Undergraduate Course

BA Journalism and Politics

Now In Clearing
BA Journalism and Politics

Overview

The details
Journalism and Politics
P580
October 2021
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

From the latest updates at Number 10 to political unrest overseas, you can be at the forefront of political change. Our BA Journalism and Politics expands your knowledge of global politics and develops your analytical ability. Coupled with the multimedia aspect of this course, you learn how to engage with a wider audience and develop your own journalistic style alongside building a solid understanding of the issues that shape the world around us.

You explore all major areas of political science, learning within the rated top for politics in the UK (REF 2014). This is combined with modules in practical journalism, where you use multi-media channels such as radio, television and online media, and deepen your knowledge of journalism on an international scale.

This course gives you the flexibility to choose the areas of the subject that interest you. Topics which you can study include:

  • International Relations
  • UK and European Politics
  • Democracy
  • Production skills
  • International journalism

During your final year, you have the opportunity to bring all aspects of the course together in a final multimedia project on a subject linked to political science.

As a student at one of the UK’s leading social science institutions, you are uniquely placed to acquire a deep understanding of the world you report on. You will join our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and our Department of Government where you will join our diverse community of students from all corners of the globe.

Why we're great.
  • Our journalism teaching staff have a broad range of up-to-date hands-on industry experience.
  • You create and broadcast your own online content, radio and TV programmes.
  • You can merge your knowledge of multimedia journalism and poltiics.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

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. Our course director Tim Fenton, is 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.

Other core journalism staff include:

  • Penny Wrout, a former BBC correspondent and producer who is currently a freelance documentary film-maker and multimedia arts producer.
  • Paul Anderson, former editor of Tribune and deputy editor of the New Statesman, who now works as a print/online subeditor on the Guardian.
  • 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.
  • Dr Alexandros Antoniou, lecturer in media law and a specialist in communications regulation, intellectual property and cybercrime.

Throughout the course you’ll also have the opportunity to meet 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.

Some of the biggest names in the field work in our Department of Government, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

Specialist facilities

As a journalism student at Essex, your material is published on a dedicated website, and you also spend time gaining on-the-job experience with a range of professional news operations, creating and publishing stories and building up a portfolio of published and broadcast work.

You 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 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 can also gain experience with our Students’ Union media platform Rebel and benefit from our government facilities:

  • Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
  • ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
  • Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
  • A programme of seminars and events run by the department
  • Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research

Your future

Our BA Journalism and Politics equips you with the skills needed to pursue a number of different careers. Whether you would like to pursue a role in public relations, lobbying or a political journalist, you gain the ability to understand the society in which we live and will link this to the journalism methods you have studied and how they should be used.

You compile an impressive portfolio of published work and complete a detailed multimedia project linked to politics in your final year, allowing you to offer real evidence of your range and capabilities to future employers.

You become a multi-skilled story-teller, 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.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

Specific entry requirements for this course in Clearing are not published here but for most of our degree courses you will need to hold a Level 3 qualification. If you are interested in applying and have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2021 entry and find out if you are eligible. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 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

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

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 (Joint Honours)
(30 CREDITS)

This module introduces you to the basics of news and of storytelling, core skills for all jobs in journalism. You discuss the nature of news and how to identify a story, learn how to look for and uncover the information that will make a story, and study the different ways in which that information can be presented. You develop your skills in absorbing and condensing information and producing an accurate and engaging narrative. Understanding the need to check and verify everything that you write, you begin to learn the basics of multimedia production, and start producing content for print, online, radio and television outlets. You work on practical reporting assignments from an early stage.

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

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Introduction to Politics
(30 CREDITS)

What is “Politics”? How have people conceived of political analysis, the state, laws, wars and political parties, across cultures and over time? Gain an understanding of essential concepts in the study of politics and explore the economic, social and intellectual trends that have made democracy possible.

View Introduction to Politics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

History of Journalism
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Journalism Now
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Government autumn option from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Audio and Video for Broadcast and Online (Joint Honours)
(30 CREDITS)

This module focuses on helping you to operate effectively in a number of different news and features platforms, and with a clear understanding of the distinctive nature of each and its implications for the way you work. Supported by your tutor, you find news and features stories, pitch them in editorial meetings, research, write, edit, proof-read and determine how best to present and publish them. You develop your use of social media, and understand more about how social networks are used as a part of mainstream journalism. As you begin to produce radio and television programming for streaming across the campus, classes will examine interviewing techniques, voice training and presentational techniques.

View Audio and Video for Broadcast and Online (Joint Honours) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Feature Writing and Magazine Project for Print and Online (Joint Honours)
(30 CREDITS)

Alongside and complementary to the Multimedia Journalism module, this module develops the technical and production skills you learned in Year 1. You examine in more detail the individual characteristics and technical requirements of different media, and to start producing radio, television and more advanced print and online content, both on your own and as part of a team. You learn how to use appropriate editing software, and to produce engaging and dynamic content in each medium.

View Feature Writing and Magazine Project for Print and Online (Joint Honours) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Principles of Social Justice
(15 CREDITS)

This module will introduce you to “principles of social justice”. These principles tell us how a political community should distribute resources and opportunities between individuals and groups. The module examines competing principles of social justice by examining the work of the most important political philosophers to have defended them and also applies these principles to concrete social and political issues.

View Principles of Social Justice on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Ethics and Public Policy
(15 CREDITS)

Is torture ever morally justified? Should pornography be banned? Should prostitution be legalised? Take part in the intellectual search for the moral principles that should govern how we answer these questions and others in governing public policy.

View Ethics and Public Policy on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Comparative Media Law and Regulation
(15 CREDITS)

This module provides an insight into the major legal questions facing the media, and an appreciation of the complexity of journalism and publication generally in a global context. You consider a broad outline of the principal areas of UK law that apply to the media, and which are set in turn against broader principles as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. A range of themes around Article 6 (Fair Trial), Article 8 (Privacy) and Article 10 (Free Speech) will be explored against practice and issues in a selection of other jurisdictions, including the UK’s equivalent focus on Contempt, Confidentiality and Libel .

View Comparative Media Law and Regulation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: 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 03: COMPULSORY

Journalism and Storytelling
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

GV374-6-FY or option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

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

£16,850

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

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.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, August 14, 2021
  • Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision. There’s no need to call us to apply; just do it all online.

Find out more about Clearing

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

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. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
Colchester Campus

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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.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

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