Essentials of Feature Writing - JOUR5180

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Rob Bailey checkmark-circle


Develop a deeper understanding of how feature writers tailor content to suit defined readerships and publications. How and why opinion is used by journalists in a range of articles, including reviews and columns. How defamation law and the Editors' Code of Practice guide the use of opinion in features. How journalists create distinctive, compelling narratives in columns, reviews and travel pieces including the selection of angles and use of language. The importance of photography and other visual elements as storytelling tools. Writing styles of notable feature writers and interviewers. How the internet has changed the output of reviewers and columnists. Research tools used by feature writers. Carrying out original research.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


BA (Joint Honours) One Other Subject With Journalism

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Review article (500 words) – 20%
Feature Article (1,000 words) – 60%
Reflective essay (500 words) – 20%

Reassessment methods
Like for like

Indicative reading

Barber, L. (2014), A Curious Career, Bloomsbury
Ebert, R. (2000), I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie, Andrews McMeel
Harcup T (2009), Journalism Principles and Practice, Sage Publications
Keeble, R. and Reeves, I. (2014), The Newspapers Handbook, Routledge
Kermode, M. (2014), Hatchet Job, Picador
Randall D (2011), The Universal Journalist, Pluto Books

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate advanced reporting and writing skills to produce a range of news and features content for a defined audience
2. Develop a deeper understanding of feature content across a wide range of publications and the importance of knowing your audience
3. Critically explore the writing styles of notable contemporary feature writers, interviewers and reviewers
4. Understand how to develop valid feature ideas with reference to the current news agenda and a detailed understanding of news values
5. Understand the ethical and legal principles that underpin the use of opinion in journalism

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Gather, organise and deploy information in order to formulate arguments coherently and communicate them fluently
2. Engage critically with information from primary and secondary sources
3. Reflect upon the relevance of the student's own cultural commitment and positioning
4. Work to deadlines in flexible and innovative ways showing self-direction and self-discipline
5. Consider and evaluate their own work and the work of others with reference to professional standards
6. Use information technology to perform a range of tasks


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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