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Journalism and Politics

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Journalism and Politics
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Politics and International Relations
BA P580

A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject

IB: 30 points, including a Higher Level essay-based subject grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

External Examiners

Mr Richard Evans
City, University of London
Programme Director, UG Journalism

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 LT135-4-FY Basic Practical Journalism (Joint Honours) Core 30
02 LT138-4-AU History of Journalism Compulsory 15
03 LT144-4-SP Journalism Now Compulsory 15
04 LT705-4-SP The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways Compulsory 15
05 GV100-4-FY Introduction to Politics Core 30
06 Government autumn option from list Optional 15

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 LT231-5-FY Intermediate Practical Journalism: Audio/Video (Joint honours) Compulsory 30
02 LT232-5-FY Intermediate Practical Journalism: Print/Online (Joint honours) Compulsory 30
03 GV250-5-AU Principles of Social Justice Compulsory 15
04 GV254-5-SP Ethics and Public Policy Compulsory 15
05 Option from list Optional 30

Year 3 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 LT431-6-SP Comparative Media Law and Regulation Compulsory 15
02 LT396-6-AU Journalism and Storytelling Compulsory 15
03 LT312-6-FY Advanced Practical Journalism Compulsory 30
04 GV374-6-FY or option from list Optional 30
05 Option from list Optional 30

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

JOURNALISM: To create graduates who are thoroughly grounded in the theory and practice of journalism; to give students the legal, moral, ethical and values-based framework that will allow them to make sound editorial judgements and behave in a professional manner; to help students develop their writing and broadcasting skills to a high level; to equip students with the technical, editorial and other (eg shorthand) expertise they need to operate as journalists; to encourage students to develop their critical faculties, in particular to adopt an inquiring, sceptical and whole-hearted approach to their work; to encourage students to work effectively on their own and in teams to produce the best journalism.
POLITICS: To develop students' knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical and conceptual foundations of the discipline of political science, offer students, through a wide range of option choices, a varied menu of sub-disciplinary and area-oriented specialisms in order both to provide students with opportunities to develop an empirical base for the study of politics in different contexts and to broaden their theoretical perspectives; provide the opportunity for students to learn about political systems, political behaviour and political ideas; maintain an intellectual environment that is exciting and challenging, fostering students' capacities for creative study and dialogue and maintaining high standards of teaching and learning.; develop and promote students' skills and capacities to analyse politics, undertake subsequent academic study and for employment, personal development and social participation.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Theoretical and practical approaches to journalism
A2 The history and evolution of journalism, the current state of the industry and its future prospects
A3 The role of publishing and broadcasting in a modern society, including challenges in reporting on international issues
A4 The UK legal system, and the law, regulatory framework and codes of practice relating to journalism
A5 The characteristics and needs of a range of print, broadcast and web-based journalism, production processes and professional practice in relation to newspapers, magazines, online content and broadcast journalism
A6 Knowledge of different conceptual, theoretical and normative perspectives within political science about eg democracy, justice, liberalism and rights, and of methodological issues.
A7 Knowledge of the main findings of existing political science research about political systems (e.g. Britain, Europe, other areas and the international system), political behaviour (e.g. voting behaviour, public opinion and political parties).
A8 Knowledge of sources of information for studying politics and of developments, issues and debates in specialist subjects.
A9 To develop intercultural skills (Study/Year Abroad variant only)
A10 To provide the opportunity to apply academic learning outcomes in a work-related context (Placement year variant)
A11 To develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement. (Placement variant only)
Learning Methods: Lectures, workshops, group discussion and reflection, work experience, practical exercises, formative feedback.
Assessment Methods: A1-A8 Range of in-class tests, portfolio of work, reflective journals, group work, project work, essays and other coursework
A1 A4-A7 examination

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Able to absorb and organise large amounts of informati on in a short time, applying critical techniques to assess evidence on the basis of relevance, reliability and newsworthiness
B2 Turn raw data and information into clear, accurate and engaging journalism with impact
B3 Make good decisions and present clear, well-reasoned and coherent arguments, in writing or orally, often against a deadline
B4 Exercise judgement in designing, planning and delivering journalistic output
B5 Evaluate, interpret and demonstrate critical judgement in the understanding of developments in the news, of issues and concepts, and be able dispassionately to assess one's own work and the work of others
B6 Produce independent and imaginative treatments conforming to a clear framework of values
B7 To question received thinking, reason critically, and to develop own thinking.
B8 Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in political science and political theory at an appropriate level.
B9 To analyse and evaluate evidence and to argue coherently and persuasively.
B10 To present ideas in a structured form in writing.
Learning Methods: Lectures, workshops, group discussion and reflection, work experience, practical exercises, formative feedback, seminars, classes and presentations
Assessment Methods: Assessment is by coursework, practical assignments, portfolios, group projects, peer assessment, critical commentaries, written examinations and, in some cases, oral presentations.

C: Practical skills

C1 An ability to find, research and write news stories and features for various print, online and broadcast media
C2 An ability to conduct interviews, record information accurately and analyse it to a professional standard
C3 An ability to work in production for various media, using industry-standard software and hardware
C4 An ability to work independently, cooperatively and in editorial teams to produce finished work to agreed deadlines for various media
C5 An ability to operate in professional manner, observing ethical and legal constraints
C6 Organise and structure an extended argument, advancing clear critical positions and using theoretical terms correctly
C7 Provide references according to accepted conventions and compile systematic bibliographies.
Learning Methods: Lectures, workshops, group discussion and reflection, work experience, practical exercises, formative feedback.
Assessment Methods: Assessment is by coursework, practical assignments, portfolios, group projects, peer assessment, critical commentaries, written examinations and, in some cases, oral presentations.

D: Key skills

D1 Ability to express oneself in a clear, focused, relevant and effective way, both orally and in writing
D2 Ability to use appropriate software and hardware to produce and present high quality editorial content
D3 Finding, understanding, organising and processing information. Applying knowledge and understanding to make judgements. Ability to question conventional wisdom and find innovative methods of research. Working to deadlines. Management of projects and timetables.
D4 Ability to advance and argue for proposals in editorial meetings, ability to respond constructively to criticism, ability to engage in collaborative writing and programme-making activities; ability to work co-operatively in a variety of group contexts, including practical production, taking on a number of different roles.
D5 Ability to take responsibility for one's own work in individual and collective contexts, reflect on one's own performance and make constructive use of feedback in class and written comments on coursework and oral communication.
Learning Methods: Lectures, workshops, group discussion and reflection, work experience, practical exercises, formative feedback.
Assessment Methods: Assessment is by coursework, practical assignments, portfolios, group projects, peer assessment, critical commentaries, written examinations and, in some cases, oral presentations.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: