Journalism - BA (Hons)

UCAS code P500:K

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


In a world hungry for news, the ultra-competitive media market needs versatile, multimedia journalists with cutting-edge skills and a highly developed awareness of ethics. Our ground-breaking degree combines advanced vocational training and rigorous academic study to prepare you for a career in journalism.


The Centre for Journalism at Kent is leading the development of journalism as an academic discipline rooted in professional newsroom practice. On our professionally accredited programme, you study for an honours degree that includes history, politics and law while completing the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ (NCTJ) Diploma in Journalism. (*See Fees and funding for additional costs.)    

Our degree programme

The programme is based in state-of-the-art newsrooms complete with dedicated radio and television studios, and editing and production facilities. You learn to write and report in text, on air and for the internet. You also have regular access to work placements with the KM Group and other news organisations.

The first year introduces you to the academic and vocational knowledge you need to get a principled vision of the profession and its social purpose. Modules may include history of journalism, reporting and writing, government and politics, and convergent journalism. You also have intensive training in shorthand note-taking.

In your second and final years, you can study a range of topics, including: documentary making; television presenting and reporting; radio presenting and reporting; producing live radio and television programmes; producing quality newspapers and magazines; feature writing; news websites and citizen reporters; spin, propaganda and investigative reporting. 

Tutors include working reporters and columnists, former editors of national newspapers, radio and television programmes and magazines, network broadcasters and web publishers. Their professional expertise is reinforced by excellent academic teaching by leading historians, political scientists and lawyers.

Student views

Kent student Phil talks about his Journalism course.

Jujia shares what it's like to study a Journalism degree at Kent.

Study resources

You can use the Centre’s full range of editorial resources including audio and video editing, cameras and autocues, wire feeds from the Press Association, and video feeds from Reuters World News. 

The Centre is home to KMTV, the county’s first dedicated television channel offering news and entertainment to Maidstone and the surrounding areas. KMTV combines the University’s expertise and facilities with the KM Group’s extensive experience in multimedia broadcasting. 

Extra activities

A lively and welcoming community spirit exists within the Centre for Journalism. There are regular social events, seminars and masterclasses. Recent visitors have included:

  • Amol Rajan - Media Editor BBC News 
  • Ed Conway - Economics Editor, Sky News 
  • Gavin Esler – former presenter of Newsnight
  • Jon Snow – presenter of Channel 4 News
  • Mark Thompson – CEO New York Times 
  • Alex Crawford – three times RTS TV journalist of the year
  • Stephanie Flanders – former Economics Editor, BBC
  • Stuart Ramsay – Sky News Chief Correspondent
  • John Humphrys – presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme
  • Faisal Islam – Political Editor, Sky News. 

The student newspaper, InQuire, is run by the student union and gives you the opportunity to develop your writing skills and to gain valuable work experience in journalism. 

Independent rankings

The BA in Journalism is the top university undergraduate course in the UK and Ireland for the number of students achieving Gold Standard passes in the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ Diploma, the primary measure of professional success for student journalists. 

In the National Student Survey 2018, 90% of final-year Journalism students who completed the survey, were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course.

For graduate prospects, Communications and Media Studies at Kent scored 92 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Optional modules may include Credits

What is news? Which sources are trustworthy? Writing news reports and the inverted pyramid. Reporting court cases and council meetings. Working off-diary. Distinction between comment, conjecture and fact. Public interest.

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This module provides an overview of the British political system, focusing on recent political and constitutional developments. It will investigate topics such as the roles of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, political parties, and the electoral system. It will assess key issues facing democratic government and institutions within the UK, analysing for example the role of Europe, the challenges posed by devolution, the Treasury and the National Health Service. There will also be discussion of contemporary political behaviour, including the issue of political participation.

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British radio journalism, its history and development. Magazine and online production development. Use of microphones, audio and video recording equipment and studio production. Setting up and conducting of interviews. Use of digital audio and video editing systems to compile news packages and features. Team working. Sound and video on the internet. Publishing journalism online.

View full module details

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

The culture of British television journalism, its history and development. Use of cameras, editing equipment and television studio production facilities. Team working in television production. Advanced use of print design software, image manipulation software and print production facilities. Advanced techniques in radio news programme production. Advanced techniques in multimedia journalism production. How social media and reader interactivity is changing journalism and the legal, ethical, technical and editorial implications.

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How a feature differs from a news story and where feature ideas come from. Structuring lengthy pieces so they read coherently and hold the reader's interest. Writing reviews and opinion columns. Investigative reporting: following leads, 'standing up' a difficult story; handling 'off the record' and 'non' attributable' material; protecting sources. Taking a news story and re-writing it for another medium, adding sound, pictures, links and interactive comments. Following a crime story/court trial through the press/TV/online. Turning the contents of official reports into news and feature articles. Textual analysis of the writing styles of groundbreaking journalists. Study of common journalism transgressions.

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Basic Introduction to the English legal system. Introduction to the theory of, and law relating to, Freedom of Expression. Defamation. Breach of confidence and privacy. Contempt of Court. Reporting – courts and current events. Protection of journalists and their sources. Censorship. Copyright. Freedom of Information and Data Protection. Official Secrets.

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The module examines the role of propaganda as a means of communication and persuasion and deals with the definitions, content, intent and methods of propaganda. It involves study and critical assessment of the role of propaganda in the two world wars, the Cold War, apartheid South Africa, Rwanda and contemporary conflicts and politics.

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Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

The culture of British radio, television, newspaper and online journalism, its history and development. Advanced use of cameras, audio recorders, editing equipment and radio and television studio production facilities. Advanced techniques in television news programme production. Advanced use of print design software, image manipulation software and print production facilities. Advanced techniques in radio news programme production. Advanced techniques in multimedia journalism production. How social media and reader interactivity is changing journalism and the legal, ethical, technical and editorial implications.

View full module details
Optional modules may include Credits

Indicative topics are:

• Linear and non-linear narrative structures.

• The use of online and open-source tool research to create journalism projects.

• The power of interactivity. Putting the user in control of the story.

• Visualisation of data.

• Borrowing from Hollywood: quick cuts, split screens and non-traditional video packages.

• Using crowd sourced material to develop and augment core reporting.

• Techniques for adapting and creating journalism for mobile media.

• How social media and reader interactivity is changing journalism and the legal, ethical, technical and editorial implications.

View full module details

Indicative topics are:

• The changing patterns of foreign news coverage in the post war period, with particular reference to the developing world (colonial, cold war and 1990s)

• Case studies of foreign disasters and the media interpretation; Biafra, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Asian Tsunami.

• The role of citizen journalism in the coverage of faraway disasters

• The media understanding of types of disaster and complex emergencies, with reference to aid efforts and humanitarian intervention.

• The growth and emergence of NGOs, their use of marketing and communication techniques

• The role of the media in raising awareness for charitable fundraising.

• 24 hour news and the CNN effect

View full module details

Indicative topics are:

• How conflict reporting has developed from the 1930s to the digital multimedia reporting of the 21st century

• Journalism, patriotism and propaganda: war as a severe test of journalistic integrity and independence

• Embeds, independents and reporters' security

• Reporting terrorism

• The political impact of war reporting

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This module examines the reporting practices of political journalists, the institutional contexts of political journalism, and the interactions between journalists and sources across different forms of political reportage. It assesses the power of governmental communication, and the changing nature of contemporary political journalism. Forms of political reportage that will be investigated include: parliamentary reporting, political commentary, interviews and press conferences, and the role of social media in political reportage.

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Students will build on and integrate their knowledge, skills and experience by undertaking an independent research project in the form of a supervised dissertation. Research can be undertaken in a broad range of areas, however it is expected that the content of the thesis will demonstrate clear links to other elements of the programme, for example, focusing on an aspect of the cultural and/or institutional role of journalism. The finished dissertation/project will therefore represent the synthesis and culmination of the skills and knowledge gained elsewhere on the programme.

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This module will allow students to gain knowledge of television production from the planning stage through to its execution. During the Autumn term they will learn the language of television, camera work, scripting, organising a production, how to pitch a segment for a broadcaster, filming, editing, organising a crew and directing a live TV programme. They will then produce a TV segment in the genre of their choice (eg current affairs, music, arts, cooking etc) with support from their peers and academic staff.

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Development of techniques in long-form journalism. Identification of the story and research methods. Identification of most suitable platform(s) to tell a specific story. Developing key sources and newsgathering techniques. Formulating a narrative structure. Documentary sequences in audio and video. Multimedia presentation techniques. Honing writing styles. Editing techniques and styles in audio, video and multimedia. Delivery methods for journalism in the digital world.

View full module details

Teaching and assessment

Each day in the Centre for Journalism begins with an editorial conference. Students and staff gather in the newsrooms to discuss the top stories on the local, national and international news agendas and to consider how they have been reported in newspapers, by broadcasters and online.

Teaching is by a variety of methods including masterclasses, lectures, seminars, films and small group discussions. Professional skills are taught in a live newsroom environment, which replicates the atmosphere of a working multimedia newsroom. You participate in regular Live News Days, during which you work to deadline to produce live radio and television bulletins and newspaper pages, and to update websites. There are frequent guest lectures and masterclasses by working journalists and editors, including network broadcasters and editors of national and regional newspapers and magazines.

Assessment includes coursework (such as academic essays, television, radio and online news reports and newspaper articles) and examinations. Students compile portfolios of reports. In your final year, you complete an extended project in journalism, which may take the form of a television or radio documentary, an extended newspaper or magazine article, or a web report. You may also choose to write an academic dissertation.

There is a minimum of 21 hours contact time per week in your first and second year, in addition to which all students receive guaranteed one-to-one feedback on their assignments and have regular meetings with their personal academic adviser. You should expect to do a minimum of 15 additional hours personal study per week.

Students undergo assessment for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism via examinations set by the NCTJ. There is a fee for each of these examinations, which students must pay in addition to their tuition fees. See the Journalism website for current NCTJ exam fees.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • produce graduates with a courageous and principled vision of the purpose of journalism, who have an informed, critical and creative approach to its role in contemporary society
  • enable students to acquire the skills and aptitudes to practise the convergent skills of print, broadcast and internet journalism in a supportive and responsive  environment
  • develop a detailed and systematic understanding of particular forms of journalism and their historic and contemporary role in the shaping of culture and society
  • encourage students to think critically about the ethics and responsibilities of journalism and to relate academic study of the subject to questions of public concern
  • describe and comment upon aspects of current research into the impact of new technologies on journalism
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual debate and enquiry.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts, practices and methods used in the production of multimedia journalism
  • the economic forces which frame the news industry and the role it plays in specific areas of contemporary political and cultural life
  • the political, social and cultural histories from which modern journalism and its practices and structures emerged
  • the possible future development of journalism in a national and international context
  • the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks which affect journalism
  • the ways in which specific technologies enable different kinds of journalism
  • the processes linking the production, circulation and consumption of news
  • how news operations operate and are managed.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to gather, organise and deploy information, images and data from a variety of primary and secondary sources
  • the ability to engage critically with major practitioners, debates and paradigms within the subject area and put them to productive use
  • how to carry out various forms of research for essays, presentations, documentaries and dissertations involving sustained independent inquiry
  • the ability to reflect upon the relevance of your own cultural commitment and positioning to the practice of journalism.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the ability to:

  • understand the significance of journalism to political democracy, its powers, duties and responsibilities
  • analyse closely, interpret and show the exercise of critical judgment in the understanding and evaluation of various forms of journalism
  • consider and evaluate your own work with reference to professional issues, debates and conventions
  • describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to presenting and analysing factual information as news
  • produce work of publishable quality for regional, national and international newspapers, websites and broadcasters.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in how to:

  • gather, organise and deploy information in order to formulate arguments cogently and communicate them fluently in speech and writing
  • work to deadlines in flexible and innovative ways showing self-direction and self-discipline
  • work productively in a group or team showing the ability to contribute, lead and  collaborate with others in the pursuit of common goals
  • use information technology to perform a range of tasks ranging from basic word-processing to deployment of complex web-based multimedia technology
  • identify and define problems, assess possible solutions and discriminate between them
  • take accurate shorthand notes at a speed of at least 100 words per minute.


Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work for employers including:

  • Sky News
  • Daily Mail
  • The Sun tablet edition
  • BBC Newsround 
  • BBC World Service
  • Jeremy Vine Show BBC Radio 2
  • Financial Times
  • Euronews
  • South China Morning Post
  • AOL
  • Huffington Post
  • The Kent Messenger Group
  • Peston on Sunday
  • Associated Press TV News
  • Express Newspapers
  • Guardian Labs
  • Bloomberg TV
  • ITV Meridian.

Other graduates have secured positions in communications roles for charities, NGOs and campaign groups or political parties. 

Help finding a job

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews. 

Career-enhancing skills

This degree prepares you to work across the broadcast, print and online media. You learn to communicate with non-specialist audiences and to present your opinion coherently and with passion. The abilities you gain include:

  • working under pressure to strict deadlines
  • writing accurate, balanced reports
  • analysing complex material. 

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team. 

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering. 

Professional recognition

This degree is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and all students sit the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism exams.  This valuable professional qualification is recognised as a key entry requirement to careers in newspaper and broadcast journalism.

Graduate profile

Kent graduate Victoria Polley explains how her Journalism degree from the Centre for Journalism helped her to get her dream job as a radio sports journalist.

Entry requirements

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a serious interest in and commitment to journalism.

All suitable applicants are interviewed and sit a written test at the Centre.

We welcome applications from international students with internationally recognised qualifications. A high level of English (equivalent to a native speaker) is essential.

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB including at least two, preferably three, in traditional academic subjects such as English, History, Politics, Chemistry and modern languages plus admissions test and selective interview.


Mathematics grade C

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL plus admissions test and selective interview

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

Students undergo assessment for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism via examinations set by the NCTJ. There is a fee for each of these examinations, which students must pay in addition to their tuition fees. See the Journalism website for current NCTJ exam fees.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact