In the digital age, where demand for news is at an all-time high, a key element to becoming a successful journalist is the ability to find and share information that is engaging and powerful. Through our BA Journalism and Literature course you will improve your ability to tell a story and develop an individual and distinctive journalistic style.
This course combines two disciplines which inform one another: literature and journalism. You explore a wide spectrum of topics from around the globe; ranging from the Renaissance literature of Shakespeare to postcolonial fiction. This will be intertwined with the practical journalism component of this course; where you develop your skills in using multi-media channels such as radio, television and online media and deepen your knowledge of journalism on an international scale.
You have the flexibility to choose the areas of the subject that interest you. Choose from topics including:
- US Literature
- Production Skills
- Creative writing
- International Journalism
During your final year, you will have the opportunity to bring all aspects of the course together in a final multimedia project on a subject linked to the literature element of your studies.
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. You join our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies where you will join our diverse community of students from all corners of the globe.
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.
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 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 can also gain experience with our Students’ Union media platform Rebel, and benefit from access to our other Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies facilities:
- View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
- 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
- Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading literature specialists at the Essex Book Festival – the festival director is based in our department, and loads of events take place on campus
- At Essex, we give you the opportunity to learn a language at no extra cost alongside your course – a great opportunity when you are studying literature from around the world
- Handle unique, fascinating items including manuscripts, letters, early drafts, and recordings of unpublished interviews in our library archives
You compile an impressive portfolio of published work and complete a detailed multimedia project linked to literature 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.
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.
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 approved for 2022 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.
- 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
- 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