Journalists play a vital role in a democracy, and this course offers the opportunity to pursue a career that is not only exciting, but also crucial for informing debate and discussion on a wide range of questions affecting our lives.
The course is designed to enable flexibility to allow you to focus on specialist areas of your choice, which include music journalism, lifestyle and sports while also preparing you to challenge the status quo. Throughout the degree, you will be encouraged to focus on core issues of social equality, social justice, protest and marginalised communities in the UK.
You will learn the traditional core skills of researching, interviewing, writing and web-publishing, and gain multimedia skills within video and audio production. The journalism sector requires graduates who possess a broad digital multi-platform skillset, knowledge of media law and political structures, and have the ability to question structures in society.
- Develop your practical skills in the Leicester Centre for Journalism and our multi-million-pound Creative Technology Studios, which feature broadcast-standard radio production studios, and film studios equipped with multi-cameras and green screen facilities.
- You will learn to write from respected and award-winning former journalists and academic experts who are active in newspaper, radio, magazine and digital journalism.
- You will have opportunities to strengthen your career prospects with placements in industry. Places students have previously worked at include The Times, Sky Sports, the NME, Leicester City Football Club, ITN, the BBC, Leicestershire Live and the Observer.
- Gain valuable hands-on experience by joining a range of student societies such as the award-winning Demon Media group, and put what you’ve learned into practice by contributing to its magazine, radio, Youtube channel and website.
- Graduates have progressed to careers and internships with some of the UK’s biggest media companies, including Sky News, The Sun, CNN, the BBC, ITV, plus Mixmag and Clash magazines as well as PR companies and the wider communications and digital media industries.
Structure and assessment
- Reporting 1 — this core introductory module introduces you to news in a multi-media environment; looking at what it is, where it comes from, how to get it and how to write it successfully
- Journalism Skills — introduces you to the key skill of writing shorthand at speed. It leads to the 100 words-per-minute Teeline shorthand exam
- Media Law — helps you learn everything you need to know to stay within the law when practising journalism. It leads to the two NCTJ media law qualifications
- Journalism 1 — this module helps you to understand the history and context of journalism
- Reporting 2 — this module looks at specialist forms of journalism, particularly feature writing
- News-Writing — this is a specialist, practical module, honing your skills and leading to the NCTJ Reporting qualification and the NCTJ portfolio of professional practice
- Political Reporting — mixes the theory and practice of how journalists cover national and local government, and leads to the NCTJEssential Public Affairs qualification
- Inside Journalism 2 — this module continues your study of the context of journalism and then prepares you for your dissertation
- Journalism Dissertation — in this module, you will write a 10,000 word project on a subject of your choice, by studying existing work and then carrying out original research on your chosen topic
- Reporting 3 — you will prepare a portfolio of your own work, including that published while on work experience or on Demon Media platforms. The major part of the portfolio is a publication, produced with a group of fellow students, which is conceptualised, written and designed by the students from start to finish
- Sub-editing and Design — this module allows you to learn the key skills involved in publication design and leads to the NCTJ qualification in Production Journalism
- Sports Journalism — this module is practically focused and helps you to develop key sports reporting skills, particularly covering football, rugby and cricket and involving links with Leicester’s most prominent professional clubsin those sports
- Magazine Publishing — this module looks at how magazines are developed, marketed and run, allowing you to really get inside the fascinating world of magazines
- Broadcast Journalism — this module allows you to explore and develop your broadcast skills and involves real-world broadcasting on the university’s Demon Media broadcasting facilities
- Arts and Entertainment Journalism — you will explore the theory and practice of reviewing different aspects of the arts and entertainment
- Political Communication — this module looks at how politicians communicate with the public using the media, and the roles of the various media professionals, especially journalists, within that process
Teaching and assessments
Most journalism is taught in two or three-hour practical workshops involving practical work every week. Other modules are taught in lecture and seminar formats, with the dissertation studied independently with support from tutorials with your tutor. Journalism students will spend time in taught sessions and be expected to do a lot of self study.
A wide variety of assessment methods are used, including practical sessions, essays, presentations, group work, portfolios and presentations. Most NCTJ qualifications are exam based.
Journalism at DMU is taught by five vastly experienced, fully-qualified journalists, all of them former newspaper editors. They share their skills developed over up to 30 years in journalism in a very practical approach to the study of the subject. They are backed up by academic colleagues with expertise in many areas, and visiting lecturers from within the industry. All staff have excellent contacts in newspapers and magazines, particularly in the East Midlands.
Journalism lecturers at DMU have won four university-wide awards for teaching excellence, The highly-experienced journalists running the course are supplemented by a range of top guest lecturers from across the industry, ensuring your learning is relevant to current practice.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) and usually an exam or test. Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, you will normally attend around 12-16 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 24 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.
Facilities and features
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
You will have access to excellent facilities, including five dedicated computer suites within the Leicester Centre of Journalism and a dedicated newsroom, to enhance your practical and professional skills further.
You will also be able to use our multimillion pound Creative Technology Studios which include a suite of high-tech radio and TV studios, as part of your studies and as part of your extra-curricular activities with Demon Media.
Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.
Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse provide flexible spaces, whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.
They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities. Wi-Fi is available across all campus locations.
Opportunities and careers
Journalism students go on to work for some of the UK’s biggest media companies, including major newspaper groups, magazines, PR companies and the wider communications and digital media industries.
Our students increasingly find employment in the digital economy, where their ability to communicate effectively on a variety of platforms gives them a significant advantage.
Graduates are also well positioned to continue their academic careers by embarking on postgraduate study, in either research or taught areas, which offers the opportunity for further specialisation and enhances their existing skills. If you decide to continue your study on our established Journalism MA (NCTJ accredited) or Investigative Journalism MA (which has been newly developed with and endorsed by Channel 4), as a DMU graduate you may be eligible for one of our generous postgraduate scholarships (terms and conditions apply).
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons — helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.
Recently Journalism students spent a morning enjoying a unique insight into the rapidly changing world of newspapers at the South China Morning Post. As part of DMU’s mass #DMUglobal trip to Hong Kong, they visited the influential English-language newspaper’s stunning new hi-tech offices in Times Square, a prime spot at the heart of the island, and got the chance to quiz journalists with decades of experience.
Journalism students participate in a vast range of work experience opportunities, ranging from their own local newspaper, to local, regional and national broadcasters and a wide variety of magazines. Students also have the chance to contribute to the Demon Media stable of multi-media platforms, including; The Demon newspaper, Demon FM community radio station, Demon TV and The Demon website.
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