How is the power of the media changing our society? How can we use it to share information? What can we tell about our audience? Why do people behave a certain way? Our BA Journalism and Sociology will enable you to learn about contemporary society, media and digital society, alongside developing your journalistic skills, helping you to analyse information and understand it within the wider social context. In the digital society, where demand for news is at an all-time high, this course will give you a strong understanding of the world we live in and how to engage with the audience, allowing you to develop your own unique journalistic style.
You explore a wide spectrum of topics ranging from crime to digital society. This will be combined with the practical journalism component of the 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.
This course gives you the flexibility to choose the areas of the subject that interest you. Topics which you can study include:
- Mass Media
- Production skills
- Digital Society
- 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 sociology element of your studies.
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 Sociology which is rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and ranked among the top 50 departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2020).
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 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 sociology team includes: Professor Mike Roper, Professor Joan Busfield, Dr Michael Halewood, Dr Roisin Ryan-Flood, Dr Linsey McGoey, Professor Pam Cox, Professor Ewa Morawska and Dr Neli Demireva. You may already be familiar with our academics before you meet them in lectures; core A-level texts are written by our team.
Our world-leading academics have their fingers on the pulse of modern society; whether it’s the battle between Apple and Spotify or the exploitation of female bodybuilders, we embed our innovative and sometimes controversial research into your course.
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 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 sociology facilities:
- A unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
- The Sociology Common Room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals, and has free drinks available
- Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
- Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates
- At Essex, we give you the opportunity to learn a language at no additional cost alongside your degree
Our BA Journalism and Sociology, will equip you with the skills needed to pursue a number of different careers. You gain the ability to understand the digital society that we live in today 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 sociology 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