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Journalism Media and Sociology (BA)

Entry year

This modern degree enables you to make sense of society and the role of mass communications in an era of globalisation and social change.

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Course overview

Many students find studying a joint honours programme stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining journalism, media and sociology, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future.

This degree is delivered in partnership by the School of Social Sciences and the School of Journalism, Media and Culture. It offers an opportunity to explore current debates in sociological concepts and methods, communications and media studies.

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.

Your Journalism and Media modules will introduce many of the key themes, concepts, frameworks and skills necessary to begin your critical analysis of the media, your study of journalism and your understanding of mass communications.

They will compare scholarly and professional approaches to understanding the evolving nature of news in light of recent trends and developments and you will learn how to use historical and analytical approaches to think critically about contemporary media culture.

Distinctive features

  • Sociology is an excellent subject to pair with journalism because of its close attention to cultural concerns and its ability to contextualise and inform our understanding of the important role of the media in society.
  • The opportunity for you to learn in Schools ranked 2nd in the UK for research quality in journalism, 3rd in sociology and 5th in education in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF).
  • The involvement of research-active staff in teaching.
  • The emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment.
UCAS codeLP35
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of Social Sciences typically has 280 places available, the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies typically has 125 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of Social Sciences typically receives 1250 applicants, the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies typically has 1000 applicants.
  1. School of Journalism, Media and Culture

    Two Central Square

    Central Square


    CF10 1FS

  2. School of Social Sciences

    Glamorgan Building

    King Edward VII Avenue


    CF10 3WA

Entry requirements

ABB. Critical Thinking and General Studies 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.

Achieve the IB Diploma with a minimum of 17 in 3 HL subjects.

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

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.


At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass 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 C or 4, IGCSE English First Language grade C, IGCSE English as a Second Language grade C.

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

You should be prepared to invest in some key text books and to cover the costs of basic printing and photocopying.  You may also want to buy copies of other books, either because they are particularly important for your course or because you find them particularly interesting.

If you have a laptop computer you will have the option of purchasing software at discounted prices.

Course specific equipment

What the student should provide:

You do not need any specific equipment to study on this programme.  Access to a laptop computer would be advantageous as many readings are available electronically and most assessments are prepared using standard word processing software.

What the University will provide:

Networked computers with appropriate file space and all necessary software.  Access to essential and background reading for each module plus a wide range of journals and other online resources.  All course documents will be available online (via the VLE) and hard copies of essential documents will be provided if requested.


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

Course structure

This is a three-year, full-time course consisting of 120 credits a year.  The final degree classification that you are awarded is based on the grades you achieve in the modules that you take in years two and three.

In year one you will lay the foundations for later specialist study, taking a number of core modules and following a study skills programme designed to help you make the transition to higher education. In years two and three, you will be encouraged to study and learn more independently, giving you the opportunity to read more widely and to develop your own interests. The final year also includes the option to study a 40 credit dissertation.

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

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. Our personal tutor programme will help you to make the transition to higher education.

You will take 120 credits in total, equally split between 60 credits in Journalism and 60 credits in sociology.

Students must take:

  • Introduction to Social Science Research – 20 credits
  • Key Ideas in Social Science – 20 credits
  • Sociology, Society and Social Change – 20 credits

Students may take 60 credits from:

  • History of Mass Communication and Culture – 20 credits
  • Media Scholarship – 20 credits
  • Cymru: Y Senedd, Y Straeon a’r Spin – 20 credits
  • Understanding Journalism Studies – 20 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction to Social Science ResearchSI028020 credits
Key Ideas in Social ScienceSI028120 credits
Introduction to SociologySI029120 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
History of Mass Communication and CultureMC111020 credits
Media ScholarshipMC111520 credits
Cymru: Y Senedd, Y Straeon a'r SpinMC111720 credits
Understanding Journalism StudiesMC157820 credits

Year two

.You will again take 60 credits in Journalism and 60 credits in sociology.

Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules that best suit your interests and future career choices.

Students must take:

  • Social Theory – 20 credits
  • Contemporary Inequalities – 20 credits
  • Social Research Methods – 20 credits

Students may take 60 credits from:

  • Media and Gender – 20 credits
  • Media, Power and Society – 20 credits
  • Social Media, Politics and Society – 20 credits
  • Yr Ystafell Newyddion 1 – 20 credits
  • Yr Ystafell Newyddion 2 – 20 credits
  • Birth and Death and Marriage in the Media: Researching the “Personal” in “Cultural Context” – 20 credits
  • Film and Culture Theory – 20 credits
  • Critical Issues in Television Production – 20 credits
  • Celebrity Culture – 20 credits
  • Fashion Futures: Technology, Innovation and Society – 20 credits
  • Internet Governance – 20 credits
  • Media, Globalisation and Culture – 20 credits
  • Pulic Relations and Political Communication – 20 credits
  • Tele-Fictions – 20 credits
  • War, Politics and Propaganda II – 20 credits
  • Doing Media Research: Approaches and Methods – 20 credits
  • Reporting Science, the Environment and Health – 20 credits
  • Media Law Year 2 – 20 credits
  • Media and Democracy – 20 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Contemporary InequalitiesSI028820 credits
Social Research MethodsSI029720 credits
Social TheorySI030020 credits

Year three

You will again take 60 credits in Journalism and 60 credits in sociology.

Your personal tutor will help you to choose modules to best suit a particular pathway with you future career choices in mind.

Students must take at least 20 credits from:

  • Sociology on the Move – 20 credits
  • The Sociology of Stigma – 20 credits
  • Live Theory -20 credits

Students may take up to 20 credits from:

  • Society and Genetics – 20 credits
  • Unequal Chances – 20 credits
  • Religion and Society – 20 credits
  • CRUSH – 20 credits
  • Engaging in a Healthy Society – 20 credits
  • Cymdeithas Gyfoes yng Nghymru – 20 credits
  • Digital Society – 20 credits
  • Dissertation – 40 credits

Students may also take up to 60 credits from:

  • Dissertation – 40 credits
  • Media Law – 20 credits
  • Writing With Light: Histories of Visual Media – 20 credits
  • Mediating Childhood – 20 credits
  • The Making and Shaping of News – 20 credits
  • Spin Unspun: Public Relations and The News Media – 20 credits
  • The Creative and Cultural Industries – 20 credits
  • 21st Century British Television: Industry, Form and Audiences – 20 credits
  • Sport and the Media – 20 credits
  • Communicating Causes – 20 credits
  • Understanding Media Business – 20 credits
  • Reporting Conflict and the Civil Sphere – 20 credits
  • Palu am y Gwir – 20 credits
  • Stori Pwy? Cyfathrebu Cymru – 20 credits
  • Data Power – 20 credits
  • Reporting the World – 20 credits
  • Social Movements and Digital Media – 20 credits
  • Media, Money and Markets – 20 credits
  • Feminisms and Television History – 20 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?

You will learn from scholars who are shaping the future of their fields. Our courses reflect both the core ideas of their disciplines and contemporary debates, theories and research.

Teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, seminars, independent study and self-directed learning that draw use of on-line resources, individual work and group tasks. Lectures generally provide an overview of the relevant topic, introducing key concepts or research, and highlighting contemporary issues or debates. An increasing number of lectures are now recorded. In contrast to lectures, seminars give you the opportunity to discuss particular readings, research or topics in detail. This allows you to consolidate your understanding and get feedback on your individual learning. Seminars also enable you to hone your communication, presentation and collaborative skills as you take part in group discussions and other tasks.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




How will I be supported?

Personal tutors in each School will guide you for the duration of your studies.  The tutors are available to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance on your academic studies.

All modules within the course make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which you 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.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, coursework, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake assessments that don’t count towards your final grade but give you an opportunity to assess your progress and to get feedback on your work.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams


Practical exams




Year 2

Written exams


Practical exams




Year 3

Written exams


Practical exams




What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of key concepts and theoretical approaches that have been developed and are developing within Sociology and Journalism
  • An understanding of sociological and cultural theories
  • An understanding of social change and the nature of social processes that underpin them and their implications for social diversity and inequality
  • An understanding of a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • 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.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Design and use a range of data collection instruments needed to explore and understand the social world
  • Critically evaluate, synthesise and interpret primary and secondary data generated using different methods, using specialist software where necessary
  • Work both collaboratively and individually on theoretically informed and empirically-grounded projects that draw on appropriate and relevant research evidence

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The capacity for problem-solving and originality in thinking by using knowledge and skills to tackle familiar and unfamiliar problems
  • Academic and personal skills such as critical thinking, writing, oral presentations, problem solving, group work, time-management, and the use of information technology.
  • The ability to communicate complex information in a variety of formats including reports, oral presentations, posters and dissertations

Careers and placements

Career prospects

School of Social Sciences

In 2015/16, 96% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

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.

School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

In 2015/16, 93% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

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.


Both the School of Social Sciences and the School of Journalism and Media Studies have dedicated placements staff who can offer advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support with job applications and interview techniques is also available.

Studying in Welsh

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


Next Undergraduate Open Day

Saturday 26 October




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How to apply