Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

VP15

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time

Department

History
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Course overview

The best journalism is based on a sound understanding of the history that has shaped the world we inhabit today.

There is a strong and growing tradition of deeper journalistic investigation into issues and events in the recent and more distant past (however that might be defined). This might be to unearth new knowledge, to investigate and reinterpret existing thinking, or to revise and update past ideas and understandings.

This innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary programme, jointly delivered by the Department of History and the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, emphasises that the causes and results of events in the past are fiercely contested by historians.

Much contemporary journalism is focused not only on reporting, contextualising and analysing events as they happen, but also as they have recently happened. Consequently, journalism is often likened to ‘the first rough draft of history’.

Why study BA History and Journalism at Goldsmiths?

  • History - the study, analysis and understanding of the past - is as important today as it has ever been, and it continues to make vital contributions to how we comprehend and interact with the world around us. It is a relevant, dynamic, fascinating and important field of study which, at Goldsmiths, is approached in creative, innovative and exciting ways.
  • Understanding past societies fosters emotional intelligence and allows us to appreciate the diversity and adaptability of human life. Understanding our pasts can help us to shape our futures and, crucially, help us shape those futures intelligently, insightfully, fairly, and with compassion.
  • The essential skills of researching, interviewing, and writing in a number of different long-form and short-form styles and formats are delivered alongside tuition for a range of digital tools including video reporting, the use of social media for research and dissemination, and how to work in the world of online, multimedia journalism.
  • An international body of staff research and deliver modules covering a wide geographical range including Asia, Africa, the Americas, the British Isles, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East. Academic staff in both departments are nationally and internationally recognized award-winning experts in their fields who are at the forefront of research excellence and research-led teaching.
  • Learn about important contextual elements of journalism, including how it relates to the broader world of the media, media culture, and its place in society and the democratic process, as well as the role of investigative journalism and longer-form writing.
  • The programme culminates with a linking interdisciplinary dissertation project. Co-supervised across both departments, this allows you to pursue your particular interests and aspirations while testing the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience acquired in both disciplines across all years of the programme.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Alex Watson or Dr Maurice Walsh.

What you'll study

Year 1

You will take the Reading and Writing History module and the Historical Perspectives module, both of which run for 10 weeks in the autumn term. You also choose to take EITHER the Global Connections module OR the Historical Controversies module (both of which run for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms) OR you choose two 10-week option modules (both of which run in the spring term) from a list approved annually by the Department of History. You also take the Introduction to Multimedia Journalism module, and both the Media, History and Politics module and the Introduction to Power, Politics and Public Affairs module (which run for 10 weeks in the spring term).

See the full list of year 1 option modules.

Year 1 Modules Module title Credits
  Reading and Writing History 15 Credits
  Historical Perspectives 15 credits
  Global Connections: the violence and exchanges that shaped the modern world 30 credits
  Historical Controversies 30 credits
  Media History and Politics 15 credits
  Introduction to Power, Politics and Public Affairs 15 credits
  Introduction to Multimedia Journalism 30 credits

Year 2

You have a free choice of modules to the value of 60 credits from a list approved annually by the Department of History and at least 30 of those 60 credits must come from History and Journalism designated modules. Some modules, worth 30 credits, run for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms and other modules, worth 15 credits, run for 10 weeks, some running in the autumn term and others in the spring term.

You also take the Media Law and Ethics module and the Feature Writing module (both of which run for 10 weeks in the autumn term), the Extended Feature Research and Writing module (which runs for 10 weeks in the spring term) and you choose one other 15-credit module offered by the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (which could run in either term).

See the full list of year 2 History option modules

Year 2 Compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Media Law and Ethics 15 credits
  Extended Feature Research and Writing 15 credits

Year 3

You complete a 60-credit interdisciplinary final project that is jointly supervised by staff in both departments. You then have a free choice of modules to the value of 60 credits. Some modules, worth 30 credits, run for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms and other modules, worth 15 credits, run for 10 weeks, some running in the autumn term and others in the spring term. Students must select 30 credits from the Department of History and 30 credits from the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies.

As part of their History credits, students can elect to take a 30-credit Special Subject module (excluding dissertation) from a list approved annually by the Department of History or from a list of University of London Intercollegiate Group III Special Subject modules approved annually by our partner institutions. Partners include: Birkbeck, King’s College London, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, University College London.

See the full list of year 3 and Special Subject History modules

Teaching style

The programme is cumulative and progressive, with knowledge and skills building on previous years and growing year on year. Basic skills and competencies are delivered in the first year which sets the broad agenda for the programme as a whole. In the second year, the modules contain increasingly challenging and demanding material which provides the foundations for the significant independent scholarly work required and undertaken in the final year.

Teaching may be delivered in the form of lectures and seminars or other forms of contact time such as extended seminars, workshops, field trips, and film screenings. Lectures introduce subject specific skills and understandings and provide the basis for discussions, activities, group work, and debates. Seminars linked to lectures provide a space for further exploration of the lecture topics and materials and they reinforce the knowledge gained from the lectures and from independent reading and studying. Seminars also involve field-trips and site visits to relevant places including museums, galleries, archives, and sites of historical interest.

Throughout the programme students are taught to critically engage with the inter-relationship between history and journalism. In the final year, this interdisciplinary knowledge, understanding, skill and experience is tested through the compulsory interdisciplinary linking dissertation project. The variety of theoretical and empirical material throughout the programme, covering a wide range of topics, periods and regions, provides students with the opportunity to pursue their own interests while examining and interrogating the linkages between the two disciplines. Under close co-supervision from both departments, students develop a substantial and sustained individual project in which they form and present their own critical arguments in an extended format. In the context of this joint degree, students are required to produce a genuinely interdisciplinary piece of work that reflect their abilities to analyse and assess historical evidence, their awareness of journalist and media methods and concepts, and a knowledge of relevant empirical work and debates in each discipline.

Lecturers also make themselves available for tutorials either during their Consultation and Feedback hours or by appointment. These provide opportunities to ask questions about modules and their content, to receive support and guidance on independent work, and to receive feedback on submitted work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 17% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

A wide and innovative variety of different methods are used to assess learning, these include essays, reviews, source analyses, blogs, videos, walks, presentations, exams, and dissertations. Some modules are assessed by portfolios of coursework, or by a combination of coursework and an examination. Others are assessed by long essays or dissertations on topics approved with the tutor. Assessments vary in length according to the type of assessment and/or level of module.

Assessment supports student progression across the programme, as assessments in the first year aim to measure a set of baseline skills and competencies which are enhanced, deepened and broadened in subsequent years. Lecturers return assessments and provide useful and constructive feedback in a timely manner so as to ensure that students learn from the feedback and have the opportunity to improve subsequent work.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 56% coursework, 19% written exam, 25% practical
  • Year 2 - 91% coursework, 9% practical
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2018/19. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about .

Year 3

You will take the following compulsory modules.

Year 3 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Interdisciplinary Final Project 60 credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures and seminars. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 17% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework assignments such as extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects and reflective essays, as well as seen and unseen written examinations.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 56% coursework, 19% written exam, 25% practical
  • Year 2 - 91% coursework, 9% practical
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2019/20. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

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. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
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

Additional requirements

As the course demands significant amounts of writing, it's important that you are able to cope with the rigours of the course.

At Goldsmiths we offer innovative and challenging degrees, in a stimulating environment, amongst a diverse and exciting community of students. Many of our students have achieved high A-level grades, and that is reflected in our standard A-level offer.

Above all, though, we are looking for potential students who can demonstrate the range of skills, talents, and interests necessary for this work, either through traditional A-levels or otherwise. We believe that all able students, of whatever age and background, who have the ability, should have the opportunity to study at Goldsmiths. We actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma.

We also offer a foundation year for students who need more preparation and experience before embarking on the BA. This is a longstanding commitment and practice and, over many years, a large number of our students have come from non-traditional backgrounds.

If you're interested in applying to Goldsmiths, whether you're currently studying or have been out of education for some time, we'd be delighted to hear from you. If you'd like further advice or have specific questions, please get in touch with the Admissions Officer listed above.

Given the range of students that the programme is designed to attract, applicants may be asked to attend an interview, where the following criteria are evaluated:

  • reasons for applying to study this particular degree
  • reasons for applying to Goldsmiths
  • background knowledge/expectations of the discipline(s)
  • intellectual potential and analytic skills
  • ability to express ideas verbally and engage in debate
  • motivation to complete the programme

Performance at interview can alter the usual criteria for entry on a case-by-case basis.

You should have Grade C/Grade 4 or above in GCSE Mathematics.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

The fees for 2021 will be made available soon, but for reference these were the fees for 2020.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • EU - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £16700

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Careers

Career-orientated Skills

Equipping graduates with the flexibility, skills, and confidence needed to achieve their ambitions and ensuring that all students have clear opportunities to develop within, and beyond, their curriculum (through, for example, work placements and overseas study) are essential components of this degree programme.

History and Journalism are both very transferable subjects and both the Departments of History and Media. Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths have an excellent pedigree in providing careers-orientated opportunities for students.

A wide array of transferable skills is acquired throughout the programme. All modules foster skills in: effective reading; critical analysis and evaluation; assessment of arguments, ideas, and evidence; independent thinking and working; academic writing within a specified word-limit; group-working and collaboration; designing and delivering presentations; and creating a wide variety of outputs and materials. Students learn how to: effectively manage their time and their timetable; meet deadlines, to sensibly and pragmatically schedule time and activities; present themselves with self-assurance and confidence. Information and resource management skills are developed and honed as part of wider research processes and a wide range of library and IT skills are also delivered.

Links with employers, placement opportunities and career prospects

The departments of History and Media, Communications and Cultural Studies establish and foster a range of partnerships with some of the leading historical, cultural and media organisations in London and beyond, including the Black Cultural Archives, the George Padmore Institute, English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces, the Horniman Museum, the National Archives, Queer Britain and various newspapers and national media organisations.

Students on the BA History and Journalism programme can choose to undertake the Department of History’s work placement module, History in Practice. The module runs for two terms and, in the first term, students prepare for their placement through a series of classes and workshops on public history, museum studies, and working in archives and libraries. Students also choose their placement partner and visit them to identify and plan the activities they will be undertaking during their placement. The placement itself takes place in the second term of the module and consists of one day per week at the placement partner. Students continue to be supported throughout by the module convenor and, at the end of the module, are assessed on the work they have undertaken with the placement organisation.

There are also opportunities for students to pursue work placements through the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural studies with the support and guidance of staff in that department.

In addition to the resources provided by the programme and by the department, the Goldsmiths Careers Services offer significant support to students as they pursue their career, with general support in such areas as preparing a CV and interview skills, as well as bespoke events that work in partnership with the degree programme.

You can also read more about employability at Goldsmiths and career options on our dedicated History careers page.

Student work

Student journalism

EastLondonLines is an independent news website run by the School of Journalism in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies. 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.

Visit the EastLondonLines website

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.