In the first year, you’ll be introduced to research techniques and how to create a factual story using sound and moving images that emotionally and visually engage the audience. You’ll also find out how to record and edit a radio package suitable for broadcast or podcasting and photography to accompany it. You will research, write and make an individual short moving image project of your choosing that tells a compelling story as a work of fiction or a factual piece. You’ll also learn to develop your own online presence, this platform becoming the home of your content that you produce and the blogs that you write. You will be introduced to the history and development of the media in order to develop your critical and analytical skills.
Finding and Writing Stories
Whether you want to be a programme maker or a journalist you will need to understand how to identify and find interesting stories that people will engage with. Whether it’s for a fiction production, a documentary or current affairs, in print, online or TV, telling a story in a thought-provoking way is how you will engage with your audience.
You will develop your research skills in identifying stories and interviewees in order to record, write and edit a package to disseminate across several media. Possessing these skills will enable you to take part in making television programmes or telling longer, more complex stories further on in your degree.
Getting it out there!
Content producers, whether it is for mainstream television, internet productions or professional newsrooms, are increasingly adopting a 'digital first' approach to publication, meaning that they consider their web content and presence before concerning themselves with the printed page or TV or radio output. This unit aims to give you a head-start in terms of developing, producing and managing content for the digital environment.
This unit enables you to undertake an individual three-minute narrative project that you devise, research, produce, direct and post-produce yourself for a specific audience. The project can be in any genre, e.g. factual, fiction, drama documentary, or experimental, but must be a piece of moving image work which has a clear narrative arc and is made on location.
This unit provides you with a historical overview of the development of television, journalism and other media. We will not only trace the development of different forms of media, but also look into different formats, audiences and their behaviours. A particular focus will be made on new and emergent media technologies and how they are changing professional media production practices and audience behaviours.
In your second year you’ll begin to learn about content production producing packages for dissemination across multiple platforms in a ‘live’ environment, planning and producing news bulletins or programmes in a realistic newsroom environment. You will also be made aware of the importance of media law and regulations and how this knowledge will help you to secure employment within journalism. This will include a five-day work placement to begin putting what you’ve learned into practice.
On Air I
You will be involved in planning the content of the news bulletins or programmes and the treatment of individual stories. You will act as a reporter on location, producing news and sports packages or live updates, an editor making the key decisions back at base and a camera operator. On occasion, you may work as a studio director or vision or sound mixer, which will give you a greater understanding of the mechanics of television news. You will be expected to demonstrate creative ways of telling stories, explaining stories and getting them on air, on time.
Law and Working in the Media Industries
As a journalist or media professional in the UK, you will need a thorough knowledge of, and ability to operate within, the context of both the key legal principles – UK statutes and European Law. Both affect newsgathering and publication, and apply contemporary ethical and regulatory constraints relevant to journalism and other media publications. As part of this unit, you will be required to complete five days’ work experience at a recognised media company. You will be given support in approaching employers, writing CVs and, where appropriate, producing a showreel.
Structured around the core journalistic five ‘W’s - who, what, when, where and why – Narrative Journalism will examine the exemplars of long form journalism about people and places, true crime, the role of the journalist in recording historical events and writing as a witness. These examples will be used to inspire your own original journalistic writing.
TV, Media and Society
This unit will introduce you to a range of cultural and social theories that have informed and shaped the production, consumption and studies of media content, including television, journalism, films, music, literature and radio. You will also be learning how to use theoretical concepts to analyse and critique media texts and the impact they have on society from different perspectives.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
In your third year you will use the theoretical work you’ve completed in years one and two to undertake a major piece of research and writing with your dissertation. Alongside this you will continue to develop and hone your live broadcasting skills at a higher level within the newsroom environment. You’ll undertake your final major project, and complete ten days’ work experience in the industry.
On Air II
As well as working as part of a team, you will, on occasion, be the leader of the team. This will entail taking responsibility for pre-production planning, such as scripting and timing contents of a programme. You are encouraged to use mobile news gathering, which will enable you to expand the area that you can cover as a reporter. This will involve you in shooting video/audio on a mobile device, editing material remotely and transmitting material back to the newsroom via Wi-Fi, 4G, file transfer protocols (FTP) and similar technologies, in industry-standard formats.
JMP Final Major Project
In this Final Major Project unit, you are required to pitch and produce a substantial body of work using two media of your choice. These could be radio, television, print, a website or creative digital project or a picture gallery. The work you produce should reflect a critical approach to a subject area that interests you and demonstrates an advanced level of journalistic and technical skills.
The Dissertation consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.
Professional Planning: JMP
Professional Planning supports you in preparing you to find work as a journalist or media professional and will give you an understanding how to negotiate the working environment. You will research job opportunities, update your CV and develop or enhance your online presence and further understand the requirements for working as a freelancer, such as tax returns and accounting. You will also be introduced to and practice interview skills.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
We have connections through the teaching staff on this course to well-known production companies and publications such as:
- BBC Radio
- The Guardian
- Private Eye
- BBC Watchdog
- Sky News
- BT Sport
- Houses of Parliament.