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Journalism with Education - BA (Hons) - Video

Journalism theory and practice: news-gathering, reporting, writing and editing for television, radio, print and online, in a changing media landscape.

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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Media Outlets
  • Media Researcher
  • Newspapers
  • Public Relations
  • Radio
  • Social Media Co-ordinator

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Content Assistant
  • Copywriting
  • Edit
  • Freelance journalist
  • Journalist
  • Page Design
  • Public Relations


In this section

Journalism theory and practice: news-gathering, reporting, writing and editing for television, radio, print and online, in a changing media landscape.


Journalism is part of the combined campus subject programme at Ulster, Coleraine. It is the only university degree programme in the subject in Northern Ireland and offers you the opportunity to study the theory and practice of journalism in context with determining factors such as law, economics, politics and technology. It provides you with a range of relevant practical and professional skills.

As a major subject programme (four modules per full-time year), Journalism at Ulster is combined with another, minor subject in the Arts (two modules per full-time year) to make up a full degree programme. There is a range of subjects to choose from as your minor: Education, English and History.

We find that students who are interested in teaching as a career may decide to add Education to their degree ‘mix’ at undergraduate level before applying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education after they have completed their degree. Each Education module usually involves a two hour lecture plus a one hour seminar each week.

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Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


In Year 1, you will take modules that give you a good basic grounding in the academic study of the media and in practical journalism skills that you will need to underpin your more advanced modules in years two and three. At this level you will take modules that introduce you to critical issues in journalism (history, sociology, economics and technology), journalism law and regulation, and journalism practice (newsgathering, report writing, sub-editing, newspaper design and production and broadcast journalism techniques).

Your commitment in time and effort will be intensive and demanding, much more so than those subjects that have no practice component. As well as on-campus activities, you will also learn about reporting from the local court and council offices. At the end of your second year, you will be encouraged to seek a placement with a local newspaper or other news based outlet.

The programme uses a range of teaching methods including lectures, small group seminars and practical workshops. These are delivered and supervised by experienced teaching staff, including former journalists.

You will have access to a wide range of learning resources, including professional standard newspaper production and design software such as Adobe InDesign, and digital sound and video software. You will also work in a simulated newsroom environment.

The programme assesses your work using a variety of different assessment methods including traditional academic essays, critical book reviews, examinations, class-tests and practical journalism assignments in reporting and writing.

Studying Education as a minor in combination with another subject offered at Ulster is an excellent introduction to a future career path in the education sector. It will provide you with an introduction to the main concepts and concerns of contemporary educational theory and practice in both Northern Ireland, the UK and internationally.



200 hours per module per semester as follows:
36 contact hours per module per semester.
164 independent study hours per module per semester.


How many hours per week will I attend as journalism student at Ulster?

All full-time degree programmes in the Faculty of Arts require a minimum three hours contact time (e.g. lectures and seminars) per module. However, programmes with a practice component, such as Journalism, will demand, by their very nature, additional contact hours for attendance on practical workshops and may require occasional assignments off campus, e.g. to local court or council. In addition to attendance at teaching sessions, the programme will require up to 20 hours per module per semester of independent learning and study (e.g. library research and coursework preparation). In that light, the attendance requirement in part-time mode depends on how many modules taken per semester (one or two).

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

An introduction to education

Year: 1

This module provides an orientation to central educational concepts and values with the intention of providing a critical foundation for later reflection and learning.

Educating Citizens in a Changing World

Year: 1

This module provides a thorough introduction to the nature and scope of education for citizenship, and its practice, in promoting democratic values in local and global contexts.

Media, Culture, Politics

Year: 1

Media, Culture, Politics is an introduction to media studies that aims to demonstrate the importance and seriousness of the discipline, and to show how it can speak to the most pressing political issues of our time, namely disparities of wealth and power, as well as the question of environmental sustainability. To do this the module draws attention to the role of media and popular culture in reproducing social inequality, and it considers the ecological consequences of a contemporary culture that is dependent upon fossil fuels and driven by capital accumulation.

The objective of the module then is to encourage students to think critically about media production and consumption, and to other ways and forms of making and exchanging culture. To achieve this Media, Culture, Politics introduces students to a selection of thinkers who have contributed to the field. It then invites them to consider the ideas and concepts encountered on the module, and apply or adapt them to their own media practice, cultural experience and democratic participation.

Key Concepts in Media Theory

Year: 1

The purpose of this module is to build on the work done in MED101 by looking at some of the key themes and concepts that are at work in the study of the media.

Public Affairs

Year: 1

The module introduces students to the structures of central and local government, government, including local government finance, and to the economy and economic development in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland. It will help to develop student skills and an understanding of the world on which they report. They will be encouraged to look critically and analytically at a wide range of related journalistic material.

Journalism Practice 1

Year: 1

The module provides an introduction to essential skills of news gathering and writing. Students will learn how to spot a news story and to develop it for publication. The module includes interviewing techniques and an introduction to court reporting.

Year two

Reporting International Conflict

Year: 2

The module offers a critical, sociological and historical examination of media reporting of international conflict since the 19th century. This will include looking at the tradition, role and motivation of the war correspondent, and analysis of the complex relationships between government, the military. The "war on terror" will be of obvious interest and significance. Lectures and seminars will not only draw on the latest research in the field but also encourage students to initiate their own research efforts for discussion and assessment.

News and Journalism

Year: 2

This module introduces students to current issues and debates in the study of news and journalism. Topics covered include the roles and effects of journalism in society, the twin concepts of objectivity and impartiality, the relationship between the news media and politics, and between journalists and their sources, the political and economic environments in which press and broadcast journalism operate, and the reporting of international conflict.

Journalism Practice 2

Year: 2

This module develops students' skills in newsgathering and reporting and introduces desktop publishing software for multimedia production. Students will produce a portfolio of journalistic work. They will be encouraged to look critically and analytically at a wide range of journalism and to critically evaluate those items.

Media Law and Regulation

Year: 2

This module offers a practical introduction to the range of legal and regulatory topics relevant to media professionals. At its core are defamation, privacy, contempt and copyright - the main areas of law pertinent to media production across all platforms. The module will examine how these impact on the output of the media. It will look at the various codes governing how the media operates and the ethical decisions that media professionals must make in complying with them. The module will demonstrate how to comply with this legislation and relevant codes while still generating engaging material. It will feature class discussions to test the learner's ability to apply this knowledge in decision-making pertinent to the work of media professionals.

Introduction to the application of ICT in education

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module will equip students with the skills and understanding to collaborate online with other students, focusing on the application of ICT in teaching and learning at macro and micro levels. They will be required to assess their own personal style of learning and discuss the implications for online learning. They will also develop their research and information seeking skills, as well as their written and communication skills, enabling them to present assessed work to an appropriate standard.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module explores the main themes, practices and policies relating to effective Early Years Provision. The module will also investigate theory relating to child development, learning and emotional well-being. The importance of the partnership model between a child's home and their Early Years setting will also be considered. A key over-arching theme of the module is, therefore, the role of the effective practitioner. In the exploration of this content, students will be provided with opportunities to engage with practical examples of activities and resources appropriate to pre-school and Foundation Stage environments.

Advanced Tutoring in Schools

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module offers students a placement in a school where they contribute to a class project. They work closely with the class teacher in planning and helping to deliver the project and assessing its value for children and young people. The module helps to develop communication and team working skills and has potential value for all students not just intending teachers.

Working with Children & Young People with Special Educational Needs

Year: 2

This module is optional

At the core of this module is the aim to develop in the student a better awareness and understanding of SEN through study of the historical context of the subject, recent developments in legislation and policy and teaching and learning theories. Course participants will study the varying needs of different learners with a range of special educational needs, and the incumbent good practice that is required for their care and facilitation.

Media: Study Internationally (2nd yr)

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the Erasmus Plus area such as the Americas, Australia or China. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline of Media whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year three

Children, Young People and the Law

Year: 3

The module will attempt to provide a legal perspective for course participants in a variety of areas, ranging from the human and legal rights of pupils and young people to the development of clear health and safety policies.

Media: Study Abroad (DIAS)

Year: 3

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an additional academic year of study which is spent outside the UK. Those who successfully complete it get an extra qualification - the Diploma in Academic Studies (DIAS). Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the media and engage with it first-hand in international contexts. The opportunity to generate educational and cultural networks will be available to the student.

Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module focuses specifically on education and conflict amd will draw on concepts and methodologies from earlier modules. It is designed to sensitize students to the central role that education plays throughout the world, in areas of conflict. Students will not only clarify what is meant by education in emergency and refugee education, but will also analyze the development of conflict sensitive education systems. This module will also enable them to have a more accurate understanding of educational reconstruction and reconciliation.

TESOL: Theory and Practice

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module introduces the students to the theory of English language teaching and a range of practical skills for Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages. It provides opportunities for students to develop their skills and apply knowledge of education theory gained earlier in the programme. For example, it builds on Introduction to Education by examining how diverse people (different cultures, different ages) learn; it develops knowledge and skills learnt in the Tutoring in Schools module

Year four

Research Methods

Year: 4

This module introduces undergraduate students to the theories and skills of media research, using real-world examples from the staff engaged in research within the Centre for Media Research in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. The lectures are linked to weekly seminar/workshops in which students will carry out their own research exercises, working collaboratively with each other where appropriate. The outcome of these exercises will be a clearer idea of what questions are important and why in designing a research proposal - and will specifically help each student to formulate a strong and relevant proposal for their third year dissertation project.

Journalism Major Project

Year: 4

This module allows the student to put into practice the skills acquired in the previous journalism practice and theory modules. It will allow them to develop and refine their skills in journalism practice with a particular focus on producing a significant piece of investigative journalism and putting into an agreed format for public output. The resultant piece can be used as part of a portfolio for seeking employment and/or applying for further study. The module will be a mix of lectures, problem-based learning, production workshops and independent practice.

Journalism Dissertation

Year: 4

This module enables the student to plan, research and write a Journalism/Publishing Studies dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words on an agreed topic selected by the student, with guidance, and produced under the supervision of a member of staff, with whom the student will meet regularly to discuss progress and receive feedback.

Broadcast Journalism

Year: 4

This module provides a foundation in theoretical knowledge and conceptual understanding of broadcast journalism in its professional, institutional and regulatory contexts. It instructs students in the application of this knowledge to the practice of broadcast news reporting and production in an appropriate and effective learning and teaching environment.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB∆ - BBC∆ at A2.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final A level grade (B or C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Overall BTEC National Extended Diploma profile requires a minimum of:

DDM-DMM award profile to include a minimum of 9-8 distinctions in level 3 units

BTEC National Diploma

The National Diploma may be accepted in combination with other qualifications. Where an applicant offers a profile of Diploma and an A level then the Diploma should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if one A level is offered with a Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for a BB equivalent at Diploma and the A level at grade C, see further below).

BB = Distinction, Merit (To include 6 distinctions)

BC = Distinction, Merit (To include 5 distinctions)


The Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate may be accepted in combination with A levels. Where A levels are offered as part of a profile then they should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if two A levels are offered with a Subsidiary Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for BB at A level with the Subsidiary Diploma offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the A level grade profile (grade C) - see further below).

A* grade = Distinction* (To include 5 distinctions in level 3 units)

A grade = Distinction (To include 4 distinctions in level 3 units )

B grade = Distinction (To include 3 distinctions in level 3 units)

C grade = Merit (To include 5 merits in level 3 units )

D grade = Merit (to include 4 merits in level 3 units)

∆ = Diploma and Sub-Dip applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is grades

H3,H3,H3,H3, H3 -

H3,H3,H3,H3,H4 at higher level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades



∆ = applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades

CCC∆ -


∆ = applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of

26 points to include 13 at higher level -

25 points to include 12 at higher level.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

For Access qualifications validated by Ulster University or QUB the entry requirement is:

An overall mark of 70-65%

For GB QAA accredited Higher Education Diploma qualifications the entry requirement is as follows:

Award of the HE Diploma in a related subject area, achieving a minimum of 21-18 credits at distinction and 24 credits at merit in the 45 level 3 graded credits.


Please refer to the University’s general entrance requirements.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements


Applicants holding a HND should achieve an overall merit for entry to Year 1. Those applicants holding a subject-related HND with an overall merit may be considered for entry to Year 2.


Applicants holding a HNC should achieve an overall distinction for entry to Year 1 only.

Foundation Degree

Applicants holding a Foundation Degree should achieve an overall average of 55-50% in level 5 modules for Year 1 entry. Those applicants holding a subject-related Foundation Degree may be considered for entry to Year 2.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications.

Transfer from degree level study at other institutions

Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. Transfer from another institution or year 2 entry) will be considered on an individual basis.

Teaching and learning assessment

Assessment will be by way of a mixture of formal examination, essay, class test, coursework, individual/group projects and assessment of practice projects, dependent on the nature and rationale of the module concerned.

Exemptions and transferability

Due to the structure of the course it is not possible to transfer directly into second year from other Foundation Degree courses.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Media Outlets
  • Media Researcher
  • Newspapers
  • Public Relations
  • Radio
  • Social Media Co-ordinator

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Content Assistant
  • Copywriting
  • Edit
  • Freelance journalist
  • Journalist
  • Page Design
  • Public Relations

Career options

While a degree in Journalism at Ulster does not lead directly to a professional qualification in journalism, it will prepare you for application to higher degree and professional courses.
In common with all other undergraduate Arts degree programmes, journalism offers you very real opportunities for personal growth and self-development.

Where these opportunities are taken with enthusiasm and determination, you will undoubtedly enhance your long-term employability and the skills developed while studying journalism will be valued by a wide range of employers.

The BA Hons Journalism programme is not accredited by the journalism industries (Ulster’s accredited programme is at Masters level, MA Journalism).

For information on postgraduate research opportunities see:

The study of education in combination with other degree subjects at Ulster will provide you with the first insight into a future career in the education sector.

Whilst studying education as a minor does not in itself provide Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), it is an ideal starting point to focus your future career ambitions. Graduates can take advantage of the postgraduate opportunities available at Ulster to fulfil their ambitions in the teaching profession.

Those graduates who are interested in a teaching career in secondary education may apply for the appropriate Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Secondary). You should be aware, though, that the University of Ulster does not offer PGCE programmes in all the major subjects with which Education as a minor can be combined.

Work placement / study abroad

There is a smal work placement and optional study abroad within the course structure.

Students may consider taking part in the Erasmus Exchange programme, to European universities, usually for one semester in second year.

Students may take part in the exchange programme with universities in the USA. This would be a year long exchange and attracts an additional university academic award on graduation.

Exchanges with universities in other countries may also be possible, arranged through the International Office at the university.

Academic profile

Dr Colm Murphy has extensive research experience in Journalism and the Digital Economy and his teaching centres on legal and digital isuses in journalism. Colm is a former journalist and editor working at a variety of publications including the Irish Times. He is also a Director of the industry recognised accreditation body, the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Ms Maggie Swarbrick is Course Director of Ulster's prestigious MA Journalism programme and also teaches at undergraduate level, specialising in radio and television reporting. Maggie is a former trainer and journalist at BBC and is an examiner with the NCTJ.

Mr Milne Rowntree is Subject Director for the BA Hons Journalism programme. Milne is a former print and online journalist and teaches in the areas of media law and public affairs, as well as newspaper and online reporting. He is also an examiner with the NCTJ.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Brum Henderson Award for best Journalism Project.

Additional mandatory costs

Education as a minor is a ‘regulated and/or care position’ within the meaning of the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 (POCVA) and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007. Depending on the modules you select you may have access to children and/or vulnerable adults and therefore you will be subject to a criminal history check costing approximately £33.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Milne Rowntree

T: +442870123149


Admissions Office

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3210


International Admissions Office


For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Communication and Media