Journalism is a powerful and rewarding industry. Our intensive course will equip you with the necessary skills for a career in the media.

The BA (Hons) Journalism blends academic learning with practical skills. You will develop professional interview skills, editing skills and the art of video creation. You will be taught through academic lectures and practical assessments including News Days in our on-site TV studio and Radio station. 

On completion of this course you will have gained a solid understanding of news writing, Investigative Journalism and Broadcast Journalism.

In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience in a 6 - 12 week placement, with past graduates working with The Times, Daily Record, The Sun, Sky Sports News, North Sound Radio, BBC, Look and Bunker.

An optional shorthand course is available for a small fee. 


BA (Hons)



Course Dates


Course Length

4 years

Mode of Attendance



Year 1

You will gain skills in the basics of news writing and reporting for newspapers, digital platforms and in broadcasting; and an awareness of legal and institutional political frameworks within which journalists operate. Stage 1 introduces you to a range of theoretical concepts such as representation and allows you to develop professional skills in team-working.

Year 2

You will build upon their news gathering, editing and technical skills. Deeper theoretical understanding is developed around news values and discourses. You are introduced to new practical skills in web design and are asked to work on ‘live’ client specific projects.

Year 3

This year includes a taught route or you can elect to take a role within a media organisation for 6 or 12 weeks. This allows you to have first hand experience of the communication industries and to develop a portfolio of published work. The taught classes prepare you for their final year dissertation including how to identify and analyse Literature.

Year 4

The Final Year of study is at a higher theoretical level with modules on specialist aspects of the field of study. You work with a supervisor to develop a research project on a topic of their choice. The Investigative Journalism project entails a practical project either individually or as a team. You acquire skills in research, analysis and synthesising data to specified deadlines. 


Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes.

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course disclaimer for more information. 


Year 1 -- Semester 1
  • The Media Business
  • Visual Culture and Design
  • News Writing
    Semester 2
  • Governing The UK
  • Introduction To Media Law
  • Broadcast Journalism and Production
    Year 2 -- Semester 1
  • Features Writing
  • Principles And Practice Of Reporting
  • Media Semiotics And Discourse
    Semester 2
  • Public Relations
  • Web Design
  • Media Production Project
  • Year 3 -- Semester 1
    Route A - Taught route
  • Media History
  • Advanced Law For Journalists
  • Applied News Production
  • Political Participation and Pressure Groups in an Age of Global Politics
    Route B - Study Abroad Route
  • Study Abroad 7
  • Study Abroad 8
  • Study Abroad 6
  • Study Abroad 5
    Route C - Placement route for students undertaking study abroad in Semester 2
  • Professional Practice (12 week)
    Choose 1 option module from the following group:
  • Advanced Law For Journalists
  • Political Participation and Pressure Groups in an Age of Global Politics
  • Semester 2
    Route A - Taught route with an option for a short placement
  • Magazine Journalism
  • Creative Industries Theory And Practice
    Route B - Study Abroad Route
  • Study Abroad 9
  • Study Abroad 12
  • Study Abroad 10
  • Study Abroad 11
    Route C - Full Semester Placement
  • Professional Practice (12 week)
    Choose 1 option module from the following group:
  • Creative Industries Theory And Practice
  • Professional Practice (6 week)
    Year 4 -- Semester 1
  • Research Methods
  • Investigative Journalism
    Choose 2 option modules from the following group:
  • Postmodern Culture
  • Media Strategy
  • Celebrity Culture
  • Digital Journalism In Practice
    Semester 2
  • Research Project
  • Investigative Journalism
    Choose 1 option module from the following group:
  • Political Communication
  • Women And The Media
  • The course is delivered by a mixture of academic and practical instruction. Academic modules are typically delivered by a one hour lecture followed by a seminar where you can discuss or apply the thinking to relevant tasks. This may involve analysing texts, role-playing, giving oral presentations. The practical classes will involve sourcing stories, conducting interviews, filming, editing and participating in News Days. Investigative journalism will involve independent research, team work, and pitching stories in editorial meetings in real ‘live’ mentoring sessions in industry.

    Shorthand tuition is highly recommended but not compulsory. The tuition is added to your timetable. Fees for the shorthand are in addition to course fees and are paid direct to our partner provider NESCOL.

    Year 4 activity summary


    • Approximately 22 students per group
    • 4 hours per week


    • Approximately 22 students per group
    • 8 hours per week


    • Approximately 22 students per group
    • 0.5 hour per week

    Project Supervision

    • Approximately 22 students per group
    • 0.5 hour per week

    External Visits

    • Varies in number of students
    • 1 per semester

    Independent study summary

    You work independently on your Research Methods proposal, Research Project and Investigative Journalism pieces. This entails extensive research in terms of reading, data collection, writing and editing. Typically, this may involve the creation of a vlog, radio or TV package. This may entail travel to interview participants both domestically and internationally and on creative design aspects eg subtitling. A minimum of 36 hours study per semester is expected though many students dedicate 100s of hours of study to perfect their projects.

    Staff delivering this course

    Our Staff feature in the annual Support and Teaching staff with Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) awards voted by the students and organised by RGU:Union.

    This course is delivered by a core team and draws upon expertise from across the University. The team includes staff holding PhDs in Media Politics, the Certificate in Higher Education Learning and Teaching, staff with practical industry experience and a national committee member of the NCTJ. Colleagues in Aberdeen Business School and the Law School also have input to this course along with Visiting Professors, Honorary Doctoral professionals and librarians.


    • Hi-tech TV and Radio Studios
    • Digital Suite
    • Specialist Mac Suite

    How you are assessed

    Typically students are assessed each semester:

    • Written Exam
    • Written Assignment, including essay
    • Report
    • Dissertation
    • Practical skills assessment
    • Portfolio
    • Group critique


    We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

    Academic Support

    The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

    Study Skills Support

    The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

    • Academic writing
    • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
    • Maths and statistics
    • English language
    • Information technology support

    More on Study Skills

    SQA Higher: ABBB to include English.

    GCE A Level: BBC to include English.

    Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H2H2H2H3 to include English at H2.

    IB Diploma: 29 to include Higher Level English at grade 5.

    Alternative Qualifications: We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

    Advanced Entry: Applicants who are interested in applying for advanced entry will be considered on an individual basis.

    English Language

    Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

    We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

    English Language requirements

    * All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. A small number of courses require higher levels, but this will be stated explicitly on your offer letter.

    A 6 week or 12 week optional unpaid placement is included. Previous students have gone on placement in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London.

    We have a dedicated Placement Manager and an extensive network of contacts in industry across TV, Radio, Digital and Press. You will be allocated a supervisor from the team who will visit and contact you during your placement and provide advice on writing your final report.

    The placements are normally unpaid but some employers pay a minimum fee and/or expenses.

    If you are a Scottish resident or EU national you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

    Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:


    For Academic Year 2017/2018

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £5,000 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,000 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2016/2017

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £5,000 per academic year

    International Students

    • £11,400 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2015/2016

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £5,000 per academic year

    International Students

    • £11,000 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2014/2015

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £5,000 per academic year

    International Students

    • £10,500 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2013/2014

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £5,000 per academic year

    International Students

    • £9,900 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2012/2013

    Scottish/EU Students


    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students


    • £5,000 per academic year

    International Students

    • £9,500 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2011/2012

    UK/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    International Students

    • £9,250 per academic year


    Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

    For further information see Student Finance pages


    Home, EU and Rest of UK applicants to Robert Gordon University must apply online at

    It is important that you keep track of your application process using the UCAS website, as it will update you on whether you have been offered a place from the University. It is also where you should respond to offers and receive confirmation of your place within your chosen course, rather than contacting the institution in the first instance.

    International fee paying students have the option of applying either via UCAS or direct using our application form.

    Terms and Conditions of Admissions

    The Terms and Conditions of Admission describe to applicants holding an offer of a place to study at RGU, the principal rights, duties and obligations of both the applicant and the University prior to enrolling on a course of study.

    Terms and Conditions of Admissions (PDF 142KB)

    The department has extensive links with the media industries, and graduates will secure careers in print, publishing, broadcast and online journalism. Opportunities for employment also exist in fields such as public relations and media management.

    The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

    • Shorthand tuition:
      • £245 Year 1
      • £144 Year 2-3

    Other Fees and Charges

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    “I did my work placement with STV in 3rd year in Nigeria, now I'm working for a national newspaper. It is a wonderful experience, both challenging and interesting.”

    Fatima Joji Journalism BA (Hons)