Journalism

Journalism - BA (Hons)

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.

Overview

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.

Even before graduating, Brad got a job as a multimedia reporter at Essex Live.

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.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB plus admissions test and selective interview.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics at grade C or 4 plus English Language at grade B or 6.

  • medal-empty 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.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    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.

    A typical offer would be to achieve Distinction, Distinction, Merit.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

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

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 65% overall average including 60% in the Academic Skills Development module and 50% in LZ013 Maths. You must also pass the Journalism entrance examination and interview.

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.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Modules

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.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6300
  • International part-time £8400

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.

Funding

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.

Scholarships

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 A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

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.

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. 

Journalism at Kent was ranked 3rd in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Over 92% of final-year Journalism students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Careers

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.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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