module specification

SJ6P35 - Journalism Project (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Journalism Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
51 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
249 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   1,000-word project management schedule
Coursework 20%   1500-word review of literature and research
Coursework 20%   2,500 word critical essay touching on ethical, political and creative concerns
Coursework 10%   First draft with two transcribed interviews
Coursework 40%   5-6,000 word longform journalism
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module allows students to explore in depth a topic of their own choice, arising out of previous study and subject to supervisor approval.  It offers an exciting way to make an area of expertise all your own, whilst developing both journalistic and academic communication skills.

It must be a piece of longform journalism, aimed at a specified audience, not a study of journalism. It can be in any journalistic medium.

Independent but supported learning and sustained research and writing will provide a focus for refining and drawing together a wide range of transferable skills.

These must result in a high quality piece of journalism with an academically rigorous critical and research underpinning.

A synopsis and project management schedule, demonstrating a research strategy submitted at week 8, will provide a signpost for further work. A three-hour refresher session on law will prompt attention to legal constraints.

Prior learning requirements



The project should show evidence of original research, theoretical and/or empirical, as well as critical reflection or analysis on the topic chosen and its avenues of expression.
Its specific content is to be negotiated in advance between the student and the supervising tutor and a working title and specific audience agreed.
Students will plan, research and bring to completion a sustained piece of journalistic work. It should be of a standard that could be submitted for professional publication. It may have images and weblinks, as agreed.
They will also analyse the theoretical, critical or ethical issues such a work could arouse in the audience. 
An interim report on progress  (approx 1000 words) will be submitted for formative and summative assessment before the end of the first semester.
Topics will always need original research to develop the themes and must be written for a journalistic audience. They should require empirical investigation involving interviews, questionnaires and examination of diverse sources, which must result in a readable and authoritative journalistic piece.
These sources must be properly evaluated in the literature review and in the account given of the research strategy. Students will also need to show evidence of reflective and/or evaluative awareness taking into account theoretical, critical or ethical issues concerning their chosen topic.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 6

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The most important part of this module is independent study and research, assisted by supervisor.
Initial classes will set out expectations and explain methodology, spaced over first 10 weeks.
A refresher law session will be run in semester 2.
Classes will in the second semester help with research methods, interviews and interviewees, language problems, structure and formatting of topics.
Students will also work with six hours of individual supervision, in sessions which will coach students into deeper research -- online, textual and primary -- better structured writing and a deeper understanding of the marketplace and audiences. These sessions will also help with technical aspects of media projects.
The module will be supported by a VLE site containing notes, readings and extended bibliographies, and weblinks.
Opportunities for pdp will be supported, particularly by encouraging publication on students’ blogs.

Learning outcomes

If students read complete the required assessments and assignments, they will develop professional skills. They should be able to:
1. Plan and sustain independent research, academic and journalistic;
2. Be able to confidently and professionally to conduct interviews and surveys within a variety of contexts; 
3. Be able to research and deliver compelling pieces of journalism, at best equivalent to a professional standard.
4. Be able to write academically and forensically.
5. Create journalism that respects ethical and legal constraints.
6. Develop a final profile of personal/professional attributes within the context of professional  and transferable skills, necessary for employment and further study or professional development.


No text books
Banks, David and Hanna, Mark. 2017. McNae’s Essential Law For Journalists. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Barber, Lynn (1999) Demon Barber. Penguin: London
Barber, Lynn (2014) A Curious Career. Bloomsbury. London
Bell, J (2014) Sixth edition. Doing your research project - a guide for first time researchers. Open University Press. Maidenhead.
Brooker, Charlie (2013) I Can Make You Hate. Guardian. London
Dawson, C (2009). Fourth edition. Introduction to Research Methods: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project. How to Books. London
Gill, Adrian (2017). Lines in the Sand. W & N . England.
Hicks, Wynford (1998) English for journalists. London : Routledge.
Kerrane, Kevin. .(1998)The Art of Fact: a Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism.
Kumar, R (2014). Fourth Edition. Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners. Sage Publications Ltd. London.
Mills, E and Wolf, N (2012). Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs, Constable: England.
Mitford, Jessica (2000). The American Way of Death Revisited.  Virago: London
Moran, Caitlin.(2011). How to Be a Woman. Ebury. London
Moran, Caitlin. (2016). Moranifesto. Ebury. London.
Orwell, George. (2016). Seeing Things as They Are. Penguin: London.
Pilger, John (2004). Tell Me No Lies. Cape: London.
Stott , Rebecca and Avery, Simon (eds). (2001) Writing with style. Harlow : Longman.
Tabibi, Matt.  (2017) Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the American Circus. W             H Allen: England
Wolfe, Tom (1990). The New Journalism. Picador: London


The Q

Some podcasts