Journalism, Communications and Politics (BA)

You will analyse and reflect upon changes to both politics and policy driven by the growth of social media, the communications industry and the 24/7 news cycle.

You will analyse and reflect upon changes to both politics and policy driven by the growth of social media, the communications industry and the 24/7 news cycle. In recent years, institutional politics have become more mediatised, and political leaders are now media-driven and speak in soundbites. 

Political campaigning is no longer limited to pre-electoral periods and public relations strategists and political consultants have become more and more central to politics. These links are affecting policy too, both at the national and the international levels. 

The spread of the internet and the development of social media has also brought changes to the relations between citizens and their political representatives, and constitute a new platform for citizens’ political deliberation, and for the organisation of activists, protesters, and new social movements (often at a transnational level). This new course aims to critically examine these and many other issues.

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

Distinctive features

  • a varied range of modules, learning activities and types of assessment
  • a flourishing Journalism Society as well as a student media centre
  • careers weeks and workshops to ensure your readiness for the ‘world of work’
  • Cardiff is home to a lively media industry and to the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales, providing excellent opportunities for work experience.

Key facts

UCAS CodeJ323
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
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 qualifications Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

The BA in Journalism, Communications and Politics is a three-year, full time, modular course. You will take 120 credits per year split equally between your subjects.

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

You will study 60 credits in each school.

You will be introduced to ideas and approaches in lectures and carry out more applied and team-based work in seminars.

Year two

All modules in year two are optional modules. You will be expected to develop research protocols, on your own and in groups, and will begin to experiment with methods of information gathering and analysis.

By the end of year two, you will be equipped to conceive, design, research and write up your dissertation in year three.

Year three

In year three you will choose at least two modules from each School and may opt to write a dissertation in your particular area of interest.

The range of teaching methods becomes more diverse and involves more complex and challenging assignments. You will carry out independent research and apply theoretical ideas and approaches to practical or analytical work.

Module titleModule codeCredits
The Making and Shaping of NewsMC358920 credits
Sport and the MediaMC361220 credits
Journalism, New Media and The PublicMC359920 credits
The Creative and Cultural IndustriesMC360820 credits
DissertationMC310340 credits
Spin Unspun: Public Relations and The News MediaMC359620 credits
Media LawMC321320 credits
Mediating ChildhoodMC358520 credits
The Mediation of Political ViolenceMC360720 credits
Communicating CausesMC361620 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL938820 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Understanding Media BusinessMC361920 credits
Writing With Light: Histories of Visual MediaMC356620 credits
Media, Racism, ConflictMC359320 credits
Video Games Culture, Media and SocietyMC361820 credits
Ystafell Newyddion 3: Palu am y GwirMC362120 credits
Martial Arts MediaMC362220 credits
Digital ActivismMC362320 credits
21st Century British Television: Industry, Form & AudiencesMC361020 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsPL937620 credits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Bombs, bullets and ballot-boxes: The Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits
Free Speech in a Multicultural SocietyPL931420 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Intelligence in Contemporary Politics: Bond, Bourne and the Business of SpyingPL932320 credits
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?

You will benefit from teaching led by experts in the fields of journalism and media studies on the one hand and political science and Government on the other. You will be taught by staff who are researchers or practitioners in the areas of journalism and communications or politics and international relations.

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

How will I be supported?

As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision.

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 range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.


We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

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.

School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

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).

School of Politics and International Relations

In 2013/14 over 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

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.

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.