Journalism, Media and English Literature (BA)

The joint honours degree in Journalism and English Literature provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects

The Joint Honours degree in Journalism, Media and English Literature provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects. While the Journalism part of the degree examines the media in its growth and historical and cultural significance in shaping our lives, the English Literature modules focus on the critical analysis of a range of texts from different periods together with the exploration of complex ideas.

Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences in the two subjects. Often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills and that link the subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research. Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging set of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

Key facts

Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available, The School of Journalism. Media and Cultural Studies typically has 125 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications, The School of Journalism. Media and Cultural Studies typically receives 600 applications.
Typical A level offerAAB, excluding General Studies. An A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing is required.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

English, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural studies

Admissions tutor(s)

Professor Martin Coyle, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in July 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Students studying a Joint Honours degree divide their time equally between the Cardiff School of Journalism and Cultural Studies and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy. The modules followed by joint degree students vary according to the particular degree scheme and student choice of options.

Year one

You will take 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in Journalism.

Module titleModule codeCredits
History of Mass Communication & CultureMC111020 credits
Introduction to Poetry and the NovelSE213620 credits
Understanding Journalism StudiesMC157820 credits
Reading and IdentitySE213120 credits

Year two

Students in Year 2 can select up to 120 credits from the modules offered below by the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Module titleModule codeCredits
War, Politics and Propaganda IIMC354920 credits
Media and GenderMC210720 credits
Tele-FictionsMC351720 credits
Doing Media Research: Approaches and MethodsMC355120 credits
Popular CultureMC357720 credits
Reporting Science, The Environment and HealthMC359520 credits
Media Law Year 2MC360020 credits
Creative Writing ISE241720 credits
Fiction of The Indian SubcontinentSE228320 credits
Media, Power & SocietyMC211620 credits
Media and DemocracyMC360320 credits
Reading Old EnglishSE244120 credits
Shakespeare and Renaissance DramaSE244220 credits
Elizabethan ShakespeareSE244320 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Modern Welsh Writing in EnglishSE244820 credits
Twentieth-Century Crime FictionSE245520 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
Social Media TrendsMC360220 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
The Post-1945 American NovelSE256620 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Introduction to Visual CultureSE246120 credits
Advertising and the Consumer SocietyMC345720 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Contemporary Women's WritingSE244620 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Children's Literature: Form & FunctionSE244720 credits
Representing the VictoriansSE246620 credits
Fictive Histories/Historical FictionsSE246720 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Romanticism, Politics, AestheticsSE246920 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Ways of ReadingSE244920 credits
Yr Ystafell Newyddion 1MC261720 credits
Digital CultureMC360420 credits
Social Media, Politics, and SocietyMC261620 credits
Yr Ystafell Newyddion 2MC261820 credits
World Cinema, History and CultureMC261920 credits
Cultural Politics of ComedyMC262020 credits
Birth and Death and Marriage in the Media: Researching the "Personal" in Cultural Context"MC262120 credits
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits

Year three

Students in Year 2 can select up to 120 credits from the modules offered below by the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationMC310340 credits
Mediating ChildhoodMC358520 credits
Media LawMC321320 credits
Spin Unspun: Public Relations and The News MediaMC359620 credits
Media, Racism, ConflictMC359320 credits
Writing With Light: Histories of Visual MediaMC356620 credits
Journalism, New Media and The PublicMC359920 credits
The Making and Shaping of NewsMC358920 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
Creative Writing III: Special TopicsSE237320 credits
Nineteenth-Century Crime FictionSE239020 credits
Creative Writing II: Special TopicsSE237020 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
The Mediation of Political ViolenceMC360720 credits
The Creative and Cultural IndustriesMC360820 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance LiteratureSE258320 credits
R. S. Thomas: No Truce with the FuriesSE257820 credits
French TheorySE257020 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Desire, the Body and the Text: Psychoanalysis & LiteratureSE258020 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Citizen MediaMC361120 credits
Sport and the MediaMC361220 credits
Debating Quality TVMC361320 credits
21st Century British Television: Industry, Form & AudiencesMC361020 credits
Gender & Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Interwar Experiments: Sex, Gender, StyleSE258420 credits
Middle English Romance: Monsters and MagicSE258620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
Communicating CausesMC361620 credits
Managing Media CommunicationsMC361420 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsex'd Females: Women in public life, 1770 - 1800SE258820 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Modern British Political DramaSE259020 credits
Norse Myth and SagaSE256020 credits
Canterbury Tales: Genre, History, InterpretationSE257920 credits
Four English Poets of the Twentieth CenturySE259120 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Shakespeare's Late PlaysSE259420 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
Video Games Culture, Media and SocietyMC361820 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Medical FictionsSE259620 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 credits
Understanding Media BusinessMC361920 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.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy offers intellectually stimulating programmes of study, shaped by the latest research. We have a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

Our programmes 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. A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, and creative assignments.

Teaching in the School of Journalism. Media and Cultural Studies is led and informed by our research. Students are 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.

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

In 2013/14, 91% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

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


3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy admits around 360 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Applications received

Typical applications received

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy = 1500


QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

English, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural studies

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature (Joint Honours) is designed to equip you with an understanding of how these two closely-related disciplines complement each other as well as an appreciation of their distinctive approaches.  Students divide their modules equally between English Literature and Journalism, with a third subject in the first year which may be chosen from the area of either Journalism or English Literature or, alternatively, from the range of Humanities subjects available.

English Literature at Cardiff involves the study of all periods of literature in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century and from many different parts of the world.   The first year is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in Year 2 and the Final Year.  In Year 2 you select from a range of period-, genre- or theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts. In Final Year there is a range of more specialised modules in which you will pursue interests developed in the previous two years and engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you further to develop analytical and presentational skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate study. The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a careful, attentive, and informed reader, sensitive to the nuances of language and style and able to articulate your responses to texts in writing which is precise, stylish, and effective.

The overall aim of the study of Journalism and Media is to equip students to become well informed citizens in a media saturated society. Students will be able to take a number of practical modules and the emphasis of the degree is academic and analytical. The degree begins from the assumption that in order to understand modern society, we need to understand the central role that media and the cultural industries play in that society. Students will study the production, content and reception of media and the cultural industries, with particular emphasis on understanding the social production and circulation of meanings and ideas.

Graduates from this programme will have a broad spectrum of knowledge and a variety of skills, making them highly attractive both to potential employers and research establishments.

What should I know about year five?

As a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing and engaged academically by regularly attending lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

A 20 credit module will normally comprise a minimum of 200 study hours and a 10 credit module will normally comprise of a minimum 100 study hours.  This will include contact hours with staff  (lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials) making up approximately 30 hours per 20 credit module, with the remainder of the time spent on self-directed learning for that module (reading, preparation for seminars, research, reflection, formative writing, assessment work and exam revision).  Examinations and assessed work are marked on the assumption that you have fulfilled these requirements.  There are also additional seminars and workshops that students are able to attend.

Attendance at lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials is compulsory.  Therefore, if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or departmental administrator in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence. Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and interruptions of study can be found in student handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook.

Full expectations for students are outlined in the University’s Student Charter.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found here:

How is this course/programme structured?

BA Journalism, Media and English Literature is a three-year degree programme.  Students progress from more general modules in the first year to more specialised modules in the second and third years.

The first year consists of 80 core credits (40 credits in Journalism and Media and 40 credits in English Literature).  A further 40 credits are chosen from either the area of Journalism and Media or English Literature or from another Humanities subject group. In the second and third years, students choose 60 credits per year from the range of optional modules available in Journalism and Media and 60 credits per year from the range of optional modules available in English Literature.  In their final year, students may opt to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice.

Students must pass each academic year before being allowed to proceed.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment is required.

What should I know about year three?

English Literature

Many of the learning outcomes listed above involve practising skills that are transferable to numerous areas of employment. In addition, students who engage with the programme will practise and develop the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively with others.
  • Think analytically about problems.
  • Use electronic and other sources of information as appropriate to the project chosen.
  • Take responsibility for their own learning programme and professional development.

Journalism and Media

Students will develop the ability to:

·         Engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and put them to productive use;

·         Understand forms of communication, media and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change;

·         Examine such forms critically with appropriate reference to the social and cultural contexts and diversity of contemporary society and an understanding of how different social groups variously make use of and engage with forms of communication, media and culture;

·         Carry out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry;

·         Draw on the strengths and understand the limits of the major quantitative and/or qualitative research methods, and be able to apply this knowledge critically in their own work.

General skills

Graduates will also be able to:

·         Work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity;

·         Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or in other forms;

·         Retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research;

·         Organise and manage supervised, self-directed projects;

·         Put to use a range of IT skills from basic competences such as data analysis and word-processing to more complex skills using web-based technology or multimedia, and develop, as appropriate, specific proficiencies in utilising a range of media technologies.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

English Literature

Teaching is by a combination of lectures and seminars, with all modules including seminar or small-group teaching. Each module presents the student with a set of intellectual challenges which have in common a concern with the question of how to read the literary (or other cultural) text and how to write about its significance and meanings. Teaching stresses the importance of the way texts interact with their contexts, and each module is designed to encourage you to focus on a number of specific texts and to prepare carefully a considered answer to specific topics dealt with in the module.

The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but may include such activities as: interactive lectures, seminar discussions of prepared texts/topics, student presentations or group presentations, small-group work within seminars, translation classes, formative writing exercises, journal entries, and film showings. Students are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable them to take a full part in these activities and are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate.

Journalism & Media

Reflecting the specific aims, emphases and learning outcomes of the degree programme, learning and teaching methods will draw on an appropriate balance from amongst the following: lectures, demonstrations, screenings, seminars, workshops, tutorials, group and individual project work, supervised independent learning (for those choosing the dissertation option), multi-media and new media learning, production practices (for those opting for some of the more practical modules).

Each year there is the opportunity to study some modules through the medium of Welsh.

What should I know about year one?

English Literature


All modules offer the opportunity to undertake formative work appropriate to the module. The form(s) of summative assessment for individual modules are set out in the relevant Module Description. Most modules are assessed by assessed essay and/or examination, but some include other forms of assessment such as journal entries, a portfolio, or presentations. The assessment strategy is structured to lead students from specimen question papers towards the production of an informed answer. Emphasis in assessment is placed on the writing of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students are noted in the Module Descriptions.

In the final year of the degree students have the option of choosing to write a dissertation on a topic of particular interest to them.


Written feedback is provided on both formative and summative assessment and students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with module tutors in seminars and, where appropriate, on a one-to-one basis in office hours.



Knowledge and understanding is assessed through tutor assessed practical performance, coursework, essays, projects, technical requisites, written examinations and classroom tests.

In Year One, this will mainly involve essays or shorter written assignments and written examinations.

In Year Two, the cores will involve essays or shorter written assignments and written examinations, as well as some formative assessment to develop their media research skills. Other modules will involve a range of formative and summative forms of assessment.

In Year Three, assessment will lean towards more essay, research and project-based forms of assessment.

The principal methods of assessment on the BA scheme will vary and will depend on the requirements and learning outcomes of individual modules. Summative methods of assessment include the following:

·       Essays

·       Research reports

·       Completion of practical assignments for more applied modules

·       Class presentations

·       Seen and unseen exams

·       Class tests

·       Dissertation – a 40 credit option for Year 3 students

·       Portfolios of written work produced for seminars


We are aware that the quality and quantity of feedback is at the forefront of student’s concerns. What we ask you to understand is that feedback is something you receive throughout your degree -and that in all individual modules, feedback is not simply the comments written at the foot of your essay paper.

We want you to engage with every module, to ask questions when you have the opportunity. The key is that you benefit from our expertise to maximise your potential.

We guarantee that for assessed work:

The criterion for marking will be clearly displayed.

You will receive detailed typed written comments on your text.

You will receive prompt feedback. All assessed pieces of coursework will be returned within 4 weeks.

The feedback you get will be explanatory and worded specifically to help you improve and achieve higher marks.

Where necessary we will meet with students individually to ensure that feedback is understood and explained.

Other information

Every student is assigned a personal tutor in both English Literature and in Journalism & Media with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies.  Students are expected to take responsibility for their own development.  You will have an Academic Progress Meeting with your personal tutor each semester.  There is a form to fill in before each Academic Progress Meeting which is designed to help you reflect on the written feedback and the reasons for the marks you have received from the previous round of assessment.  You will discuss this feedback and your reflections on it with your personal tutor.

In addition, all staff have weekly office hours during teaching weeks and students may make appointments to see their personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis. Staff may also be contacted by email. Details of the office hours and email addresses of staff are provided in the Module Guide for each module and/or posted on their office doors.

The majority of modules make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where students can access course materials, links to related reading and online resources as well as multiple-choice tests.

Distinctive features

Students should be able to demonstrate the following:

·         An understanding of the historical and cultural bases of the study of the media and cultural industries  and their  roles in modern society;

·         A broad interdisciplinary training in humanities and social science approaches to media and society;

·         Skills in the close analysis of different media texts, including print; visual; audio and moving images;

·         Ability to read, analyse and synthesise complex written academic texts;

·         Critical and analytical thinking skills;

·         Ability to research, write and critique their own written projects according to high academic standards;

·         Ability to use modern information technology in researching and presenting their work;

·         Ability to work both independently and in groups.

·         Awareness of different literary periods, movements and genres and of the variety of English literature.

·         Understanding of the importance of historical and cultural contexts.

·         Knowledge of the critical issues and/or debates surrounding or raised by texts.

·         Understanding of the shaping effects of historical and cultural circumstances on the production and meaning of texts.

·         Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.

·         Ability to handle complex ideas with clarity.

·         Ability to analyse and interpret material drawn from a diversity of literary periods.

·         Ability to apply high level critical skills of close analysis to literary texts.

·         Knowledge of appropriate critical vocabulary and terminology.

·         Ability to sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the workings of language and literary styles.

·         Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating information.

How will I be taught?

Students have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester and engage in various research opportunities with staff members. There is a flourishing Journalism Society and English Society as well as a student media centre. There are careers weeks and workshops organised regularly to ensure student’s readiness for the ‘world of work’.

Admissions tutors

Professor Martin Coyle, Admissions Tutor

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.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
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