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BA (Hons) Journalism

  • UCAS
    P500
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: AAB/ABB
    BTEC: DDD/DDM
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications, Computing

Course overview

Prepare for a career in journalism in one of the country’s most exciting, creative environments, which has nurtured many leading writers, artists, designers and music makers.

The world of journalism is changing at an unprecedented rate. New digital tools and online platforms are altering the way journalists acquire, create and publish. With a BA Journalism degree from Goldsmiths you will be prepared you for a career in the future of journalism.

Why study BA Journalism at Goldsmiths?

You will:

  • Be taught by highly experienced professionals, with extensive industry experience, and leading academics involved in cutting edge research
  • Build up a portfolio of work, get advice on careers and work experience and benefit from our close links with the media industry
  • Hear from guest speakers from all branches of the media, join in debates and forums on key cultural issues and work alongside other students engaged in creative and challenging study
  • Use a blend of new digital tools like video and data visualisation and traditional writing skills
  • Present your work in a modern, multi-media context using different online platforms, including our ground breaking live news website, Eastlondonlines where you will work as reporters and editors, gathering stories from the community
  • Make the most of smartphones and tablets for vivid reporting of news and documenting key issues
  • Unlock the potential of social media for research and to disseminate your work around the world as well as understanding its social and political implications
  • Consider how ethical and legal considerations affect journalistic practice
  • Understand your work in a broader social and cultural context

We're ranked third in the UK for the quality and impact of our research (Research Excellence Framework), which means that by studying in the department you'll be working alongside academics who are leaders in their fields.

Academic staff

The course is led by Terry Kirby, who has more than 30 years' experience as a national newspaper journalist and was a founder member of staff of the Independent newspaper.

Other practice teaching staff are professional journalists, or experts in their field of computing. Our academic staff are leading researchers in the field of media and communications. 

Please note: there is a journalism module option, emphasising features and magazines, in the BA in Media and Communications. Check that you are applying for the course that is best for you.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor

Modules & structure

Overview

Whatever kind of journalist you are seeking to become, we will give you the right combination of practical skills and the wider understanding to launch a successful career in this new, digital, multi platform world. The programme draws on the award-winning expertise of our MA Journalism and MA/MSc Digital Journalism programmes, many of whose graduates are in key positions in the news media.


The programme delivers a range of journalistic and technical skills – including news writing, web programming, data visualisation and video reporting – as well as more theoretical underpinning, giving students essential background in media law, public affairs and the wider context of journalism and the media. We aim to provide an inspirational learning experience in which theory and practice influence and enrich each other in the production of original, creative and intellectual work.

Level 4

All level 4 modules are compulsory. 

Practical modules will cover structures of power and society, news writing and reporting skills while computing modules will cover web programming and using digital media. You will learn how to find stories and people, how to interview and how do research, write news stories and short features. You'll also learn the basics of web platforms and how they can be used and adapted for use in journalism. The theory element will cover media history and debates surrounding the media’s relationships with politics and culture.

The modules:

  • Introduction to Journalism: structures of power (15 credits)
  • Journalism Practice 1 (30 credits)
  • Web programming (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Digital media (15 credits)
  • Media History and Politics (15 credits)
  • Key Debates in Media (15 credits)
  • Media Arts (15 credits)

Practice

You'll be introduced to the practice of contemporary journalism. You will be taught by a journalist and you will learn how to find stories, and people, how to interview them, how to get background information and do research and how to write news stories and short features. You'll also learn the basics of web platforms and how they can be used and adapted for use in journalism.

Practice modules will include data visualisation and using social media and you will study the media’s wider role in society as well as media law and ethics. You will put all this into practice working as a journalist on our website, Eastlondonlines.

Compulsory modules:

  • Journalism Practice 2 (30 credits)
  • Social media and citizen sensing (15 credits)
  • Data Journalism and Visualisation (15 credits) 
  • Media, Law and Ethics (15 credits)
  • News and Power in a Global Context (15 credits)

Optional practice modules will include:

  • Feature writing
  • Photojournalism

Oprional theory module will include:

  • Media, Modernity and Social Thought
  • Culture, Society and the Individual
  • Moving Image and Spectatorship
  • Psychology, Subjectivity and Power
  • Money and the Media
  • Television and After
  • Media, Memory and Conflict

Level 6

Two compulsory modules and a range of options from both the Department of Media and Communications and Computing.

Your work on EastLondonLines will continue but you also be able to choose other key modules from both departments, including the option of a dissertation. A diverse range of theory options will include the political economy of the mass media, contemporary political communications and media and ethnicity. You will complete a final project designed to draw on your learning over the previous three years. 

Compulsory modules:

  • Journalism in Context (15 credits)
  • Journalism Practice 3 - project/portfolio (60 credits) 

And either:
Any combination of the following option modules (each 15 credits) to a total of 45 credits.

Recommended Department of Media and Communications options include:

  • Arts, Culture and Fashion Writing
  • Radio Journalism
  • Asking the Right Questions
  • Work placement
  • Contemporary Structures of Political Communications

Examples of other theory modules available include:

  • Promotional Culture
  • Embodiment and Experience
  • Media Audiences and Media Geographies
  • Media Ethnicity and Nation
  • Music as Communication and Creative Practice
  • Future Developments in Screen and Film Theory
  • Media Rituals
  • Screen Cultures
  • After New Media

Examples of available options in the Department of Computing include:

  • User Interface Design
  • Electronic Commerce
  • Data Mining

Or:

A dissertation (30 credits) and one option module from either Department (15 credits).

Assessment

Portfolios of journalism work, coursework, seen and unseen written papers, essays

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB/ABB
BTEC: DDD/DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

You should have Grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics.

As the course demands significant amounts of writing, it's important that you are able to cope with the rigours of the course. You may be asked for examples of written work and called to interview.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 at distinction and 15 at merit
Scottish qualifications: ABBBB/ABBBC (Higher), AAC/ABC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 80%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A1 B2/A1 A1 A2 B1

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

We are ranked:
27th in the world for communication and media studies**
1st in the UK for the quality of our research***

Media and Communications

We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.

The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.

We also run EastLondonLines.co.uk – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.

And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.

Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2016
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings


Computing at Goldsmiths is ranked 17th in the UK for the quality of our research**

Computing

The Department of Computing offers a creative, contemporary and pioneering approach to the discipline.

From developing computers that can compose music and paint pictures, to defining and implementing new social media tools and applications, we aim to invigorate computing and the world around it.

Learn by doing

We place a great emphasis on creativity, independence and ‘learning by doing’. You’ll focus on practical work in real-world situations, carrying out projects in ways that mirror industry practice.

Interdisciplinary approach

We also promote an interdisciplinary approach to the subject: from business to digital arts, and from games programming to learning Mandarin.

Industry experts

You’ll be taught by industry experts – our academics are deeply engaged in current research, with many applying their knowledge and skills to developing cutting-edge technology. And we have close links with industry, too, regularly inviting leading professionals to deliver lectures and talks.

Find out more about the Department of Computing.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Learning & teaching

On this degree you will attend workshops and tutorials designed to develop your practical skills in journalism and associated technical skills like data. You will also attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers

Skills

Some of the skills you'll develop during a journalism degree include:

  • A range of journalistic skills - from news researching, writing and editing to data visualisation and video reporting
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Proficiency in assessing evidence and in expressing ideas clearly
  • An ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects
  • Computing skills, in web programming and creating digital projects
  • Communications skills applicable across a wide range of media-related careers

Careers

What kind of careers might you seek as a BA Journalism graduate?

  • As a specialist journalist, using data visualisation and mapping to tell stories about key issues like crime, politics or the environment
  • As a reporter, live blogging a football match for a sports website or a catwalk for a fashion magazine
  • As a website reporter or editor, assembling multi-media stories or ‘live’ reporting, and using social media to interact with readers and viewers

But such is the pace of change you might be pursuing careers and using digital methods we cannot yet imagine… You can read more about possible career options after you graduate on our Media and Communications careers page.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.  

Fees & funding

How to apply

Related content links

University statistics for this course