Journalism BA

Year of entry

Open Days 2024

Bookings for our 2024 Open Days are now open. Book now

UCAS code
PJ59
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB including one arts, humanities or social science subject. Excluding general studies and critical thinking. (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements
Accredited
Yes

Course overview

Journalism BA

This course gives you the knowledge, skills and networks to pursue an exciting career in the multimedia world of journalism.

Taught by staff with academic expertise and professional experience in journalism, you’ll receive training in TV, radio and digital production, alongside theoretical study. You’ll learn how to spot and investigate a story, then write, produce and edit your own stories in our industry-standard studios, editing rooms and media suites.

You’ll explore ethical issues, the role of journalism in society, and choose modules on topics ranging from documentary to citizen media.

You’ll complete a work placement to gain experience and put your skills into practice. You can also get involved in Leeds University Union’s (LUU) award-winning student media societies.

You can transfer to our BA Journalism and Media degree in later years, allowing you to study journalism into the broader context of media and communication and choose from a wider range of options.

Professional-standard facilities

You’ll have the opportunity to hone your skills in industry-standard production facilities. We have a new podcasting studio and state-of-the-art open-plan TV space, in addition to our current TV studio and gallery, equipped with cameras and a large green screen area. We also have a broadcast-standard radio studio, where students can broadcast during one of the many ‘newsdays’.

You’ll be provided with your own mobile journalism kit, to encourage independent news gathering and to mirror what’s happening in the media industry.

You’ll have full use of our editing suites, where you can produce documentaries and new media projects, using the latest Adobe Creative Cloud software. We also run a loans service for video cameras, audio equipment and lighting that you’ll have access to during your studies.

Take a 360 tour of our facilities.

Radio studio

Radio studio

Accreditation

This degree has Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) accreditation.

Course details

Providing a strong grounding in Journalism scholarship and practice, this course will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to work in the rapidly changing news and current affairs sector as a reporter, producer, or presenter across various media. It will also prepare you for further research in the field of Journalism Studies and for a range of related careers, such as media and public relations, media policy development and analysis, and other communications roles.

Journalism at Leeds is distinctive in engaging you equally in the academic study of Journalism and its practice over their first two years, allowing you to set the balance of your study in the final year. Research is a key focus throughout, and you’ll gain a grounding in research methods in Year 1, with various options to pursue research throughout your course. This culminates with either a major research project (Dissertation) or a piece of practice-based research work (Project and mini-dissertation) in the field.

You are encouraged to see yourself as a media professional and to engage from the outset with others working in the news media industries, as well as media academics. We have close relationships with the BBC, as well as independent broadcasters and production companies. We also have a very strong track record in Journalism Studies and you’ll have the opportunity to link your engagement with industry and the academy in a range of contexts.

The programme includes options for a year in industry or a year abroad between Year 2 and Year 3, and we encourage you to make the most of this opportunity. The School also runs a highly successful Media Futures programme to support your personal and professional development. This provides you with insight into different media-related careers, contacts across different sectors and practical support to enhance employability.

Across the programme, you’ll take modules in Journalism Studies, the history of communication and the UK political system, in addition to core modules in news media production, journalism ethics and issues in journalism. These modules focus on developing skills in live news production to prepare for your final-year work, which may include a practice-based research project. In addition, you’ll pursue an industry placement as part of your final-year studies.

The programme provides you with a consistent focus on journalism leading to the acquisition of journalistic skills and knowledge necessary to work in the industry.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Media and Communication Research (20 credits) – This module introduces the basic building blocks of media and communication research in order to support the reading, writing and research skills you'll require during your time in the School of Media and Communication. Highlighting the links between fundamental academic skills and research practice, the module allows you to explore how media and communication is studied, and how skills developed for a media and communication degree relate to both scholarly practice and media practice.

Introduction to Journalism (20 credits) – This module provides a practical introduction to journalism. It aims to foster regular and critical habits of news engagement and make you aware of the main characteristics of different kinds of news output. By the end of the module, you'll be able to explain key journalistic concepts and engage critically with them and produce your own news content.

Journalism, Politics and Society (20 credits) – This module aims to develop your understanding of the role of journalism in society through an introduction to the main theoretical approaches to the academic study of journalism. In addition, the module provides you with knowledge of the UK’s political institutions and systems of governance which is essential to journalism. By developing an understanding of the relationship between the news media, politics and the public, you'll be equipped with the necessary theoretical basis to critically engage in debates about journalism and its role in the democratic process.

Camera and Editing for Journalists (20 credits) – In this module, you'll develop your ability to research, retrieve and generate information through understanding news output and the newsgathering decisions made by broadcasters, while gaining skills in critical analysis, research, production and communication, through the emphasis on a news specialism. You'll also learn how to plan and produce reports as a video journalist – including camera skills, sound recording, video editing and post-production methods – and develop an understanding of the key production roles within a TV news studio.

Introduction to Media Law and Regulation (20 credits) – This module introduces you to key concepts in media law and the way in which journalists report within legal and regulatory constraints. It also provides you with further practice in news production – researching and reporting stories which have a legal or ethical dimension. During the module, you'll attend a law court to observe the legal system in action.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

The History of Communication (20 credits) – This module will give you an overview of the main themes in the history of communication. It has been designed to provide not only the story of communication and media, but also the context in which systems of communication were developed and used. The module provides the historical foundation to examine the processes and case-studies discussed in other Year 1 modules, and should continue to inform your understanding as you progress through your degree.

Introduction to Media and Communication Theory (20 credits) – This module examines some of the main theoretical perspectives and arguments that underpin the study of media and communication. It considers the ways in which these perspectives are linked, why they continue to hold relevance for contemporary media scholars and how they help us to understand the role of mediated communication in society.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Journalism Ethics (20 credits) – Contemporary journalism demands clear personal ethical standards, along with understanding of the journalism industry and research into its potential harms. This module is intended to encourage intellectual engagement with journalism research and critique, and provide an opportunity for critical reflection on journalism with reference to its ethical challenges. The module includes a range of perspectives and experiences from staff in SMC with experience in journalism; a workshop session allows you to apply theoretical knowledge of ethical problem-solving to real world problems.

Issues in Journalism (20 credits) – This module explores the role and place of journalism in society. In so doing, it introduces you to the sociological analysis of journalism as a societal practice while examining key perspectives and theories that helps us understand its role. These theoretical approaches include but will not be limited to functionalist, structuralism and Marxist analysis, as well as other topics such as gender. The aim is to offer you a holistic and comprehensive understanding of journalism in the context of society.

Digital Journalism (20 credits) – This module prepares you for the challenges of digital news production in a professional environment, exploring how journalism is shaped by the larger digital media environment, as well as the ways that journalists can take advantages of new technologies to produce new forms of journalism. You'll produce multimedia and interactive webpages, live blogs, digital short videos, social cards and other appropriate story formats. You'll understand the ways that different journalistic goals such as professionalism, objectivity, and speaking truth to power are refracted by larger digital media developments.

Journalism Practice (20 credits) – This module prepares you for the challenges of working as multimedia journalists in a world where evolving digital platforms and mobile devices change the way in which news is produced and shared. TV, radio and digital production skills are taught side-by-side rather than in isolation, reflecting contemporary professional practice. These abilities are underpinned by a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of journalism; the ability to find, research and develop a story that is then told within a coherent and engaging narrative.

Live Journalism Practice (20 credits) – This module prepares you for the challenges of live news production in a professional environment. You'll see your journalism through from the initial idea, to research and development, production and then on screen, on the airwaves or uploaded to a digital platform. In keeping with industry practice, TV, radio and digital production skills are taught side-by-side. They are then put into practice during news days; simulations of a professional journalism environment based in a newsroom, studio and gallery.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Digital Cultures (20 credits) – This module explores the interactive leisure forms and practices that are based on, emerge from, and ask questions about, digital technologies. It explores a range of themes and issues that relate to digital cultures, as well as looking at a range of digital cultures and the technologies and social contexts that facilitate the emergence of these cultures. You'll develop an understanding of the political, economic, social and technical contexts from which digital cultures have emerged.

Working in Digital Media Teams (20 credits) – This module introduces you to processes and issues in digital media work and production. You'll work with your fellow students to respond to digital media briefs, developing project management skills and their ability to work collaboratively. The module is framed by theoretical understandings of work in the creative and digital media industries.

Communication Research Methods (20 credits) – This module introduces you to key research perspectives and methods in media and communication and to the principles of research ethics. It combines lectures, required readings, practical exercises in seminars to build skills, and assessments that promote reflection on the research process and the value of different research methods.

Media, Power and Social Justice (20 credits) – This module examines key topics and scholarly debates regarding media, power, and social justice, adopting an approach founded in critical theories and perspectives. It offers a thorough examination of key contributions of the Frankfurt School, such as Adorno and Horkheimer’s ‘culture industry’ thesis and the work of Walter Benjamin, and also considers alternative analytic frameworks that foreground social justice issues, such as intersectionality and the ‘capability approach’. Media examples from film, popular music, advertising, television, and/or digital media will be used to critically examine the power of media and roles they assume in culture and society, taking into consideration the implications for social justice.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Journalism Placement (20 credits) – You'll learn to work under pressure in order to meet the exacting deadlines within a media or media related industry. You'll be required to prove the intellectual and practical capabilities you've acquired at University within the professional industry environment and under the scrutiny of working professionals. The placement assessment develops your ability to critically reflect on practice in your chosen field.

Live News Production (20 credits) – This module allows you to analyse news broadcast genres and gain production expertise in multimedia news output. You'll develop the skills to produce news programmes in a multimedia communications environment, and engage in the legal, ethical, and governance framework of multi news output. You'll also analyse the creative and editorial process required for the production of multimedia news, including the role of audience participation, viewer response and User Generated Content.

Media Law (20 credits) – This module introduces you to the core topics and underlying principles of media law. You'll learn how to apply and engage with statutes and cases from across a range of media law topics, including defamation and misuse of private information. You'll also be encouraged to consider the human rights implications of these areas, with particular focus on the Article 8 privacy right & the Article 10 right to free expression.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

The Documentary and Reality (20 credits) – This module provides you with an understanding both of the development of documentary forms and functions and the character of the debates about 'truth' which have surrounded documentary work since the 1920s. You'll explore major stages in the development of documentary practice; criteria used in the evaluation of documentary both by academics and by the public; key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation; narrative and observational structures in documentary; and current tendencies and new technology.

International Communication (20 credits) – This module explores the role of media and communication in the context(s) of globalization, with a special emphasis on the political and cultural implications of contemporary international/global communication practices and products. The module offers both a traditional 'international communications' approach to the study and critique of media and a more contemporary take on the role of other forms of communication (eg design, branding, visual imagery and/or urban environments) in 'global communication'. As well as studying theories, examples and cases, you'll develop your own original analytical and research work on specific dimensions of international/global communication.

Feminism, Identity and Media (20 credits) – On this module, you'll be introduced to the main theoretical and critical arguments and approaches associated with feminist media studies, exploring both the history of the field as well as contemporary debates. Through a series of ten one-hour lectures, you'll cover the key media and communication areas and issues including gender and new media, gender and television, gender and advertising, gender and PR and gender and music. Topics covered include the politics of representation; feminist theories of narrative and identity; the role of women in the media industries and the relationship between feminism and new media.

Understanding the Audience (20 credits) – This module introduces you to the main approaches to understanding the relationship between audiences/users and media. You'll consider the development of the concept audience, exploring empirical research and theoretical arguments from a range of perspectives including how scholars have conceptualised the audience, how media industries view the audience, as well as addressing contemporary debates about the usefulness of the category ‘audience’ in the contemporary media context.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn under the guidance of professional broadcasters and academic researchers, using a range of teaching and learning methods, including practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Newsdays are an important element of your practical training. You’ll work in teams, taking on different roles as part of a radio, TV or multimedia production team – you could be a roving reporter, editor, producer or another role. You’ll put together your own TV programme, radio broadcast or online page reporting real local events.

In addition, you’ll have a reading list for each module and independent study is a crucial part of the degree, allowing you to develop your own ideas and understanding. Your tutors will be available during their office hours to discuss any issues or questions that arise.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods so you can demonstrate different skills. These will include practical production coursework, team presentations, group projects, essays and exams.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including one arts, humanities or social science subject. Excluding general studies and critical thinking.

Other course specific tests:

If you’re taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) you may receive an alternative offer alongside a standard offer. In this case, the typical offer would be ABB plus grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Offers are made on an individual basis- typically a Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 should be at Distinction and 15 at Merit level.

BTEC

DDD

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 overall
(16 at higher level, with 5 at higher level in English or 6 at standard level).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3
AAAABB (pre-2017)

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers
A in an Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers
AAAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

Please note that we don’t currently accept the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate:
80% overall.

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

International

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in all any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

This course is not accepting applications for deferred entry.

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses in the School of Media and Communication. The number of applicants exceeds the number of places available so, to ensure that we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we wait until after the UCAS equal consideration application deadline has passed before making a final decision on applications.

If we put your application on hold for review after the UCAS application deadline, we will send you an email to let you know. Although you may have to wait longer than usual to receive a decision, you will hear from us by mid-May at the latest, in line with the deadline that UCAS sets universities for making decisions on applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline.

Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, extra-curricular and work experience, and contextual information. We look for enthusiastic and talented students who have the potential to succeed in their studies with us and contribute to our community.

Read our admissions guidance and see ‘Application decisions’ for details.

All courses in the School involve rigorous theoretical study, research and presentation. All applicants must therefore provide evidence of completing, or working towards completing, a Level 3 (for example, A Level) Arts/Humanities qualification that demonstrates their ability to research a topic and present high quality written work. In some cases, applicants may also be asked to provide examples of completed essays or assignments in order to assess their suitability.

As part of your application, you'll need to submit a personal statement. Read our guidance on writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Media and Communication

Contact us

School of Media and Communication Undergraduate Admissions

Email: mediaug@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

This course is designed to equip you with the skills you’ll need to thrive as a media professional today, from traditional newspapers to TV, radio and online news channels. You’ll also gain a wide range of valuable knowledge and skills which can help you to stand out from the crowd in a variety of careers.

Our graduates can be found working at Sky News and Sport, BBC News, BBC Sport, CNN and Channel 4, among others. Many work overseas, from Channel 4’s offices in Washington DC to The Japan Times. Others have gone into politics and the civil service, and a number have worked in the NNC’s political unit at Westminster either for parliamentary bodies or MPs.

Careers support

Within the School, we offer opportunities for you to attend talks and workshops led by industry professionals to help you gain insight into a career in journalism.

Find out more about careers and employability at the School of Media and Communication.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

In line with BJTC requirements, there will be the opportunity to undertake a placement in the broadcasting industry.

You’ll gain hands-on experience in a working newsroom – placements can range from working in daily radio, TV and online output to documentary production companies. You’ll also have the chance to reflect on what you’ve learned from your experience: you’ll write a blog during your time in the newsroom and a report on your experiences when you come back for your final year.

You also have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.