Get practical, professional preparation for a career in journalism with our BA (Hons) Journalism course. You’ll get the chance to develop the skills you’ll need to cover stories for print, digital, TV and radio, as well as exploring the global impact of journalism on audiences. You’ll be armed with a mobile reporting kit to give you a chance to work as a real reporter from day one.
We pride ourselves on teaching creative, contemporary journalism underpinned by traditional values and skills. That means learning the core media and communication skills that every working reporter needs before you specialise in an area that interests you.
You’ll be challenged academically – often by some of the industry’s leading names – and you’ll be expected to undertake meaningful work experience placements in media environments, and work on live stories, learning how to craft a story in a way that engages the audience.
By the time you graduate, you’ll be a thinking journalist with a specialism in news, broadcasting, features, or design. You’ll also be adaptable to the changes that the industry faces. Our graduates have gone on to work for Sky, BBC, Trinity Mirror and the Express & Star. Others have scooped prestigious awards at the Midlands Media Awards while still studying.
Based in Birmingham City University's £62 million Parkside Building - you can take the first steps to a career in journalism.
Our BA (Hons) Journalism course is delivered by industry experts from broadcast, print and digital, providing a strong foundation for a professional career.
The Live Newsroom modules offer an opportunity to apply practical mobile reporting skills in a real-world environment for platforms including TV, radio, print and digital platforms. Our strong links with key journalism organisations means you’ll also get the chance to work on live briefs as well as producing content for our award-winning Birmingham Eastside website.
Teaching is delivered in our industry-standard facilities, as well as on location thanks to our focus on mobile reporting. Our newsroom media hub also allows for collaborative work as part of the wider Birmingham City University journalism community.
By tackling real stories, you will quickly develop a sense of the impact reporting can have. Through our Global and Community Impact modules there will be a chance to undertake placements as well as embed yourself within communities to tackle key issues in real depth.
The focus on innovation and entrepreneurship will also encourage students to think critically about the journalism landscape, creating products and real brands to identify new opportunities.
Our next University-wide Open Days will take place on Saturday 25 November. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.
Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
112 UCAS tariff points from A Level
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2018/19|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (112 UCAS points) - does not accept points from A/S Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 18 credits at Level 3|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or can be combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM (112 UCAS points)|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Grad D* combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
|Irish Leaving Certificate||112 points, including 4 higher level passes|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||112 points, including 3 higher level passes|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2018/19|
|IELTS||6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year*||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In the first year, the Multiplatform Journalism module provides the necessary foundations for a career in journalism, with essential insight into the life of a professional journalist.
You’ll explore a range of subjects and will source original content in a live news environment, and you’ll begin to explore theories and concepts that will help you to understand the role and impact of journalism on society. There will also be a focus on the legal and ethical considerations journalists face every day.
This module will provide you with an understanding of basic newsgathering and reporting techniques for a range of publications and outputs. You will also get to grips with the mobile journalism pack and learn how to start working as a real reporter.
Journalism Law and Ethics
This module explores key legal issues facing journalists such as defamation, libel, copyright and contempt. It also includes a theoretical exploration of contemporary ethical issues facing reporters in the current digital landscape.
In this module you will learn about the different ways journalism organisations are structured before applying them as part of our production days. These sessions will allow you to experience the thrill of live journalism as you source and report on real stories as part of our Birmingham Eastside team.
Global and Community Impact 1
This module allows you to start collaborating with local, national and international organisations and communities, exploring issues and challenges they face on a global and local scale.
Journalism in Practice
In this module you will explore the challenges and opportunities of reporting in different formats, exploring the impact of audiences and the challenges of changing journalism landscapes. You will also undertake a compulsory placement as part of the module
Building on the foundations from your first year, you’ll take the Specialist Reporting module, where you will get the chance to develop skills and begin to define your journalism future.
There will also be the chance to take module options such as Live Newsroom and other modules from across the media course, such as photography, PR or music industries to help give you flexibility in your award.
In this module you’ll explore alternative ways of delivering journalism through linear and digital platforms such as Snapchat and YouTube as well as exploring the development of independent publishing through zines and hyperlocal outlets.
This module will explore in-depth reporting through multiple formats, such as data journalism and long-form storytelling. You will be encouraged to explore topics in depth using investigative techniques.
Live Newsroom 2
You will get the chance to take part in multiplatform production days, delivering content for a number of outlets simultaneously. There will also be a compulsory work placement in this module.
Global and Community Impact 2
This module builds on your research in year one and sees you working to uncover and report on key topics surrounding the organisation you identified in year one.
In semester two you’ll also be able to choose an optional module from other areas of media, including music, sport, fashion, TV and radio.
Journalism Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This module will take a ‘lab’ approach to finding innovative solutions to real world journalism challenges, as well as exploring the contemporary methods being used to create sustainable new forms of journalism.
Live Newsroom 3
Building on your year one and year two studies, this module will encourage you to work in different editorial roles within a news team. You’ll get the chance to edit sections as well as leading and planning on coverage of key events and stories.
Global and Community Impact Journalism 3
This module supports you in defining an in-depth exploration of an issue with your chosen organisation, culminating in the production of items such as a short documentary or long-form piece of reporting.
Across your final year you will plan and produce a major project that allows you to create a journalism product or showcase your skills through a thematic portfolio of content. This work will be a chance to showcase the skills and understanding you have of journalism in the professional sphere.
The course will see you study practical journalism elements alongside theoretical exploration of key issues and concepts.
In year one, you’ll learn the basics of reporting for different outlets and platforms in Multiplatform Journalism as well as the core skills in Journalism Law and Ethics to create a solid foundation for your future studies and career. The first of the Live Newsroom modules that run throughout the three years of study will explore the structures of professional outlets before giving you the chance to put your knowledge into practice by taking part in our live production days where you’ll work as part of a real news team covering a range of topics and stories.
The Global and Community Impact modules give you the chance to explore the power of journalism, be it through giving a voice to an under-represented community or investigating an issue in depth on a local, national or international stage.
Our modules also explore theoretical concepts and key debates around your journalism learning, giving you the chance to cast a critical eye over the future of the industry.
Year two continues the culture and community of experimentation as you develop and study alternative type of journalism such as YouTube channels, Snapchat storytelling and hyperlocal reporting in the Disruptive Publishing module, while Journalism Futures continues to give you the chance to explore the issues around where reporting will go next by developing skills around data journalism and long-form reporting.
There’s also the chance to shape your own development through an optional module in an area of interest that could relate to music, sport, fashion, photography, radio or TV.
The third year of study will see you apply your interests and career progression plans in modules designed to help you step into the industry. Journalism Innovation and Entrepreneurship will look at ways alternative formats can co-exist to enhance storytelling, while the Major Project is a chance to create a calling card to take forward to your professional career or further study.
Teaching is conducted across a range of environments, including a newsroom media hub, radio and TV studios, editing suites, computer classrooms, lecture theatres, seminar rooms and online learning environments. Thanks to the mobile reporting kits you’ll be armed with there’s also the chance to learn with classes held ‘on location’.
You will use a range of social and interactive media to support your work and self-development, while also producing real content with your mobile journalism pack.
All staff are established journalism professionals and academics who bring with them a range of expertise from across the industry. They are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the journalism landscape, ensuring that the course remains relevant.
The programme maintains close contacts with a variety of media organisations including Sky, BBC, Future Publishing and Trinity Mirror. Visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold masterclass sessions to enhance and enrich learning.
There is a thriving and inclusive research culture that includes academic staff who are research active, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) in the School of Media, welcomes visiting researchers from across the world and holds regular research seminars which mix presentations from staff, PG students and speakers from a range of our collaborative partnerships. BCMCR welcomes all students to research seminars, which are free to attend.
We pride ourselves on giving students real journalism experience through practical activities. These have included reporting live on breaking news stories, as well as, planning and implementing coverage of major sporting, cultural and political events alongside professional outlets.
You will also get the chance to see your work published on the award-winning Birmingham Eastside website which is run by students on our journalism modules.
The mobile reporting kits allow students to explore journalism in real time, with some sessions delivered on location. This gives students a chance to experience as well as understand the opportunities for covering stories in alternative ways.
All modules encourage students to collaborate with their peers, lecturers and external organisations. Live briefs from the journalism industry allow students to explore real-world challenges.
The virtual newsroom lives alongside our physical space and allows students to access a wealth of support, advice and materials to ensure that learning continues beyond the class sessions.
Through collaboration with students, guest speakers and topics are identified to create additional talks and sessions.
A partnership with other local news organisations has seen students create and run live blogs on issues such as local and general elections.
Students are using virtual reality and 360 degrees technology to tell stories in innovative ways – work which has led to coverage on a leading industry website.
Multiplatform reporting is allowing our students to create unique and powerful ways of telling real stories using a range of skills and different types of media.
You will have up to 12 hours of contact time per week, plus additional studio time and directed study tasks.
|37||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|58||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|5||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
As a School, we invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry. Our postgraduate courses include MA Data Journalism, MA Media Production, MA Public Relations, MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism and MA Media and Cultural Studies.
Previous visits have included BBC newsrooms in Salford, London and Birmingham, helping provide a first-hand glimpse of how professional journalists operate. You will also get the chance to visit places where the news happens, such as courtrooms and live events across Birmingham.
The Global and Community Impact modules also offer the opportunity for field trips abroad, where students will gain an insight into the working practices of journalists in alternative arenas.
The course will equip you with first-hand practical expertise and provide you with the rigorous academic knowledge you’ll need to fulfil a career in your chosen communications and journalism field.
Our track record for graduate employment is excellent, with the majority of graduates going into a media-related role. The course opens up specific employability avenues related to the production route chosen. A number of journalism graduates from Birmingham City University have gone into roles such as social media editor, reporter, and trending video editor.
Regular guest speakers and visiting lecturers from newspapers, broadcast, magazines and online publications will provide you with an insight into the modern journalism industry. By working with specialists in their field you will be able to learn how to bring stories to life.
You’ll also get the chance to engage directly with industry through activities such as hack days and projects with the likes of the BBC, The Times and Trinity Mirror. We have excellent links with a number of national, regional and local outlets, with students regularly taking up placements with the likes of Sky and the BBC.
Students from the School of Media have been making headlines after landing journalism jobs before they’ve even graduated.
Thomas Lynch (pictured in his new workplace) and Lillian Keen have become trending video reporters with Trinity Mirror, while Elis Sandford is now a news reporter with the company. They join 2016 graduate Charlotte Smith who began working with the national newspaper group earlier this year.
Thomas said: “I handed in my production project on the first Friday of May and the following Monday, I was a trending video producer. If you work hard enough and take advantage of what your university offers you, there is success to be found. Who said it was difficult to find a graduate job?"
There has also been success for another soon-to-be graduate after Thomas Chapman began working as a news reporter with the Eastern Daily Press.
The School strongly believes in the practical application of learning and is fortunate to have very strong links with employers and the media industry. Students on placements have worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Maverick Television and Trinity Mirror.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Our BA (Hons) Media and Communications (Journalism) course is highly respected in the industry and will prepare you well for a career in your chosen media field. You’ll complement your studies by building contacts in the industry, and working on live, meaningful projects. It’s what makes our graduates highly sought after by employers. Our graduates have gone to pursue careers with respected organisations such as the BBC, Sky, Trinity Mirror, and the Midlands News Association.
Paul Bradshaw graduated from BA (Hons) Media and Communication (Journalism) in 1998 and is now an award-winning specialist in online journalism. In 2010 he was listed on the US Poynter Institute's list of the 35 most influential people in social media, in 2011 he ranked ninth in PeerIndex's list of the most influential UK journalists on Twitter and he has been shortlisted for Multimedia Publisher of the Year.
He is currently course leader on the MA Online Journalism course at Birmingham City University, and also works as a consultant and trainer on social media and data journalism to news organisations around the world, including the BBC, Sky, Telegraph, and the Global Investigative Journalism Conference.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our media and communication course is most popular with international students from:
Birmingham School of Media is also particularly popular with students from as far as Brazil and Hong Kong. The diversity of our student group provides further dynamism to the course, with understanding of different journalism markets and broadening horizons.
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.
Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.
Our teaching staff comprises specialists in their respective fields, including academics and industry professionals, all of whom are perfectly placed to offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. Birmingham School of Media students also benefit from access to high-profile guest speakers from across the industry.
A dynamic community that is responsive to the changing face of the media industry, Birmingham School of Media is the perfect starting point to your media career.
Paul Bradshaw leads both the MA in Data Journalism and the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University, and works as a consultant data journalist in the BBC England data unit.
He is also the founder of the investigative journalism crowdsourcing site, Help Me Investigate, which was shortlisted in 2010 for Multimedia Publisher of the Year and won the Talk About Local Investigation of the Year award the same year. His other awards include the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2016 for an investigation into Nigerian football agents, and the BBC England 2017 Data Journalism award for a story on discrimination in the housing sector.