Journalism BA (Hons)

Journalism Student in the Radio Studio
UCAS code P500
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 3 Years

2017/18 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,250 per year of study
  • International students: £10,900 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply via UCAS
  • Be taught by a dedicated teaching team with top professional backgrounds from print and broadcasting
  • Professionally accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)
  • Work with industry standard facilities, including a dedicated journalism newsroom, Press Association feed, multi and single camera TV studios, and radio news studios

Course outline

Our Journalism degree - accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) - will prepare you for a wide range of journalism and media related careers. It's ideal if you're looking for outstanding work placement opportunities.

By completing this NCTJ-accredited course, you'll already be ahead of the competition. You could work in a wide range of journalism and media-related fields, including news, sport or other specialist reporting. You could also go into sub editing or design on regional and national newspapers, magazines and websites. Or you could work in PR, broadcasting, communications or copywriting.

You'll study shorthand and media law alongside news and feature writing, gaining the perfect platform for your journalism career. And you'll develop key multi-media skills including digital and social media, audio and video editing, camera work and photojournalism.

You'll work from high-spec newsrooms equipped with industry-standard Macs, latest Adobe software and live 24-hour Press Association feeds. You'll work alongside tutors with expertise from the online, magazine, newspaper, radio, television and PR industries.

You'll get to publish to professional standard on our live dedicated site StaffsLive ( to thousands of readers every week. Very few journalism centres offer this type of platform. Work on StaffsLive is highly commended every year by industry professionals at the Midlands Media Awards.

You'll also complete fully assessed work placements. And you'll sit all NCTJ qualifications. We have strong industry links with Sky News, Telegraph Media, Local World, BBC and Bauer. And our final year career development modules prepare you for the transition from graduation to full-time work.

The emphasis is on independent study throughout, developing a professional portfolio and pursuing exciting career prospects through continual assessment and dedicated supervision.


Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 120 credits in your first year of study and the other 240 credits, split equally over your second and third years of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £9,250 for your first year in 2017/18. The fee for your second and third year of study will be broadly the same, except that an inflationary uplift may apply each year.*

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Undergraduate Loans:

UK and EU students who are studying for their first undergraduate degree may not have to pay these fees up front. For eligible students a loan is available from the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of tuition so you don't have to find the money to pay your tuition costs before or while you are studying. You won't have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 a year.

A loan is also available for part-time students studying at least 25% (30 credits) per year.

However, if you already hold a degree, or another qualification at the same level, you may not qualify for this loan.

For further information on eligibility and how to apply visit apply-for-student-finance.


Repayment (current arrangements):

9% of income over £21,000 per year.

Interest on the loan is charged at up to Retail Price Index** (RPI) +3% = 4.6% as of 2016/17.

If you are living in the UK: Your employer will deduct repayments when your salary reaches the threshold (currently £21,000 per year). Different arrangements are made to collect repayments from those living outside the UK.

For further information on repayment visit student loan repayment.


*The fees listed are for the 2017/18 academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an inflationary uplift.

**RPI – the Retail Price Index is a measure of UK inflation. The UK Government uses the rate of RPI to set the interest rate charged on student loans.

Social media links

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • All applicants will be invited to an activity day and assessed by informal interview and written exercises.

Student success

The proven track record of all the journalism tutors and the quality of facilities available on an NCTJ accredited course is second-to-none. They are all very approachable, very driven, and I could not have landed a job in such a competitive industry without their support, advice and encouragement.

Daniel Milligan (BA Journalism 2011), News and Sports reporter, Taunton Gazette


This award is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), an organisation which oversees the management and delivery of what are termed pre-entry examinations offered at a number of accredited centres in the UK, including Staffordshire University. 

Pre-entry refers to the fact that these examinations are being taken before a candidate begins employment in journalism. As such these examinations are seen by many editors as a key factor in offering jobs to graduates. They cover four subject areas: news gathering and writing (one exam + one portfolio), media law for journalists (two exams), public affairs for journalists (one exams), and shorthand (one exam).

Preparation for these examinations forms part of is concomitant with the content and delivery of the modules in journalism in practice, reporting & writing, law, public affairs and shorthand.

Preparation for news practice exams is provided through two Journalism in Practice modules in years 1 and 2, and the Reporting & Writing (With Shorthand) module in year 1. Tutors, all seasoned news practitioners, use a combination of theory, example, practice and ongoing feedback in workshops to take students through all aspects of news production from news sense, sources, research and presentation to interviewing, house style, news editing and writing techniques.

Past NCTJ papers are used in class exercises to give students appropriate material relevant to newsroom practice and as preparation for NCTJ examination content and format. Most students will take the two NCTJ examinations in news practice at the end of the second year, particularly following their work placement, although some students progress quickly enough to do this by the end of the first year. 

The NCTJ examinations are in the form of writing news stories from written unseen material based around press releases, press statements, quotes and background material. 
The law and public affairs modules are delivered by tutors with both practical and academic experience pertinent to the subject areas. The lecture programme leads to end-of-semester assessments by class tests. These tests mirror the content, style and length of the NCTJ examinations. Most students sitting NCTJ examinations in these subjects will do so following the semester in which material specific to particular NCTJ papers is addressed. For example, the NCTJ Essential Media Law examination, which concentrates on contempt and defamation, is mirrored by the content of the level 4 serial module Essential Law & Public Affairs for Journalists. 

Shorthand is taught through workshops delivered by an experienced specialist shorthand tutor who takes the students from scratch, by exposition, example and class practices, up to, potentially, the ability to pass the NCTJ 100 words per minute.

Read more about the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

Teaching and learning

Journalism students progress through their degree by a cumulative process of gaining experience and knowledge. Both the vocational needs of a career in Journalism and the reflective analysis necessary for intellectual development are fostered. The more theoretical modules link with practice, both in the content of the modules (where practical examples illustrate journalism and communication theories) and in the way that student knowledge of the theoretical perspectives and analyses helps them to understand the role of the journalist in society.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies are employed in Journalism modules. Besides the traditional one-hour lecture, one-hour seminar model (for example, in The British Press module) students are taught through practice-based workshops (such as the Journalism in Practice and Production Journalism modules), two hour interactive workshops (Essential Law & Public Affairs for Journalists module), individual tutorials (Journalism Project module) and student-led workshop seminars (The Political Columnist module).

Independent learning is an important aspect of all modules, as it enables students to develop both their subject specific and key skills. Independent learning is promoted through the feedback given to students, which takes several forms including small group and one-to-one discussions. On a number of modules, including Reporting & Writing (With Shorthand), regular diagnostic tests by tutors in seminars informally assess the progress of students. Students are also given regular feedback on their progress during seminar/workshop sessions in their practical modules.

Career Development & Work Placement offers students the opportunity to use the skills they have developed in a professional journalism environment. First year (Level 4) modules such as Essential Law for Journalists, Reporting & Writing (With Shorthand), and Journalism in Practice have embedded within them all the professional training a student requires as preparation for their placement.

Modules looking at the British Press give students the knowledge of current debates in journalistic practice and the historical and intellectual context of the industry, helping them to make the most of their placement. At the start of their second year (Level 5), students receive a placement handbook which helps prepare them for the task of getting an industry placement.


Journalism students are assessed in a variety of ways over the course of their undergraduate studies. The balance between the different forms of assessment is determined by the different aims and learning outcomes of the core and option modules.

Assessment methods include academic essays (for example in British Press, Thinking Journalism), researching and writing news stories (Journalism in Practice), unseen examinations (Essential Law for Journalists), class tests (Reporting & Writing (With Shorthand), writing features (Journalism in Practice 2, Journalism Project, Career Development), computer produced demonstrations of technical ability (Production Journalism), production projects (Magazine Design), individual portfolios (Photojournalism), and news day portfolios (Journalism in Practice 2, StaffsLive News days).

Individual modules (including the above) may also be weighted by combinations of these different assessment methods. For example, the Career Development & Work Placement module is assessed by a combination of editor's report, a student portfolio of published work (where appropriate) and written reflection by individual students on their experiences of work placement.


Employment opportunities

The BA (Hons) Journalism award (both the 3-year and 2-year fast-track delivery) is designed to enable students to emerge with a wide range of career options by providing:

  • employability skills for work across all platforms in the journalism industry and transferable skills for employment generally
  • a creative and critical knowledge and understanding of journalism through theoretical and practical elements of study
  • a range of written and production skills to produce journalistic content to professional trade standards, including accrediting body qualifications
  • a flexible balance of communication skills, practical, intellectual and personal, to enable further study/training and entry to a wide range of employment in journalism allied trades such as PR, marketing and other careers in which communication is a prized key asset.

Many of our students graduate to secure work with local, national and international newspapers, magazines and websites and in PR. Some also progress to postgraduate courses. Skills you learn are also invaluable in the general jobs market. Communication, intellectual flexibility and personal initiative are key to a wide range of careers.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Journalism degree work as:

  • Newspaper reporters
  • Magazine feature writers - for Grazia, Wedding, Rock Sound, Golf Monthly
  • Digital content writers/editors -Press Association, Derby Telegraph, Staffordshire Life, Heat, ASOS, AB Publishing,, Dog World, Professional Squash Association
  • TV Producers/researchers - GMTV
  • PR executives - Bauer Media, Greene King Brewery, Fire PR, Orbital Media, Barnardos, Co-operative
  • Marketing officers - Forever Living, Tracepoint, BlueSky
  • Social media executives - Phones4U, iProspect

Programme specification

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