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Journalism - BA (Hons)

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Get practical, professional preparation for a career in journalism with our BA (Hons) Journalism degree 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....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham School of Media
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

Get practical, professional preparation for a career in journalism with our BA (Hons) Journalism degree 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.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers a professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, between the second and third years of your degree, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

The University will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. If you do not find a suitable placement, you will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year – please see fees and how to apply for more information.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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.

Birmingham City University prepared me for the world of journalism by providing me with the skills and confidence to succeed in a professional newsroom environment.

Thomas Lynch, 2017 graduate, now working as a Trending Video Reporter with Trinity Mirror

Dejeana Williams

Dejeana  has quite literally taken the phrase ‘the world is your oyster’ and made it a reality. Travelling thousands of miles away from her home in Turks and Caicos,  Dejeana is now studying journalism at Birmingham City University. During her time on the course, she has been able to partake in an overseas trip to Italy and successfully take on the role of university co-host for Scratch TV’s weekly show.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • Our unique partnership with HuffPost UK will give you the chance to receive tutorials and masterclasses from the HuffPost UK team, as well opportunities for placements and visits to their bureaus.
  • Industry-standard facilities including six radio studios, four TV studios, the largest free-standing green screen in Europe, edit suites, music production studios, a newsroom media hub, and photography studios.
  • You’ll receive a mobile journalism kit on arrival, allowing you to learn cutting edge skills across multiple platforms and experience the thrill of live reporting from day one.
  • Teaching by active journalists who are industry-leading specialists in their field, including data journalist and author Paul Bradshaw, hyperlocal reporting award-winner Ross Hawkes and former News Anchor for Sky News, Marverine Duffy.
  • The course’s experimentation ethos means you’ll learn to push the creative boundaries to tell stories to a range of real audiences in a new and innovative ways.
  • The chance to see your work published on the award-winning Birmingham Eastside platform.
  • A range of guest speaker masterclasses from across the journalism industry. Previous sessions have been delivered by editors and reporters from the likes of the BBC, Trinity Mirror, Twitter and Google.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS points

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish National 5
  • English Language at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS 6.0 with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking subject excluded
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking subject excluded
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 18 credits at merit or distinction
  • Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
DMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Distinction
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 112 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma DMM
Scottish Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
T-Levels Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Merit overall
Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

6.0 with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Study Year (2022/23) £9,250
  • Placement Year £1,650

Professional Placement Fees

Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,500 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 4 years (with Professional Placement)
  • Show fees
  • Study Year (2022/23) £13,500

Professional Placement Fees

The tuition fee for your first year of study at the university is shown here. Full-time courses with a Professional Placement also incur a fee during the placement year. The tuition fee for your placement year will be £3,750.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

For this course it would be useful to have an SD card, a USB stick (minimum 16GB) and external hard drive (minimum 40gb), as well as over the ear headphones. Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £30 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Personal statement

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:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year one

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year two

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year three

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

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 course 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. 


Our Classes

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.


Examples of activities

Mobile reporting

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.

Collaborative working

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.

Virtual newsroom

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.

Masterclasses and extra-curricular activities

Through collaboration with students, guest speakers and topics are identified to create additional talks and sessions.


Our Students

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.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

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. 


Links to industry

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.


Graduate job successes

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.

Placements

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.

More about our placement opportunities

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses.

With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

State-of-the-art facilities

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 staff

Marverine Duffy

Director of Journalism Courses and Senior Lecturer

As a News Anchor for world-renowned international rolling news channel, Sky News, Marverine handled countless major breaking news stories, broadcasting to an audience of millions worldwide, presenting its nightly 5-hour 'World News and Business Report' programme. She’s also been a Newsreader and Reporter for the BBC, ITV News, and 5 News....

More about Marverine

Ross Hawkes

Ross leads the journalism pathway. He was previously a sports writer, sub-editor, page designer, news reporter, web editor, features writer and editor, before leading Trinity Mirror's digital programme in the Midlands. He also founded and currently runs award-winning hyperlocal website, LichfieldLive, which has been used an example of...

More about Ross

Dave Harte

Deputy Head of School and Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies

Dave Harte is Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies. He researches the emerging trend of local community ‘hyperlocal’ news websites and has published widely on the subject. Within the School of Media he leads on teaching and learning initiatives and teaches modules on Journalism Studies, Social Media, and Alternative and Community...

More about Dave

Dr Sarah Wood

Head of Birmingham Institute of Media and English

Sarah Wood holds degrees from JMU, the University of Liverpool, and Birmingham City University, where she gained her PhD. Her research interests are in feminism and science fiction. She has an article on Octavia Butler forthcoming in FEMSPEC and is working on further studies of Butler as well as of Nalo Hopkinson and slave narrative.

More about Sarah