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Journalism

BA (Hons)

Robert Gordon University offers an intensive and practical BA (Hons) Journalism degree that will equip you with the key skills needed for a rewarding career in Journalism or related industries. Our multimedia course provides you with critical knowledge and specialist theoretical, analytical and production skills for working in this fast-paced environment.

The course has an emphasis on practical learning with a grounding in the theoretical aspects of journalistic practice. You will gain practical experience in reporting across print, broadcast, and electronic platforms. You will learn first-hand from experienced journalists by participating in ‘live’ news days, visiting local broadcasting organisations, and listening to guest speakers. You will study how news is sourced, regulated, produced, and consumed, and examine the effects of this on different audiences, developing transferable skills which are essential for the wider media profession.

2nd university in Scotland for overall student satisfaction in Journalism - National Student Survey 2022

2nd in the UK for feedback satisfaction in Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations - Guardian University Guide 2021

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date

September

Course Length

4 years

Year 1

You will develop skills in the basics of news writing and reporting for newspapers, digital platforms and in broadcasting. You will develop an awareness of legal and institutional frameworks within which journalists operate and you will also be introduced to a range of theoretical concepts relating to the media industries and visual culture.  

Year 2

You will build upon your news gathering, editing and production skills in the areas of audio journalism, feature writing and magazine journalism. You will develop a deeper theoretical understanding of media messages in Media Semiotics and Discourse, and you will be introduced to new practical skills in web design, public relations, and desktop-publishing.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will continue to develop your specialist knowledge and have the flexibility to tailor your own study. You may complete a six-week, 12-week, or year-long work experience placement; undertake an academic term at one of our partner institutions abroad; or choose a taught, on-campus route which includes a focus on freelancing and research-based skills.

Year 4

Your final year will focus on specialist modules including Celebrity Culture, Digital Journalism in Practice and Postmodern Culture. You will work with a supervisor to develop a research project on a topic of your choice, which will develop your research, analytical and journalistic skills. You may choose to follow a conventional or practice-based research route and you will also undertake a practical investigative journalism assignment.

 

Modules

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 and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Learning Methods

You will learn through a range of delivery modes including lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical-based activities. The nature of the course is interactive: you will apply theory to practice, and consider a range of problems, issues and case studies. Academic modules are typically delivered by a lecture followed by a seminar where you can discuss or apply the thinking to relevant tasks. This may involve analysing texts or giving oral presentations. The practical classes will involve sourcing and writing stories, conducting interviews, filming, editing and participating in news days. Modules, such as investigative journalism, may include input from a range of industry experts.

How long is a BA (Hons) Journalism course?

A Journalism degree can be successfully completed in 4 years, in which the opportunity to receive the necessary skills are obtained.

Activity Summary

  • Lectures - 45-50 students per group, 4-5 hours per week
  • Seminars - 15-25 students per group, 4-8 hour per week
  • Project Supervision - 6-8 students per group, 1-2 hours per week
  • Practical class or workshop - 15-25 students per group, 2 hours per week

Independent Study

In addition to lectures and tutorials, you will spend approximately 20-30 hours per week outside of the class working on your own. This involves undertaking prescribed reading, preparing for assignments, team meetings and researching and writing course assignments.

Staff Delivering on This Course

Academic staff who teach on this course have worked in a range of professional backgrounds within the creative and cultural industries including journalism, publishing, public relations, digital media, media production, and have links to the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) which ensures our teaching is professionally relevant. 

Our staff have either achieved Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy/Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy or are working towards this. In addition, many have featured in the annual Support and Teaching staff with Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) awards voted by the students and organised by RGU:Union.

Other staff members include industry guest lecturers, staff from Aberdeen Law School, honorary doctoral professionals, and librarians.

Assessment

Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 3 written assignments, including essays
  • 3 portfolios

Year 2

  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 4 portfolios

Year 3

  • 3 written assignments, including essays
  • 2 portfolios

Year 4

  • 3 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 dissertation
  • 2 portfolios
  • 1 project output

Feedback

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 Inclusion 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.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

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

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

 

Placements

In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to undertake a six-week, 12-week or year-long placement where you will be able to put your skills and knowledge to the test in an appropriate journalism or media-based environment, as well as form excellent links with potential future employers. Previous placements have included the Press and Journal, STV, Northsound 1, Press Association (Glasgow), Original 106FM, Scottish Field Magazine (Edinburgh) and Evening Express.

You can choose to source your own placement or access our Placement Office, who will support you in sourcing and applying to suitable opportunities.  

Study Abroad

In Year 3 you can study with partner institutions in Europe or worldwide as part of the Study Abroad programme. This is dependent on similar Journalism programmes being offered by partner institutions.

Job Prospects

Journalism is a powerful industry and a rewarding career choice. People are increasingly seeking information and inspiration from the media, which creates a demand for multimedia journalists who have critical knowledge and specialist theoretical, analytical and production skills.

Is Journalism a good career choice?

Possible careers range from press, radio, television and online as well as public relations and media management.

Previous  BA Journalism graduates of Robert Gordon University have gone on to pursue the following careers:

  • Print and Online Journalism 
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Publishing 

They work for organisations including:

  • BBC Scotland
  • STV North
  • Original 106 
  • The Press and Journal 
  • Evening Express 

Students with degrees in Journalism are also entering Communications, Sales and Marketing roles.

 

What is needed for a BA (Hons) Journalism degree?

Standard Entry Requirements

  • SQA Higher: BBBB to include English.
  • GCE A Level: BCC to include English.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H2H2H3H3 to include English at H2.
  • IB Diploma: 28 to include Higher Level English at grade 5.

Minimum Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for widening access applicants are:

  • SQA Higher: BBC/BCCC to include English at B

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 Requirements

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:

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact admissions@rgu.ac.uk for further information.

 

Tuition fees for this BA (Hons) Journalism degree are as follows:

For Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Scottish Students: £1,820 per academic year
  • EU Students: £5,000 per academic year
  • Rest of UK Students: £5,000 per academic year
  • International Students: £14,000 per academic year

For Academic Year 2020/2021

  • Scottish/EU Students: £1,820 per academic year
  • Rest of UK Students: £5,000 per academic year
  • International Students: £14,000 per academic year

Additional Costs

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

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and living costs
  • Printing
  • Shorthand tuition (external provider) - approx £155

Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident 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:

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:

Widening Access Accommodation and Welcome Pack Offer

If you are applying to RGU for September 2021 and meet widening access criteria, you may qualify for free accommodation in your first year of study, along with our welcome pack to support your transition to university. Find out if you are eligible:

Disclaimer

For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:

 

Academic Support

The Inclusion 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.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

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

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

 

Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

​Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

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