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Journalism and Liberal Arts

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Journalism and Liberal Arts
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies
BA P525

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 CS101-4-FY Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture Compulsory 30
05 Optional module(s) from the Liberal Arts option list Optional 30
06 CS711-4-FY Skills for University Studies Compulsory 0

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, able 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 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.

To provide students with opportunities to broaden their cultural horizons by taking up the challenge of studying new disciplines such as Art History, Philosophy, Literature, History, Sociology, Languages, Linguistics, Film Studies.

To develop students' powers of self-expression and ability to think and analyse systematically, critically and in a disciplined and informed way.

To provide students with the necessary skills to undertake further study and/or pursue vocational training in employment.

To provide students with opportunities to experience a different system of HE through a broad range of courses on the Year Abroad (Year Abroad version only)

To provide students with opportunities to experience of applying their knowledge and skills in a working environment (Placement Variant only)

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
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 Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the intellectual and cultural origins and development of contemporary society.
A7 Students will be able to demonstrate through a variety of means, a knowledge and understanding of the different styles of research and enquiry relevant to a range of Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines.
A8 To develop intercultural skills (Study/Year Abroad variant only)
A9 To provide the opportunity to apply academic learning outcomes in a work-related context (Placement year variant)
A10 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-A5 Range of in-class tests, portfolio of work, reflective journals, group work, project work, essays and other coursework

A1: examination

Knowledge and understanding of A6-A9 is continuously assessed through coursework and 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 Students will be able to think critically and analytically in relation to a number of different disciplines and to demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought.
B8 Students will be able to identify, analyse and solve problems, using appropriate techniques of writing, methodologies and theories.
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.

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 Students will be able to communicate ideas clearly and coherently in a range of disciplines but also be able to challenge those ideas and disciplines.
C7 Students will be able to present written materials using appropriate language and referencing.
C8 Students will be able to work independently, write and think under pressure, meet deadlines, manage their own time and workload and carry out research for coursework.
C9 Students will be able to communicate their knowledge and ideas independently of books, articles, computers and other sources of information, and they will be able to accomplish this within given time constraints (e.g. they will be able to pass an examination).
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, and 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 plan, manage time, and 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 own work and actions in individual and collective contexts, and to reflect on performance and make constructive use of written and oral feedback.
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, and 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: