BA History and Journalism brings together the expertise of two departments in an exciting, innovative degree that will give you the practical skills and academic knowledge to excel in a wide range of careers.
Much contemporary journalism is focused on reporting, contextualising and analysing events as they happen, but also as they have very recently happened, which has led journalism to be described as ‘the first rough draft of history’. We believe that the best journalism is based on a sound understanding of the history that has shaped the world we inhabit today, and throughout this degree you will develop a nuanced and sensitive understanding of the past to inform interpretation and reporting of current events.
Drawing on the strengths of the Department of History and the Department of Media and Communications, you will focus on the shared methodologies and skills of history and journalism. History teaching at Goldsmiths embraces cultural, social, political, religious and medical histories, with an emphasis on encounters between different cultures, battles for ideological as well as geographical supremacy, and the creation of individual and collective identities. Our thematic approach allows for the contrast and comparison of events across time and place.
This is complemented by Media and Communications modules which offer you the opportunity to develop practical skills such as interviewing, writing in a number of different journalistic styles, video reporting, photojournalism and radio journalism. You will also study more theoretical knowledge such as the importance of the context of journalism: how it relates to the broader world of the media, media culture and its place in society and the democratic process.
You will have the opportunity to hone your skills as a practising journalist on our local news website EastLondonLines, working with other students to cover a large and diverse area of London.
In the final year you will undertake a supervised interdisciplinary project exploring a topic of your own choice and drawing on the research skills and methodologies of both History and Journalism (for example, archival research, oral interviews) to produce an original piece of historically-contextualised journalism. The final product may be presented as a written document or, for example, as a film or radio broadcast. It could also be presented on a digital platform.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr John Price (Department of History) or Terry Kirby (Department of Media and Communications)
Modules & structure
You will take core modules in historical concepts and methods, journalism skills and long-form historical journalism with a final project devoted to a piece of extended journalistic research in a historical context. All practical journalism modules are taught by practising journalists from our School of Journalism, who have experience at the highest levels of the national media.
You will also choose option modules from both departments, with the opportunity to work creatively and undertake innovative assessments such as blogs and YouTube videos.
In addition to the modules you study during your degree, we encourage you to make the most of the exciting calendar of activities that both departments organise throughout the year, including a range of guest speakers and lecturers.
- Concepts and Methods (30 credits)
- Media, History and Politics (30 credits)
- Introduction to Power, Politics and Public Affairs (30 credits)
- Introduction to News and Features (30 credits)
You will take one of the following 30 credit options:
- Religion, Peace and Conflict
- Dictators, War and Revolution
- Self, Citizen and Nation
- Extended Feature Research and Writing (15 credits)
- Media Law and Ethics (15 credits)
- Feature Writing (15 credits)
You will study 30 credits of modules that fuse History and Journalism, 30 credits of History modules and a 15 credit media option.
- Interdisciplinary project
You will take 30 credits from the Department of History and 30 credits from the Department of Media and Communications.
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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
You should have Grade C/Grade 4 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.
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2
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 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 5.5
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.
History at Goldsmiths is ranked 11th in the UK for the quality of our research*, and in the world's elite**
History at Goldsmiths isn't just a sequence of events - we study the past thematically as well as chronologically.
You will be taught by research-active, publishing historians whose wide range of expertise across different periods and many countries will help you to explore the diversity of past human experience through themes like madness, medicine, revolution, religious beliefs, identitities and the body.
You'll be thinking about the way history is informed by a wide range of other subjects and how knowledge of the past can help you to understand the world we live in today.
Find out more about the Department of History.
*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
We are ranked:
1st in the UK for the quality of our research* Joint 1st in the UK for effective teaching** 8th in the world for communication and media studies***
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.
*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
Skills & careers
The combination of practical and academic study throughout this degree means that as a BA History and Journalism graduate you will be well-placed for a career in all types of journalism and the wider media industries, such as film and documentary making, communications, publishing, marketing and working on a number of digital platforms.
During your second and third years you will have the opportunity to undertake an optional work placement module, which will provide you with valuable workplace experience. Your work as a practising journalist on EastLondonLines will also give you practical experience of digital and local journalism, working to professional standards with other students and the local community.
You will gain a range of transferable skills including forensic research techniques, structured writing and editing and the ability to find, organise, analyse, structure and communicate information of all types. These skills are applicable to a wide range of careers, for example historical, political, social or commercial research, charity and NGO positions, archival and catalogue work, report writing and careers in ethnography and related fields.
EastLondonLines is an independent news website run by the School of Journalism in the Department of Media and Communications. The site runs throughout the year and students on all journalism programmes spend time working on the site, gaining valuable experience and building up their CVs. You work under the supervision of School academic and technical staff.
It began in November 2009 as a means of giving students an opportunity to work as professional journalists in a real life environment. The area covered by the site is a large, diverse, multi-cultural and vibrant part of London, ranging from inner city Hackney in the North to Croydon on the southern borders of London and provides exciting and varied journalistic challenges.
Journalism students also contribute to London Multimedia News which collates London based news stories with a radio and sound focus and are able to take part in broadcasts through our radio and television studios.