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BA (Hons) Journalism

Course summary

On our increasingly well-regarded journalism course we develop enquiring minds so that you will be the ones to report tomorrow’s stories and find the answers to today’s questions.

If you want to become a journalist and explore what journalism is and where it’s heading, this is the perfect course for you.

Guided by staff with 100 years of combined journalistic expertise between them, you’ll be given a practical grounding in print, radio, photo and online journalism.

You’ll learn how to produce authoritative, incisive and imaginative work. As you search for the inside track on the vibrant, important living story that is east London, you’ll find no better place to practice your journalistic skills.

You’ll look at the problems, pitfalls and potential for today’s journalism, studying its past and debating its future.

We’re hosting a major annual conference that examines the future of journalism. Alongside papers from senior media figures, our students’ work will feature at the conference’s heart.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements for a BA, you can study this course as an ‘extended’ four-year course. You'll begin with a foundation year which prepares you for a successful transition to the BA degree.


Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

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In the 2017 National Student Survey, 91% of our Journalism students were satisfied with the quality of the course.

Career prospects

You can follow in distinguished footsteps. Our students have gone on to work in senior media positions.

Unique opportunities

You’ll chase and write stories in one of the nation’s most newsworthy areas and see them published on our excellent news website, Rising East.


What you'll learn

Our three-year course offers the complete journalistic education, covering a broad spectrum of subjects.

Sometimes you may find yourself as the working journalist, maybe on one of our own student publications or perhaps on a work placement assignment at a national media organisation.

At other times, you’ll be the entrepreneur, devising original stories and formulating ideas with business potential before pitching them to commissioning editors.

Or you could be the academic, researching subjects such as the history of journalism, its new role in society, media law, ethics and regulation.

You can choose ‘portfolio’ modules from which you gain credits towards your degree by getting your journalistic work published.

For your major project work, you can work on the development of a new publication, from the idea stage all the way through to its production - and, of course, the launch party! Or, instead, you could originate and complete a major academic research project of your choice.

What you'll study and when

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up-to-date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change.

  • Academic Development
  • Creative Portfolio
  • Journalism Portfolio
  • Narrative and Creativity
  • Group Film Project
  • Professional Development (Mental Wealth)
  • Essential Journalism
  • Photo, Audio and Video
  • Media Law, Ethics and Regulation
  • Production Journalism
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Mental Wealth - Professional Life 1 (Rising East)
  • Mental Wealth Professional Life 2 (Rising East 2)
  • Employment and Enterprise (work placement)
  • Features (1): Interviews
  • Brands and the Magazines Business
  • Documentary (1): Publications (1)
  • Reporting Politics and Society
  • Mental Wealth - Professional Life 3 (Rising East 3)
  • Final Project: Development
  • Final Project: Completion
  • Aesthetics and Technologies: Publications (2)
  • Features (2): Data and Visualisation
  • The Long Read

How you'll be assessed

At the end of the first term you'll be examined in writing techniques. Subsequent learning is assessed largely through coursework.

We teach writing, sub-editing and commissioning in copy clinics and editorial meetings with members of staff. On some practical modules, you'll be required to talk about your assignments in a meeting or 'viva' with academic staff and media professionals.

Year two and three students who have opted to take portfolio modules receive academic credit for work published outside the University.

In your third year, you'll carry out an audit - a rigorous, commercial assessment of a magazine. You'll also undertake a dissertation based on one-to-one supervision with an academic expert.

Course specification Foundation Year Specification

How you'll learn

Based in our well-resourced campus newsroom, our course operates an editorial system in which student journalists learn by working with staff editors.

After you’ve completed basic training, your teachers will send you out on reporting assignments in east London. In the United States, they dubbed this the ‘teaching hospital’ model. On our UEL courses, though, we were doing this almost before there was a name for it.

Our staff have vast experience both in teaching and reporting - and they don’t mind being called ‘hackademics’. All have worked as professional journalists - and most of them still do. One of them will act as your supportive personal tutor.

Some of our students have had work placements at newspapers such as the Daily Mail and The Times. Everyone, though, gets the feel for a busy news operation by putting together our acclaimed independent online news magazine,

With news stories, features, interviews, trenchant comment and videos, the confident voice of our student journalists rings through the website. Between September and December 2014, they produced as many as 200 stories.

“East London is a news story of international significance,” says Course Leader Dr Andrew Calcutt. “Our students are giving the area the sort of coverage we think it deserves.”

Your future career

We're determined to prepare you in the best way possible for a career in journalism after your studies.

Journalism is, of course, a competitive world to enter. You have a head start at UEL, though, thanks to teachers with exceptional contacts who know exactly what newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets are looking for.

Indeed, the track record of our graduates demonstrates that anything is possible.

Sam Wostear, one of our first journalism graduates, went on to become Woman Editor of The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling daily newspaper. Siobhan Breatnach, who earned an MA in Journalism at UEL in 2009, became the editor of the Irish Post within three years of leaving us. Ferdia Carr, who graduated in 2015, found work at ITN.

Some of our graduates have gone into local or online journalism, contract publishing or public relations. Others have chosen to continue their studies, taking an MA in Creative Writing or a PhD in Journalism.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London. 

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