Journalism BA(Hons) 2017-18

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Jess Softley

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About the course

This course develops the skills and knowledge vital to being a journalist in the digital age. If you've got a nose for a good story and like to know what's going on in the world, the BA in Journalism can help you turn your curiosity into a career.

You'll learn all aspects of reporting, from researching stories and carrying out interviews, to writing articles for newspapers and online. You'll also be making radio pieces, filming video reports, designing magazines, writing blogs and using a variety of social media tools.

Something that makes Huddersfield stand out is the focus we put on public relations. You'll study the relationship between journalism and PR, and learn about how to become a successful PR practitioner. It's a rewarding career many of our Journalism alumni have gone on to enjoy.

Experienced professionals at the forefront of their fields will teach you the practical skills of journalism and PR, as we get you out of the classroom and into the real world from day one. Putting your skills into context are modules looking at the fascinating history and politics of the press, plus ethics and media law. You'll also meet a wide range of guest tutors and speakers, giving you the chance to network with experts in the industry.

See what current Journalism student Jess has to say about her course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.


UCAS code:
P500

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017

Duration:

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year

Course content

Year 1

Core modules:

Writing for the Media

This module introduces you to a range of media and professional writing practices. You will be guided to develop transferable skills for a broad range of media writing. You will analyse material in newspapers, magazines, broadcast outlets and online publications and through progressive writing activities develop and hone your journalistic skills. The module will introduce you to the relationship between the media and the law, and the range of legal provisions and ethical issues which affect media writing practices. You'll be assessed on a series of articles you'll write during the year.


Media and Society

This module offers you training in the academic skills required to be able to work in an undergraduate environment, and to reflect on your learning. In the process it presents you with an overview of various contemporary social issues and possible theoretical approaches to the social role of the mass media. There are two assessed essays.


Journalism Technologies

You almost certainly use a wide range of social media tools in your own life already, and this module will give you the knowledge to turn that into a more professional understanding of digital media technologies. You'll learn the practical skills to use social and online tools in journalism. You'll explore a range of social media platforms and examine their impact on journalism and the wider media. Assessment is through an online learning log, an analysis of how news outlets use online and social tools, and an original piece of multimedia journalism of your own.


Introduction to Public Relations

The module provides you with an introduction to public relations, exploring how it shapes and influences the media through a detailed analysis of print and broadcast news. You'll be introduced to the history of PR and key theoretical models. You will also explore the difference between PR, advertising and marketing. In workshops you will develop practical skills giving you an understanding of the basic operations of the industry. Assessment is through an analytical log, a series of press releases which you'll write, and a group presentation.


News-Talk Radio

This module seeks to develop your skills within, and understanding of, news talk radio so that you will be able to identify and appreciate major elements of speech-based radio. You will develop your radio production skills and will be able to compile examples of your own journalistic work in this field. The assessments are an interview, a news bulletin, an in-depth radio report and a 30-minute programme which you'll produce and present as part of a group.


Journalism Today

This module examines the key social institution that is journalism, and the theoretical and empirical issues surrounding it. It explores the sociological, cultural, political and economic aspects of journalism, subjects its activities to analysis, examines key issues that dominate academic discourse, and explores journalism in a global context. Students are challenged to identify and critique the professional attitudes of journalists and the responsibility of journalism. You'll be assessed through an in-class test and a portfolio of written work.

Year 2

Core modules:

Magazine Design and Production

This is your chance to develop your magazine skills by spotting a gap in the market for a new publication and producing the first edition as part of a group, before pitching it to a group of industry experts. Along the way you'll investigate the diversity and complexity of the magazine market and consider the nature of design and production. The economics, costs, techniques, and organisation involved in making a magazine are all examined. You'll also work with software packages used in the industry. Assessment is through the magazine you produce as well as the final presentation.


Video Journalism

This module builds on the skills of written and radio journalism learned in the first year, and relates them to the production of video journalism. You'll learn to use professional video cameras, sound equipment and editing software to produce various video news formats, suitable for digital platforms. You'll be assessed through a series of video pieces during the year, as well as a reflective report.


Journalism: Writing Techniques and Skills

This module builds on the foundation provided by Writing for the Media in the first year. It gives you deeper understanding of journalism and the nature of journalistic practices in a digital age. It establishes a critical awareness of essential journalistic skills, especially for social media-assisted reporting, and provides exercises in the production of news and feature articles. You'll submit a series of assessed pieces during the year.


Working in the Media

This module aims to improve your employability by introducing you to a range of journalism-related employment opportunities, the professional requirements of the industry, and the skills to effectively apply for jobs. It enables you to experience contact with professionals from the communications and media industries (you are encouraged to network in order to obtain work placements), to acquire a professional outlook, and to understand and develop the skills and qualities needed to succeed professionally. For some lectures, this module will use speakers from industry to explain their roles and professional practice, while seminars will help you to identify and develop the interpersonal skills and professional skills required in the world of work, including verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills. You will learn how to reflect on your own skills and qualities, and how to highlight these in an appropriate way in job applications and CVs and in developing an effective social media profile. You'll be assessed through an individual personal development portfolio.

Plus one of the following core modules-

History and Politics of the Press

Anyone who aspires to be a good journalist should know about the history of journalism and the part it has played in the politics of the country. From the perspective of journalists and historians you will have the opportunity to learn about the history of newspapers from the beginnings in the English Civil War to phone hacking and the future of journalism online. The module analyses the relationships between the press, politicians and governments, and the part played by key players such as spin doctors and the increasing role of digital media. Assessment is through an essay, a presentation and an in-class exam.


Professional English as a Foreign Language: Further Studies

This advanced module provides those of you with university entry-level English with the opportunity to develop your ability to communicate in the language. Oral role-plays improve confidence and range of expression, whilst written activities build fluency and quality of composition. Reading and aural exercises consolidate these skills. The topic-based content of the module is contemporary and is designed to provide you with a broad understanding of key social, political and cultural phenomena. You will be assessed through reading/writing, speaking and listening activities carried out in tutorial.

Option modules:

Choose one option from a list which may include-

Digital Cultures

This module will make a detailed examination of the ways digital technologies impact on society, culture and identities. You will consider a number of contemporary issues including: crises in identity (national identity against individual identity); sociological debates surrounding globalisation and locality (localising the global); theories about electronic culture, hyper-reality, surveillance and the control of cyberspace; ‘participatory culture’ and the impact of ‘democratic’ media on identity, culture and politics. The module will review current practices, technologies and trends in consumption, drawing examples from games, social media, and the spread of mobile devices. Assessment is through an annotated bibliography, a presentation and an essay.


Media Sociology and Media Culture

This module offers a broad consideration of the economic, cultural and social role of the media and their content in contemporary consumer society. It will examine key theoretical approaches to the study of mediated culture. Attention will be given to the concept of ideology and its application, the growth of cultural studies as a sub-discipline, the manner in which power circulates, and the ‘cultural shift’ from modernism to post-modernism and post-digitalism. By the end of the module you will be able to identify and apply core critical theories to a range of media and cultural texts. Assessment is through an essay and a portfolio of analytical work.


Music: Business and Promotions

You will focus in this module on how the music industry and related public relations and promotional campaigns operate. You will develop your creative music and PR writing through a variety of practical exercises for media outlets. You will be involved in the planning and management of a PR and promotions campaign. Online, social media and offline sources will be explored with a focus on the application of PR techniques for events and promotions. You'll be assessed through an essay and a portfolio of material relating to your PR campaign.

Year 3 - optional placement or study abroad year

Placement Year

The placement will relate to your course of study and/or desired career It will provide opportunities for the development of a range of personal, interpersonal and professional skills, dependent upon the nature of the working environment and whether the student is working as an individual or within a team. You will be expected to identify a suitable placement for yourselves but will be assisted by the Module Tutor and the Employer Engagement Administrator. It is expected that you will undertake formal recruitment and selection procedures and will be required to prepare a Curriculum Vitae, write cover letters, attend assessment centres and interviews as necessary.


OR

Final year

Core modules:

Work Based Learning for Journalism & Media Industries

This is your opportunity to put what you have learned into action in the real world. You'll learn how to plan for, secure and undertake work-based learning (the equivalent of 150 hours) with an appropriate employer or client. The possibilities range from working at newspapers, magazines, radio stations and TV companies, to public relations roles for professional sports clubs and charities, as well as working with social media agencies or putting on events. Any students with disabilities will be consulted at the earliest opportunity to assess how their particular needs might be best met by the placement. You'll submit your best work from the placement to be assessed, and feedback from your employer will also be taken into account.

Note: Students studying on BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism are expected to undertake a compulsory work placement experience of 15 days across the third year with five days being concurrent.


Dissertation / Research Project

You will produce an extended piece of individual work based on research into a particular topic of your choice associated with journalism, media or popular culture. The dissertation will be supervised by a member of academic staff, who will act as the dissertation tutor. There will be a regular schedule of supervision and you will be expected to submit evidence of your progress at regular intervals. You'll be assessed on your final 8,000 word dissertation.

Choose one from a list which may include-

Media Policy, Law and Ethics

This module provides you with an insight into the legal, ethical and policy frameworks within which the media organisations, policy-making and media professionals operate. It addresses the principles of media law and looks at the regulatory structures for press, broadcasting, music and cinema. It examines the ‘politics of policy’ in the UK, US and EU, and in the context of the power of transnational media corporations. It also examines and analyses examples of ethical problems in the media and the philosophical ideas and themes underpinning them. Assessment is through coursework, essays and role-play.


Professional English as a Foreign Language: Comparative Studies

This upper advanced module provides those of you who have passed Professional English as a Foreign Language: Further Studies module (or who have equivalent competence) with the opportunity to further develop your ability to communicate in the language. Oral role-plays and group discussions improve confidence and range of expression, whilst written activities build communication skills. Reading and aural exercises complement these. The topic-based content of the module is contemporary and is designed to provide you with a good understanding of key socio-cultural issues of places where the language is spoken. You will be assessed through reading/writing, speaking and listening activities carried out in tutorial.

Option modules:

Choose two options from a list which may include-

Writing for Magazines

You will concentrate on developing a professional and distinctive style in writing for magazines. You will closely analyse the writing styles adopted by individual feature writers and by magazine titles and groups, and will produce work which is of a publishable standard. You will liaise with those active in the profession and will appreciate the nature and professional demands of freelancing. Assessment is through a series of feature articles.


Investigative Journalism

The module provides an insight into the world of investigative journalism and will help you to work on the skills involved in successful investigations. You will learn about the history of this crucial kind of reporting, ranging from Watergate to MPs' expenses. You'll examine the techniques used by investigative journalists and use the skills you'll develop in class, to do your own investigation of a topical subject of your choice. You'll be assessed on a written or broadcast piece based on your investigation, as well as through a reflective report.


Journalism Innovation

This cutting edge module brings a dash of Silicon Valley start-up culture to modern journalism. It will help you develop advanced critical understanding of digital media technologies, and how online and social media tools can be applied to journalism in innovative ways. You will work in small groups to identify a new tool, or an existing tool applied in a new method, which can be used in journalism. Each group will develop an assessed plan for a start-up business based on their learning.


Strategic Public Relations

Your knowledge of public relations will be developed so that you will be able to plan and structure a coherent communications campaign. The planning and management of campaigns, and the relevance of media relationships, will involve students developing a comprehensive integrated campaign plan for an external client. Assessment is through an assessed portfolio of material relating to the campaign, plus a presentation to the client.

At any year of study, one module outside the named degree programme, but offered within the School of Music, Humanities and Media, may be taken as an alternative to any of the option modules listed above where feasible and subject to timetabling restrictions and the approval of your Course Leader.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Placements

A compulsory final year placement will involve working with an external client. This could be a few weeks with a newspaper, magazine or broadcaster, or one day a week over several months in the busy PR office of a company, charity or public sector organisation.

Previous placement providers have ranged from magazines and newspapers such as the Huddersfield Examiner and Barnsley Chronicle, to national opportunities at the Press Association, as well as corporate clients seeking professional video work and agencies in the fast-developing field of social media.

Career opportunities

95% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates from the BA Journalism course in recent years include the Press Association and a wide range of local and regional newspapers and magazines. Others have moved into public relations and social media with agencies across the north of England and further afield. Graduates have also used their journalism skills to begin careers in advertising, recruitment and the public services, including as college media tutors teaching the next generation of students. *Source: Linked In.

Teaching and assessment

22.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars etc.

You'll learn from professional journalists and academics in lectures, seminars, projects and group work. Assessment of this course will take a variety of forms including written assignments, study logs, examinations, individual and group projects, presentations, practical production, and a dissertation.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

Facilities

Our students use the latest industry-standard equipment and software that enables us to be ready for changes in the digital, HD environment. All the digital editing equipment is what is currently used at the BBC and independent TV and radio stations across the country.

You'll study in a purpose-built building with facilities including an HD TV studio, the latest tapeless video cameras, 60 video editing suites equipped with AVID and five digital radio studios. Industry layout software InDesign is used to produce replica newspapers and magazines in print and online media.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: Communication Cultural and Media Studies (MA by Research)

International

If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

Research community

Media are changing at a rapid rate as we are moving from the era of mass communication shaped by newspapers, radio, television and cinema to the digital age of media convergence and networked societies. Our research in Journalism and Media at the University of Huddersfield is dedicated to the questions of central importance to any student of Journalism, Media and Film: How are media and popular culture including sport and music changing in the face of the rise of digital media? How does this change impact on how media are produced, distributed and consumed? What are the skills that are required as journalist, media worker and those in other industry sectors who work with and through digital media? How will changing user experiences and the rise of ‘prosumers' transform production practices and business models in the media? And what does this change tell us about why media mean so much to so many?

Journalism and Media at the University of Huddersfield is home to one of Europe's leading centres for the study of participatory culture, fans and popular media. The Centre for Participatory Culture brings together preeminent researchers in the field who have explored as diverse topics as animation film and branding, the reception of Disney's Star Wars sequels, football in the digital age, music festivals and music tourism, science fiction fandom, Regional Reality TV Drama, popular culture, identity and globalisation, digital media and political participation, and textual value in convergence media. Alongside studies of media use, our research also explores how the production of media and culture is changing through studies of journalistic practice, media industries and media representations.

For more information, please refer to our website.

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