module specification

SJ7035 - Feature Journalism (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Feature Journalism
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
155 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio of two or three feature articles, plus reflective commentary
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module will allow students to devise, research and write, in a workshop setting, feature articles of the type published in magazines, newspapers, the internet and other journalistic outlets. Creative activity will be informed by critical reading of published work in feature journalism. Students will be required to develop, plan, research and write two or three feature articles with different orientations, based, for example, around a topical issue, travel, or profile.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The main aims of the module are:
to develop a critical awareness of the creative processes and research techniques involved in feature journalism;
to provide students with the means to enhance their writing and communication skills through advanced writing workshop activities;
to extend students' understanding of the imperatives and constraints exerted by different markets and outlets for feature articles;


There are three main strands to this module:
workshop activity devising, planning and writing feature articles;
critical reading, analysis and discussion of published samples of feature journalism;
research, including such empirical work as interviews and field visits, to support feature writing.
While students will be able to write to their strengths, allowing for some self-selection of issues or topics, they will be required to develop, plan, research and write two to three feature articles with different orientations.

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered in a three-hour workshop setting. Most sessions will involve students devising ideas for, planning, researching and writing their feature articles. Other elements will include: critical appraisal of published examples of feature journalism; sharing and mutual critical support of each other's work in pairs, small groups and with the class as a whole; discussion of potential outlets and markets for feature journalism, especially in London; individual research activity in the Learning Centre, including the appropriate use of ITC. Students will be expected to spend the requisite amount of out-of-class individual effort on all the above activities as well as conduct empirical research or field visits.

Learning outcomes

Students will be expected to:
develop their critical awareness of the creative processes and research techniques involved in the production of their own and others' feature journalism;
possess enhanced and extended writing and communication skills;
understand the different requirements and opportunities arising from different journalistic markets;

Assessment strategy

Formal assessment will be based on a portfolio consisting of a) two or three feature articles with different orientations; b) a reflective and analytical commentary (750-1000 words), with appropriate evidence and reference to critical reading, on the planning and research involved in the development and writing of one of the submitted feature articles, features and commentary together totalling 4000 words. The commentary needs to be analytic, drawing on examples from newspapers, magazines and/or online journalism, as well as academic texts about journalism.


Adams, S.(2001) Interviewing for Journalists. London: Routledge
Cole, P. (25 September 2008) ‘Features’, ‘How to Write’ [online] Available at:
Curran, J. and Seaton, J. (2003) Power Without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain. London: Routledge
Davies, N. (2009) Flat Earth News. London: Vintage
Evans, H. (2000) Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers. London: Pimplico
George, D. (2005). Travel Writing. London: Lonely Planet
Hennessy, B. (1997) Writing feature articles: a practical guide to methods and markets. Oxford : Focal Press
Hall, J. (2001) Online Journalism: A Critical Primer. London: Pluto Press
Hicks, W. (2006). Writing for Journalists. Abingdon: Routledge
McAdams, M. Tips for Writing for the Web (
McKane, A. (2004) Journalism: A Career Handbook. London: A&C Black
Quinn, C. (2009) No Contacts? No Problem! London: Methuen Drama
Wheeler, S. (2009). Feature Writing for Journalists. Abingdon: Routledge
Students will be expected to read a variety of British national newspapers (eg The Guardian, The Times, Daily Mail) and magazines, as well as online journalism (eg The Huffington Post - ; The Daily Beast -  ) each week