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Journalism (including foundation year) - BA (Hons)

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Why study this course?

Our Journalism (including foundation year) BA (Hons) degree is the ideal choice if you’d like to pursue a career in journalism or digital media but don’t hold traditional qualifications or can’t meet the necessary requirements to enter the standard three-year undergraduate degree. You’ll graduate with the same award and title as students on the standard journalism course.

This four-year course has a built-in foundation year that is designed to help you prepare for undergraduate study and evaluate your abilities in terms of reading, writing, critical analysis and research.

Throughout the degree you’ll pick up knowledge and skills that will allow you to engage audiences in compelling stories, develop journalistic writing techniques and thrive in this fast-paced industry.

Apply for September 2019

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More about this course

On our Journalism (including foundation year) BA (Hons) course you’ll be introduced to contemporary practices in journalism, as well as to the ideas and theories that govern journalistic research and writing.

Throughout your degree you’ll be able to rely on support from your tutors, as well as other specialist services at the University. There will be opportunities to improve skills that relate to the real-world through special workshops, including those that allow you to practise interview skills and write job applications.

Your foundation year - which you’ll share with students on other foundation year courses - will be diagnostic in nature, allowing you to explore a range of different subjects within digital media and creative fields alongside students with different academic perspectives on the subjects you study.

During the foundation year you’ll study modules that will give you an introduction to the following areas:

  • Media and communications
  • Film, TV and broadcast media
  • Digital media
  • Journalism and writing for media

You'll also learn the technical aspects of creative practices through the development of ideas with a focus on the quality of making, recognition of structural qualities of different media and essential elements in communications.

After you complete the foundation year you’ll join students starting our standard three-year course, where you’ll study the same content and have the same choice of modules. To learn more about the subsequent three years of your degree, visit our Journalism BA (Hons) course page.

If, at the end of your foundation year, you’d like to change your specialism there will be some flexibility to allow you to do this.

Assessment

Methods of assessment on this course will include coursework, in-class tests and individual and group assignments. You’ll also be required to complete a final assessment that is of a publishable standard this may be a video, audio, written or multimedia project.

Professional accreditation

We're currently in the process of applying for accreditation by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. This should be complete by the time you finish your degree.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code P512
Entry requirements View

This course is subject to validation.

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Entry requirements

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

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent, eg Functional Skills at Level 2), if you meet UCAS points criteria but obtained a grade D/3 in English and/or Maths at GCSE you may be offered a University test in these areas

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 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) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    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 and have developed critical and analytical skills.

    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 contributions to an online journal, which is moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

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

    This module introduces students to the practical and analytical skills (including looking at ethical problems) involved in professional news writing, newsgathering, collaborating in teams to produce stories, evaluating sources and revising writing.

    Students will be required to produce news copy in professional formats, which will include online posts using images, video and audio and the use of mobile technology.

    They will research and write a series of news articles and publish them to the class.They will learn newsgathering skills: analysis of reports, press releases and user-generated content; deducing news content from press conferences and announcements (diary items); following up human interest via face-to-face and phone interviews, including vox pops and the death knock; organising a team response to a major event; follow-up stories and case studies; analysing facts and figures to use in sidebar boxes; cultivating contacts and FoI.

    They will study contemporary news coverage to develop an understanding of how news stories are reported and created. They will discuss ethical, legal and commercial constraints on journalists and how different genres serve different markets.

    Accuracy, subediting, headlines and search engine optimisation will be important, as will developing stories through new media, images, audio, and video. This to include links to Youtube, soundcloud etc, with multimedia elements.

    The module will be assessed by two portfolios, using mixed media, and a timed class exercise. These will test students’ developing news sense, news gathering and news writing.

    Contribution in class will be measured by a journal recording the student’s activity, weekly updated, moderated by tutors at the end of the teaching period

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

    This module introduces students to the basics of journalistic reporting. Dovetailing with the practical journalism module, it focuses more sharply on the process of reporting, particularly within a local context. Students will examine community and local news from an editorial standpoint and be encouraged to dig deeper into their immediate environment, creating stories and integrating them with background. This maps the acquisition of skills within a professional setting.

    They will look at where stories come from and further the knowledge needed for professional practice. They will locate themselves within local beat journalism, aided by on and off-diary reporting exercises, visits to local community projects and official local authority meetings.

    By using case studies and deepening their understanding of using recordings and face-to-face interviews, including the ethical problems that such exercises pose, they will explore techniques of research for journalism.

    Working together, individually and in small groups, they will explore local events and stories, past and present. They will develop skills of presentation and analysis. Discussion, research, screenings and visits will all play a part in the development of critical, transferable thinking skills.

    The module will be assessed by two portfolios of short news articles and of slightly longer features, created on the students’ own blogs with multimedia content, a timed in-class news writing exercise and contributions to class via an online journal which is moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

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

    This module will equip students on all journalism-related courses 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 news writing, subbing (proof-reading), 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, columns, 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.
    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) - Wednesday afternoon

    Continuing on from the first-year core Reporting Skills, students in Advanced Reporting will develop the skills and techniques necessary to succeed in more advanced forms of reporting, including investigative journalism, features, and in-depth interviews and profiles. This course is core for journalism students and for some allied courses.

    Through a combination of workshops, masterclasses and site visits, students learn to identify subject matter and potential readerships; master interviewing and editing techniques across media; learn how to find original angles; undertake focused, widely sourced research on individuals and issues; and conduct on-the-spot reportage. They analyse statistics and develop stories based on them.

    This module develop students’ skills in multi-platform journalism. Via predominantly practical workshops, the students will learn the basics of radio journalism, as well as TV/video camera and editing skills, using cutting-edge software and equipment. This will reinforce their understanding of the need for 360-degree journalism in today’s society.

    They will work on projects within class with a view to publishing them online via the course website, www.hollowayexpress.co.uk
    Holloway Express, thereby providing an outward-facing portal for future employability.

    The module will be assessed by two portfolios of six stories (news and features) in total, comprising one podcast and one video package, both of which must show evidence of professional writing and newsgathering skills learnt in this module, plus a piece of long-form journalism (2,500 words) showcasing investigative reporting (this can use multimedia). Contributions to an online journal will assess class contribution, moderated by tutors at the end of the year.

    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. It is core for all journalism-related courses.
    Students must find their three –week placement themselves, deploying employability and professional skills and their own developing portfolios. These will be measured and supported by the assessments.
    Placements will be supported by a session of workshops, of which students must 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, measured by online journal.

    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. It is core for all journalism-related courses as everyone in the media needs to know how the system works.

    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 administration, 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; emergency 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 multimedia), 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) - 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. This module is core for journalism students and many allied courses.

    Working within tight deadlines and adhering to professional codes and standards, students 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 displaying their own work, appear before an interview board and pitch story or programme ideas to commissioners. This will develop their social as well as writing skills.

    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 four 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 - Friday morning

    This module introduces students to the basic techniques of teeline shorthand, transcription and voice recording.
    It requires regular attendance and practice to develop speeds of up to 60 wpm, as required by professional accrediting bodies.
    It will be assessed by three in-class tests and journal reflecting on class contribution, moderated by tutors.

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  • 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.

    Anyone studying journalism needs to understand the challenges and opportunities posed by the data economy and the power of social media.

    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
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    This module offers an introduction to styling within fashion journalism and related industries, underpinned by an understanding of the relationship between the media and industry, surveying the cultural and global business issues which fashion journalists must understand. Merchandising and trend-spotting will be examined along with the role of the stylist in media and marketing. It will be helpful to anyone studying fashion marketing, beauty marketing and journalism.

    Weekly assignments will explore different arenas for and types of styling, developing employable skills in sourcing and resourcing looks and products for writing, photography, retail, events, blogging/vlogging, trends and catwalk shows, and new media networking. These will be discussed in class and reflectively via online journal.

    Summative assessment will join these strands and take the form of a major styling project, focusing on a specific fashion business, event, publication or store, chosen in consultation with the module teaching team.

    Assessment tasks will be: a portfolio of five short pieces (no more than 300 words each, with images for each); a final piece of up to 1,000 words which creates an original story with 10 self-created images (or can be video of 2 minutes), with an analytic log of research and sourcing (up to 1,000 words); and engagement with class, assessed through self-reflective journal.

    Read full details

Year 3 modules include:

  • Students will work in teams in the multimedia newsroom to research, write and present multi-platform journalism, specifically in video and audio formats. The module is key for journalism and fashion marketing and journalism students, providing essential skills for today’s workplaces.

    Working to specified job descriptions, students will take on responsibility for the editorial and production processing and use knowledge to spot and prepare stories for forward planning diaries, with due regard to ethical and professional considerations.

    Student will work to tight deadlines and adhere to professional codes and standards during editorial cycles, which will periodically be explored in four newsdays and in two newsweeks. These will develop employability and focus around industry practices, including news conferences, bulletins and multimedia links.

    Students will be given the opportunity to work in specific professional genres (news, features, sport etc) or specific media (audio, video, newspaper, online). They will write, subedit and re-version copy for different platforms and purposes. They will use mobile technology and social media to enhance news values.

    Students will be encouraged to develop a contacts book and to publish work in professional publications, as well as on the course website. Language, writing and presentation styles will be developed to match or improve on contemporary industry practice.

    Through tutor coaching they will improve skills such as video, audio and copy editing, writing and editing copy and scripts, headlines and picture captions and learn how to use words, images, graphics, audio and social media, including tweeting, to construct narratives appropriate to stories and platforms. News weeks will develop team working and technical proficiency.

    Student development will be informed by sessions led by guest speakers from the industry and field trips to working news environments.

    Assessment will involve three portfolios of journalism. Engagement with class will be self-assessed and moderated by tutors.

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

    Creating Packages is core for journalism-related courses. It 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. This is an exciting chance to create your own magazine in print and online.

    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. Students also learn design, lay-out and multimedia skills.

    Assessment will be of three portfolios of work, adapted for printed text and for online; two critical, self-reflective commentaries; an individual feature; 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:
    • 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 offers an exciting way to make an area of expertise all your own, whilst developing both journalistic and academic communication skills.

    It must be a piece of longform journalism, aimed at a specified audience, not a study of journalism. It can be in any journalistic medium.

    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 journalism with an academically rigorous critical and research underpinning.

    A synopsis and project management schedule, demonstrating a research strategy submitted at week 8, will provide a signpost for further work. A three-hour refresher session on law will prompt attention to legal constraints.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    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. It is suitable for anyone wanting to explore these areas.

    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 - 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 video and presentation, fashion blog project and tutor-moderated self reflection, using online journal.

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

    This module aims to develop a sophisticated understanding of how psychology is used in the beauty industry. It combines a practical approach – what sells? – with a critical evaluation – how far do critical frameworks past and present allow us to understand the dynamic interactions of consumer and practitioner?
    Looking at feminism, stereotyping, psychoanalysis, philosophy and anthropology, the module will hone students’ critical thinking with a view to making them aware, self-aware and ethically rigorous.

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  • This module develops professional skills of the journalist in writing about science. It is both theoretical and practical. It is suitable for all students interested in these ideas and their public discussion.

    Students will examine historical and current writing about science, technology environmental and health issues, and look at the role of media in informing public debates and analyse communications issues. They will cover how scientific research is undertaken, globally and in the UK, and the influence of funding and lobbies (for example on tobacco consumption or climate change).

    They will explore how to cover protests, lobbying and direct action, on the one hand, and learn how to extract the information for stories from scientific data, journal articles and reports, on the other. They will take into account the ethics of how to cover health campaigns, from human interest stories to funding disputes and the bottom line.

    They will explore, through discussion, presentation and professional practice, links with grassroots organisations, PR and internal comms professionals, viral and social media, human interest stories and running appeals. They will become familiar with the basic legal frameworks around defamation, confidence and data protection as they apply to research and research protocols.

    They will produce original journalistic work, which they must pitch to their classmates and tutor.
    Formative and summative assessment will be an essay on the pitfalls and triumphs of science journalism, as emplified in current UK and USA practice.

    An overview of media law and ethical considerations will underpin a summative project of practical journalism which will combine original research, in either a series of three short articles or one long article (or multi-media equivalents) and a log of research and contacts. Anonline journal will give space for reflective learning.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday 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. It offers an option to those wishing to develop specialised knowledge in journalism and related fields.

    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 commentating, interviewing and reporting sports events. They will reflect on live ethical issues in sports and sports journalism.

    There will 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 journal moderated by tutors at the end of the semester.

    Read full details

After the course

The range of skills and knowledge you’ll gain by the time you graduate will allow you to pursue a career in the following fields:

  • journalism
  • TV
  • radio
  • print
  • online media
  • PR
  • media consultancy
  • marketing
  • social media

This degree will also open doors for postgraduate study in media, journalism or film studies.

What is a degree with a foundation year?

This is a four-year degree course with a built-in foundation year (Year 0). It's the perfect route into university if you don't meet the necessary entry requirements for the standard undergraduate degree. You'll graduate with a full undergraduate degree with the same title and award as those who studied the three-year course.

Additional costs

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 - key information set

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

Apply to us for September 2019

Applying for a full-time undergraduate degree starting this September is quick and easy – simply call our Clearing hotline on or complete our online Clearing application form.

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

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

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.

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