Journalism, Media and Sociology (BA)

Sociology and media affects us all, making the close link between Journalism and Sociology undeniable.

The School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and the School of Social Sciences both place great emphasis on student choice with numerous elective modules available for you to choose from alongside your core modules of study. This enables you to tailor your degree to meet your personal interests.

Key facts

Duration3 years
Typical places available
Typical applications received
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB, excluding General Studies
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, Plus BB at A-Level.
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

Sociology, Communication, media, film and cultural studies

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Nicholas Bailey , Admissions Tutor

    Welsh medium provisionThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

    This is a Joint Honours degree programme equal in status to a Single Honours degree, with the time spent on each subject being split equally.

    Year one

    Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Introduction To Social Science ResearchSI012420 credits
    Sociology, Society and Social ChangeSI023720 credits
    Key Ideas in Social ScienceSI016920 credits

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Understanding Journalism StudiesMC157820 credits
    History of Mass Communication & CultureMC111020 credits
    RepresentationsMC111420 credits
    Media ScholarshipMC111520 credits

    Year two

    Year three

    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.

    Teaching in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Stduies 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.

    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 to students before they 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.

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

    The School’s graduates typically find employment both in Britain and abroad in a range of work – teaching, public service, the Civil Service, university, charity and arts administration, communications and public relations for a range of industries.

    Many graduates progress onto our Postgraduate Journalism and Communications Masters, available at Cardiff and elsewhere, and from there to various jobs in the media.

    In 2013/14, 95% of School of Social Science graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

    Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

    We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.


    3 Year(s)

    Next intake

    September 2016

    Places available

    Typical places available

    The School of Social Sciences admits over 340 students to their undergraduate degree programmes every year.

    The School Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies admits 130 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

    Applications received

    Typical applications received



    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    Sociology, Communication, media, film and cultural studies

    What are the aims of this Programme?

    The Sociology and Journalism BA degree programme 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. Sociology is an excellent subject to pair with journalism because of its close attention to cultural concerns and its ability to contextualize and inform our understanding of the important role of the media in society. Sociology modules are taken in the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) and Journalism modules in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC). Both Schools offer modules that will develop your understanding of, and interest in, contemporary and classical cultural and sociological theories, debates and processes.  

    Your Sociology modules will help you to make sense of the social and cultural contexts in which journalism is rooted and to which media debates respond – such as the changing nature of media networks, shifts in the nature of work, leisure and family life, transformation in institutions such as the education, welfare, political and legal systems, shifts in the ethnic make-up of Britain, the continuing significance of class and gender inequalities, and debates over increasing globalisation and new forms of technology, media, scientific innovation and medical intervention. Sociology modules will help you to understand pressing questions raised by studying the media, such as society’s prevailing attitudes to immigration, why certain social groups are fascinated with celebrity, why young people seem to be less interested in politics today and whether it is really the case that we are becoming a more affluent and individualised society.

    Key concepts in Sociology relate to theoretical concerns that are central to media studies, including the nature of power, control, conflict, legitimacy and risk; the relationship between individuals, the media, the State and society; the social implications of capitalist and consumerist forms of exchange; concepts of mobility, solidarities, communities and networks, and value-systems such as environmentalism and community activism. Sociology also trains you to identify and assess the evidence supporting or refuting claims made by politicians and the media about the changing nature of society. A defining feature of Sociology at Cardiff is the strong emphasis placed on research methods, enabling you to learn about and apply a range of practical techniques for answering your own questions about the social world.

    Degree programmes in SOCSI and JOMEC reflect the National Qualification Framework and benchmark standards of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) ( 

    What is expected of me?

    Most modules are 20 credits. Students are expected to allocate 200 hours of study time to each of them: this is made up of lectures (22-24 hrs in Years 2 and 3, 44-48 in Year 1), tutorials/seminars/workshops (8-10 hours), independent study and time spent on assessment tasks. Students should attend all lectures and are required to attend all seminars.

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

    Students are also expected to maintain regular contact with the personal tutor and, where appropriate, inform the School of any extenuating circumstances that might affect their academic performance.

    In SOCSI we take the responsibility we share with you to support your learning seriously and if you have any particular requirements it is important that you let us know. In some instances you may just want to talk to your personal tutor or a member of the teaching team on a particular module. We also have a Disabilities contact and work closely with the Student Support Service.

    How is this Programme Structured?

    This is a 3 year full time programme, consisting of 120 credits a year.

    Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

    No specific equipment required

    What skills will I practise and develop?

    Students will acquire and develop a range of skills, including both discipline specific and generic employability skills. These include: communicating and presenting oral and written information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team); using ICT (word processing, data bases, internet communication, information retrieval and on-line searches); interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information through compulsory year 1 and 2 research methods modules; demonstrating interpersonal skills to enable team/group work; recognising, recording and communicating skills and knowledge to achieve personal/career goals; managing  learning and performance (including time management); demonstrating a commitment to continuing learning and development.

    How will I be taught?

    Each year of study consist of 120 credits, usually taught as six 20 credit modules. In each academic year, there will be a number of core modules that provide the essential foundation for the degree scheme plus a number of optional modules that allow you to tailor your academic work to your own strengths and interests. In the third year, students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation. The dissertation is counted as a double module and provides the opportunity for independent study and research supported by an academic supervisor.

    A diverse range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the degree. Students will attend lectures, participate in tutorials or seminars and carry out practical tasks as individual or group activities. Seminar and practical work is particularly important as it provides an opportunity to student to obtain feedback on their progress and understanding throughout the academic year.

    You will receive formal feedback on your assessments in a variety of ways. You will receive individual, written feedback on coursework, the purpose of which is to improve your understanding of the subject and develop transferable skills that can be applied elsewhere. General feedback will also be given on examinations, with individual feedback available for students who have failed the module and require a resit. Many modules also offer formative assessments, which enable you to develop your skills and obtain feedback without affecting your final module mark.

    How will I be assessed?

    Each of the taught modules within the programme will be assessed using one or more of the following in-course assessments:

    • Essays and coursework;
    • Formal seen and unseen examinations;
    • Class tests;
    • Written reports;
    • Group presentations
    • Oral presentations;
    • Dissertation.

    There are also opportunities for formative assessment: assessments which do not formally count towards the final grade and an opportunity for you to gain insight and feedback on your progress. We place a particular emphasis on formative assessment in the first year.

    Alternative provision may be made for students with disabilities.

    How will I be supported?

    Students will be allocated two personal tutors -- one for sociology, one for journalism and media -- for the duration of their studies. Tutors make themselves available for scheduled meetings to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, but they can also be called upon when needed.

    All modules within the programme make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks. Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors. Support for the dissertation is provided by a supervisor who will meet with students regularly.

    Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are also made available via the University’s central services, which include:

    • Academic and Skills Development Centre:
    • Information Literacy Resource Bank:
    • Careers Advice and Guidance:

    What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

    A typical graduate from this programme will be able to:

    • understand key concepts and theoretical approaches that have been developed and are developing within Sociology and Journalism
    • appraise sociological and cultural theories and assess them in relation to evidence
    • demonstrate an awareness of social change, the nature of social processes underpinning them and their implications for social diversity and inequality
    • appraise and use a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
    • demonstrate awareness of the distinctive character of sociology in relation to the discipline of journalism and media studies and also its relationship to everyday explanations.
    • demonstrate intellectual independence, critical engagement, personal and academic communication skills.

    Other information

    The distinctive features of the programme include:

    • the opportunity for students to learn in a School that was ranked 3rd in the UK for research quality in sociology and 5th for education in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF)
    • the involvement of research-active staff in Scheme design and delivery
    • the emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment
    • the variety of modules on offer in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary School
    • progression through core and specialist option modules
    • an emphasis on developing practical research skills that will serve students well in the future
    • the opportunity to study abroad

    Admissions tutors

    Dr Nicholas Bailey , 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.