Undergraduate Course

BA Multimedia Journalism

BA Multimedia Journalism

Overview

The details
Multimedia Journalism
P500
October 2023
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.

Professional accreditation

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

The Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) works in partnership with all the main employers in the UK broadcast industry. Our primary responsibility is to accredit UK journalism courses within higher education. Our current partners are; ITV, BskyB, ITN, BBC, Reuters, AP, Channel 4, The Radio Centre, Skillset and the NUJ. Our accreditation standards are very much based on direct and practical experience and all accredited courses are very much valued by teachers and students, employers and employees, as they are relevant and responsive to the operational demands of the broadcast industry.

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: ABB, including one essay based subject

BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655 including a Higher Level essay based subject grade 5. Plus either must include Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, or a minimum of 3 in Higher Level Mathematics. We will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
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.

Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied -advice on acceptability can be provided.

As part of the application process for this course you may receive a phone call from our Multimedia Journalism admissions selector to discuss your application and your interest in the course. This is not a formal interview but an opportunity to chat through your expectations and understanding of what the course is about.

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.

You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here

If you are a mature student, further information is here

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.

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.

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

(LT396-6-AU or LT969-6-AU or LT315-6-AP) and (GV926-6-SP or LT431-6-SP)
(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

International fee

£18,585

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

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful 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.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

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.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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.

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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