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Sports Journalism - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

This course will prepare you for a career in sports journalism by providing the knowledge, values and cutting-edge skills required to be a professional sports journalist. You will become an agile, independent sports reporter working across multiple platforms with the ability to understand the critical role that sports journalism plays in society by telling stories both on- and off-the pitch....

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

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

[00:00:07] Speaker 1 It's a really exciting time to study Media in Birmingham. Firstly, the BBC is coming to Birmingham in 2026 and here we have a multi-million pound campus right in the heart of this city. As a media student, you'll have access to all of these amazing facilities and your tutors will be able to teach you how to use them in line with industry best practices.

[00:00:31] Speaker 2 My favourite facility personally is Hires and Loans because I can just hire equipment, whatever camera I need, whatever lights I need. Literally everything that relates to media is there.

[00:00:43] Speaker 3 We have four professional studios campus. Spaces like these normally cost thousands of pounds a day to rent. So it's perfect that we have them right on our doorstep.

[00:00:52] Speaker 1 The campus is located right in the heart of Birmingham's Creative Quarter, which means that there are lots of opportunities for students to take up work in creative sectors after graduation.

[00:01:04] Speaker 3 You should definitely study Media because it offers you so much new opportunities to learn new skills. It's been perfect to have lecturers with industry experience as they give us the confidence and the knowledge we need to go into our careers. BCU gave me so much confidence, which I didn't have before.

[00:01:22] Speaker 2 I was a presenter. I also worked as a camera operator just to feel how it feels to be in that specific role. And what kind of responsibilities do you have on you.

[00:01:34] Speaker 1 Studying media at BCU is a really exciting prospect because you will be joining a really diverse and creative community with a support network of staff who are totally committed to ensuring that your learning needs are met at university.

This course will prepare you for a career in sports journalism by providing the knowledge, values and cutting-edge skills required to be a professional sports journalist. You will become an agile, independent sports reporter working across multiple platforms with the ability to understand the critical role that sports journalism plays in society by telling stories both on- and off-the pitch. You will be able to work across multiple formats with the ability to understand the democratic role of journalism in ensuring a diversity of stories are told. This will enable you to become an adaptable sports journalist capable of working in innovative, engaging and entrepreneurial ways.

This course has been designed in close collaboration with leading industry experts and researchers in journalism. Through a range of complementary modules, you will learn a wide range of journalistic skills for all news platforms and understand the wider issues that face the journalism industry. You will learn the skills to report on a broad range of sports in a variety of different ways, whether it be for audio, visual, written or social media platforms. The course will prepare you for everything from live reporting and asking the difficult post-match questions to interviewing key figures and going deep into the issues that make up an ever-changing and increasingly diverse sports industry. You will learn through research- and practice-informed teaching and also have the chance to undertake placement opportunities.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You will develop creative storytelling skills that allow you to offer insight into important issues and shed light on a diverse range of sporting topics, all underpinned by traditional skills and values needed to excel in sports journalism. As well as technical skills, you will also develop the ability to analyse, innovate and explore theoretical concepts to enable you to make your mark in the industry or progress into ongoing education.

Through activities such as workshops and news days, you will work on real stories giving you a clear insight of the impact they can have at a local, national and international level. With support from experts and a host of links to the sports journalism world, by graduation you will be equipped with the ability to be adaptable in order to take advantage of the diverse range of opportunities on offer.

Our BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course is delivered by industry experts from broadcast, print and digital, providing a strong foundation for a professional career. Our strong links with key journalism organisations means students will also get the chance to work on live briefs as well as producing content for our award-winning Birmingham Eastside website. Our newsroom media hub also allows for collaborative work as part of the wider Birmingham City University journalism community. Our graduates have gone on to work for Sky, BBC, Reach Plc and the Express & Star. Others have scooped prestigious awards while still studying with us.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, 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.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

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

Ashlea Follows

As someone who always enjoyed being a sports spectator and enthusiast, Ashlea decided to embark on a career that would put her at the heart of bringing sports to consumers all around the world. She has had some amazing opportunities on the course so far and is passionate about encouraging more women to pursue Sports Journalism as a career.  

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 equipment in our £62 million home in the city centre, including six radio studios, four TV studios, 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 and hyperlocal reporting award-winner Ross Hawkes.
  • A range of guest speaker masterclasses from across the sports journalism industry. Previous sessions have been delivered by editors and reporters from the likes of the BBC, Trinity Mirror, Twitter and Google.
  • Top 15 for Communication and Media Studies graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2024).
  • A range of guest speaker masterclasses from across the sports journalism industry. Previous sessions have been delivered by editors and reporters from the likes of the BBC, Trinity Mirror, Twitter and Google

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £400m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

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

Essential requirements

112 UCAS tariff points.

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Level 2 qualifications

GCSE

GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests

.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)

See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.

Scottish National 5

English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

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 Higher/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 or above in Digital Production, Design and Development or Media, Broadcast and Production

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

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 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

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.

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

First Year

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

Second Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of CORE Faculty modules.

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules

Professional Placement Year (optional)

In order to qualify for the Professional Placement Year, you must successfully complete the following Level 5 module:

Final Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 40 credits):

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete one module from the following list of CORE-OPTION modules (worth 40 credits)

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Download course specification

Download now

How you will learn

Your learning will be through a mixture of lectures, practical workshops and seminars. Your course also provides an opportunity to undertake work-based learning through a placement. We embed flexible opportunities for you to access your curriculum including recorded lectures, blended learning, on-campus delivery and intensive delivery of some modules. We recognise that students progress to higher education from a variety of educational experiences and that university is a completely new educational environment for most of you. For that reason, you will find that in your first year with us there is a focus on supporting your transition which places an emphasis on developing both the confidence and the competencies required for being successful at your university assignments. Where appropriate, we will bring in external speakers or arrange visits relevant to your specialism. These may be from industry or be focused on a particular specialist academic interest. We have excellent links with industry, community and scholarly partners which we draw on to enhance your learning experience.

How you will be assessed

All our assessments are designed to ensure that you meet the learning outcomes of your modules and thus of the course overall. Assessment types may include written research reports, essays, case studies, practical work, portfolios and presentations. There are no formal examinations on your course, but short classroom tests may be included within an element of assessment. You will be assessed as an individual but there may be times when you will be asked to work within teams and submit assessments as groups. All modules offer chances for formative assessment, that is, informal assessments that are used to assess your understanding before the final submission of your work. Formative assessments also help inform the teaching strategy within a module, identifying areas where we can offer extra help and guidance. We will offer tutorials and a chance for you to discuss your draft assessments before you submit them. Once marked, we will give formal feedback and ‘feed forward’ on all work submitted, aimed at helping you improve future submissions.


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 each student receive will allow them to explore sports 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 sports 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 for additional talks and sessions relating to their journalism and broader university experience.


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

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

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 over £400 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

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 English and Media 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 English and Media

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