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Journalism and Media BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time PP53 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

Both journalism and the media sector are in constant flux. The digital world is changing the face of how the industry operates, offering exciting challenges to the next generation of media professionals. This course is designed to develop multi-skilled, entrepreneurial graduates, armed with the confidence to thrive in the journalism and media industries. it will equip students with the cutting-edge business, content and creative skills required for communication practice across diverse media and markets.

The programme of study will enable you to tailor your degree to suit your interests, employment or enterprise goals. It will support you in developing the ability and confidence to originate and research concepts, produce content and communicate effectively.

The lively interactive lecture, seminar and workshop format will make use of our digital computer labs with industry-standard software. You'll also benefit from a dedicated newsroom and broadcast media suite.

Foundation year - Humanities & Arts

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the humanities or arts. At Kingston these include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama and English Literature.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a humanities or arts degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

What you will study

Practical modules will develop your writing, editing and production skills, alongside practical project management and team-working as you originate, design and produce a range of media products. You'll grow effective communication skills and gain an understanding of legal and ethical implications to your work.

The programme offers a multidisciplinary approach, challenging you to develop an understanding of the political, historical, cultural and social contexts in which journalists and communications professionals operate.

In addition to a strong knowledge-base of media theory and evidence of practice, work experience in a media environment will add to the portfolio required for a 21st century communications career.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • Writing is a key communication tool of journalism. This module introduces students to the language, practical conventions, contexts and functions of written journalism in the multimedia environment. Through studying and critically analysing the structure, style and content of articles published on websites, in newspapers and magazines students will begin to develop an understanding of how copy is gathered, put together and directed at specific readerships.

    Through lectures and through practice in workshops students will learn to identify a story from raw, diffuse or incomplete information by the application of news values, to write it in appropriate style, to add headlines and online "furniture" and to upload it to a content management system.

    Writing clear, accurate and engaging text relies on understanding and applying the rules of grammar, using the right words and constructing coherent prose. This module also helps students to boost their grammar and punctuation skills, choose and use appropriate words and craft effective sentences and paragraphs. Students will discover the underlying rules and principles, consider the impact of their writing decisions and develop their own writing and editing skills.

    Also, by examining and practising skills needed to develop and write pieces such as: originating ideas, researching, assessing the reliability of sources, interviewing, organising material and adhering to house style, students will aim to produce journalistic news pieces and feature articles that are suitable for publication.

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  • This is a core module for full and half-field Journalism students. It offers a critical introduction to the discipline of journalism in all its forms, with particular emphasis on news. At its heart is a question central to studying journalism: why do journalists approach their trade in the way(s) they do, and what are the values, norms and assumptions underpinning their professional practice? The module commences with an examination of news values - the (often unspoken) 'rules of thumb' that determine the subjects/stories journalists report and the angles they pursue. It adopts a critical approach to examining reporting practice - introducing academic concepts like framing, agenda-setting and active audience theory to consider not only how journalists select and/or construct their narratives but also the increasing contribution of audiences themselves to the shaping of news discourse. 

    The module examines two other issues central to the role of the journalist: objectivity and public interest. Students are encouraged to critique the question of objectivity, with reference to real-world examples that both uphold and challenge this idea, including the practice of openly partisan/campaigning journalism. Public interest is examined in light of recent controversies that have exposed legal and ethical issues with contemporary journalism - including the 'phone-hacking' scandal and ensuing Leveson Inquiry and criminal prosecutions.

    The module also acts as a more general introduction to the academic strand of the BA Journalism degree - introducing students to Kingston's personal tutor system and the conventions of essay-writing, Harvard referencing and exam technique.

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  • This module sets out to explore the historical development of media technologies over time spanning written, visual and electronic forms. It introduces key themes and concepts that frame the study of media and culture and locates these within their social,political and cultural contexts. The module also serves to identify and explorethe essential skills required for successful undergraduate study.

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  • This module aims to acquaint students with historical and contemporary digital media practices and design principles as a basis for developing media communication skills.  Students will develop visual thinking, software skills and, an understanding of the range of digital media production by selectively experimenting with digital form and content. The module also provides students with the opportunity to bring knowledge from other modules and apply it to their digital artefact.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This is a core module taken by both all second year journalism students. It aims to expand, develop and hone the print and online skills acquired in Practical Journalism 1. The module will also explore how journalism is shaped by the legal and regulatory context in which it is practised. Students will focus on story development, writing and editing in print and online, layout and page design, and video story-telling. They will also learn Teeline shorthand, aiming to reach a speed of 60-100 wpm. They will acquire a working knowledge of libel, contempt and privacy law as well as court reporting skills. 

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  • This module builds on the theoretical concepts introduced in How Media Changed the World, looking closely and in more depth at how these concepts emerged and developed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and examines their utility in the understanding and analysis of contemporary culture. The module is in two parts, in the first semester we consider how various theories of media and culture have responded to social, political and technological change. In the second semester the module explores some of the key issues surrounding the digitisation of the media and how this has transformed work, leisure and various cultural forms and practices, such as art and popular music. Through practical application of these theories we will test their pertinence and utility through analyses of contemporary media, culture, texts and practices.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • The UK magazine industry has never been more exciting and challenging. Despite digital and economic changes modern magazines devoted to trends and interests endure. This module looks at how these contemporary publications are positioned and how they co-operate to weave together strands of information. In this module students learn about the contexts within which contemporary magazines operate. They look at the current state of the periodicals sector and reflect on trends and future developments by researching, originating and developing a magazine concept for a specified readership. They build up effective editorial, team-working skills and adapt these to the needs of differing audiences and objectives through the origination and production of their own magazine. They will apply journalistic skills to create a portfolio of articles and will utilise design and layout skills to produce a dummy magazine.

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    • This module will give students the hands-on editorial experience of news broadcasting using video and audio and provide them with the tools needed to deliver compelling stories. The course will be taught through weekly lectures and technical workshops. At the end of the module students will have a digital portfolio containing a TV package and a radio report.


      Students will be supported while they learn how to capture and record news using industry standard equipment. They will develop an ability to write for pictures and to craft sound. They will receive voice coaching and get the chance to read a radio bulletin and present pieces to camera. They will become confident in the language of the broadcast newsroom.
      In an increasingly digital media environment broadcast news has had to adapt the way it produces content. These technological advances have also influenced the way people digest news coverage. Therefore, alongside learning traditional methods of broadcast journalism students will also be introduced to podcasts. They will learn what the digital world means for storytelling and what the video-enabled Internet means for live reporting.

      Finally although the world of conventional broadcasting is changing rapidly, good ideas will always hold creative currency and students will be required to generate and pitch two original TV and radio ideas with particular audiences in mind.

       
    • This module aims to acquaint students with the practices associated with contemporary Digital Media Production. Students will be presented with 2 options: Media Production or Project Management and will be expected to engage in a small group project to select and experiment with digital form and content. The primary deliverable will be to create a Multi-Media website and to populate this site with a variety of media: short videos, infographics, advertising, interactive displays or artistic expressions. The module will also provide students with an opportunity to bring knowledge from other modules and apply it to their digital artifact.

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    • This module aims to set the processes and outputs of UK journalism within their historical and literary context. Students will develop an understanding of how journalism developed as a commercial activity and a recognisable profession in the nineteenth century and how these beginnings influenced the shape of journalism throughout the twentieth century, with the growth of the tabloid press, the battles of the press barons, the rise and fall of the power of the print unions and the growth of consumer and lifestyle journalism. Students will discuss and debate key issues such as the growth of campaigning and investigative journalism and the freedom of the press in a democratic society.

      Students will be introduced to the journalism of such writers as Defoe, Swift, Steele, Dickens, as well as more modern literary journalists such as George Orwell. They will develop an understanding of how these writers helped shape the course of journalism. They will also have the opportunity of studying two key texts in depth, chosen as examples of literary journalism, and examining them in their historical, cultural and theoretical contexts. 

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    • Media and Politics in the Age of Global Communications
     

Year 3 (Level 6)

  • The module incorporates involvement in the production of the campus newspaper, The River, and its web-based version, River Online as well as undertaking a period of at least two weeks work experience within a media organisation working in a professional environment producing and practising journalism.
    Each student will take on an editorial role on The River as well as contributing news and feature articles. Roles may vary, but will allow students to observe and participate in essential activities which contribute to producing real journalism. Teaching takes place in our dedicated newsroom, equipped with live news feeds, online content management system, and industry-standard software packages including Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.
    The placement will typically be for two weeks, although students who show initiative in negotiating more substantial work experience may be allowed to extend this period.

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  • This module gives final year students the opportunity to work on a major piece of independent work, which consolidates and further develops the skills and knowledge they have acquired across the whole of their degree, in an area of applied practice; workplace problem solving, or dissertation research.  Students will organize an end of year exhibition and symposium event specifically to showcase their work. In doing so, they will develop their critical analytical and transferable employability skills.  Students will focus on one of the following: a Dissertation; a Final Major Project (FMP) or, an Applied Research Problem Brief (ARPB).  The main feature of the module is that work carried out in one of these three areas will lead to real and specific outputs.  Where students choose to write a Dissertation they will present their main findings at the symposium; students choosing a FMP will be able showcase their work online and at exhibition; students choosing an ARPB will implement their solutions in the field and have the potential to develop consultancy skills.  Students will enter into learning contracts and will work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. 

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This module aims to build on students' critical understanding of the function of journalism, its place in society and its ethical, legal, technological and commercial framework. It develops material on the nature, history and purpose of journalism covered in earlier modules to critically examine how the UK media has risen to the challenge of reflecting and representing the ever more socially and culturally diverse Britain of today – as well as its duty to accurately and impartially report on foreign affairs and conflicts.

      By considering concepts such as truth, objectivity, accountability, a free press, freedom of information and public interest in relation to journalism, students will develop an awareness of the tensions between journalists, readers, sources and proprietors in a changing media landscape and what it means to be an ethically responsible journalist.

      Students will also examine the impact of social, technological and commercial changes on the practice and business of journalism, including the decline of conventional advertising, the increasing plurality of media forms, changing audience demands and expectations, and the rise of news aggregating websites and cheap ‘content' over costly original reporting.  

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    • This highly practical module will allow students to explore in depth and actively engage with the world of business journalism. This course will encourage students to develop their researching, writing and reporting skills to allow them to write professional news, interviews and features for the specialist and national press.

      Students will learn how to read balance sheets to take the financial health of companies and institutions. They will learn how to use databases and statistics, to find stories about the health of the economy, and assess the role of big business in the economic and political spheres.

      Students will come to understand important economic and financial terms and trends (for example GDP, balance of payments, stockmarket indices, house price indices, retail price indices) and use these to put business stories in context.

      Students will use their new found skills in analysing data to dig behind the statistics and find real stories about corporate activity or wrong-doing, and analyse the use and misuse of private and public funds.

      Students will demonstrate their skills in a second semester original, independent business journalism project.

      At the heart of the course, students will engage with on-going ethical debates about relationships between business and financial journalists and their sources, and the boundaries such journalists need to observe under the Press Complaints Commission and other professional codes of practice.

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    • This module offers an introduction to and broad experience of sports journalism. It is a practical course aimed at helping students to develop their writing and reporting skills to produce professional sports copy, including deadline-driven match reports, running copy, interviews, sports news stories, profiles, factboxes, comment, analysis and newspaper/multi-media sports packages. It also aims to help students understand the context and pressures under which sports journalism is produced in the modern media.
      Workshops, alongside live reporting assignments, will be used to explain concepts and develop skills. During project work in the second half of the module, students will produce a publishable sports package. Guidance will be offered though seminars and tutorials.

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    • This highly practical module allows students to explore in depth and actively engage with the world of fashion journalism. Students will develop their researching, writing and reporting skills to allow them to write professional fashion news, catwalk and trend reports, interviews and features for specialist fashion and mainstream press and websites. They will also explore different fashion forums and build a range of digital skills such as blogging, vlogging and social media networking. They will learn about editorial styling – putting together shopping pages, makeovers and get-the-look pieces – and gain an understanding of main fashion and photoshoots. They will apply their newly-gained skills to the production of a portfolio of cutting-edge fashion journalism.

      The practices of fashion journalism will be placed in a context throughout the module. Through a series of lectures and in-class discussions students will gain insight into the fashion industry and how it works: the designers, brands, seasons and how clothes are made. They will acquire an appreciation of the fashion industry's relationship with the media, the role and function of fashion PR, and the historical, cultural and global economic issues which fashion journalists must understand.

      Students will demonstrate their skills and knowledge in an original, independent fashion journalism project.

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    • Issues in Media and Cultural Studies
     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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