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Photojournalism - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

The Photojournalism BA undergraduate course will equip you with the skills you need to create still and moving images and stories across today's mixed-media outlets. You'll combine the news gathering and storytelling skills of our award-winning journalism teams with the innovative picture-making and shaping techniques of our renowned photography subject area. Facility highlights include the TV and radio studios and journalism newsroom. With our highly-skilled teaching team and high quality equipment, you’ll be well prepared for employment in the photojournalism, journalism or documentary photography industries. You can keep up-to-date with the latest news from our journalism staff, students and alumni by following their Tumblr page.


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This degree offers you specialist theoretical, technical and practical teaching across all areas of journalism and photography. Exciting modules cover the historical and theoretical backgrounds of journalism and the photographic industry in its global context. By learning about media law and newsroom production, you'll develop a crucial insider knowledge of the industry.

We provide you with access to specialist analogue and digital darkrooms, along with the latest digital scanning and printing technologies. From the journalism newsroom and TV and radio studios in the Tower Building to the Holloway Express student website, our facilities and resources are available to you throughout your studies.

Our staff are a unique team of world-renowned and award-winning professionals. Their academic expertise and practical skills include analogue, digital, still, audio and moving image technologies. The tutors' longstanding links to the film, photography, journalism, commercial visual media and broadcast industries means you'll be studying under a team of well-connected and highly knowledgeable professionals.

You can follow the journalism subject area's Twitter and Tumblr accounts for the latest news and exciting insights into photojournalism.

Assessment

The course will be assessed through a variety of means including coursework, essays, in-class tests, presentations, group projects, portfolios and dissertations.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

Suitable photojournalism applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module offers students the opportunity to learn through engagement with practical projects in the studio. At the end of this module the student will have completed a substantial piece of work. In doing so, they will have travelled a journey through a production process that typically includes pre-production, experimentation, development and resolution.

    The module introduces students to the working practices of project work.

    At this level, the student selects a project from a menu of choices.

    This module is studied alongside and in integral relationship with MD4002 Media Skills and Practice 1.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module introduces students to the history of journalism, honourable and dishonourable, to the roles it has played and continues to play in society, and to the main theories used to understand how it works. Focusing on the UK, it will also highlight ethical concerns and take account of wider, global issues and contexts. This content will be used to develop transferable skills of critical thinking and analysis, crucial to employability.
    Political accounts, investigations which have transformed lives, human interest stories, arts reviews, in-depth profiles, cartoons, speculative columns, hot gossip, sports, fashion, celebrity… and now, for something completely different! What does it all mean and why do we produce and consume it? By the end of the module, students won’t necessarily have any answers, but they should be able to ask much better questions.
    Working together, individually and in small groups, students explore major events and stories, past and present. They develop skills of presentation and analysis, learning when to use academic writing and when the more vivid narrative of journalism can play an equally effective role. In addition, they will explore critically and practically, the techniques used in writing and broadcasting of the past so that they can better develop their own professional capacities in the future.
    Discussion, presentations, research, screenings and visits will all play a part in the development of critical thinking skills, which will be workshop-based.
    The module will be assessed by three essays and a self-assessed grid, which is moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module introduces the skills, tools and methods that form the foundations for future practice as an animator, filmmaker or music technologist.

    Students learn through engagement in a series of practical projects designed to gradually develop relevant skills in the student’s chosen area of specialisation. At the end of this module the student will have completed a workbook that contains a mini-portfolio of assignments and a narrative of the working practices they have engaged with. The workbook/portfolio is designed to be a window on the process and will also document the student’s practice in MD4001 Creative Studio Practice 1.

    Central to the module will be an exploration of the overlap between technology, creativity and self-reflective critical practice.

    This module is studied alongside and in integral relationship with MD4001 Creative Studio Practice 1. In addition, the module introduces four areas of development, the career dossier, career plan, show reel, and exhibition skills that run throughout the course.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module will equip journalism students with the essential transferable skills of good writing, ensuring a solid grounding in the essential building blocks of grammar, style and rhetoric.

    Teaching takes place through a workshop mix of lectures, discussions, site visits, presentations and practical exercises, all aimed at mastering transferable skills and maximising employability in all branches of the communications industry. The theory and practice of correct grammatical usage will underpin all other work.
    Students will focus on the arts of subbing (proof-reading), news writing and headline writing, explored through exercises inside and outside class, and through critical analysis of previously published work. Peer and self-reflective critiquing will be crucial, as they are in the media today.
    Students develop familiarity with writing in varied journalistic styles, including news, features, reviews, obituaries, sketches and comment. They will gain an understanding of why and how to write in different styles for different audiences.

    They will also start to work on their own unique journalistic style. As part of this, they learn how to focus a critical eye on other published work, using examples from a wide range of publications including newspapers, magazines, online formats, trade journals.
    Guest lectures will play a pivotal role, showcasing people from a variety of different disciplines within a journalistic framework.

    Two sessions will introduce students to voice training.

    The module will be assessed by three in-class grammar tests, a portfolio of short articles, a portfolio of longer articles and engagement with class by online journal, moderated by tutors.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module offers students the opportunity to learn through engagement with practical projects in the stu-dio, to work with others in a collaborative way and to engage with issues that contextualise their practice. At the end of this module the student will have completed a substantial piece of work. In doing so, they will have travelled a journey through a production process, worked with other people and engaged with issues and external stakeholders.

    At the beginning of the module students will be introduced to the working practices of group and teamwork.

    At this level, the student is offered a choice of ‘live’ projects. These projects might be competitions, live briefs from external organisations or self-generated projects around themes.

    This module is taught alongside and in integral relationship with MD5002 Media Skills and Practice 2.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module provides opportunities for students to gain experience of the journalistic working environment and to enhance and extend their learning by applying and building on their academic and journalistic skills.
    Students must find their three –week placement themselves, deploying employability and professional skills and their own developing portfolios.
    Placements will be supported by a session of workshops, of which students mustt attend the majority.
    Assessment will be by a reflective learning log, including ethical considerations and remarks by employers; a presentation to class and on the class blog; self-assessed engagement with classes when not on placement.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module covers what student journalists need to know about how Britain works and the place of journalism within debates about ethics and the legal system.
    Classes will look at the ethical and judicial frameworks and constraints which control the reporting of legal matters, including crime and its contexts. Students will explore these subjects from the industry viewpoint, learning how to find and develop stories within the social and political landscape of Britain today.
    Within public adminstration, classes will survey: national systems of government and representation; local government; citizen remedies and freedom of information; foreign policy, the EU and defence; social services and education; health; the judicial system (civil) and human rights; ermegency services; the criminal justice system, including police; finance and the stock exchange.

    At the heart of this course is the study of ethics. How journalists ought to behave – and what we can learn from those who do not behave properly – is particularly important to the profession. The public relies on the profession to give information. How should journalists get that information and how convey it?
    Ethics gives a deeper meaning to the study of the legal system for journalists. Classes will locate the law which journalists need to know, both civil and criminal, within a broader ethical framework in today’s multi-platform, multi-national world. Analysis of current cases and case law will be as important as knowledge of existing frameworks and codes.

    Field trips to magistrate’s courts and local authority meetings will be key to personal experience and understanding, as will guest speakers.
    Discussion, research, screenings and visits will all play a part in developing students’ critical thinking skills and the professional skill of accurate, legally acceptable writing.

    The module will be assessed by two portfolios (one of which includes multi media), an essay, and an online journal moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    This module develops the skills, tools and methods for future practice as an animator, filmmaker or music technologist. Further, students will be encouraged to experiment and to refine their choices of techniques and tools for different purposes.

    Students learn through engagement in a series of practical projects designed to further develop relevant skills in the student’s chosen area of specialisation. At the end of this module the student will have completed a workbook that contains a portfolio of assignments and a narrative of the working practices they have engaged with. The workbook/portfolio is designed to be a window on the process of making work and will also doc-ument the student’s practice in MD5001 Creative Studio Practice 2.

    Central to the module will be an exploration and deeper understanding of the overlap between technology, creativity and self-reflective critical practice. Further, the module engages the student in thinking about their developing practice and the contexts that frame and are changed by their work. This activity will be informed by the learning from the CCS module at level 5.

    This module is taught alongside and in integral relationship with MD5001 Creative Studio Practice 2. In addi-tion, the module extends the four areas of skills-development that were introduced at level 4 and run throughout the course. These are the career dossier, career plan, show reel, and exhibition.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    This module introduces students to the history, theory and practice of photojournalism and documentary photography. The module is slanted towards practice, and provides an opportunity for students to enhance their existing photographic skills as well as their understanding of journalistic and documentary photography. The module will provide practical tuition in the skills of street photography, portraiture, photographing objects in motion, and narrative photography, and will encourage and support students in the conception and development of their own documentary photographic projects. The module will also provide historical and theoretical contexts for students’ developing photographic practices, enabling them to critically reflect of their practice.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    Students will work in teams in the newsroom to produce multi-platform journalism consistent with industry practice.

    Working within tight deadlines and adhering to professional codes and standards they will write and edit copy and scripts, headlines and picture captions and learn how to use words, images, graphics, audio and social media to construct narratives appropriate to the story and platform. They will develop competencies in the use of audio and video recording and editing, making particular use of smartphones, and learn how to draw traffic to their work by means of social media.

    In order to perform these tasks, students will take on a number of roles specified in published job descriptions. Students will be required to produce CVs, covering letters and portfolio websites, appear before an interview board and pitch story or programme ideas to commissioners.

    The development of students’ professional practice will be informed by sessions led by guest speakers from the industry and field trips to working news environments.

    The second half of the course will involve three six-hour long news days, which will offer chances to transform understandings into practice.

    Successful completion of this module will involve the preparation of journalism and employability portfolios to be developed for presentation to prospective employers.

    Assessment will involve three portfolios of journalism, and an employability portfolio.
    Contribution to news days will be both self-assessed and moderated by tutors.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    Online and digital journalism skills are becoming essential for the industry and other media activities. New job roles are created for community managers and social media editors to increased vacancies for other new areas such as data journalism.

    This module equips you with the learning to critically understand social media for audience feedback, community development, story development, and understanding analytics: how analytics are used to build audiences and how this data influences editorial decisions.

    It will also teach the basics of data journalism, starting with spreadsheets and making sense of statistics, newsroom maths and storytelling using free visualisation tools. This module will introduce you to what you need to master in order for you to work in a professional capacity as a digital journalist.

    This module will combine teaching the technical skills with an introduction to software tools – including understanding HTML embedding and writing for online and using free software such as datawrapper, Tableau, Tineye, Hootsuite and more.

    Some programming knowledge or blogging experience will be useful, as well as skills with graphics, but the main aim of the course will be to understand the principles of social media, what works for online and telling meaningful data journalism stories. Ethical concerns will be highlighted throughout, looking at verification and fake news, looking at web tools like webarchive.org, checking IDs and images.

    The module will be assessed by timed in-class assessments, an investigative portfolio using sources, and entries to an online journal, moderated by tutors at the end of the teaching period.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    Creating Packages develops the advanced professional skills taught at level 5: identifying subject matter and potential readerships, research, interviewing and editing techniques, on-the-spot reportage, and finding original angles and relevant sources for stories, to a stage where students originate and source the elements for their own journalism packages, based on a subject area of their own choice, rather than as directed by tutors.

    Each package will have three instances, in print and online (or vice versa), to reflect the multimedia nature of such products in contemporary journalism. News days will reinforce a professional sense of urgency and the need to meet deadlines.

    The module allows students to enhance their skills in writing news features arising from topical issues, using data for feature articles, developing more in-depth interviews and/or feature stories based on interviews and research. Students will be directed towards identifying subject matter and potential readerships, on-the-spot reportage skills, and finding original angles and relevant sources for their stories.

    Assessment will be of three portfolios of work, adapted for printed text and for online; two critical, self-reflective commentaries; and contribution to class, self-assessed through journals where students will self-assess their own work, their editorial roles and their participation in group contributions to class, including group and individual oral presentations (where attendance is mandatory). This will be moderated by tutor.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module provides opportunities for students to gain experience of the journalistic working environment and to enhance and extend their learning by applying and building on their academic and journalistic skills.
    Students must find their three –week placement themselves, deploying employability and professional skills and their own developing portfolios.
    Placements will be supported by a session of workshops, of which students mustt attend the majority.
    Assessment will be by a reflective learning log, including ethical considerations and remarks by employers; a presentation to class and on the class blog; self-assessed engagement with classes when not on placement.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module is studied alongside its companion module Project Development Workbook, towards the Major Studio Project.

    MD6002 Major Studio Project permits honours-level students the opportunity to conceive, plan and produce a major, summative piece of work that brings together learning and serves as a graduation piece and the heart of their graduate portfolio. Utilising the capacity of this and MD6001, the project will be a high standard yet also leave room for experimentation, enhancing skills, and for the student to define and make their mark.

    At this level, the student is expected to originate his or her own project proposal, plan of works and brief, towards realisation of a major studio project, developed from a project proposal originated in the companion module MD6001 Project Development Workbook. The major project will be a labour of love yet the student will also be aware of the market for their work and other cultural contexts.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The purpose of this module is to permit intellectual and practical development, to a graduate level, of the skills, tools and methods of a professional-standard animator, filmmaker or music technologist in order to undertake and realise a major studio project in the parallel module MD6002 Major Studio Project. Working independently, under supervisory guidance, students will be encouraged to experiment, and question taken-for-granted ways of seeing and making and to think critically about the audience.

    At the end of this module and in parallel with the conception, planning, production and realisation of the Major Studio Project, the student will have completed a workbook/portfolio that contains a project proposal and plan of works and critical narrative account of the working practices they have engaged with. In this, as befitting honours level, students are also expected to document their research practice in a self-reflexive manner. The workbook/portfolio is intended to be a window on the process of making work and will also document the student’s practice.

    Central to the module is a deep understanding of the student’s creative and critical practice in relation to future employment, self-employment and other cultural contexts. Knowledge of these contexts will be
    gathered during the course at levels 4 and 5. This knowledge will be used to inform choices and decisions, quality and mode of presentation.

    This module is taught along side and cumulatively, in permeable relationship with MD6002 Major Studio
    Project.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon

    Arts Journalism investigates and teaches the specific professional techniques and practices of arts journalism – in music, film, literature, art, architecture, dance, theatre, and other areas of student interest which relate directly to employability. Throughout this 15-week module, the arts are placed in the context of the relationship between journalist practitioners (in print, radio and online) and the arts industries.
    Field trips and guest speakers will demonstrate in depth the connection between professional journalists and arts practitioners.
    This module also surveys the cultural, historical and global business issues and conditions within which arts journalism takes place, enabling self-reflective and critical perspectives.
    Students are encouraged to publish their work inside the university website and outside, building up contacts and a portfolio of pieces.
    Students are assessed through a portfolio of practical and critical work, which can be across platforms, a diary of their critical reactions to arts events, and a final 1,000-word piece of arts journalism.
    Class participation will be assessed through contribution to an online journal.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module looks at the professional skills of the journalist in politics, public affairs and society. It is both theoretical and practical.
    Students will examine the historical and political contexts of journalism, the role of charities and special interest groups such as environmental and rights campaigners and how to cover lobbying and direct action. They will analyse the ethics of committed journalism and debate how to justify bias.
    They will explore, through discussion, presentation and professional practice, links with PR and internal comms professionals, viral and social media, humour and satire, human interest stories and running appeals.
    They will produce original work for a campaign of their choice, which they must pitch to their classmates and tutor.
    Formative assessment will be an essay on how campaigning has changed events and whether such campaigning is justified
    An overview of media law and ethical considerations will underpin a summative project of campaigning journalism which will combine original research, in either a series of three short articles or one long article and a log of events and contacts.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    This module introduces students to the history, theory and practice of photojournalism and documentary photography. The module is slanted towards practice, and provides an opportunity for students to enhance their existing photographic skills as well as their understanding of journalistic and documentary photography. The module will provide practical tuition in the skills of street photography, portraiture, photographing objects in motion, and narrative photography, and will encourage and support students in the conception and development of their own documentary photographic projects. The module will also provide historical and theoretical contexts for students’ developing photographic practices, enabling them to critically reflect of their practice.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    This module develops skills in and critical understanding of writing and reporting on fashion across multiple platforms including magazines, blogs, social media and video content. Looking at the latest trends and influence in the industry, and covering editorial and commercial case studies, students will develop working skills in fashion journalism, blogging, broadcasting and photography.
    Assessment will be through group presentation, a portfolio of work, a fashion blog project and tutor-moderated self reflection, using online journal.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module allows students to explore in depth a topic of their own choice, arising out of previous study and subject to supervisor approval. It must be a piece of longform journalism, aimed at a specified audience, not a study of journalism.

    Independent but supported learning and sustained research and writing will provide a focus for refining and drawing together a wide range of transferable skills.

    These must result in a high quality piece of journalistic writing with an academically rigorous critical and research underpinning.

    A synopsis and project management schedule, demonstrating a research strategy submitted at week 12, will provide material for pdp and a signpost for further work.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    This module introduces students to the basics of sports journalism, to the roles it has played and continues to play in society, and to the main theories used to understand how it works.

    Working together, individually and in small groups, students will explore different facets of sports reporting, including match reporting, interviewing and investigative sports journalism. They will develop professional skills of commenting, interviewing and reporting sports events. They will reflect on live ethical issues in sports and sports journalism.

    There will also be a multi-platform element to the course in an effort to recreate real-life situations and increase employability, including liveblogging events, tweeting and broadcast skills, posting to class blog and course website.

    The module will be assessed by one portfolio of five written/multimedia pieces, a 2000-word article of investigative journalism and a self-assessed grid moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Creative Studio Practice
  • Media Skills and Practice
  • Journalism: History and Ideas
  • Practical Journalism

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Creative Studio Practice
  • Media Skills and Practice
  • Media Law and Ethics
  • Newsroom Production
  • Social Media Strategies
  • Journalism work placement

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Media Skills and Practice
  • Creative Studio Practice
  • Creating Packages
  • Campaigning Journalism
  • Fashion Journalism
  • Sports Journalism
  • Arts Journalism

Please note: The photography modules in Year 2 and 3 will be delivered via the established studio module from The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.

This is a new course (September 2016). Graduates from the University's existing Journalism BA degree have had this to say:

“The course reflects a real life-working environment - a positive aspect to prepare you for the real world. The tutors are all working journalists themselves so they give great feedback and sound advice based on their firsthand experience. There is a group on Facebook which is useful because staff, students and alumni all give each other advice and support, and let each other know about an internship or a job opportunity if they see one.”
National Student Survey

“It's flexible enough to really explore the different subjects and get a feel for what you're good at and enjoy doing, which is extremely beneficial.”
National Student Survey

Photojournalists are increasingly in demand in the growing media sector. Careers open to you from this new undergraduate degree include press photography and promotional work, whilst potential employers are varied, from well known brands to startups, art exhibitions and charity campaigns. If you can create and promote striking images, then you can sell into a growing market. Graduates from the Journalism BA course have gone onto roles including Multimedia Journalists and Production Assistants. Companies they now work at include the BBC, the Turkish Radio Television Corporation and Hug Nivea Digital.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time. 

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of- the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the

University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68. 

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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