Search our site
Search our site
  • Journalism and Media BA (Hons)

Find courses in Clearing

>

Journalism and Media BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Kingston University is ranked No. 1 in London for journalism, publishing and public relations (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).

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.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time PP53 Clearing 2019
2020
4 years full time including sandwich year P513 Clearing 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year P5P3 Clearing 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University Clearing 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Kingston University is ranked top in London for journalism, publishing and public relations (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).
  • Kingston University is ranked top in London for media and film studies (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).
  • Kingston's media facilities include industry standard software, two dedicated newsrooms and a broadcast media suite.
  • You'll gain invaluable experience through a journalistic work placement. This experience, alongside your portfolio, will enhance your employability in the communications sector.

What you will study

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

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

You'll also do work experience in a media environment which will help you prepare for a 21st century communications career.

Modules

Each level is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically, a student must complete 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

In the first year, you'll be introduced to particular media forms and genres and to relevant conceptual frameworks for the analysis of media and culture.

You'll acquire specific skills for successful study through the seminar activities and assessment tasks for the four core modules.

Core modules

Practical Journalism 1

30 credits

Writing is a key communication tool of journalism. This module introduces you 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 you 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 you 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 you to boost your grammar and punctuation skills, choose and use appropriate words and craft effective sentences and paragraphs. You will discover the underlying rules and principles, consider the impact of your writing decisions and develop your 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, you will aim to produce journalistic news pieces and feature articles that are suitable for publication.

Thinking about Journalism

30 credits

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.

How Media Changed the World

30 credits

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 explore the essential skills required for successful undergraduate study.

Digital Media Foundations

30 credits

This module aims to acquaint you with historical and contemporary digital media practices and design principles as a basis for developing media communication skills.  You 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 you with the opportunity to bring knowledge from other modules and apply it to your digital artefact.

In Year 2, you'll build on the theoretical and conceptual understandings developed in your first year on the core module Theories of Mass and New Media. You will also study the legal requirements of journalism in Practical Journalism 2 and you can diversify through studies in global political communication and the history of journalism.

You can study abroad or take a work placement in your second year at locations in Europe, the United States, and Australia.

Core modules

Practical Journalism 2

30 credits

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. 

Cultural Theories of Mass and New Media

30 credits

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.

Optional modules

Magazine Journalism

30 credits

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 you will learn about the contexts within which contemporary magazines operate. You 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. You will build up effective editorial, team-working skills and adapt these to the needs of differing audiences and objectives through the origination and production of your own magazine. You will apply journalistic skills to create a portfolio of articles and will utilise design and layout skills to produce a dummy magazine.

Multi-Media Production

30 credits

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.

Media and Politics

30 credits

With the rise of populist forms of nationalism in the wake of the crisis in globalized finance capitalism, the phenomenon of 'globalization' is increasingly contested. This contestation, however, continues to take place on a variety of new media platforms as nation states struggle to contain popular unrest and the international challenge of both the worldwideweb and the 'dark web'. In the field of international relations, politics and war takes place as much in the media as on the ground, control of communications systems being essential to the exercise of power and the establishment of dominant ideologies. In this module, we explore the debates around the political role of media in the age of global communications. Beginning with an introduction to theories of communication and information that were developed in the context of global conflict, particularly Bell Labs in WWII, we go on to examine the political, social, cultural and moral issues that arise as new forms of communication become increasingly important platforms for domestic and international media companies, national security, political contestation, economic exploitation, and social resistance.

Journalism in History and Literature

30 credits

This module aims to set the processes and outputs of UK journalism within their historical and literary context. You 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. You 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.

You 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. You will develop an understanding of how these writers helped shape the course of journalism. You 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. 

Digital Storytelling

30 credits

This practical module aims to develop your skills and abilities to produce digital products - audio, video, games, images - in a way that meets contemporary audiences' changing expectations. You will consider how digital technology can be used to deliver media in the most compelling ways, and analyse how digital storytelling is altering both audiences and the wider media industry. The module aims to provide you with the specialist vocabulary, concepts and skills required for the use of digital storytelling in a variety of professional contexts such as commercial and educational campaigns and the interactive media industries.

You will consider the short history and emergence of digital storytelling by looking at case studies from various media such as news, television and the internet. You will look at the role of digital storytelling in narrative theory, such as the representation of narrative action, plot and character, and the use of words, images and sound as narrative devices. You will learn how to apply this knowledge to your own media production projects.

Methods for the formal presentation of plans for digital stories such as storyboards and structure diagrams will be covered. You will learn skills in identifying a story with strong audio visual potential and how to grab the attention of the audience. You will further develop competence in recording audio, shooting photography and video, animation, building interactive games and incorporating powerful narrative into the production edit.

The final year Media Research Project is a Capstone module which offers you the opportunity to develop a project showcasing the media knowledge and understanding you have developed throughout your degree. You'll have to publicly present the work produced in this module at the end of the academic year. You can focus your project around a traditional 10-12,000-word dissertation, a media product, or a workplace project produced as part of a company placement.

Core modules

Practical Journalism 3

30 credits

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.

Media Research Project

30 credits

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.  You will organise an end of year exhibition and symposium event specifically to showcase your work. In doing so, you will develop your critical analytical and transferable employability skills.  You 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 you choose to write a dissertation you will present your main findings at the symposium; those choosing a FMP will be able showcase their work online and at exhibition; those choosing an ARPB will implement their solutions in the field and have the potential to develop consultancy skills.  You will enter into learning contracts and will work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. 

Optional modules

Journalism, Ethics and the Industry

30 credits

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.  

Issues in Media and Cultural Studies

credits

Specialist Journalism: Fashion

30 credits

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.

Specialist Journalism: Sport

30 credits

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.

Special Study: Television Production

30 credits

This is a practical module designed to enable you to experience and work in a professionally-focused industry environment, and develop television production skills such as multi-camera operation, sound, mixing and teleprompting. You will learn how to work and operate a professional broadcast studio as well as developing TV production skills. In addition, you will build on and reinforce employability skills such as problem-solving, time management and dependability sought by employers looking to fill graduate positions. You will be encouraged to reflect on your professional practice and critically evaluate your teaching and learning contributions.

This module builds practical and theoretical knowledge and skills towards the creation of a final year production piece. You can make either TV drama or TV documentary but must use the production studio for at least part of their production. This caveat will contribute to the wide range of skills that the industry demands of graduates.

@ Work in the Media Industries

30 credits

The module offers you the opportunity to gain an understanding of what it is like to work within the media industries. You will arrange and carry out a period of work experience within a media organisation working in a professional environment. The placement will typically be for two weeks, and usually completed over the summer period, although those who show initiative in negotiating more substantial work experience will be able to extend this. This practical hands-on experience will be supported in the classroom where you will be encouraged to reflect on your experience, evaluate your skills and plan for future in relation to graduate employability. You will also locate and evaluate your experience in relation to wider debates and issues relating to work in the media industries, changing production contexts and new professional identities.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Foundation year - Humanities & Arts

You can also study this course with a Foundation year.

Entry requirements

120 tariff points

If you want to join us in 2019 through Clearing, please call us on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the tariff information below is for 2020 entry only.

Typical offer

120 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications, not including General Studies (i.e. A Levels, BTEC Diploma, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc).

Additional requirements

Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with 6.5 in Writing and all other elements at 5.5

Timelapse video of Kingston University's student run publication, The River, being produced.

Teaching and assessment

The teaching format includes formal lectures, practical workshops, seminars, immersive projects, online and blended learning, group work, work-based learning, small group and one-to-one tutorials. In the final year you will work on live projects such as creating and producing the campus newspaper and online news operation The River. You'll be assessed in a variety of formats like timed tests, formal examinations, essays, practical portfolios, take home tests, oral presentations, viva and self-appraisal, case studies, research projects and practical group projects.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Year 1: 25%
  • Year 2: 22%
  • Year 3: 17%

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios and dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2 - Core modules

Year 3 - Core modules

Year 1
  • Coursework
Year 2 - Core modules
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Written exams
Year 3 - Core modules
  • Coursework
  • Practical

Year 2 and Year 3: Varies depending on options

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Who teaches this course?

Many of the teaching team are practising journalists, media practitioners and theorists who bring their professional and academic expertise into the classroom: they will help you to develop your skills, networks and gain access to industry contacts. Their expertise and knowledge is closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. 

Academic teaching is supported by visiting speakers, industry professionals and guest lecturers who enhance your learning.

 

Facilities

The campus at Penrhyn Road is a hive of activity, housing the main student restaurant, the learning resources centre (LRC), and a host of teaching rooms and lecture theatres. 

At the heart of the campus is the John Galsworthy building, a six-storey complex that brings together lecture theatres, flexible teaching space and information technology suites around a landscaped courtyard.

 

Fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) Foundation year: £7,800
£9,250*
International Foundation: £12,700
Year 1 (2019/20): £12,700 or £14,200**
Year 2 (2020/21): £13,100 or £14,600**
Year 3 (2021/22): £13,500 or £15,000**
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). 

** The international fee rate charged will depend upon the course combination chosen.

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

After you graduate

Students on the course develop leading edge knowledge and expertise in multi-media journalism and digital media production and go on to work as reporters, communications officers, content creators, production assistants, producers and more in top media organisations like Guardian Media Group, the BBC, Channel 4, Express Group, and Haymarket Media Group. 

Students gain a range of transferable skills including: research, initiative, leadership, teambuilding, interview techniques and the ability to produce precise, accurate, engaging writing to tight deadlines. Kingston journalism graduates are highly sought after with 100 per cent working in graduate jobs or undertaking postgraduate study (DHLE data 2016).

 

What our students say

Links with business and industry

Our links with business are key to the course - whether it is the wealth of experience our lecturers bring from their own careers, the top calibre guest speakers who pass on tips every week or the extensive industry work experience you get as part of the course.

A diverse team of journalists teach on the course, all with current or recent experience of either the national press or key local or trade press. This means that teaching is informed by the latest industry expertise and you have access to practical help and career advice from people with insider knowledge.

Our guest speaker programme is a fantastic opportunity for students to listen to and question key media figures from every sphere of the industry. To give you a taste of what our speakers can offer, take a look at this selection of prominent names who have visited recently:

  • Farah Storr, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan
  • David Jenkins, editor of Little White Lies
  • Ben Machell, feature writer at The Times
  • Samira Ahmed, BBC presenter and former Channel 4 news anchor (Samira is currently Visiting Professor at Kingston)
  • Rossalyn Warren, award winning foreign affairs journalist and former Buzzfeed reporter
  • Fatima Manji, presenter at Channel 4 news
  • Alex Whiting, creative producer at Vogue Video
  • Charlotte Duck, deputy editor at Glamour.com
  • Will Dean, commissioning editor at The Guardian
  • Richard Monynihan, head of digital journalism at The Daily Telegraph
  • Anoosh Chakelian, deputy web editor at The New Statesman
  • Radhika Sanghani, features writer for The Daily Telegraph

 

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Undergraduate study
Site menu