Journalism BA | Coventry University
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Journalism BA (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:

PP53

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018

 

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


Overview

Just as printed newspapers, radio and television at one time changed the purpose and ways in which people engaged with news, so too digital, mobile and social media have transformed the way journalism is practised in modern society.

Increasingly working on a freelance basis, 21st century journalists are expected to produce material for a variety of outlets simultaneously; our course is designed to empower you to become ambitious, informed, efficient media practitioners who can add value to any digital platform, newsroom or media organisation.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Broadcast Journalism Training Council

What our students say...

Having spent three years building my skills within the media industry, developing strong people skills and confidence, and gaining valuable experience both in class and doing work placements, I came out with a fantastic degree and started a job related to my interests within two weeks of finishing

Alex Maidment, BA (Hons) Journalism, graduated with a first in 2014, now Inbound Marketing Executive at Deeply Digital

Course information

With the concept of fact-based storytelling at its heart, our professionally accredited BA Journalism degree aims to develop graduates who can operate across multiple platforms, are context aware and equally comfortable in a traditional journalism environment as they are working with disruptive forms of media practice.

The focus is on core news-gathering techniques and storytelling, at the same time providing a wealth of transferrable skills including excellent written and verbal communications that can be applied within broader communications contexts.

Coventry is ranked among the 15 best universities in the country for ‘Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations’ (Guardian University Guide 2019). Here, you’ll be taught by journalists with experience of working for national publications and news corporations, including print and digital journalists with global experience, an ITV Central journalist, the editor-in-chief of Classics car magazine and a BBC Radio 3/World Service presenter. You’ll have the opportunity for industry placements (subject to application and availability) and hear regularly from expert guest lecturers, recently by documentary filmmaker Paul Berczeller.

85%

of students agreed that our staff made the subject interesting

NSS, 2016

Course Specification
Download PDF (114Kb)

Modules

Overview

The digital revolution has caused a major shift in the professional emphasis, remit, philosophy and the social role of the modern journalist, whose traditional role of disclosing information or whistle blowing has been debunked by the millions who engage with social, mobile and digital media instead.

In addition to working in traditional journalism formats, this course embraces the latest technologies, including virtual reality, 360-degree video, social media platforms and live blogs, to innovate your practice. It aims to develop your understanding of current trends and key issues within the field of journalism and media, developing your awareness of the latest technologies, platforms and modes of distribution.

As the course progresses, you should develop your initial awareness and an induction into journalism to a deeper knowledge of the ways in which the news industry operates and, finally, we aim to empower you to confidently and capably create your own journalism practice – in whatever format you choose. Optional modules in sports journalism, public relations and social media, investigative journalism and entertainment and lifestyle journalism, among others, allow you to further specialise in your field of interest.

Modules

  • Journalism Production and Storytelling 1 and 2

  • Journalism in Society

  • Media Law in Practice

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

As well as nurturing the comprehensive range of skills and knowledge that constitute the world of journalism, such as independence, confidence, analytical ability, interviewing techniques, audience sensitivity and exceptional written and verbal communication, this course analyses key concepts and theories of media systems and their implications.

You should gain a sound working knowledge of the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks which affect media and cultural production, circulation, and consumption, together with an understanding of how media, cultural and creative organisations operate and are managed, the structures of media ownership and interests of those able to influence and shape the media. We explore the issues and debates relating to the concept of ethics and press freedom in local, national and global contexts.

Focused on preparing you for the world of work, you will learn how stories are identified, researched and presented, producing tailored journalistic products in a range of formats – including online and print, audio and video – working to a series of tight deadlines as you would in professional employment. You’ll have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of regular journalistic work across all years of study in a wide range of formats and subject areas – anything from tech and gaming to local government, lifestyle and sports.

Modules

  • Journalism and Society

  • Journalism Production and Storytelling 3

  • The profession of Journalism

  • Journalism in Practice

  • Law and Ethics for Journalists

  • Experimental Journalism Production and Storytelling 4

  • Optional modules (1 from the following):

    • Magazine Journalism
    • Public Relations and Social Media
    • Sports Journalism

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

After your second year, you have an opportunity to take a sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement. Past students have worked for Sky News in the UK, while others enjoyed study abroad opportunities in the United States, Spain, France and Sweden.

Modules

  • Study Abroad

  • Professional Placement

Overview

In the third year, your studies culminate in either a final project or dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Past students have conceptualised, filmed and produced documentaries, designed social media campaigns, developed web series for YouTube or examined media representation of various groups.

Modules

  • Planning your Project

  • Journalism Production and Storytelling 5

  • Final project or dissertation

  • Optional modules (1 of the following):

    • Entertainment and Lifestyle Journalism
    • Investigative Journalism and Political Reporting
    • Tech and Gaming Journalism

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

14th

Our Journalism courses are ranked 14th in the UK by Guardian University Guide 2019

In more detail...

  • Access to professional broadcast equipment via our dedicated Media Loan Shop and studios.
  • 92% of students said staff were enthusiastic about what they teach in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Ranked 14th in the UK for ‘Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations’ in the Guardian University Guide 2019.
  • Extensive specialist resources include a wireless suite of newsrooms, TV studio, video editing suite and radio studio.
  • Excellent graduate employability – 100% of students in work or continuing their studies six months after graduation (DLHE 2014/15), almost two-thirds of those employed in professional level roles.
  • Links with employers nationally, including the BBC and Sky, and internationally in places as far afield a Europe, South Africa and the Falkland Islands, many of whom offer professional experience opportunities
  • Successful student track record in national competitions – with past students winning Journalist of the Year, Best Website (www.icov.co.uk) and Best Documentary awards from the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC).

Access to professional broadcast equipment via our dedicated Media Loan Shop and studios.

Your main study themes are:

  • Making journalism: We consider how and why journalism is put together. What makes news, where does it come from, how is it produced? You will be introduced to content production for print, web and broadcast news by studying the work of others as well as your own practice in a critical context.

  • Media law: You will be introduced to the legal, professional and ethical codes which underpin how journalists in the UK practice, including the Contempt of Court Act, the Magistrates’ Court Act, Defamation and examples of current professional ethical standards exemplified in codes of conduct, producers’ guidelines and style guides. The aim is to ensure that your work as a journalist meets the legal guidelines needed to avoid prosecution.

  • Journalism and society: Focuses on understanding the complex relationship between the practice of journalism and broader society. Theoretical sessions will explore the context of the production of a range of journalism artefacts in historical, contemporary and emerging media landscapes to question the role and purpose of journalism in society.

The course can be studied over three years full-time, starting in September, which can be extended by an additional year if you choose the optional sandwich year. 

Based on a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, practical classes and one-to-one tutorials with teaching staff, we provide a focused approach to journalism which is underpinned by in-depth exploration of core traditional news-gathering, continuous production and experimentation in new and emerging forms of journalism. Collaborative learning across year levels helps to cement the foundations of your skills and knowledge in more sophisticated ways, facilitating support from your peers. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.

We cover the core principles of journalism – including storytelling, selecting, editing, explaining and interpreting information – preparing you to practise journalism or a specialist area as part of a freelance or portfolio career. Our staff can share their professional experiences and keep you up-to-date with the latest research, with expertise in areas such as health journalism, new media and society and ICT in Africa, virtual reality, news games and gamification, local news history and development, entertainment journalism and global media.

Real experience of working as a journalist is embedded into our teaching activities through our partnerships with organisations in Coventry and beyond, including opportunities to collaborate with local news organisations, for instance covering the local elections for ITV. There will also be an opportunity to practice court reporting, attending legal hearings in the Magistrates’ or Crown courts and producing your own reports of legal hearings or current issues in media law.

You will be taught in our wireless-enabled newsrooms, radio and television and state-of-the-art specialist TV studio, The Tank, featuring large cameras, mixing facilities, fibre optic wiring throughout and triple glazing provides professional grade soundproofing, with the option of privacy and darkness provided by unique light blocking curtains set up around the room.  

Our excellent industry links enable us to host an exciting programme of guest speakers covering topics such as documentary film-making, TV news production, branding and magazine journalism. You will also have opportunities to take part in educational and cultural visits at home and abroad, where you will be able to develop your knowledge and skills through fieldwork and group projects. For example, we have organised trips to BBC Birmingham and the Houses of Parliament in London. A group of third year students recently attended the premier journalism conference, News:Rewired, in London and Cardiff will be the setting for a pop-up magazine production project.

Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all project briefs. Assessment forms vary and include: examinations, essays, reports, presentations (individual and group), original creative writing, projects and the dissertation. 

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Coursework, tests, essays: 50%
  • Practical or project work: 30%
  • Group work: 15%
  • Presentations: 5%

50% assessed by coursework, tests, essays

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The practice, production, context, consumption and distribution of journalism.
  • Intercultural awareness in the context of global journalistic practice and society.


On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Apply a breadth of journalism and communication skills and knowledge to professional situations.
  • Work creatively, sustainably and independently within professional situations, employing a range of journalism strategies and techniques.
  • Critically evaluate and analyse the broad range of factors that impinge upon professional and creative activities within journalism and the broader communications industry.
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage with diverse communities across a range of media platforms.
  • Identify and evaluate developing/emerging forms of journalism and communication. 

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 15 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 2 hours of tutorials each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 10 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 3 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying each week, including guided study using handouts, online activities in your own time.

Our course is designed to reflect the increasingly international context of journalism; reflected strongly in the course curriculum and the extensive international experience of the teaching team which includes staff who have lived and worked in South Africa, India, Ireland and America.

 You will be given opportunities to engage with international students from at home and abroad. Coventry is one of only two UK universities to have participated in the Pop-Up Newsroom, a global cooperative project which brings together students from the UK, Netherlands, Bulgaria, India, the United States and Lebanon in a virtual newsroom to report on issues of global significance at a local level. Our first and second year students have previously taken part with news days focusing on the refugee crisis and an international women’s day. Second-year students also collaborated with students from 13 universities in seven different countries as part of the Global News Relay initiative (globalnewsrelay.wordpress.com), an international collaboration of college journalism, multimedia and public relations students which broadcasts news live across the world.

We strongly encourage you to broaden your theoretical, cultural and practical references, providing opportunities to broaden your horizons by studying abroad on a sandwich year. Past students have studied media and journalism at universities in Spain, Sweden, the United States and France, among others. We also offer a range of short visits and field trips abroad, which are reviewed annually. Recent fieldtrips have included Amsterdam and Malaga (subject to availability and additional costs).

At Coventry University, you can enjoy a whole host of multicultural and multilingual activities, such as the international film club and the French and Spanish conversation clubs. You can learn another language with the university-wide Add+vantage Scheme or the Linguae Mundi programme.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni


2,101

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16



16,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our students say...

The course is a good mix of practical journalism and theory, taught by professional, friendly people in an environment that feels simultaneously welcoming and challenging

James Lambert, BA (Hons) Journalism, graduated 2014, now games reviewer and co-creator of The Reviewing Floor

What our students say...

I very much enjoyed my time on the Journalism course. There are regular visiting speakers from across all sectors, all of whom bring their own experiences and ideas, and work with students on projects. Last term, our year worked on CoventryTV, a new hyperlocal TV station

Matthew Duffy, BA (Hons) Journalism, graduated 2014, now Social Media and Marketing Volunteer for New Ideas Advocacy

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£14,850 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

What our students say...

I very much enjoyed my time on the Journalism course. There are regular visiting speakers from across all sectors, all of whom bring their own experiences and ideas, and work with students on projects. Last term, our year worked on CoventryTV, a new hyperlocal TV station

Matthew Duffy, BA (Hons) Journalism, graduated 2014, now Social Media and Marketing Volunteer for New Ideas Advocacy

Career prospects

From the outset, this course aims to prepare you for a successful career in the media. The learning environment recreates a working rolling news environment, complete with live assignments and deadlines; it is purposefully designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in such a professional multi-media newsroom.

We can give you guidance and support to find and produce real stories by covering a range of off-diary events, from Morris dancing festivals to local gigs, council meetings and protests, as well as traditional ‘beat’ reporting. The strong journalism and communication skills you will have the opportunity to develop throughout the course should prepare you for a wide range of careers in other areas, such as politics, commercial business, publishing and research.

Our FAH Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur. 

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates of the course have gone on to work for a range of broadcasters, newspapers, magazines and online publications, including Sky News and the BBC.

£18K

Our graduates earn an average salary of £18,000 six months after the course (DLHE 2014/15)

What our students say...

Having spent three years building my skills within the media industry, developing strong people skills and confidence, and gaining valuable experience both in class and doing work placements, I came out with a fantastic degree and started a job related to my interests within two weeks of finishing

Alex Maidment, BA (Hons) Journalism, graduated with a first in 2014, now Inbound Marketing Executive at Deeply Digital
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 18/19 Contract can be found here.