Undergraduate Course

BA Journalism and Philosophy

Now In Clearing
BA Journalism and Philosophy

Overview

The details
Journalism and Philosophy
P515
October 2018
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

Whose truth do we witness through the media? Have we entered the age of post-truth? What is the responsibility of a journalist? Our BA Journalism and Philosophy encourages you to dig deeper, think critically, enhance your understanding and debate controversial topics. You learn how to engage with a wider audience, gain new perspectives and develop your own journalistic style. Alongside this you will begin to understand the ethical and philosophical issues surrounding journalism, from how social media allows individuals to shape their media consumption to the moral questions surrounding the duty of the journalist.

You discover the controversial social, political, cultural, legal and medical problems that affect everyday life. You also learn to 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:

  • Challenges facing Journalism in the digital age
  • Philosophical questions about life, death and religion
  • Political philosophy
  • 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.

Our department has been ranked in the Top 10 for Philosophy in the Times Good University Guide 2018 and Top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014).

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 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 journalism course director was Jonathan Baker, former BBC Ten O’Clock News editor. His successor is Tim Fenton, former managing editor of the BBC News Online website and a journalist with more than 35 years' industry experience that includes everything from sports reporting for local radio to presenting and producing national current affairs programmes on TV.

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.
  • Dr Emma Briant, an expert in political communications and propaganda (currently on research leave).

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.

Our philosophy courses are taught by world-class academics and over three quarters of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), which puts us fifth in the UK for research outputs. Our open-minded and enthusiastic staff have an exceptionally broad range of research and teaching interests.

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 philosophy facilities:

Your future

Our BA Journalism and Philosophy equips you with the skills needed to pursue a range of different careers. You gain the ability to understand the society in which we live and understand how this relates 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 philosophy 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

If you have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2018 entry through Clearing. 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

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

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 Philosophy

Begin your study of philosophy with an exploration of scepticism and matters of life and death. Do we truly know anything? Might, for all we know, our brains be under the control of evil scientists? Is torture ever justified? How demanding is morality and how much of our lives should it cover?

View Introduction to Philosophy on our Module Directory

Death, God and the Meaning of Life (optional)

Ask life’s big questions: What, if anything, is the meaning of our lives? How can we become wise? Can we make sense of human suffering? How should we think about our own deaths? You take up these questions, first, by examining a series of ancient narratives, including The Myth of Sisyphus and Eden and the Fall; and then through the study of key works of modern philosophers including Nietzsche, Weber and Freud.

View Death, God and the Meaning of Life (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

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

Ethics (optional)

Can we say that our moral judgements are capable of being true or false? If they are, does their truth depend on certain moral facts? Can we describe these facts as natural? In this module you explore ethical theory, considering the challenges to morality which seem to make it impossible, or to undermine our commitment to it.

View Ethics (optional) on our Module Directory

Capitalism and its Critics (optional)

With the debt crisis, rising inequality and unemployment, ecological degradation, extreme poverty among 40% of the world`s population, and resource-driven wars, capitalism has once again come under intense critical scrutiny. Does it foster economic growth and protect individual freedom, as its proponents claim; or is it a destructive system out of control, as its detractors argue? Should the market be given even freer rein? Or should capitalism be reformed, restricted, or even abolished altogether?

View Capitalism and its Critics (optional) on our Module Directory

Modern Social and Political Thought (optional)

This module introduces students to key debates in modern social and political thought. We focus on seminal texts by authors such as Hobbes, Spinoza, and Rousseau, whose contributions have radically transformed our understanding of social and political life. We explore the roots of modern notions like the state and society, and scrutinise the nature of freedom, power and democracy. Finally, we consider whether these authors’ accounts of social misdevelopments can still guide critiques of contemporary society.

View Modern Social and Political Thought (optional) on our Module Directory

Narrativity, Truth and Flourishing (optional)

Discover the relations between philosophy and literature. You study Iris Murdoch’s account of life as a ‘pilgrimage’ from appearance to reality, which she claims is the concern of great art, and Martha Nussbaum’s rejection of this in her discussion of Greek tragedy. You then explore Richard Rorty’s account of <i>Nineteen Eighty Four</i> as demonstrating that no ‘truth’ is written into the human condition, before finally looking at Stanley Cavell’s comparison of philosophical scepticism and Shakespearean tragedy.

View Narrativity, Truth and Flourishing (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

Contemporary Political Philosophy (optional)

How should theory and theorists relate to real politics? What are the competing approaches in contemporary philosophy? In this module you study both the liberal, ideal theories of justice as shaped by John Rawls, but also compare them to alternative approaches. You also explore the notion of injustice through asking what, if anything, is wrong with inequality, applying this to cases such as exploitation, marketization, objectification and stereotyping.

View Contemporary Political Philosophy (optional) on our Module Directory

Philosophy and Medical Ethics (optional)

Discover the philosophical questions that are raised by everyday medical practice and recent developments in medical science. You consider topics including suicide, euthanasia, abortion, cloning, reproductive medicine, resource allocation, medical research, confidentiality, patient autonomy, and biopolitics.

View Philosophy and Medical Ethics (optional) on our Module Directory

Feminism (optional)

How and why are women oppressed? What is a “woman”, and should we even use the term? Should we be aiming for freedom, or equality, or justice – and what do these terms mean? This module will look at some of the main strands in modern feminist theory, and explore the different ways in which they understand the nature, role and objectives of feminism.

View Feminism (optional) on our Module Directory

Kant's Revolution in Philosophy (optional)

Kant's <i>Critique of Pure Reason</i> initiates a new 'critical' method in philosophy which has been highly influential in both continental and analytic philosophy. His critical method establishes a new way of thinking about the relation in which we stand to the world, and the role played by knowledge and judgement within that world. You explore the ways in which Kant has been taken up in twentieth and twenty-first century continental philosophy.

View Kant's Revolution in Philosophy (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, September 15, 2018
  • Saturday, October 27, 2018

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
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