating and using video content. You’ll also gain a range of transferable skills that can be used in a range of media industries from public relations to communication officers.

Practical Journalism (40 credit points)

This module will provide you with an introduction to core journalism skills. It provides training in the practical and professional techniques required to produce news stories and features on a digital platform. This includes sourcing stories, research, interview techniques and writing for online. You will also be given basic training in filming and editing on mobile devices, using mobile journalism, and creating content for online news and features.
In this practical module you are also assessed on Professional Practice where you are assessed against the standard an editor or news editor would expect in a professional news environment.

Media Matters (20 credit points)

Develop a theoretical and critical understanding of the practices and processes of newspapers, magazines, radio, television and online journalism. You'll consider the relationship between society and media industries and investigate the ways that both influence each other.

Media Law 1: Covering the Courts (20 credit points)

Study the English legal system, courts, reporting restrictions and contempt, along with an introduction to court reporting. As part of the module you will also visit different courts to produce news reports from the proceedings. This module will give you an understanding of some of the legal rules which control broadcast media coverage of news stories as they break.

Social Media (20 credit points)

This module provides you with the knowledge to examine and analyse the impact of social media on the news industry as well as wider society, and introduces you to the tools and practices used by journalists to research and disseminate news across social media platforms.

Democracy in Action (20 credit points)

Examine the structure of the British political system, how it works, and how different branches interact. This module will give you a solid understanding of the basic features and operation of both central and local government. You'll also learn where to find information and interviewees on political stories and need to recognise current newsworthy issues relating to local and central government.

Semester One

Multiplatform Journalism (20 Credit Points)

This module builds on the journalism skills attained in Practical Journalism. It covers finding and researching stories and features, reporting, interviewing and production. You will expand your knowledge and experience of the working journalist, increasing your contacts and range of sources. You will increasingly work under professional conditions in a simulated newsroom with deadlines and will undertake a number of news days, where students will produce a newspaper to a set deadline.  You will be given sessions to prepare you for work placements.

Keeping out of Court (20 Credit Points)

This module introduces you to a number of important areas of law which has particular relevance to those involved in the media. You'll develop an understanding of many legal provisions which effect  the day-to-day activities of a working journalist. These include defamation, contempt, copyright, elections and sexual offences.

To complement these modules you'll select one of the following optional modules:

Journalism, Ethics and Society (20 credit points)

This module explores a range of ethical dilemmas, with a view to facilitating a responsible awareness of the role of the journalist in society. You will gain an insight into the key concepts regarding the production and practice of journalism. You will also develop a critical awareness of discourses pertaining to the changing form and functions of contemporary journalism within society.

Or

Political Journalism (20 credit points)

Looks at ethical issues and current controversies, such as fake news, propaganda, political partisanship, through the relationship between journalism and politics and its impact on past and current events.

Semester Two

Creative Journalism (20 credit points)

This module builds on the journalism skills attained in Practical Journalism and Multiplatform Journalism. It covers design and writing for magazines and their production. You will undertake a number of magazine news days where you will produce a magazine on a two-week production cycle. Editorial roles will be rotated. You'll also prepare for the NCTJ Essential Journalism exam, which will be taken towards the end of the module. This tests students’ ability at a practical level. Students opting for international exchange study will not take this module but will produce comparable work at the partner institution abroad.

Shorthand for Journalism

This module is taken as part of the NCTJ Diploma. You'll learn to write shorthand at 100 words per minute using Teeline. You'll learn how to write certain phrases as word groups and recognise these for accurate transcription. You can also take this module in Year 3 if necessary.

You'll then choose two modules from the following options:

Sports Journalism (20 credit points)

This practical module develops your theoretical and critical understanding of the role and coverage of sport in contemporary society, and gives you the skills needed to work as a sports reporter. You'll study the links between national, regional, and local identity and sport, reflecting on how the media shapes that identity. Alongside lectures and student presentations, expert guest speakers will explain the logistics of reporting on sport and provide a greater understanding of the practical aspects of sports reporting.

Global Journalism (20 credit points)

Gain an appreciation of the journalism industry from an international and global perspective in terms of both contemporary realities and theoretical concepts. The module features a range of visiting speakers including practising journalists with experience of working across the world in different cultures and political regimes. Alongside lectures and workshops, you'll investigate the work and practice of journalists across the world through special screenings and discussions.

Photojournalism (20 credit points)

This module enables you to demonstrate skills, knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of stills photography. You'll gain practical skills in image capture on still digital formats and the transmission of stills You'll be competent in producing stills for publication and demonstrate the ability to write clear and accurate captions and news stories.You'll understand photographic practice and media law and ethics relating to the publication of images from both professional photographers, citizen journalists and other external sources in newspapers, magazines and on related websites and social media.

Fashion Journalism (20 credit points)

This module will introduce you to the world of fashion and how it is covered by journalists online, in print and on TV/radio. You’ll study key trends in the industry, explore fashion design and manufacture, dissect brands and influencers, and learn how to analyse fashion from a journalist’s perspective.

Practical Production (40 credit points)

This module will prepare you for working in a newsroom and you will also learn and be assessed on podcasting and live blogs. This follows your professional placement and is based around a series of news days during which you will produce news stories and features for a newspaper/magazine. Through news days you'll work to conditions and will learn how to negotiate these constraints and produce work to deadlines. You'll also produce news for the online environment including writing for the web and uploading video and audio clips. Feedback sessions will give you guidance on their performance in a professional environment. The best examples of your work can also be used as a portfolio for prospective employers.

News Feature Project (40 credit points)

This module is a piece of independent work which builds upon your practical, intellectual and research skills. It is an opportunity for you to follow your own interests, demonstrate your strengths and produce a rigorously researched piece of original print feature, an online version of that feature, and a research essay on your chosen topic. This is a great opportunity to really show what you're capable of, and many students have gone on to use their features to impress prospective employers and also to win prestigious national awards.

You will then choose two of the following options:

Challenge and Conflict (20 credit points)

Media law is a dynamic subject and it is important that you are aware of the latest legal developments, this module provides you with an opportunity to refresh your legal knowledge so that you are ready for the world of work. You'll be able to research more varied areas of law which are of relevance to  journalists in order to demonstrate your critical understanding of a number of key legal principles.

Celebrity Journalism (20 credit points)

In this module you will examine and discuss journalism’s role in the foundation and maintenance of democracy. You will explore the journalists’ role as the guardians of freedom… as well as the disseminators of propaganda.

Magazine Journalism (20 credit points)

This module introduces you to the essential skills required to be a magazine journalist in digital and print formats and the key qualities and behaviours sought by editors. You'll develop an understanding of how to write for specialist and segmented audiences and how to identify, research and produce content ideas. You will practise these skills on a series of magazine production days.

PR and Communications (20 credit points)

This modules explains the key differences between PR and journalism; and how best to manage the PR practitioner/journalist relationship. You'll understand the way in which PR operates in the private, public and voluntary sectors; and the different types of PR employment, i.e. in-house, agency and freelance You'll use professional techniques and tools effectively to produce a basic PR campaign and create accurate and effective news releases suitable for publication in a variety of media outlets. You'll use social media to deliver PR objectives and understand the scope of the PR function, including crisis & reputation management, internal communications and event management.

Data Journalism

Explore the increasing importance of data to journalism and the value data has in developing stories.

NottsTV Pathway

We also offer this alternative route of study to selected third year students. This involves being attached to NottsTV, one of a number of hyper-local television stations licensed by Ofcom across the UK, and working as an intern within the station’s professional newsroom throughout your final year.

Journalism at Work (40 credit points)

A NottsTV attachment will be organised around a 2-week rotation with you spending one week working with the NottsTV news team and the alternate week attending scale-up workshops and working on a group project, guided by CBJ tutors.

Group Documentary Project (40 credit points)

This module aims to provide you with the experience of working as a team alongside others completing the third year of their degrees at Notts TV to achieve the collective goal of producing a factual TV documentary. The assessments for this module consist of a Group Project in the form of a TV documentary and its promotion via social media and websites plus a critical essay and a reflective essay.

News Feature Project (40 credit points)

This module is a piece of independent work which builds upon your practical, intellectual and research skills. It is an opportunity for you to follow your own interests, demonstrate your strengths and produce a rigorously researched piece of original print feature, an online version of that feature, and a research essay on your chosen topic. This is a great opportunity to really show what you're capable of, and many students have gone on to use their features to impress prospective employers and also to win prestigious national awards.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Matt Lee

Journalism

Media, journalism and communication

From day one you are encouraged to be out and about, talking to people in local communities, building a contacts book, finding news stories on social media and producing newsworthy content.

Eve Smallman

Broadcast Journalism

Media, journalism and communication

Over the summer I interned at Nottingham magazine LeftLion. I worked on their print magazine, online website, as well as being a key contributor on their Welcome to Nottingham guide. I got to interview Selasi from Bake Off for that, which was brilliant.

Harry Webster

Media, journalism and communication

It is a great feeling to go into work knowing that you are working for and representing one of the most high-profile football clubs in the world. This opportunity would not have been possible without this course and all those at NTU.

Isabelle Barker

Media, journalism and communication

A great part of the course is that you have to complete three weeks of work experience in your second year. This may seem daunting but my work placements have taught me so much and have massively contributed to me landing my graduate job!

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Because this is a highly vocational course, half of your time will be spent carrying out practical tasks including news days, presentations and live team projects. The other half of your time will be spent in academic study, including lectures and briefings, seminars and tutorials. You’ll also be involved in independent project work where you’ll have the support of NOW, or virtual learning environment.

How will I be assessed?

Each module is assessed separately and involves practical assessments such as essays, project work, competency portfolios, placements, presentations and skills assessments. You’ll also be assessed through formal examinations and class tests.

Over the three years, you’ll gradually increase your study skills, production and presentation techniques. The marks that count towards the degree also increase year-by-year, so that assessment is matched fairly with the expected rate of your learning throughout the three year course.

You’ll receive feedback throughout the module so you know what level you are working at.

Learn from expert staff

Our journalism team is made up of expert academic and technical staff that have extensive experience in education and industry. These, together with visiting professionals, provide a rounded, up-to-date education, informed by current practice and industry developments.

Visiting lecturers

You’ll also benefit from the extensive knowledge and experience brought to us by prestigious visiting lecturers, who have included:

    • Colin Drury – Feature writer, The Independent
    • Natalie Fahy – Editor Nottingham Post/Nott Live, Reach PLC
    • Ben Green – Head of Engagement JPI Media
    • Abby McHale – fashion writer, The Sun, Alumni
    • Lee Marlow – Features Editor at the Leicester Mercury
    • Tina Clough – Owner Poppy PR
    • Dan Russell – Head of Social Reach PLC
    • Jennie Longdon – Podcaster and radio presenter, Two Non Blondes
    • Donna Jordan – Head of Comms, Derbyshire Police
    • Steve McComish – Owner of Motive PR
    • Gurjeet Nanrah – Community Reporter, Notts Live, Alumni
    • Andy Morton – Head of PR and Comms, The Red Arrows, RAF

Excellent placement opportunities

All students are expected to take part in three weeks of work placement with a media platform of your choice. This could be a newspaper, magazine, news website or a PR agency.

Recent students have secured placements with the Nottingham Post, Vogue magazine, Derby Telegraph, NME magazine and PR companies.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. Or you could source work placements abroad. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (33%), independent study (67%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (29%), independent study (65%) and placements (6%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%)

Staff Profiles

Tracy Powell

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Tracy is the Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Journalism degree. Tracy teaches journalism across digital, print and social media platforms; runs newsdays; and is a supervisor for undergraduate multimedia

Amanda Ball

Principal Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Amanda teaches media law, ethics and regulation and public administration on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Ann Charlton

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Ann Charlton is module leader for News Production Skills 1, lectures on News Production Skills 2, supervisor on level 3 Multiplatform Project (all BA Print Journalism).

Jonny Greatrex

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Jonny Greatrex is course leader for our MA in News Journalism and teaches practical journalism skills across our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Claire Suddaby

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Claire teaches newspaper and magazine journalism skills on both BA (Hons) Journalism and MA / PGDip Magazine Journalism. She is a freelance sub-editor and writer and has previously been chief

Karen Nicholson

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Karen really enjoyed her career as a journalist. She became involved in training young reporters at work and so decided to take up the challenge of a move into teaching.

Shaun McMann

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Shaun's main teaching fields are media theory, sociology and critical psychology.

Jeremy Tatman

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Jeremy's main teaching fields are media theory, popular culture and sociology and he has research interests in Gestalt Psychotherapy.

John Collins

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

John is the Module Leader for the Digital Journalism Skills module on the BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism degree as well as teaching across several of the other practical and academic…

Gail Mellors

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Gail is the Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism degree. Gail teaches Broadcast and Convergence Journalism; runs multiplatform news days; and is a supervisor for undergraduate multiplatform projects.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (34%), written (33%) and practical (33%)
  • Year 2 coursework (33%), written (17%) and practical (50%)
  • Year 3 coursework (30%) and practical (70%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

Employability is a key focus of this course, with many of the compulsory modules including initiatives to help enhance your future career in journalism.

This course also has established links with its former students, through which we receive employment opportunities for graduating students. After studying this course you could go into a variety of roles including:

  • magazine journalist
  • newspaper journalist
  • production journalist
  • researcher
  • public relations
  • communications officer.

Recent graduates from this course have gone on to work for companies and organisations including:

  • Notts Live
  • Derbys Live
  • Plymouth Live, Reporter
  • Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Press Office
  • NHS Hospitals Trust, Comms Officer
  • Archant lifestyle magazines, Editorial Assistant
  • Johnston Press Newspapers
  • Nottingham Forest FC
  • NSPCC Press Office
  • Motive PR, PR Executive
  • Vapouround Magazine, Junior Journalist
  • News Team News Agency
  • Banbury Guardian
  • West Briton
  • Avon and Somerset Police Press Office.

As well as careers in journalism graduates have also gone on to work in PR, marketing and advertising. Many graduates have joined or started local enterprises to undertake journalism, creative or media related activities.

Campus and facilities

Our award-winning range of journalism courses are based in the Centre for Broadcasting & Journalism, centrally placed on our City Campus. This multi-million pound development includes one of the largest student newsrooms in the UK, a fully functioning TV studio with production facilities and three radio studios. Find out more ...

Entry requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points

  • A-levels - BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • You will also need GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You will need the equivalent to:

  • A-levels - BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • You will also need GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Help and support

There is lots of advice and guidance about how to apply, fees and scholarships, qualifications, and student life on our dedicated International students website.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Journalism Diversity Fund

Please visit the Journalism Diversity Fund website to view what funding opportunities are available.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Help and support

There is lots of advice and guidance about how to apply, fees and scholarships, qualifications, and student life on our dedicated International students website.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Need help with your application?

For admissions related enquiries please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Email or Ask us a question

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Help and support

There is lots of advice and guidance about how to apply, fees and scholarships, qualifications, and student life on our dedicated International students website.

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