module specification

SJ5W78 - Journalism Work Placement (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Journalism Work Placement
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
20 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Placement / study abroad
25 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 45%   Presentation and blog posting (Individual)
Coursework 15%   Engagement with class, measured by contributions to online journal (Individual)
Coursework 40%   Learning log (2,000 words plus employer's comments) (Individual)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

 This module provides opportunities for students to gain experience of the journalistic working environment and to enhance and extend their learning by applying and building on their academic and journalistic skills. It is core for all journalism-related courses.
Students must find their three –week placement themselves, deploying employability and professional skills and their own developing portfolios. These will be measured and supported by the assessments.
Placements will be supported by a session of workshops, of which students must attend the majority.
Assessment will be by a reflective learning log, including ethical considerations and remarks by employers; a presentation to class and on the class blog; self-assessed engagement with classes when not on placement, measured by online journal.

Prior learning requirements



 Pre-placement induction sessions will introduce students to the requirements and demands of work placement, assist them in the diagnosis of their abilities; help them make decisions about suitable work areas; and ensure they produce a suitable CV for placement applications.

At the start of the placement the student, employer and placement tutor agree a learning and assessment contract identifying and specifying the:
● task(s) involved in the placement; LO1, LO2, LO3, LO3, LO4
● capabilities to be developed and demonstrated, together with the associated assessment criteria; LO4, LO5, LO6
● learning opportunities for the development of the expected outcomes; LO4, LO5, LO6
● evidence required to demonstrate attainment of the outcomes.

A class-based debriefing session, on completion of the placement, will enable the student to reflect on learning and the experiences gained from the placement and to develop action learning plans for the future.  This will also build confidence and presentational skills. All the components are structured to build towards the learning outcomes.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops, guest speakers, seminar discussion and tutorials.  Workshops will focus on producing real journalism within class and outside it. Students are expected to attend when not on placement, and must participate.  In seminars, workshops and tutorials they are expected to raise issues, ask questions and seek feedback to enable them to reflect on practice. In addition to reading about their employers, students are expected to keep abreast of, read and use new media critically.
However, the most important part of the module is exposure to the professional environment. Here students, with support from tutors only an email away, are expected to do their best to understand how to develop contacts, make themselves useful, and learn how workflow and personnel operate in the industry.
Blended learning will be facilitated through blogs, the virtual learning environment, twitter and photo sites.
PDP will be supported, with the final presentation a key part of an e-portfolio.

Learning and teaching


Learning outcomes

 On successful completion of this module, having completed all the tasks set,  students should be able to: 
1. Show they have reached an acceptable level of professional competence in their work setting;
2. Demonstrate that they have operated effectively, both independently and with others, in a structured and routinely supervised work environment;
3. Demonstrate that they have communicated appropriately with colleagues and superiors;
4. Show that they took a rational and organised approach, applying previously known or new techniques and/or methodologies, to the task(s) set;
5. Describe and evaluate the structure, major activities and responsibilities of the organisation;
6. Reflect on and evaluate critically their own performance and abilities .

Assessment strategy

 Formative assessment includes the regular maintenance of a structured learning log. This allows the student to plan and monitor their progress, to reflect on and learn from their experience, and to improve their performance during the placement. Formative assessment also includes employer comments and observations during the placement period. The employer will be asked to provide a short report on the student's performance and attendance.

Summative assessment includes performance evidence obtained throughout placement (from the learning log and presentation in class and on blogs) and is not just a snapshot at one point in time, eg on completion of the project/task(s).
Assessment evidence will include:
● The learning log, including a written report describing the organisation and evaluating the work undertaken, plus reports from employers (2000 words);
● Contribution in class, self-assessed and recorded in online journal;
● A presentation of up to 10 minutes, which describes and evaluates the experience for an audience of peers and academic staff, with script uploaded for blog, available for second marking


 No textbooks
Students are expected to familiarise themselves with their employer’s website and safety manuals.
Bradshaw, P. (2017). The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age: Longman
Bull, A. (2007). The NCTJ Essential Guide to Careers in Journalism: SAGE
Davis, N. (2008). Flat Earth News: Chatto & Windus
Fry, R. (2016). 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions: Highbridge
Gane, M. (2014). 100% Job Interview Success: Marrikegane Publishing
Innes, J. (2009). The CV Book: Your Definitive Guide to Writing the Perfect CV: Prentice Hall
Knight, M. & Cook, C. (2013) Social Media for Journalists: SAGE
Marr, A. (2004). My Trade: Macmillan
McKane, A. (2004). Journalism, A Career Handbook: Bloomsbury
Rennie, N, (2015). How to Become a Journalist: The Insider’s Guide to Getting a Career in Journalism: Rennie
Scherer, A & Rosen, B. (2012). Brilliant Intern: Pearson
Randall, R. (2011). The Universal Journalist: Pluto
Reed, R. (2017). Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again: Penguin.
Tobin, L. (2015). The Book of Jobs: Exclusive Career Guidance from Insiders: Quercus
Trujillo, T. (2016). Intern Insider: Getting the Most Out of Your Internship in the Entertainment Field: Focal Press