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Professional journalism theory and practice: news-gathering, reporting, newswriting, sub-editing and ethics for a changing media landscape.


Study Journalism at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

NCTJ accredited Journalism course with a strong record of graduate employment in the news industry.

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About this course

In this section


This programme provides comprehensive training in the skills needed to enter the journalism profession internationally and is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists for print, online and broadcast journalism. It is also part of the Northern Ireland Media Academy. Past students have won top awards in Ireland and the UK and hold senior positions in news organisations. The course incorporates the NCTJ Diploma, which equips trainee journalists with the knowledge and skills for professional entry level journalism


Semesters 1 and 2; attendance can be 9-5 at least 3 days a week. Semester 3 is spent on placement, and completion of the dissertation.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

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

Entry Requirements

At least a 2.2 at degree level. Other professional experience will be considered .

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 . 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.

Teaching and learning assessment

The course contains a considerable practice based element. Teaching and learning is delivered through live news exercises, as well as a portfolio of original work. Assessment is through practice based work, essays and examinations where appropriate

Exemptions and transferability


Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Print, online and broadcast journalism.

Work placement / study abroad

A placement of up to 6 weeks in a newsroom.

Professional recognition

National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Apply You should also submit an unpublished news article of 500 words that a newspaper in the area that you live (no matter where in the world) could publish. The article should be word-processed, using double line spacing. Applicants with published news stories or audio-visual pieces may submit two of these in addition to their unpublished article. This should be a photocopy clipping from the original publication or a copy on CD-ROM and be clearly labelled with title of publication, date and page number. The original article/material should not be submitted as we are unable to return supplementary materials. News stories should be emailed to Maggie Swarbrick ( Interviews are usually held in early May. The closing date is February 29th. Late applications may be accepted until March 31st.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Belfast Telegraph, Helen Scott Memorial prize to the student with the best shorthand results.

Additional mandatory costs

NCTJ accreditation and external examination fees, in the region of £330, to paid on acceptance of a place on the course.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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: Maggie Swarbrick

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4277



Jayne McCormack, now at BBC NI

The reason I chose UU was that it was the only course here that got me the much-needed NCTJs as well as an MA, not to mention the proximity to home, top-class teachers with a wealth of contacts and the placement opportunities. I can say hand on heart it was the best choice I ever made. Worth the investment and the hard work, would do it again in a heartbeat.

Ciaran Bartlett BA Ancient History QUB, MA, PhD 2014

“You will learn the skills to have a serious shot at getting a job in media before you hand in your dissertation. You will make great professional contacts and have some of the best craic you'll ever have at Uni. Give it a lash. You won’t regret it.”

Niamh Ferguson, now at UTV

“During my summer work placement at Citybeat and Downtown Radio/Cool FM I was given the opportunity to act as a broadcast journalist. It was exciting to hear my voice being broadcast nationally for the first time. This course is hard work but it pays off!”