About the course
This course equips you to become a journalist with the story-getting and story-telling skills to flourish in today’s multimedia journalism environment.
We live in a connected world with instant access to whatever news we want, whenever and wherever we want it. We don’t have to wait for the newspaper to hit the streets or for the evening news bulletin; anyone with a smartphone can be a reporter, able to record, edit and publish whatever they like.
The challenge for professional journalists in this digital age is to provide news and information that can be trusted, meeting the demands created by new technology and changing habits without sacrificing core professional values. Our degree has been designed with the future needs of this rapidly changing industry at its heart, informing our curriculum, programme design, facilities and staffing.
Led by former BBC News editor Jonathan Baker, our course places a strong emphasis on good writing, independence, accuracy and ethical practice, the values that have always underpinned the best journalism. But at Essex we go further, applying those values to the new world of social networks and mobile technology.
You will gain a thorough training in the theory and practice of journalism:
- Benefit from opportunities to work in the field, both independently and alongside practicing journalists across a range of media
- Be mentored by a leading professional in a chosen specialist subject, such as business, arts, literary, political or sports journalism
- Find, tell and publish your own ‘real’ stories across different media, building a substantial portfolio of work to show to future employers
- Study topics including the art of storytelling, the history of journalism, and multimedia production
- Work towards the industry-standard NCTJ Diploma in Journalism as part of your degree
- Gain an essential understanding of media law and how the UK works
As a student at one of the UK’s leading social science institutions and a pioneer of literature and writing, you are uniquely placed to acquire a deep understanding of the world you report on as well as to develop your own powerful journalistic style.
"The work placements programme encompasses the major employers in the local area and further afield in East Anglia, and the students are enjoying the experience of spending time in working newsrooms so early in their course."
The NCTJ accreditation panel
In addition to your degree, work experience and a professional portfolio, you will have the opportunity to graduate with a Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ (the National Council for the Training of Journalists), the industry-standard qualification in the UK. This accreditation is an important kite-mark for editors who recruit graduates, demonstrating that your course has equipped you to work in any one of a range of multimedia roles in today’s digital newsrooms.
The Diploma signifies that you have been trained and passed NCTJ exams in media law, public affairs, essential reporting skills and shorthand, and in two areas of specialism (broadcast journalism and court reporting).
Our multimedia journalism course is also accredited by the other main UK training body, the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC).
Your education extends beyond the University campus. We support you extending your education by providing the option of an additional year at no extra cost (2017 entry). The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad or employed on a placement, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
Our expert staff
At Essex you learn from the best. Our founding Professor of Journalism and lead member of our teaching team is Jonathan Baker. Jonathan is a journalist with 40 years’ experience, more than 20 of them in senior editorial roles at BBC News. He is a former editor of the Ten O’Clock News, Foreign Editor and Head of Newsgathering. He is also a former Head of the College of Journalism, responsible for delivering all forms of journalism training to more than 8,000 BBC journalists across the UK and overseas.
Other core staff include:
- Dr Fatima el Issawi, who has over 15 years’ experience as an international correspondent covering conflict zones and crises and is also a regular contributor on topics such as media and politics to the New Yorker, Al Jazeera, CNN, Bloomberg and Voice of America
- Paul Anderson is a journalist, author, academic and publisher with extensive editorial experience for online and print, including his current position at The Guardian, and previous roles for New Statesman and Tribune journals
- Tim Fenton is a former political correspondent working across radio and television for BBC news, with a strong background in broadcast journalism and reporting UK institutions
- Sean McTernan is a media lawyer whose clients include a range of national publications and broadcasters: he teaches the Media Law and Advanced Media Law & Ethics modules
Throughout the course you will also hear regularly from visiting lecturers and teachers who are leading figures in different branches of journalism, and who provide an important link to an extended network of industry practitioners.
As a journalism student at Essex, your material will be published on a dedicated website, but you will also spend time gaining on-the-job experience with a range of professional news operations, creating and publishing ‘real’ stories and building up a portfolio of published and broadcast work.
You will work in a purpose-built newsroom with access to television, radio studios, and computer software that allows journalists to create and edit content across all media and platforms quickly and professionally. The university’s Media Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite.
You will have the opportunity to contribute to student journalism, which includes a magazine, a radio station and a television operation.
You can also benefit from our experience in film production and creative writing as well as our University’s wider expertise areas such as politics, sociology and human rights:
- View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
- Hear writers talk about their craft and broaden your knowledge beyond your course at weekly research seminars
- Our on-Campus, 200-seat Lakeside Theatre has been established as a major venue for good drama, staging both productions by professional touring companies and a wealth of new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
- The Lakeside Theatre also runs regular practical workshops, enabling drama enthusiasts to get involved in both front-of-house and behind the scenes
Essex journalism graduates are equipped to embark on any one of a number of career paths within the industry.
You graduate with all the core skills of a professional journalist, underpinned by the Diploma of Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists, which you attain as part of our course. This is an industry standard and is recognised and valued by editors when recruiting staff.
You will compile an impressive portfolio of published work and complete a detailed multimedia project in your final year, allowing you to offer real evidence of your range and capabilities to future employers. You also develop knowledge of a specialist subject – such as business, politics, international affairs or sport – giving you a head start if you want to pursue a career in one of those areas.
You will be multi-skilled, familiar with production techniques in television, radio, online and newspaper journalism, and with the option to gain advanced skills in specific areas in your final year.
Digital technology encourages entrepreneurship, and allows young journalists to work outside traditional employment routes with established media organisations in favour of creating their own niche brand online. Our BA Multimedia Journalism course gives you the skills and confidence to succeed in whatever path you choose.
UK entry requirements
A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject
IB: 30 points, including a Higher Level essay-based subject grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.