In a world of conflict and uncertainty, you can be the voice for those who need to be heard. Challenge the way human rights are understood across the globe. Our BA Journalism with Human Rights enables you to learn about the fundamental principles and practices which underpin the protection and promotion of human rights around the world. Alongside this you develop your journalistic skills, helping you to analyse information and understand it within the context of human rights law. You gain 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.
Explore a wide spectrum of human rights topics ranging from war to immigration. This is combined with the practical journalism component of this course; 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:
- Protection of human rights
- Is everyone entitled to human rights?
- 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 the human rights element of your studies.
You will join our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and our Human Rights Centre 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
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Student Development Careers Services.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
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.
Members of our Human Rights Centre are internationally recognised scholars in human rights. They advise and act on behalf of the United Nations, governments and NGOs. They focus on research and work closely with our alumni and extensive network to ensure that our research is focused on priority issues that are of direct relevance to these organisations.
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 human rights facilities:
- Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
- Network at our student-run Law Society, Human Rights Society, Bar Society and Amnesty International Society, which provides legal advice to the Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA)
- Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can work alongside practicing solicitors to offer legal advice to clients
- Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
Our BA Journalism with Human Rights will 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 will link this to the journalism methods you have studied and how they should be used. Take a look at our dedicated careers pages for Literature, Film and Theatre Studies and Human Rights.
You compile an impressive portfolio of published work and complete a detailed multimedia project linked to human rights 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 merge your knowledge of multimedia journalism and human rights.
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