Undergraduate Course

BA Journalism and Liberal Arts

BA Journalism and Liberal Arts

Overview

The details
Journalism and Liberal Arts
P525
October 2018
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

Broaden your horizons. Expand your knowledge. Cross boundaries. Our BA Journalism and Liberal Arts explores the interconnected world through a multitude of disciplines from ranging from sociology and history to literature and art. Coupled with the multimedia journalism 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 multiple aspects that shape the world around us.

If you love to study a variety of subjects, and want to maintain this breadth of knowledge throughout your studies in journalism, this course is for you. You can study across disciplines exploring both the humanities and social sciences. This is combined with the practical journalism component of this course, 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 that interest you. Topics which you can study include:

  • How commercial and independent films interpret human relationships
  • Philosophical questions about life, death and religion
  • How to compose your own writing
  • 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 of your choice.

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. For the Liberal Arts aspect of your studies you are based within our Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC), where you can develop a unique, wide ranging perspective and gain new insights.

Why we're great.
  • Our founding professor is Jonathan Baker, the acclaimed former BBC News editor.
  • You create and broadcast your own online content, radio and TV programmes.
  • You can build your knowledge of Multimedia Journalism whilst also specialising in your favourite subject.

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 some of 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.

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

For Liberal Arts, you are taught by a highly qualified, enthusiastic team across the university, with wide-ranging research interests including literature, film, history of art, history, politics and sociology.

Current research is exploring indigenous experiences of colonialism, public sociology, nature writing, contemporary world cinema, wealth inequalities, and the implementation of American advertising practices in Australia.

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 ISC facilities:

Your future

Our BA Journalism and Liberal Arts will provide you with an all-round education and equip you with the skills needed to pursue a number of different careers. You gain the ability to understand the society in which we live and 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 liberal arts 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

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 & 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

Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. Below is just one example structure from the current academic year of a combination of modules you could take. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.

Journalism in Practice

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 Journalism in Practice on our Module Directory

Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture

Certain ideas shape the way we see ourselves and the world around us—ideas like democracy, free speech, individualism, free markets, and humans rights. These ideas took their definitive modern form during a politically and intellectually revolutionary stretch of history known as the Enlightenment (1650-1800). This interdisciplinary module examines this period and thus serves as an essential prerequisite for students who want to understand the intellectual currents that run through the world they live in. Graduating students often rank it among the most useful modules they’ve taken.

View Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture on our Module Directory

Skills for University Studies

Are you ready for graduate employment? Like to improve your core skills? Wish you had some relevant work or volunteering experience? Attend workshops, events and activities at the University and elsewhere to build your knowledge, abilities and experience. Polish your CV, while developing your employability, citizenship and life skills.

View Skills for University Studies on our Module Directory

Introduction to Crime, Law and Society (optional)

What are different forms of crime? What is the role of criminal justice? And how effective are penal sanctions? We provide a critical introduction to the problem of, and responses to, crime. You examine the history of criminological ideas, Britain’s criminal justice system, and current debates on crime and control.

View Introduction to Crime, Law and Society (optional) on our Module Directory

Intermediate Journalism

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 Intermediate Journalism on our Module Directory

Production Techniques

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 Production Techniques on our Module Directory

The World in Question: the Social, Political and Psychological Legacies of the Enlightenment

What kind of societies have we created in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries? What makes them new? Or are they simply new expressions of old ideas? Study contemporary issues such as the humanitarian treatment of people, the meaning of the self and global warming that have arisen out of the ideas behind the Enlightenment, colonialism, and capitalism.

View The World in Question: the Social, Political and Psychological Legacies of the Enlightenment on our Module Directory

Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step

This module offers you the opportunity to build up a portfolio of experiences, skills, and knowledge that will help prepare you for the graduate job you’re looking for. You learn about future career possibilities, gain an insight into what graduate employers are looking for, and access a range of opportunities for valuable work experience on and off campus.

View Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step on our Module Directory

Navigating the Digital World (optional)

What does it mean to be a "digital citizen"? How are digital technologies transforming society? To what extent do digital technologies curb or enhance our rights? Some say that we live in a "post-truth" era filled with "fake news" that traps us in a digital "bubble" or "echo chamber". Others see digital technologies as the key to unlocking social change and finding new ways to bring people together across geographical boundaries. Which view is right? What are the actual legal, ethical, social, political, creative, and economic implications of living in an increasingly digital world? This module gives you an opportunity to explore these important issues, and it also provides you with hands-on training from experts in the practical skills required to navigate the digital world.

View Navigating the Digital World (optional) on our Module Directory

International Media Law

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 International Media Law on our Module Directory

Global Institutions and International Journalism

In this module you develop a broad understanding of how international politics and global institutions function and how journalists report on them, in both global and local contexts. This module is particularly suitable if you are looking to develop a career in international journalism or interested in working for international organisations. Linking theory and current reporting practice, you develop your analytical skills, including by examining contemporary case studies and acquiring a more global breadth of understanding. Our teaching on this module is interactive and responsive to international events, with the core team supplemented by a broad range of internationally recognised experts, both from other Essex departments and the news media industry.

View Global Institutions and International Journalism on our Module Directory

Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism

Is Swift’s A Modest Proposal the best example of early modern western satire? What did Marx and Engel achieve with The Communist Manifesto? Examine subversive essays and manifestos. Study how they challenges and satirise existing ideas and social arrangements. Experiment with writing, thus broadening the approach of your own essays.

View Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism on our Module Directory

Freud: Mind, Culture and Society (optional)

What do you know about depth psychology? How do psychoanalysis and analytical psychology provide new understanding of society, culture and politics? Build your knowledge about depth psychology - psychological thinking that introduces the concept of a deep unconscious. Understand Freud’s theories and their significance in social and cultural analysis.

View Freud: Mind, Culture and Society (optional) on our Module Directory

The Unconscious: Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society - Jung (optional)

What do you know about depth psychology? How do psychoanalysis and analytical psychology provide new understanding of society, culture and politics? Build your knowledge about depth psychology - psychological thinking that introduces the concept of a deep unconscious. Understand Jung’s theories and their significance in social and cultural analysis.

View The Unconscious: Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society - Jung (optional) on our Module Directory

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/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£14,020

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee 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.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, June 23, 2018

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.

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

We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.

Home to over 13,000 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.

 

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.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder 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 a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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.

Two women looking at a PC screen
Ask us a question

Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.