Undergraduate Course

BA Multimedia Journalism

BA Multimedia Journalism

Overview

The details
Multimedia Journalism
P500
October 2024
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

This course equips you to become a journalist with the news awareness, 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.

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.

A typical timetable involves a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar or a two-hour seminar for each module every week, but there are variations in place depending on the module.

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Why we're great.
  • Our journalism teaching staff have a broad range of up-to-date, hands-on industry experience.
  • You draw on expertise from across the University by specialising in your favourite subjects.
  • You create and broadcast your own online content, radio and TV programmes using our on campus facilities.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, 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.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Our expert staff

At Essex you learn from the best. Led by a team of talented and experienced journalists, our course places a strong emphasis on good writing, independence, accuracy and ethical practice, the values that have always underpinned the best journalism.

Our core staff include:

  • Tim Fenton a former managing editor of the BBC News Online website and a journalist with more than 35 years' industry experience ranging from sports reporting for local radio to presenting and producing national current affairs programmes on TV and radio.
  • Penny Wrout, a former BBC correspondent and producer for TV, radio and online with more than 20 years in the journalism business, including seven years in charge of the BBC's social affairs coverage of London. As well as teaching broadcast and online journalism at Essex, she continues to work as a freelance documentary film-maker and multimedia arts producer.
  • Paul Anderson, former editor of Tribune and deputy editor of the New Statesman, who has worked as a journalist since the early 1980s. He combines teaching print and online production at Essex with working as a print/online subeditor on the Guardian, running a small publishing company and freelance writing about politics and history.
  • Dr Fatima el Issawi, an international correspondent with more than 15 years' experience covering conflict zones for a wide range of broadcast and online outlets including Agence France Press and the BBC, teaches journalism theory and international reporting. She is the author of Arab National Media and Political Change, published by Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Dr Alexandros Antoniou is lecturer in media law. His research interests lie principally in the fields of communications law, intellectual property asset management and cybercrime.

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.

Specialist facilities

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

Your future

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.

"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

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

  • GCSE: Mathematics and English C/4.
  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email ugquery@essex.ac.uk for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554. Our Maths requirement can be met with either: 4 in Standard level Maths; 3 in Higher level Maths; or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page. or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

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, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Practical Reporting, Interviewing and Production (Single Honours)
(30 CREDITS)

This module introduces you to storytelling and narrative. You’ll discuss the nature of news and how to identify a story, obtaining and deciphering information, editing and considering wording and tone. You will begin to learn the basics of multimedia production, and start producing content for print, online, radio and television outlets.

View Practical Reporting, Interviewing and Production (Single Honours) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

History of Journalism
(15 CREDITS)

This module covers the history of journalism in Britain from its beginnings in the 17th century to the start of the internet age. Topics include: the impact of printing; the first news serials; government attempts to control the press from the 17th to the 19th centuries; the emergence of mass circulation papers; the role of press barons in the 20th century; radio and the rise of the BBC; the press from 1945 to 2000; the arrival and development of television; ownership and control of the media; and the impact of the internet. The module critically considers the evolving political, economic and social contexts of journalism and the media more generally, underpinning and informing the content of all other elements of the degree course.

View History of Journalism on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Media Law
(30 CREDITS)

This module provides a broad introduction to the law and how it affects all varieties of journalism. It covers the main legal issues encountered by journalists - knowledge you will need to apply in practice as you undertake all forms of reporting, in particular the proceedings of the courts. The module will enable you to sit the NCTJ Essential Media Law which is an element of the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

View Media Law on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Reporting Politics
(30 CREDITS)

This module provides an introduction to the workings of central and local government and social and political institutions at local, national and European levels, in the context of reporting the workings of government at all levels in an informed and engaging way. It also contributes to the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism and you will sit the NCTJ examination in Essential Public Affairs.

View Reporting Politics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Journalism Now
(15 CREDITS)

This module is all about how the internet has transformed the media in the 21st century. Building on the History of Journalism module, this module is taking in several related topics, including the way the internet has changed the working practices and business models of existing news media organisations – local, national and international; the increasing dominance of social networking corporations in advertising; the rise of ‘citizen journalism’ online; how journalists can use social media; the challenge of big data for journalists, from Wikileaks to ‘fake news’; the difficulties of regulation in the online age. The scope is broad: you will be encouraged to explore the economic, political and ethical issues of the still-emerging new media landscape in all its aspects and to engage with debates worldwide. The majority of reading is extremely contemporary – and liable to week-by-week change – and the format of classes will be a mix of lectures, seminars and audio-visual material.

View Journalism Now on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Audio and Video for Broadcast and Online (Single honours)
(30 CREDITS)

In this module you will learn, through class teaching and practical experience, how to write and adapt news stories and features for broadcast platforms. Building on the core reporting skills you have developed in Year 1, you will learn more about the particular demands and characteristics of the different media platforms and the editorial and production techniques required to deliver high quality broadcast journalism.

View Audio and Video for Broadcast and Online (Single honours) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Feature Writing and Magazine Project for Print and Online (Single honours)
(30 CREDITS)

In this module you will learn, through practical experience, how to write features, how to edit and adapt news stories and features for print and online and how to produce print and online publications. Building on the core reporting and production skills you have developed in your first year, you will learn more about the relationship between news and features and the particular demands and characteristics of the different media platforms, with the first term concentrating on feature-writing and print production and the second largely taken up with a print and online magazine production project.

View Feature Writing and Magazine Project for Print and Online (Single honours) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Advanced Media Law and Ethics
(15 CREDITS)

In this module, you will complete your studies – begun in Year 1 - of the principal areas of the law relating to journalism, and prepare for and sit the NCTJ examination in Media Law. You will also expand your exploration of the wider constraints affecting journalism, voluntary and otherwise. These include media regulation, the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, the Editors’ Code of Practice and other expressions of good, ethical practice.

View Advanced Media Law and Ethics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Research and Data Handling
(15 CREDITS)

This module helps you develop your skills in research and investigation with particular reference to the new areas emerging on the web, through the Freedom of Information Act and through social media. It will also give you confidence in handling statistics-based stories, questioning methodology and assumptions.

View Research and Data Handling on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Advanced Practical Journalism
(30 CREDITS)

This module builds on everything you have learned so far about writing, reporting and production, with a particular emphasis on the broadcast media of radio and television. You will already have had the opportunity to gain extensive experience of newspaper and online reporting, and this module will bring your broadcast skills up to the same high standard of knowledge and expertise. This module will also prepare you for the Specialist Option element of your NCTJ Diploma.

View Advanced Practical Journalism on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Newsroom Practice
(15 CREDITS)

In your final year you will undertake a capstone project designed to demonstrate your understanding of the theory and practice of reporting, your ability to work across broadcast platforms, and your ability to identify, research and deliver an original story. You will carry out scoping and preparatory work necessary for you to proceed with the project. This might include exploring story possibilities, commissioning or conducting research, reading round the subject and seeking interviews and assistance from experts and protagonists.

View Newsroom Practice on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Multimedia Project
(45 CREDITS)

This module represents your ‘capstone’ project. It is work that you have carried out on your own, on the basis of the groundwork carried out during the Multimedia Project Preparation module. It will demonstrate your command of much that you have learned and practised during your first two years in terms of defining a story, gathering information, conducting research, handling data, newsgathering by means of interviews, reading, and presentation across media platforms. This work will be published on the course website.

View Multimedia Project on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity 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. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching will mainly take the form of lectures and classes of about 20 students
  • Opportunities for placements
  • Mentoring from professionals in your specialist subject
  • A typical timetable involves a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your modules every week

Assessment

  • Your final mark for each module is determined half by coursework and half by examination
  • A mark for class participation is included in your coursework mark

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250 per year

International fee

£19,500 per year

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L' and ‘S' respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Interview and tests

If you're shortlisted for interview based on your application to this course, you will be invited onto campus. During your visit you'll complete a 90 minute written test and a 30 minute interview. You'll be asked to correct and improve a short news story, write a news story yourself and complete a brief general knowledge test. The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you'll be able to ask us any questions you might have.

Your interview and test will form part of a larger visit day where you'll be able to tour our campus, meet our students and get a feel for life at Essex. All tests must be taken at our Colchester Campus and offers for the course will only be made after successful interview.

Offer Holder Days

If you receive an undergraduate offer to study with us in October 2024 and live in the UK, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus events run in April and May. These events provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. To support your attendance, we are offering a travel bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our travel bursary, please visit our webpage.

If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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