Course specification and structure
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UDJOURNM - BA Journalism

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Subject Area Creative Technologies and Digital Media
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader Victoria Neumark jones

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The BA Journalism focuses on developing critical inquiry and professional skills, both of which are essential to success in the field of journalism. Writing is paramount in journalism, even in today’s convergent media world, so students learn a range of writing techniques, from academic essay to snappy tweet. Curiosity about and knowledge of a wide knowledge of social and historical contexts is also crucial in developing professional journalistic practice within today’s fast-changing industry, as is an understanding of ethics and law in the post-Leveson media geography, as well as post-Trump fake news challenges.

Using a mixture of workshops, simulations, seminar discussions and exposition, the course is taught by respected, experienced practitioners. Every session makes use of blended learning, particularly via class blogs and the course website, and many modules are taught within the multimedia newsroom, TV studio or radio studio. Team working and collaboration, among other key social skills like the ability to gain interviews, present oneself successfully and sell ideas, are developed through class exercises and newsdays. Event-led news weeks are a unique feature of the course.

Guest speakers and field trips stimulate engagement with the world of work, as does a compulsory work placement module. Connections with student media develop professional skills in and outside formal teaching.

Learning strategies on the course are designed to promote transferable skills of communication, independent thinking, the ability to work effectively with others, work planning and independent responsibility. Student feedback and engagement with teaching and learning strategies are promoted via student representatives and course committees, as well as online resources. Learning journals create a positive ongoing engagement between tutor and student.

Course aims

The course aims:

● To develop students’ writing skills so that they can write accurately and fluently in a variety of formats, including academic essays, news items, headlines, features, reviews, reports, commentaries, blogs, tweets, interviews, profiles, investigations, critiques, comments, columns, nibs, campaigns and any other formats chosen – to deadline and to length;

● To equip students with the newsgathering tools to research the background data and risk implications of any journalistic task they may have to do;

● To familiarise students with the history and ideas important to understanding the practice of journalism in the UK today, as well as globally, so that they have an analytical framework with which to grasp their role within the industry;

● To familiarise students with the history and ideas important to understanding the legal and political systems in the UK today, as well as globally, so that they have an analytical framework and practical knowledge with which to grasp and practice effectively their role within society;

● To develop students’ social skills so that they can interview primary sources face to face, over the phone, via email and social media and so that they can pitch ideas and presentations to possible employers;

● To develop their powers of argument, analysis, narrative and sequencing so that they can construct effective, substantiated content for different audiences;

● To introduce and promote the technical skills essential for any career in convergent media – text, audio, video;

● To foster students’ independence as learners and practitioners, especially through individual projects;

● To foster collaboration as learners and practitioners, especially through group work and simulations;

● To offer the opportunity for monitored work placements, extension of knowledge skills (shorthand), and publication within and outside the course website;

● To develop students’ own understanding of their work so that they can produce it and target it to a range of media audiences, specialist and non-specialist;

● To offer them the chance to progress towards more specialised accredited learning.
Course learning outcomes.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Journalism;

2. devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Journalism;

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Journalism, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

4. manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to [the subject]);

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;

6. critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;

7. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;

9. undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Journalism: History and Ideas SJ4034
Practical Journalism SJ4035
Writing Skills SJ4037
Reporting Skills SJ4036
Advanced Reporting SJ5035
Media law and ethics; public administration SJ5033
Newsroom production SJ5034
Journalism work placement SJ5W78
Social media and data journalism SJ5082
Introduction to Shorthand SJ5076
Styling and Journalism SJ5079
Creating Packages SJ6034
Broadcast Journalism SJ6033
Journalism project SJ6P35
Fashion Writing and Reporting SJ6086
Sports journalism SJ6077
Campaigning journalism SJ6080
Science, Technology, Environment and Health Journalism SJ6081
Arts Journalism SJ6074

Learning Outcomes cover LO1-9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement:

Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies [Oct-2016]

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Docments/SBS-Communication- Media-Film-and-Cultural- Studies-16.pdf

Guidance at:
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/CMF08.pdf

The above latest subject benchmark statement and general guidance available are used in the design, delivery and review of the course and in facilitating the knowledge and skills normally expected of a typical course graduate.

Assessment strategy

The course uses a wide range of assessments, from online journals and contributions to the course website to academic essays, from video footage and sound recordings to magazine and website layouts, class presentations and pop quizzes, in-class examination and longform writing.
Assessment develops with on a coaching model, with formative assessment being offered at drafting and intermediate submission, both face to face and electronically. News and enhancement weeks offer the chance to receive formative assessment whilst engaged on simulations, newsdays and practical activities.
Since much teaching is run on an interactive coaching model, tutorials are built in to class sessions as well as offered privately. Feedback on summative assessment is given within one week of submission for the first instance and thereafter two weeks.
Most modules include a reflective assessment, where students evaluate their own contribution to class via an online journal moderated by tutors.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

A compulsory work experience placement in the second year is credited within the course. News days and news weeks are simulations which offer work-based learning.
The course includes information, training and advice on employability, job applications, CVs and finances. Simulation of the work environment also includes job applications and interviews.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

All modules, apart from the final project, include an online journal, to be completed at the end of each class. Tutors give formative comments before the next class. This ensures a virtuous circle of feedback. It also forms part of assessment, so contributes to students’ ownership of their progress.
Students’ personal blogs and the course website are repositories for successful work, creating portfolios.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The course is entirely work-focused. Graduates have moved into a variety of communications fields: advertising, public relations, social media, business communications, media production and journalism. A sizable number have gone on to further higher education degrees. Notable alumni destinations include those working for the Economist, BBC radio and IBtimes.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

We're currently in the process of applying for accreditation by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. This should be complete by the time you finish your degree.

Career opportunities

Journalism graduates have gone on to work in TV, radio, print and online media all around the globe. From the Sunday People to the Independent, the New Statesman to Correos of Venezuela, TalkSport radio to Swedish TV, our graduates are making their mark.

Many are also working in PR, media consultancy, social media, management, web design, fashion and marketing, as well as going on to study media, journalism, international conflict or film studies at postgraduate level.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Media and Communications Extended degree.

These requirements may be varied in individual cases as prospective students will be invited to an interview.

Mature students with previous relevant experience are encouraged to apply.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes P500 (Journalism): 100%
Route code JOURNM

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ4034 Journalism: History and Ideas Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
SJ4035 Practical Journalism Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED AM
SJ4036 Reporting Skills Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI AM
SJ4037 Writing Skills Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ5033 Media Law and Ethics; Public Administration Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
SJ5034 Newsroom Production Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
SJ5035 Advanced Reporting Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
SJ5W78 Journalism Work Placement Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
SJ5076 Introduction to Shorthand Option 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
SJ5079 Styling and Journalism Option 15 NORTH AUT FRI AM
SJ5082 Social Media and Data Journalism Option 15        

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ6033 Advanced Newsroom Production Core 30        
SJ6034 Creating Packages Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED AM
SJ6P35 Journalism Project Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
SJ6074 Arts Journalism Option 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
SJ6077 Sports Journalism Option 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
SJ6080 Campaigning Journalism Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
SJ6081 Science, Technology, Environment and Health Jou... Option 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
SJ6086 Fashion Writing and Reporting Option 15 NORTH AUT FRI PM