module specification

SJ6077 - Sports Journalism (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sports Journalism
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Portfolio: 4 items including podcast and liveblog
Coursework 45%   2,000 word investigative sports journalism article - uses multimedia, images
Coursework 15%   Engagement with class, assessed by online journal and moderated by tutor
Coursework 10%   News story, up to 300 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces students to the basics of sports journalism, to the roles it has played and continues to play in society, and to the main theories used to understand how it works.

Working together, individually and in small groups, students will explore different facets of sports reporting, including match reporting, interviewing and investigative sports journalism. They will develop professional skills of commenting, interviewing and reporting sports events. They will reflect on live ethical issues in sports and sports journalism.

There will also be a multi-platform element to the course in an effort to recreate real-life situations and increase employability, including liveblogging events, tweeting and broadcast skills, posting to class blog and course website.

The module will be assessed by one portfolio of five written/multimedia pieces, a 2000-word article of investigative journalism and a self-assessed grid moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

Module aims

  • To provide the opportunity for students to develop the skills of sports reporting, from news items to match commentary, across media;
  • To develop student's ability to construct original features, using empirical enquiry, theoretical perspective, ethical understanding, critical analysis and writing skills;
  • To help students develop the style, presentation, critical annotation and further submission of their work within a professional framework, so that they can revise and redraft ideas for different media platforms;
  • To enable students to understand the industry and phenomenon of sports within the frameworks of sociology, history and commerce.
  • To provide students with hard copy examples of content they’ve created to show potential employers, via the sports section of the Holloway Express website.


Students will begin by identifying how sports journalism is both similar to and different from regular news reporting.

They will learn about beat reporting, specifically following a local team or club and plugging into their world. Thus, students will be required to do a great deal of work outside the classroom as well as in. Going to matches, talking to “their” team and plugging into the world of local sport. Much of this will need to be self-motivated and self-reflective.

In class, students will learn how to write up match reports, news items for various outlets, feature articles and in-depth profiles of individuals and events as well as how to put together radio and online packages, including podcasts. Participation in newsdays will help them gain experience in writing to commission and deadline.

Regular reading of sports media and a keen interest in at least one sport are essential. Through screenings, visits and guest speakers, students will gain personal experience to deepen their understandings of the journalistic field and its agents.

Finally, they will sharpen writing and presentation skills through feedback from staff and other students, developing both professional and transferable communication skills.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching strategy will be based on an interactive model.
For most of the 15 teaching weeks, a two-hourly session will require students to write and to speak, to work with each other and individually. They will also need to take notes, present independent research and ideas and contest information presented by staff.
In enhancement weeks, field trips, guest speakers, newsdays and screenings will complement one-to-one tutorial and coaching sessions.
Feedback will be given one-to-one in class and electronically. Electronic resources, including the university’s virtual learning environment tools, will be used by students and staff.
The aim is to develop social as well as academic skills, with a view to employability.
The module will be supported by a VLE site containing notes, readings and extended bibliographies, and weblinks.
Opportunnities for pdp will be supported.

Learning outcomes

If students read all the required texts, perform the required homework outside of class, participate in all the class activities and complete the required assessments and assignments, they should be able to:

  • Report on various sports in various styles, appropriate to industry standards;
  • Plan and develop original sports features for professional outlets;
  • Use critical, problem-solving and information-handling skills to draft, revise and rework ideas for different platforms;
  • Prepare work with understanding of the contexts of sociology, history and commerce within which sporting performances and sporting businesses operate;
  • Create a portfolio of work to show employers.

Assessment strategy

• Formative assessment will include short weekly written exercises both creative and critical on which oral feedback, from tutors and peers, will be given in seminars and workshops and newsdays. Drafts of summative work will also be formatively assessed.
• Summative assessment will comprise: multi media portfolio, long-form piece of journalism and moderation of self-assessed contribution in class.
All work will be assessed individually.
Assessment 1 meets LOs 1, 2
Assessment 2 meets LOs 1, 2, 3, 5
Assessment 3 meets all LOs
Assessment 4 meets LOs 3, 4


The most important reading will be regular reading of printed media and informed watching of/listening to broadcast/internet.

Andrew, P.  2005 Sports Journalism, a practical introduction. London: Sage.
Banks, David and Hanna, Mark.  2015 McNae’s Essential Law For Journalists. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Bell, Allan. 1991 The language of news media.  Oxford : Basil Blackwell.
Belsey, Andrew (ed.).  1992 Ethical issues in journalism and the media. London : Routledge.
Boyle, R. 2006 Sports Journalism: context and issues. London Sage.
Campbell, Vincent. 2004 Information age journalism : journalism in an international context. London : Arnold.
Coakley, J 2001.  in  Sport in Society: Issues and Controversies. New York: McGraw Hill, 7th ed, ch. 3.
Davis, Anthony. 1995 Magazine journalism today. Oxford : Focal Press.
Hicks, Wynford. 1998. English for journalists. London : Routledge.
Hill, J Sport 2002. Leisure and Culture in Twentieth-Century Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Holt, R. 1989 Sport and the British: A Modern History. Oxford: Clarendon/OUP.
Polley, Martin. 2006 Sports History. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Steen, R.. 2007. Sports Journalism: a multi-media primer. London:Routledge.
Truss, Lynne. 2010. Get her off the Pitch!. London: Fourth Estate.
Wigglesworth, N. 1996. The Evolution of English Sport. London: Frank Cass.

Transparency In Sport
Broadsheet and tabloid newspaper sports sections
BBC Sport Online