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Journalism and Communications (BA)

Entry year


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

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A BA Journalism and Communications student at Cardiff University

Course overview

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

  • You will study in a new purpose-built School in the centre of Cardiff's all-new Central Square development.
  • We are located next to national media organisations such as Media Wales and BBC Cymru/Wales.
  • We have been ranked by the Guardian’s University League Table as one of the top five Schools for Journalism and Public Relations in the UK, for the last five years.
  • For Communication and Media Studies, the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 found us to be the fourth best in the UK and sixth best in Europe.
UCAS code0N3D
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School typically has 125 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1000 applications.

You will study the impact of social media, the role of corporate communications or why in the era of ‘fake news’ quality journalism matters more than ever.

Entry requirements

ABB - BBB. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects but please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted.  

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM  in all Arts, Science, Humanities and Social Science.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies admissions criteria pages.

GCSE

Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

At least 100 with minimum scores of 24 for writing, 22 for listening, 24 for reading and 25 for speaking.

PTE Academic

70 with 70 in speaking and no less than 62 in any of the other skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

III: at least a Merit in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

GCSE English Language Grade B or 6, IGCSE English First Language grade B, IGCSE English as a Second Language not accepted.

Selection

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

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

All of our Single Honours degree programmes share a common first year. This is designed to give you a sound foundation in all of the contemporary and historical contexts of journalism, media and culture. It also introduces you to the practicalities of high-quality academic writing, analysis and research.

In total six core 20-credit modules are taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format. During your lectures you will be introduced to new ideas and approaches and carry out more applied and team-based work in your seminars.

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationMC310340 credits
Media LawMC321320 credits
Mediating ChildhoodMC358520 credits
The Making and Shaping of NewsMC358920 credits
Media, Racism, ConflictMC359320 credits
Spin Unspun: Public Relations and The News MediaMC359620 credits
Sport and the MediaMC361220 credits
Communicating CausesMC361620 credits
Understanding Media BusinessMC361920 credits
Reporting Conflict and the Civil SphereMC362420 credits
Palu am y GwirMC362520 credits
Stori Pwy? Cyfathrebu CymruMC362620 credits
Reporting the WorldMC362820 credits
Media, Money and MarketsMC363020 credits
Popular Music, Media, & CultureMC363320 credits
A Century of War PhotojournalismMC363520 credits
Power and Resistance in the Big Data AgeMC363820 credits
Introduction to Broadcast JournalismMC363920 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.

Learning and assessment

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

20%

Guided independent study

80%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

22%

Guided independent study

78%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

null%

Guided independent study

null%

Placements

null%

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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

23%

Practical exams

5%

Coursework

72%

Year 2

Written exams

8%

Practical exams

10%

Coursework

83%

Year 3

Written exams

null%

Practical exams

null%

Coursework

null%

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).

Careers

Career prospects

Our students have an excellent reputation for finding employment after they graduate.

The most recent DLHE data (2016/17), shows that 96% of our graduates reported they were in employment or further studies within six months of graduation.

Career roles

Our graduates find their skills to be helpful in a range of communications and public relations roles. Our alumni benefit from their ability to write copy quickly, effectively and for a specific audience. Our graduates often succeed in business due to their ability to structure a coherent written and verbal argument when pitching their business ideas.

Some of our graduates utilise their newfound knowledge of current affairs and world politics to pursue a career in journalism.

Because our undergraduate degrees do not provide journalism training or a journalistic accreditation, many chose to progress on to our Masters courses, such as broadcast, magazine, news or computational journalism, to gain their practical training.

In fact, you will gain skills applicable to a range of modern media driven jobs, recent career pathways and roles have included:

  • TV Production – Producer and researcher
  • Advertising – Copy writer and campaign manager
  • Public Relations – Account manager and writer
  • Teaching – Various disciplines
  • Journalism – Local reporter and blogger
  • Movie Production – Writer and producer
  • Publishing – Writer and copy editor
  • Communications – Press/communications officer

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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