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BA (Hons) Journalism


Train in our world-class broadcast studios on BBC South West campus


2020 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.

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

An interview is required.

Applicants with other qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis.


UCAS points 96

UCAS code P500

Duration 3 years full-time and part-time options available

How to apply for this course

Clearing places available

Register your interest and we'll call you to chat about clearing and your options at Marjon.

Course Summary

Our degree gives you 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.

We opened a second brand new broadcasting hub - The Workshop with its state-of-the-art TV and radio studios, on the BBC South West campus since 1939. 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, but will also receive advice on your work when you need it.

Students have access to our 24/7 radio station and online TV news channel. We can also stream and record podcasts, cover live events, host and broadcast live-lounge music gigs, plays and performances. You will learn to write scripts for TV and radio, news bulletins, news cues for TV and how to structure radio and TV programmes. We’ll also 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.

Show video transcript

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.

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.

Small classes where staff can really help your work develop.

Broad industry links to help you develop an amazing portfolio.

Practical, hands-on delivery where you learn through doing.

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

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

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.

 

Show video transcript

Mike: These new studios are really going to revolutionize the way we teach journalism. We taught journalism for a long time at Marjon, but it's always been serious play I guess you could call it. I know when we come in here, as soon as you step inside these studios as most students have done you realize this is serious, serious play.

We've got really high-end broadcast equipment. Students are going to get proper hands-on experience, which is going to stand them in stead for the first jobs they're going to get. The equipment we have in Radio Studio is the same as the BBC have in their radio studios, broadcast TV equipment, it's professional standard. Again, they're going to get those extra skills which really is going to set them apart from the other candidates for the first jobs that they apply for.

Plus the amount of work experience that we're going to have working with next door, but also working with other media providers in the Southwest. It's going to be really key for them going forward. This is a really exciting time. This is a kind of a watershed moment really for us at Marjon. Hopefully we get students really keen to engage with journalism across the whole spectrum of that profession. We're really excited.

Sarah: It's not just good for journalism students. It's going to be really exciting for all of the University students. Lots of ways that the BBC can offer opportunities to them. So already our acting and performing arts students are thinking about recording radio plays here. Our musicians want to come and record songs. Lots of people interested in making podcasts from a variety of disciplines. It will be open to lots of students, which will be great.

Hannah: Gee, I'm really excited about this opportunity to work in the BBC building. I'm really excited for the green screen room, I've never been able to use one of them, but I have so many ideas to try out. It's a walk in one, it's like you walk into a set, will be amazing to try. There's also so many radio rooms. I would love to produce a Radio Live Lounge type show with artists coming in and here I can actually do that. And it's going to be professional.

Rikki: The thing I'm most excited about is being so close to the BBC building would be my number one, because already we're meeting so many people from the BBC. Chatting to them, networking, getting emails, getting contacts, which for a future career is just so exciting. But also with the equipment and the facilities we have here are just second to none

You really feel like you're in an actual studio or you feel like you're on a real set. It doesn't feel like you're pretending at University. It feels like you're doing the real thing. And I think we really are doing the real thing here. So I think that's what for me is the most exciting part about this new building.

Graduates


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.


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 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.

Members of:

European Journalism Training Association


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

Modules

1st Year

Research 1: The investigative journalist
Researching is an essential for all journalists. Knowing your story and finding your sources is the result of great research. This module will also contextualise some of the wider issues that are so important in today's society and give you a broader understanding of the media and the world in which we live.
Journalism production 1: Recording the story
You will learn how to use audio recording equipment and editing software to produce work for radio, online and podcasts. Further skills include structuring a news report and live radio presenting.
Written journalism 1: The power of the word
Story telling is at the heart of what we do and writing those stories effectively is the key to your success.
Live news 1: Get your mojo on
Gone are the days when journalists had a crew of people to support their work. Now it is just as likely that they will record on their phones out in the field and send an edited piece of audio or video back to the studio or directly onto social media.
Journalism production 2: Words and pictures
Building on production 1, you will now concentrate on upskilling with video and image-led content. Learn how to shoot and edit content for online and TV or images for magazines and newspapers.
Media law and the ethical journalist
Don't get yourself sued. Learn about how to keep the right side of the law and debate the ethical position of the journalist. What is the right thing to do?

2nd Year

Research 2: Curious and creative
Your research should lead you to the big stories and this module begins the planning process for your final year project. You will design your project and begin to engage with the background research and planning.
Radio journalism: More than words
Here, we look at specific audiences within Radio, as well as writing for news bulletins. You continue to work closely with the BBC by making programmes and packages while being taught by a BBC industry professional.
Written journalism 2: Making Sound 
In this module you continue to develop your written journalism skills while making a summer magazine within your year group. Sound is a successful and lively features magazine professionally designed and filled by you.
Learn to earn: Placement and proactivity
We encourage and facilitate work experience throughout the programme but this module also addresses the skills surrounding work placements such as CVs, introductions, interviews and networking. All students are expected to complete a minimum of 15 days work experience and we support you in this process.
Live news 2: Lights, camera, action!
TV news days are fun and practical. Turn up in the morning and by 2pm you will be broadcasting a live TV news show. Often run in conjunction with a guest editor from industry.
Visual journalism: Digital storytelling
Learning to use photography to tell compelling stories is a highly sought after skill. In this module you will also learn how to approach a subject through documentary filmmaking and allow your creative camera and editing skills to engage the viewer.

3rd Year

Honours project: The finished product
This is your final, flagship project. What do you want to show potential employers? What are you good at? Show off your best knowledge and skills.
TV journalism: The bigger picture
Broadcasting, presenting, writing for TV and creating content for TV news is fast paced and exciting. We teach you how to approach TV news for a range of audiences and you learn from the experts.
Live news 3: The cutting edge
Bringing together a multi-platform approach to content creation is key to today's journalism. In this module, you will learn how to tie up your online news story with an audio package and video report.
Magazine journalism: The summer issue
This project is run in line with industry expectations and is delivered intensively. You will design and produce a 36 page magazine of your choice in small editorial teams or individually. We will print the magazine and you will be able to add it to your portfolio.
Marketing and PR: The buzz-feeder
Many students secure jobs within PR and marketing. This is clear and creative story telling using all of the technical skills that you have learnt as a journalist. Experience live briefs from real clients and start making contacts in the industry.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum


Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum


Teaching and assessment

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.

Course leader

Mike Baker

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.”

View full profile

Lecturers

Sarah McAdam

Director of School

View profile

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.


More information

We are fully accredited by the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) and have built a strong programme that is driven by the industry. Accreditation ensures that our programme delivers what we say and what the industry wants.

 

Show video transcript

Sarah: Journalism here is run very practically. We like to replicate what's going on in the industry. We work across lots of different platforms. We recognize that the industry is changing and you don't just work within one medium as a journalist. So we like you to do online and TV and radio and written journalism. We work in straight news and magazines. We try and give you as much experience as possible.

Bradley: Originally, I came from a bigger uni, up country, but you were just a number there. They didn't really care about you. You sort of got the impression that you were just one number among a million. So coming here was much nicer. It made me feel much more sort of personal. You got a lot more time with the tutors, which is always nice.

Patrick: In the first year you learn a little bit of everything. Then the second and third years, you pick your modules.

Jess: I was adamant I wanted to go into writing side of journalism, but since I've been on the course, I've obviously been able to learn about radio, editing, video, and I didn't think I'd learn as much.

Bradley: I did a work experience block at the Herald lately, which was for the month, which really allowed me to sort of experience the industry. So instead of just sitting in a classroom and learning about it, it's a very active course. We're always out doing things. And then to take those things that you've learned and really apply them to the industry, sort of gave you the idea that actually I can do this and I can take it somewhere with a future.

Angela: I liked the fact that it wasn't a huge university. It's small, it's friendly. There's not that feeling of being overwhelmed by a lot of people. Plus, because I was a mature student, I didn't particularly want to go in with that many young people all at once being a bit of an older person. Had I not gone to Marjon and we had the trip round the radio, Devon studios, and got the chance to do a bit of radio within the course. There's no way that they would have taken me on because it's really competitive. It's really hard to get in. And it's only because of the contacts made through uni that I got in here and that's gospel. So...

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