Journalism BA (Hons) Course overview
Journalism at City has a real-world emphasis. You’ll spend time in small workshops learning the multimedia skills required for a career in 21st century journalism: from writing, reporting and interviewing, to social media analytics and preparing page layouts on screen.
This is complemented by academic modules exploring the role and impact of journalism in society through elective modules in English, Sociology, Politics and Creative Writing. These classes are delivered through lectures and seminars and assessed through examination and essays.
We’ll help you get ahead in this competitive sector by helping you organise professional work experience as part of your degree.
Recent work experience includes: Sky News and Sky Sports, The Times, Prospect Magazine and New York Times summer internships.
- Learn how to write news and features, use the professional standard TV studio, and make video and audio packages and websites
- Develop your skills in professional facilities, including a television studio, four radio studios, two radio broadcast newsrooms, two digital newsrooms, and two TV editing and production newsrooms
- Benefit from our extensive links with media organisations in London, nationally and internationally
- Join a global network of over 5,000 media professionals who began their journalism career at City.
This three-year BA Journalism degree will equip you with specialist knowledge and skills to pursue to a rewarding career in media and journalism.
Module choices may be subject to amendment.
Introduction to News Writing (30 credits)
This module will introduce you to fundamental skills in journalism for print and online including news reporting, ethics, basic law and writing to deadline. It will provide grounding in journalistic writing and editing skills.
History of Journalism (15 credits)
This module will introduce you to the history of British journalism since the 19th century. You will look at the coverage of major international historical events and conflicts such as the world wars, the Russian revolutions and 9/11.
Politics and Current Affairs (15 credits)
The module will introduce students to the key institutions and issues relevant to British and international politics. The lectures on British politics will cover cabinet government, parliamentary procedure, the political parties and movements, elections and key domestic policy issues.
The British Media (15 credits)
This module will encourage you to look analytically and critically at the media, both nationally and globally. You will look at how different media outlets interrelate and compete.
Introduction to Digital Journalism (15 credits)
This module introduces you to the critical thinking and mechanical skills required to produce fast and quality news messages. You will be introduced to digital reporting methods and you will practice gathering information from online and traditional sources;
Introduction to Audio and Video Journalism (15 credits)
This module introduces you to the skills required to produce audio and video journalism. Working individually and in teams, you will be introduced to researching, editing and recording techniques and to the planning and production of programmes and podcasts.
Audio and Video Journalism (30 credits)
This module will equip you with the knowledge and skills you will need to produce broadcast-ready journalism for video and audio platforms. You will gain practical experience and develop the skills of team working and news management.
Feature Writing (15 credits)
Each week will examine a different aspect of feature writing, developing story ideas, researching pieces, interviewing skills and structuring writing and style. You will be helped to develop your own professional writing style.
Online and Social Media Journalism (15 credits)
This module equips you with the learning to critically understanding social media and online journalism as well as preparing you to work as a digital journalist. You will write and produce content and critically understand the role of social media.
Power without Responsibility (15 credits)
You will examine contemporary debates in media and journalism. You will analyse democracy and freedom of information and how they impact journalism.
Employability and Enterprise Skills for Journalism (15 credits)
This module will enable you to develop the knowledge and skills needed for transition into the fast-changing media industry. You will learn how to write a CV, develop a online portfolio, pitch a proposal and prepare for a job interview.
Shorthand (15 credits)
In this module you will acquire and develop high-speed note-taking skills, and knowledge of shorthand theory. It will support the practical journalism assignments elsewhere on the programme.
Data Journalism (15 credits)
This module aims to provide you with the skills to spot stories and trends in publicly available data. You will learn how to use data tools to find and select stories and how it can be presented to different audiences.
Visual Journalism (15 credits)
This module aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge to enable you to take photographs as part of your job, and the knowledge and critical ability to be able to select good photographs for publication.
Humanitarian Reporting (15 credits)
In this module you will examine how we understand faraway disasters. You will look at the background to foreign reporting, the way that the western media covers the developing world and then assess how the nature of this has changed.
Sports Journalism (15 credits)
The module will investigate the changing face of sports journalism and the way that the industry has had to evolve. You will be equipped with writing and editing skills that will prove effective across a broad range of sports.
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (15 credits)
This module helps you develop a critical approach to statistical claims and the analysis of quantitative data. You will read and work with quantitative data, and gain the tools to conduct your own analysis.
Creative Writing Workshop (15 credits)
In this module you will explore the practice of creative writing in a variety of genres. Through developing your own writing portfolio, you will develop an understanding of the practices of the creative writer.
Reading London 2 (15 credits)
This module explores the relationship between the physical, built London and textual representations of the city, with particular emphasis on works written in or about London between World War Two and the twenty-first century.
Comparative Asian Politics (15 credits)
The module will comparatively examine the historical origins and outcomes of systems of government, strategies of economic development as well as the sources and impact of corruption across Asian states.
Politics of the USA (15 credits)
This module provides you with a comprehensive overview of the American political system, focusing on the intersection between the main actors and ideas that shape political outcomes.
Media Law and Ethics (15 credits)
In this module you will gain an understanding of UK law as it affects journalists. You will develop an awareness of the range of ethical dilemmas faced by journalists and draw on your own experience and values.
Advanced Practical Journalism (Print/Online) (30 credits)
This is your core practical reporting module for the third year. In small groups you will produce a print magazine and companion website, comprising news pages, features pages, and review and profile pages that you will have written.
Advanced Practical Journalism (Broadcast) (30 credits)
This module for broadcast specialists will provide you with an informed understanding of broadcast journalism. You will gain practical experience of radio and TV journalism to a professional level.
Journalism Project (15 credits)
This module provides the opportunity for you to use the knowledge and skills you have acquired during your studies at City to produce an original piece of long-form print, online, or broadcast journalism.
Dissertation (30 credits)
In this module, which includes an overview of research methods, involves the production of dissertation on a topic of your choice in consultation with your supervisor. You’ll pursue an original research problem and produce an extended piece of scholarly writing.
International News (15 credits)
This module explores the contemporary international news system. You will look at the central news producers and the political and financial forces that shape news content.
Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism (15 credits)
You will gain an introduction to writing about fashion and lifestyle, from news, magazine features to blogs and e-commerce websites. You will learn where to find stories, how to make sense of trends and how to ask relevant questions.
Arts and Culture Journalism (15 credits)
This module explores the dynamic landscape of arts and culture journalism. It takes an in-depth look at the broad spectrum of arts and culture journalism from film, TV and music to more niche subjects literature, theatre, art and design
Reporting Science and the Environment (15 credits)
You will develop the skills to identify stories, ask relevant questions and distinguish opinions from scientific evidence. Reporting on subject areas of your choice you will develop critical skills and ethical awareness to make sense of scientific and environmental controversies
Reporting Business (15 credits)
This module provides you with an opportunity to explore the role and practices of finance and business specialist journalists. You will develop your researching, writing and reporting skills to produce professional business news, interviews and features.
American Foreign Policy (15 credits)
You will be introduced to American power and its foreign policy through a combination of theory, institutions, and case studies. The course is designed to give you the ability to understand, explain and evaluate past and contemporary US foreign policy.
Literary Journalism (15 credits)
This module will support you to read, study and write non-fiction prose in a format that is appropriate to literary journalism. With reference to communication and narrative scholarship, you will analyse examples of long-form narrative journalism.
Political Change in Europe (15 credits)
The module examines a broad range of social and political developments and changes taking place in contemporary Europe, with a focus on the process of European integration and a range of political actors and institutions involved.
Ethnicity and Nationalism: Global Perspectives (15 credits)
This module provides an introduction to the major theoretical approaches and problems in the study of ethnicity and nationalism. You will also examine arguments about the dangers of democratisation in the context of ethnic polarisation.
Writing Women (15 credits)
This module focuses on the role women writers have played in defining and developing literary forms and traditions. You will study women’s strategies for articulating female experience and the role of women’s writing as a reflection of social reality.
Place and Space (15 credits)
This module links the study of writing to the ways people organize and understand space. You will develop an understanding of the techniques writers have used and the role ideas of place, space and landscape play in the wider culture.
Reporting conflict (15 credits)
The module will consider ways in which politics and technology shape and influence the reporting of conflicts. It will analyse in particular the coverage of conflicts which followed global events such as the collapse of the USSR and the attacks of September 11th, 2001. In doing so, it will focus on journalism’s successes and failures in covering war with the aim of providing a theoretical framework for outstanding journalistic practice.
Download course specification:
The department has partnerships with many international institutions and you may have the opportunity to spend your third year studying abroad.
We have strong links with Universities such as:
- Sciences Po, France
- Danish School of Media and Journalism, Denmark
- Hogeschool Utrecht in the Netherlands
- Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
- Ryerson University, Canada
- Seoul National University, South Korea
- Koç University, Turkey
- Northeastern University, USA
- RMIT, Australia
- University of Queensland, Australia
- Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Please note these partnerships and their programmes may be subject to change.
Teaching and assessment
Modules are taught through a combination of:
- lectures and seminars
- project work
- reporting assignments at outside bodies (such as courts, council meetings, press conferences, public meetings)
- timed assignments
- lectures by visiting speakers from various journalistic, political and campaigning backgrounds
- production of magazines/broadcast bulletins/websites
- independent study/research/library work
- work attachments (recorded and evaluated)
- freelance work
- production of portfolios of work
- presentations to seminars
- examinations and assignments under controlled conditions.
Assessment is weighted towards coursework, and coursework assignments are submitted weekly. Coursework is usually worth between 60 and 75 per cent of the overall module, and the examination worth 25 per cent, although this varies across modules.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The balance of assessment by examination, practical examination and assessment by coursework will to some extent depend on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessment, based on 2017/18 entry is as follows:
The practical journalism subjects will be taught in seminars, workshops, and one-to-one copy clinics. You will undertake individual research using electronic resources and libraries and through contacting and interviewing newsworthy people. Approximate study time, based on 2017/18 entry is as follows:
Fees and funding
Fees for year 2023/24
The tuition fees indicated are for the 2023/24 academic year only. Fees for each subsequent year of study are subject to an annual increase to take account of City's increased costs of delivering educational services. This increase will be 5% for each subsequent year of study. You should expect your fee to increase by this amount and budget accordingly.
- Fee waivers are available for this course.
- Means tested support is available for 2023/24 entry.
Some of our degrees may involve additional expenses which are not covered by your tuition fees. Find out more about additional expenses.
Our students enjoy access to a wide range of career development and employment opportunities thanks to our London location and our outstanding connections in the media.
Our Journalism BA Honours graduates have gone on to work in media organisations such as:
- the BBC
- Sky News
- The Sun
- Associated Press
- The Economist
- Men’s Health.
Others go on to work in rewarding and creative careers in marketing and corporate communications for organisations such as Nike and Asos.
The course can also be a gateway into:
- postgraduate study
- careers in NGOs and the Civil Service.
How to apply
Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.
You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City, University of London is C60.
Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.
UCAS has implemented an 'invisibility of choices' policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.
You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £26.50 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £22.
For enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office
Complete the Admissions enquiry form.
Call: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.
When to apply
Your application for entry in September 2023 should arrive at UCAS between September 2022 and 25th January 2023. Applications that arrive after 25th January 2023 will be considered only at City's discretion.
Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
- from inside the UK 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468
For callers with hearing difficulties:
- from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.
Students have use of extensive facilities including the journalism multimedia suite. The spaces were developed in consultation with experts from the BBC and ITN.
Tables uses Wolfvision cynap devices designed to allow students and staff to share and present from their own mobile device, to connect to remote meetings
Students have use of extensive facilities including a television studio. The spaces were developed in consultation with experts from the BBC and ITN.
The Journalism department has four radio studios and two radio broadcast studios, each equipped with high-tech production facilities.
The journalism multimedia suite provides a cutting-edge production facility that allows students to work together on group media projects.
Green screen TV area with links to main TV studio
Credit: James Rutherford
2 digital newsrooms with modern facilities that enable you to learn the skills required to produce newspapers, magazines and websites
students are led through the curriculum and participate in activities that mirror a typical broadcast newsroom
Gain further insight into studying Journalism at City.
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Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. On occasion we also work with external professionals to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.