Photojournalism (including foundation year) - BA (Hons)

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Why study this course?

Our Photojournalism (including foundation year) BA (Hons) is an alternative route into a bachelor’s degree in the field of photography and journalism. It’s the ideal choice if you can’t meet the requirements for the traditional three-year course.

The foundation year is designed to equip you with the necessary study skills to begin more intense study at undergraduate level.

More about this course

Our photojournalism degree with a foundation year is a gateway into a career in journalism or photography. On the course you’ll not only learn the techniques to create stills and moving images but also become a skilled storyteller across mixed-media formats.

Your foundation year will allow you to build your academic ability and confidence to tackle the challenges of studying photojournalism at undergraduate level. Teaching during this year will focus on developing your ability to recognise structural qualities of different media and essential elements in communications. The programme will also develop your vital study skills, including essay writing, critical analysis, research and writing for digital/traditional media.

Sharing the foundation year with students from other disciplines in the School of Computing and Digital Media, you’ll get the opportunity to explore different areas of communications, media and journalism.

Following the foundation year you’ll join students on our Photojournalism BA (Hons) course and have the same choice of modules as them. If you decide that you would like to specialise in a different subject in media and journalism following this initial year of study, there will be flexibility to allow you to do this.

Assessment

Assessments will consist of coursework, essays, in-class tests, portfolios, presentations, group projects and the final year dissertation.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code P507
Entry requirements View
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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 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 at GCSE you may be offered a University test in this 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 0 modules include:

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

    This module will provide students with a number of introductory practical skills in relation to film and television production and a range of broadcast media. Through practice-based exercises aimed at introducing photographic, digital and filmmaking skills, students will begin to explore issues of, for example, editing and sound. They will also begin to reflect upon their learning, and thereby begin to develop and improve upon their future learning experience.

    This module aims to:

    • Introduce students to the practical study of film, television and broadcast media;

    • Provide students with basic skills in photography and digital filmmaking;

    • Develop students’ strategies for working in groups, collaboration and teamwork;

    • Provide students with the opportunity to reflect upon their learning and develop corresponding skills;

    • Prepare students for the practical study of film, television and broadcast media at Level 4.

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

    The module is an introduction to the field of digital media as an area of practice, as culture, and as a set of structures. It is a theory and practice based module providing students with foundation knowledge and skills to effectively analyze but also produce simple digital artifacts. It allows students to develop an understanding of the wider context of digital media production but also to apply key ideas in their own production.

    This module aims to:

    • Introduce students to digital media history and culture providing a foundation for further study

    • Encourage the development of critical and analytical skills through the exploration of digital practice

    • Aid the development of digital production skills through practical workshops and assessments

    • Prepare students for the practical study of digital media at Level 4.

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

    This module provides students with the basic skills required write clear, grammatically correct and concise journalistic copy across a range of media platforms.
    Practical skills will be taught by examining good journalistic practice across all platforms, including social media. Interview skills will be taught through reporting tasks.
    These will be set within the context of current affairs and ongoing media debates.

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

    This module will provide students with an introduction to the study of the mass media and facilitate development of key academic research and writing skills. The module is organised around five blocks each of which introduces debates and discussions about one aspect of the study of the mass media, leading to a short assessment exercise.
    The module is designed to facilitate the transition into undergraduate study by encouraging critical engagement and the development of basic academic skills and competencies.

    This module aims to:
    • Introduce students to key debates in the study of the mass media to provide a foundation for further study.
    • Encourage the development of critical and analytical skills through guided study and coursework preparation
    • Encourage the development of key academic writing, reading and research skills and competencies
    • Prepare students for the practical study of media and communications Level 4.

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Year 1 modules include:

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

    This year long module provides a comprehensive introduction to the practices of contemporary photojournalism. The module is intended for students at all levels of experience with photography. It will equip students with a range of elementary and intermediate camera skills and an understanding of photographic processes within a digital environment. The module will also consider the deployment of these skills within contemporary photojournalistic practice and students will develop a first portfolio of images of publishable quality. Students will be encouraged to publish their work, both inside the university website and outside, and to develop a network of contacts and a portfolio of personal work. Field trips and guest speakers will enhance the students’ understanding of contemporary photojournalistic practice.

    Students will be assessed through in class presentation of work in progress and by way of the production of a portfolio of images, relevant to a photojournalistic context that demonstrates a varied range of photographic skills and abilities. Use of social media, particularly Instagram, flickr and such sites will enable students to develop their networks, as will use of mobile phones.

    The practical and intellectual skills gained through this module are all transferrable and highly relevant to future employment.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • 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.

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

    This year long module provides a comprehensive introduction to the theories and history of photojournalism. The module positions contemporary photojournalistic practices within the contexts of the historical development of photojournalism and documentary photography, and provides students with an introduction to some of the key theories and debates relevant to visual communication and meaning. Field trips and guest speakers will enhance the students’ understanding of contemporary photojournalistic practice, and the links between practice, historical context and critical thinking.

    Students will be assessed by way of an in-class presentation and by way of an essay that requires students to critically consider key works of photojournalism and/or documentary photography. The intellectual and critical skills gained through this module are all transferrable and highly relevant to future employment

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  • 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.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

    This year long, 30 credit module builds on students’ earlier study and creative work in documentary photography and photojournalism generally, and focuses more intently on work in particular areas and genres of photojournalism that have been both historically significant for the development of photojournalistic practice, and are relevant to the practice of photojournalism today. Indicative genres that may be covered on this module include fashion, food photography, photographing interiors, anthropological and sociological approaches (“slice of life” photography), photographing conflict, environmental photography, portraiture, and campaigning photography.

    The module will combine theory and practice, with a strong emphasis on the latter. Students will consider the way that knowledge of photographic genres can help them to position their work, can enable them to target particular markets for their work and there will be abundant opportunities for students to put their knowledge into practice by creating work within particular genres and deploying it to enhance their profiles as photographers. Global perspectives will be useful as will mobile photography.

    Students’ work will be assessed through the production of a portfolio, blog and website that demonstrate their understanding of, and ability to work within different photographic genres. The practical and intellectual skills gained through this module are all transferrable and highly relevant to future employment and are directly relevant to the developing professional practice of the students as photojournalists.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This one-semester module provides builds on the introduction to the practices, theories and history of photojournalism, introduced at level 4 and prepares students for the major photographic project at level 6 and the development of their own future professional practice as photojournalists and documentary photographers. The module assumes that students already possess a basic knowledge of some of the history, theories and debates relevant to the practice of documentary photography, and it will encourage and facilitate students’ development of a deeper engagement with, and understanding of these ideas. The module provides essential preparation for the major project in the final year of study.

    The module covers two distinct areas of research and photograph: the undertaking of research into photography and photojournalism, and the use of photography as a research method in itself. As such, the module will draw on both traditional academic qualitative research methods insofar as they are applicable to the practice of photography, and will draw on the insights offered by visual anthropology.

    Students will be assessed by way of an annotated bibliography, and through the production of a detailed research proposal that gives an account of the work students expect to pursue for their final year major project. The practical and intellectual skills gained through this module are all transferrable and highly relevant to future employment and are directly relevant to the developing professional practice of the students as photographers

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Year 3 modules include:

  • 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.

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  • 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:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module builds on the work undertaken by students in the areas of practices, theories and history of photojournalism, especially the level 5 module Research for Photojournalists. The module allows students to develop higher-level skills in research and photojournalism through independent, self-directed study in collaboration with an academic supervisor; by devising, developing and executing a major, self-contained and coherent photographic project, leading to the production of a substantial dummy photobook. This dummy photobook is the major coursework component for this module, and will reflect the student’s development as an independent and self-sufficient photojournalist over the course of the degree.

    The module will provide a supportive setting to encourage students’ development into mature, independent photojournalists, capable of recognising projects with potential to be transformed into major pieces of work, demonstrating conceptual rigour, ethical execution, and aesthetic and technical excellence.

    Students will be assessed by way of in-class presentations, through the production of a dummy photobook, and the production of a critical journal explaining the rationale for the research project and documenting the student’s critical reflections on both process and the final book. The process of producing this work will provide a supportive context for students to develop their own distinctive approach to photojournalism and their own photographic style The practical and intellectual skills gained through this module are transferrable and relevant to future employment. The dummy photobook produced as the final ‘product’ of this module will be a valuable addition to students’ portfolios, for use in self-marketing and promotion beyond the university.

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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.

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  • 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, offering an introduction to the world of advocacy for anyone interested in acquiring these skills.

    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 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.

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After the course

This bachelor’s degree in photojournalism will allow you to seek employment in roles such as press photographer, commercial photographer or journalist. The joint focus on creating photographs, post- production and media practice will allow you to work for a wide range of employers – from art exhibitors and museums to news organisations and start-ups.

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.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information 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 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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