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Teaching Excellence Framework 2023 - Gold Award

BA (Hons) Journalism

Learn the essential practical skills required by today's newsrooms and media providers. You’ll work closely with BBC South West journalists and producers alongside other industry guests from the BBC, ITV West Country, The Guardian, Plymouth Herald, regional and national freelancers, filmmakers and broadcasters.

Journalism Student at The Workshop

Train at world-class broadcast studios on the BBC South West campus

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Full-time Part-time

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above

Or Access 23-45 D/M with min 6D

T level P (C+)

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above

Applicants with other qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis and an interview is required

UCAS points 96

UCAS code P500

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years full-time and part-time options available

Course Summary

We opened The Workshop, with its state-of-the-art TV and radio studios, on the BBC South West campus in 2019. This marks an exciting new era for Marjon and our students to get hands-on guidance and learn skills from experienced journalists and editors.

Our third years are paired with a BBC mentor. One module is taught by BBC journalists, producers and digital filmmakers. You will have the chance to pitch story ideas to commissioning, online, news and current affairs editors, and will get their advice on your work.

You'll have access to our on-campus 24/7 radio station and online TV news channel too. We can also stream and record podcasts, cover live events, host and broadcast live-lounge music gigs, plays and performances. You'll alsolearn to write scripts for TV and radio, news bulletins, news cues for TV and how to structure radio and TV programmes. We’ll teach you how to self-shoot for TV, record great audio, generate story ideas, and produce, direct and edit your own shows.

Some practical elements are also taught in our Journalism and Media Centre on the main Marjon campus, where you will have access to a range of Apple devices, professional DSLR cameras and lenses, recording equipment and editing suites all loaded with the latest industry-standard software. Here we learn Adobe programmes, Burli, how to write and design, as well as structure blogs and websites as you create your own identity as a creative and versatile journalist.

Mike: Hi, my name is Mike Baker. I'm the journalism program leader here at Marjon. I've been a sports journalist for the past 25 years, mostly working for The Guardian, but also the local newspapers. I've worked in radio and television.


I've also been in higher education at Marjon for just over 10 years. So in that time, I've seen lots of changes in both journalism and journalism education. Now, my job here is to make sure that you have the best skillset possible that's relevant for today's journalists, so that when you leave, you're fully equipped to get your first job and then have a nice long career in one of the best jobs there is.


Georgia: There were so many reasons for me to choose Marjon. Not just for the journalism course, but for the uni as a whole. The journalism course at Marjon really has something that no other uni does. There's a great working relationship with the BBC. We have fantastic facilities and amazing equipment available to us 24 hours of the day, and fantastic lecturers who are actively working within the journalism field, who have amazing experience both now and in the past.


We also have a workshop society, which we started. Which means that students across the university can get involved with our student radio station, from anything from research to presenting. It's really, really cool.


Jack: For me, the degree was excellent in gaining practical experience in both the professional and an educational world. I worked with the likes of Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, BBC Radio Devon, and some local newspapers as well throughout my degree.


Since finishing the degree a few months ago, I allowed myself a job actually working at Marjon. My title is a graduate marketing assistant, which is an interim role for 12 months. I'm over halfway through now, and it's been great to exercise my skills from that degree, including building up some new skills, such as creating press releases, and even enhancing my digital content production, which would be really great for jobs in the future.


One of the best things about the degree for me is the networking that is available. You get to meet people from all walks of life, from all different careers within journalism, and it's really great to get to know them and understand the different environments within the sector. For me, I wouldn't look any farther than studying on this degree at Marjon. It was perfect for me, and hopefully, it'll be perfect for you.


Why this course at Marjon?

Learn alongside the BBC at The Workshop

Regular teaching input from experienced journalists

Awesome 24/7 facilities and free access to the latest kit

90% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2022

Broad industry links to help you develop an amazing portfolio

Small classes where staff can really help your work develop

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

The first year started with the basics of learning how to tell stories for a variety of audiences and platforms. We also covered media law and looked into how journalists develop stories. Year two built on the skills we already learned as we made documentaries for both TV and radio and wrote articles for a group magazine that’s distributed around the city. In the third year, we’ve been producing content for radio and online in fast-paced news weeks. We will also be making our own magazines and running a marketing campaign.
Chris - Third year, BA (Hons) Journalism

1st Year

Serious Skills
We all have to start somewhere, and you start with learning some serious skills. In this immersive module over the first four weeks of term, we show you how to use all the professional broadcast kit in The Workshop, as well as teaching you basic editing, filming, recording and broadcast production skills.
Fast News
Whatever the topic of the story, one of the key skills you need as a journalist is the ability to write clearly, concisely and accurately. Also quickly. This module will run through the construction of written journalism, as well as considering what makes a story, and where to find one. We start writing and publishing from day one, so you get used to seeing your byline attached to work you can be proud of.
Journalism in Practice
Having learned all that new knowledge in Serious Skills, now is the chance to put it into action, by making online, written, radio and TV content both at The Workshop and on our student website, The Doughnut. We’ll teach you all about news agendas and broadcast and press regulation, how to turn an idea into a story that sings, and how to pitch your work to different audiences on different platforms.
Making Headlines
Broadcast journalism is about more than just reading a script in front of a camera or behind a mic – although we do teach you how to do that too. You’ll also need a wide range of essential journalistic and production skills, from interviewing on- and off-air and in and out of the studio, to gathering content and creating running orders, writing those scripts and producing live radio and TV shows.
Digital Storytelling
Another big skillset module. We’re talking mobile journalism, from filming broadcast-quality content on your phone or using our extensive range of the latest kit, to capturing great audio, creative camerawork, scripting for shoots, digital photography and much more. Basically, we cover all the technical skills you will need as a modern journalist with the ability to tell compelling stories on all platforms.
Journalism in Context
Journalists have to tackle big issues and cover important stories, as well as understanding their role in telling them. We want our journalism students to gain a real understanding of how journalism has evolved and what role journalists play in shaping opinion, speaking truth to power, and researching and telling stories that count.

2nd Year

Investigative Journalism
Truth matters. You can uncover it by developing your fact-checking skills, discovering how to reveal untold stories and working towards producing your own investigative piece. Whether you concentrate on sport, fashion, news or features, curiosity and critical thinking are essential tools. It's not all about chasing criminals; sometimes it’s about asking different questions.
The Hustle
Find out what it means to work as a professional journalist, how to pitch and network, make industry contacts, create a killer CV and practise job interview techniques, before finding out how to gain rewarding work experience and eventually get your first job. We’ll also explore the importance of resilience as a journalist and develop an initial career plan. It’s about much more than work experience, but we’ll help you find the placements and opportunities to fill your CV and get your foot in the door.
Trending Now
What’s new? What’s so new, it’s not even out yet? You might already be all over social media, but do you know how to create content across all platforms? Modern journalists need to reach audiences in multiple places, so we will help you engage with this constantly unfolding narrative of change, and explore emerging methods and approaches to storytelling, challenging and experimenting with convention in creating your own content throughout the module.
The Big Show
Working on something regular is a great way to experiment with ideas, get creative and ambitious and learn from all your successes and failures along the way. Which is where The Big Show comes in. In this module students work in teams or on their own to produce shows on Workshop Radio, our 24/7 online student radio station. Learn about working to deadlines, find your role in the studio, make contacts and learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration.
Slow Journalism
Speed isn’t everything. We also want you to appreciate the benefits of long-form journalism and some of the more considered approaches to content creation in sound, pictures and film. Students will learn how to come up with fresh and compelling story ideas, pitch features and then how to execute them, both in print and online. We will also spend time researching, writing and producing Sound Magazine, our awesome free listings and entertainment guide to Plymouth, as an editorial team.
Pod Sounds
Everyone loves podcasts. We will teach you the history, development, techniques and skills to help you make your own, as well as production and planning techniques, how to generate ideas, locate and serve an audience, and keep themes and content consistent. We will cover advanced audio recording and editing techniques for broadcast, presentation, audio ident and graphics creation and how brands locate themselves. And you’ll obviously be making lots of podcasts along the way.

3rd Year

And Finally…
This double-weighted module represents the culmination of a student's learning journey at Marjon, and as such is expected to be a significant undertaking, to act as a personal showcase of technical and theoretical understanding. The project can take any appropriate journalistic form, from a series of podcasts, to a large investigative project, to a documentary film, series of short content items, a long-form piece of written journalism, or a combination of any and all. Crucially, it should reflect your journalistic passion.
The Winter Edition
Work in a small production teams to conceive, pitch and produce a 44-page A4 magazine about whatever you like. Each student takes on a role – editor, designer, writer, sub-editor – and after outlining who it addresses and what content it will contain, you will write all the words, source images and adverts, and make your magazine using Adobe InDesign. Each magazine is then professionally printed and you get a handful to keep. It’s quite the calling card.
The Newsroom
The ability to function within a news team ¬– whether in print, online, on radio or TV – is an absolute must for any journalist. Learning how to co-operate and co-work with colleagues, forming bonds and gaining trust of contemporaries are crucial skills, and also extremely rewarding ones. This module recreates the pressures, fun and atmosphere of the newsroom, as you all work together to get the big story and hit the deadline.
The Buzz Feeder
Sometimes it’s hard to see where PR and journalism intersect, but good journalists need to know the difference. This module will consider public relations strategy, formats, crisis comms and how the news is both shaped and contradicted by its relationship with PR agencies and protagonists. You’ll learn how to write and decode press releases, understand marketing messages, and work together to get your own PR campaign ‘in the news’.
Big Show: Season Two
Like The Big Show … only bigger! You’ll be expected to perform at a more senior editorial and creative level in the studios, by setting agendas, managing the content and ideas, ensuring output remains consistent with style, abides by regulations and station identity, and reaches its audience. Whether it’s news, sports, music, film, politics, fashion, or whatever you are into, the show must go on!

Current students say...

Pete Chapman

"The main reason I wanted to study journalism at Marjon is the size of the classes. Being in a smaller group means you get more time from your lecturer, who will know your name after the first week! It also allows you to be closer as a class of students, which on a media-based course, is very important when it comes to group work."

Clara Ceballos Soriano

"Here at Marjon, you are supported and taught by doing, experiencing, sometimes failing and then trying again. The lecturers don't just stand there on a platform, give their memorised lesson and then you’re on your own. They actually care about you learning and enjoying yourself. They make their lectures as productive and active as possible and their doors are open for you whenever you need them."

Mike Palmer

"Marjon consistently enables me to learn and produce journalism content that is truly reflective of myself, and of industry standards in a fun, friendly but professional environment. The connections with the BBC, ITV and The Guardian continue to give me invaluable experiences that have really pushed me to heights I didn't think were possible for me."

This course is perfect if you’re curious about these questions...

How do I create breaking news stories?

What would it be like to work in a real newsroom?

How is journalism changing to adapt to the digital age?

What is the future of journalism?

What do you want to tell the world?

What can you see that no one else has spotted?

You just get a good feeling about Marjon. The students and staff seem to have a really close relationship, which is so impressive. I go to a lot of colleges to talk about journalism, around the country, and that isn’t always the case. There’s just a really good vibe around the place.
Simon Hattenstone - Chief Features Writer at The Guardian

Ask a student

See where our graduates are now

Alex Green

"The course was perfect, it’s so hands-on. You get to learn how to do Journalism, not just talk about doing it. The lecturers are so well connected that you get an abundance of placements. It equips you as a Journalist and you are a Journalist when you finish. I would never in a million years have thought I’d graduate with a first and go on to get a job straight away, and then go on to get another one straight after that."

Alex is now a journalist with BBC Spotlight.

Rikki Cain

"Marjon gave the confidence to aspire for more. I started my degree with little understanding of the industry, and I have always suffered from anxiety and OCD. But the support I received at Marjon from my lecturers was far beyond my expectations, their passion and enthusiasm were inspiring. I did as much work experience as possible, including at Plymouth Live which led to getting a job there. I have met some great people along the way and if it wasn’t for Marjon, I wouldn’t be where I am today."

Rikki is now a journalist with Plymouth Live.

Angela Kalwaites

"One of the best things about the degree was the support provided by the lecturers. I couldn't have got this work at the BBC without having done the course at Marjon. Doing the Broadcast Journalism module gave me the skills I needed to work on the radio.""

Angela now works at BBC Radio Devon.

What might you become?

You can become anything you want to be. Our recent graduates are working with the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Radio Plymouth, The Herald, Reach Plc, plus a wide variety of online providers, PR and marketing agencies. Their jobs include newspaper journalist, broadcast journalist, radio producer, commissioning editor, news editor, head of marketing, press officer and video games journalist.

Employability workshops, mentoring and work experience placements are integral to our Journalism programme; we know from working with and speaking to prospective employers that they like graduates to be well qualified and experienced. We give our students a wide range of opportunities both in-house and externally to apply the skills and knowledge they learn.

News reader 1: Now, a building in Plymouth with a rich broadcasting history today started the next chapter in its eventful life. It's actually nextdoor to these studios and was home to BBC Southwest for many years. The building was bought by the BBC after the Second World War and became Spotlight's home, and also BBC Radio Devon's for many years. Some big names of broadcast from the building, Sheila Tracy, Hugh Scully, Jill Dando to name but a few.

News reader 2: Well, after a three-year wait, we've finally got some new neighbors, and Spotlight's Janine Johnson went to say, "Hello."

Janine Johnson: Well, it's an exciting day for budding journalists at Marjon. They're moving into their new media facility behind me. And guess where it is, right next door to the BBC.

Well, it's amazing to see our old BBC building being revamped and put back into use. I'm joined now by Mike Baker. You're head of journalism at Marjon. How do you think the students will mostly benefit working alongside the BBC?

Mike Baker: At Marjon, currently we've taught journalism now for a number of years, but not what you might call in purpose-built studios. This is a real game changer for us. As soon as you walk in, as soon as they walk in, they know they're in a professional space and I think that's really important if they're going to learn those professional skills.

Janine Johnson: Wow. This room used to be our old library, but look at it now. It is a state-of-the-art gallery where the students of Marjon will be putting out their very own news programs. Well, I first came to the BBC about 19 years ago here in Plymouth, and I remember this part of the building being Radio Devon. So, let's check out how it looks now. It's back to being a radio studio.

Hello. Tell me who you are and why you've come to do your media course.

Richeldis Cain: So, I'm Richeldis Cain. I'm a third year journalism student. I started here not really knowing what area of journalism I wanted to go into, I just knew I wanted to tell a story or lots of stories. So my second year, I've decided that radio is really the course I want to go down and that's my real passion now, so being in here is really exciting.

Janine Johnson: The very best of luck to you. Let's meet some other budding journalists here. Can you tell me who you are and why you're doing your course?

Michael Palmer: I'm Michael Palmer. Ever since I was a kid, I would make my own radio shows and make my own magazines, and I was just fascinated with communication between other people, so it was a natural next step for me to come here and do this.

Janine Johnson: We shall wait until hopefully hear you on the radio. And last but not least, tell us who you are and why you want to do this.

Hannah Pay: I'm Hannah Pay and I'm a journalist student at Marjon. I want to do it because I've always loved places like Vice. I want to make short-form content for online, so videos and stuff like that.

Janine Johnson: The new way forward.

Hannah Pay: Yeah, definitely.

Janine Johnson: Absolutely. Well, remember these faces, these could be the faces of the future.

News reader 2: And she's not been back since, Janine. I think she prefers it next door, doesn't she?

News reader 1: They got some fancy kit there, haven't they?

News reader 2: They do. It looks very nice, doesn't it?

News reader 1: I might be borrowing their headphones, I think, in future.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Teaching includes workshops, seminars, tutorials and practical live news days which replicate the industry newsroom. Arrive in the morning and spend the day putting together a news programme for TV or radio or creating a magazine or daily newspaper.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment methods are based on the production of news stories, features and essays and you will also be appraised on your performance on work placements.

Mike Baker

Mike Baker

Course leader

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Mike is an experienced journalist, who started his career at the Plymouth Herald and moved on to the sports desk at The Guardian, where he worked, among other things, as a commissioning and night editor, while also appearing regularly on Radio Five and contributing to a number of other national newspaper and magazine titles. He has since worked as sports editor at the Western Morning News and as a broadcast journalist on BBC Radio Devon, while also teaching on the Journalism programmes at Marjon. He still works weekend shifts at The Guardian, bringing current industry expertise and contacts to his teaching practice. He said: “The industry changes all the time; we need to ensure our students are learning the skills they will need from day one, while also underpinning those with the traditional elements of journalism and storytelling which have never changed. We also have great fun while we do it.”

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Leo Devine

Journalist in Residence

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Tom Godwin

Visiting Lecturer

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Currently director of external affairs at Citizens Advice Plymouth, Tom is an experienced marketing and PR professional with a history of working in the charity, performing arts, education, music, and entertainment industry.

From early days as a parliamentary assistant to an MP, to promoting, marketing, dealing with the press and repping superstar DJs at such legendary London dance clubs as Ministry of Sound and Turnmills, working as head of agency at Defected Records and later as marketing manager at English National Opera, Tom has amassed a vast knowledge of how to tell stories and get key messages in front of large audiences.

Jane Hill


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Sarah McAdam

Dean of School

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Sarah is a photographer with a wide range of experience from shooting bands and gigs, documentary projects and editorial material for magazines. Her specialism is in documentary and she is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD which focuses on documentary photography and sound as a way of telling stories.

Dave Miles

Associate Lecturer

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After spending 20 years producing some of the biggest events for Sky Sports, Dave now works for FIFA, UEFA and the IOC in the quality control of their coverage. He helps to train the world’s elite producers and directors before and during major tournaments and also directs some of the biggest music events across the UK for the BBC.

John Roder

Visiting Lecturer

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John Roder is a renowned and highly experienced broadcast journalist, and while most people will know him from his commentaries on BBC’s Match of the Day, he is also a regular voice on TV stations all around the world, having worked on every major football tournament you can think of.  John has appeared on BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Five, BT Sport, Sky Sports, ESPN, Setanta Sports and Eurosport in the UK; and is frequently heard on Fox Sports, ESPN and beIN Sport. He teaches primarily broadcast skills to our students, from how to act in front of a camera, to live commentary and broadcasting techniques, voice training, podcast skills and more. John also brings a vast network of broadcast contacts, who regularly contribute to sessions with students.

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