Journalism and Communications (BA)

The degree is concerned with the production, content and reception of all journalism and communications.

On a practical level, you will produce portfolios (including digital portfolios), practise journalistic writing skills across a number of platforms including online, broadcast, print and magazines, pitch ideas for new editorial products and businesses, and use a variety of software to produce graphic outputs, blogs, apps, and social media campaigns. 

While you will be able to take a number of practical modules, the emphasis of the degree is academic and analytical. You will be able to follow a clear journalism and communication path throughout the three years of study which will culminate in journalism based dissertation.

Crucially, you will gain the ability to research, write and critique your own written projects according to highest academic standards, and utilise modern information technology in researching and presenting. You will develop your ability to work both independently and in groups.

Finally, the course will develop and hone your awareness of the practical and economic forces which frame the media, cultural and creative industries, leaving you ideally placed to work in any field where communication skills are required.

While Journalism and Communications in particular is a product of our extensive and growing communications environment, the course also benefits from our experience teaching and researching both journalism and media studies from national and international perspectives.

While this course is both challenging and academic in nature, it does NOT provide vocational journalism training.

Distinctive features

  • study in the Guardian's top rated School for Journalism and Public Relations (2016 and 2017)
  • a flourishing Journalism Society and a student media centre
  • year one seminars may be taken through the medium of Welsh
  • access to Erasmus and Study Abroad schemes
  • careers weeks and workshops to ensure your readiness for the ‘world of work’

Key facts

UCAS Code0N3D
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Studying in WelshUp to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information
Typical places availableThe School typically has 125 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications.
Typical A level offerABB, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus AB at A-Level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

The BA in Journalism and Communications is a three-year, full-time, modular course. Most modules include 12 weeks of teaching and the rest of the semester is devoted to exams and other kinds of assessment, along with the processes of marking and exam boards. 

Welsh-speaking students will have the opportunity of undertaking their first-year seminars through the medium of Welsh.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

Six core 20-credit modules are taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format. You will be introduced to ideas and approaches in the lectures and then carry out more applied and team-based work in seminars.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Understanding Journalism StudiesMC157820 credits
History of Mass Communication & CultureMC111020 credits
An Introduction to Media AudiencesMC111820 credits
Advertising and the Consumer SocietyMC111920 credits
Media ScholarshipMC111520 credits
RepresentationsMC111420 credits

Year two

You will study two core modules, one in each semester and four optional modules, taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format although the tasks developed in seminars will be more ambitious.

You will be expected to develop research protocols, both on your own and in groups, and will begin to experiment with and design methodological procedures (such as survey methods, ethnography, and content and discourse analysis).

By the end of year two, you will have the skills necessary to write a dissertation in year three.

Year three

Year three consists of an optional dissertation, one core module and a choice of elective modules allowing you to specialise in your areas of interest. While a number of these will be based on a lecture/workshop format, the range of teaching methods will be more diverse and involve assignments of greater complexity and challenge.

You will conduct independent research and apply theoretical ideas and approaches to practical and/or analytical work.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Our teaching is often led and informed by our research. You will be taught in a supportive environment and assigned a personal tutor who is a member of academic staff and able to advise on a wide range of issues.

There will be multi-media and new media learning and production practices should you opt for some of the more practical journalism and media modules.

How will I be supported?

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

How will I be assessed?

A number of modules also involve formative methods of assessment. These usually involve the production of proposals for research based essays (including the dissertation), allowing module tutors the opportunity to provide feedback before you embark on more substantial pieces of written work or other projects. In some cases, formative assignments will have a summative element, and form part of the overall assessment.

The School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies guarantees that for assessed work:

  • the marking criteria will be clearly displayed
  • you will receive detailed typed written comments on your text
  • you will receive prompt feedback and all assessed work will be returned to you within four weeks
  • the feedback will be explanatory and worded to help you improve
  • where necessary we will meet you individually to ensure you understand the feedback

NOTE: The University welcomes applications from disabled students and we may be able to offer alternative assessment methods. However, this may not always be possible, for example where performance is a mode of assessment in a performance module. Such competence standards may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments, but you should refer to the module descriptions for details.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, which will allow you to:

  • read, analyse and synthesise complex academic texts
  • analyse different media texts, including word, image and sound
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work both independently and as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • carry out various forms of independent research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development

Other information

Global Opportunities

Studying, working or volunteering abroad as part of your university experience is a great way to broaden your academic knowledge, immerse yourself in another culture and gain skills that will be highly valued by employers. You are able to apply for placements across Europe and internationally through a number of recognised schemes as part of your degree programme.

European destinations include Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Stockholm University (Sweden). International destinations include University of Sydney (Australia), University of Ottawa (Canada), Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand) and University of Pennsylvania (USA).

In 2013/14, 96% of our graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Many graduates progress onto our postgraduate journalism, public relations and communications masters degrees and from there to various jobs in the media.

Recent examples of entry level jobs include: content author, digital media executive, social media policy adviser, research intern, editorial intern, reporter, PR executive/assistant, policy intern, campaign executive, teaching assistant and also project manager.

Having progressed from entry level jobs our alumni now hold numerous media and administration roles such as: production journalist (Telegraph Media Group), magazine editor (The Independent), senior press officer (Guardian News & Media), film producer (See Saw Films) and digital campaigns & community manager (Ruder Finn).

Jobs

  • Content Author
  • Digital Media Exectutive
  • Reporter

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will not need any specific equipment.

No interview process, offer holders will be invited to Applicant Visit days in Feb/March each year.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.