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BA (Hons) Sports Journalism

Study on the BBC campus to fast-track your media career and work as part of our sports media team producing content for PAFC, Plymouth Albion and Plymouth Patriots.

Sports journalist films pitchside

Connected to professional sports clubs

Apply now for this course

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

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


UCAS points 96

UCAS code P314

UCAS institution code P63

Duration 3 years full-time

Course Summary

Our BA (Hons) Sports Journalism degree gives you essential skills required by today's sports media industry. You’ll work closely with BBC South West in Plymouth alongside lecturers from Match of the Day, Sky Sports, ITV West Country, The Guardian, Plymouth Herald, regional and national freelancers, filmmakers and broadcasters.

Our new broadcasting hub, The Workshop, offers state-of-the-art TV and radio studios, on the BBC South West campus in Plymouth. Here you'll learn practical skills and work with 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, sports, news and current affairs editors, and get their feedback on your work.

We also have a 24/7 radio station and online TV news channel on-campus. We can also stream and record podcasts, cover live events, host and broadcast live-lounge music gigs, plays and performances. You'll 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. You will have access to Apple devices, professional DSLR cameras and lenses, recording equipment and editing suites all loaded with the latest industry-standard software.

 

Students get regular work placements at Plymouth Argyle, Plymouth Raiders and Plymouth Albion. We also have excellent links with Exeter Chiefs and City, Torquay United and various individual sports people across the region.

Jack: My name is Jack and I am currently the head of social media and marketing at Plymouth Raiders. I create all their videos. I do a bit of photography. I create all that graphics, and I kind of bring it all together so that what the finished product is, is what we get. There's a lot of teams in the league that are doing a lot of bigger things in us, so I'm trying to build up what we've got and kind of take it to the next level of social media and basketball right now.

I've always been interested in creating films. I made films from quite a young age when we had a big camera and making holiday videos. And it's kind of developed from there. I didn't really have much interest in anything else but creating videos. So then coming to Marjon and the journalism course is quite broad. There's so many different areas. So giving me the opportunity to look at those different areas has really kind of helped me develop into having skills in so many different areas and develop that love for what I do now.

I chose Marjon just because of those small class sizes and that kind of interactive that you get from the lecturers. I heard from a lot of other unis that are bigger, you don't get that one-on-one time. You don't get that attention. You need to come into Marjon and having that attention and one-on-one kind of interactivity really attracted me to the course. My kind of work experience throughout was with Plymouth Raiders. I actually volunteered there for two seasons whilst at uni. And then it kind of developed into that job role.

My favorite memories are probably we went onto two trips. Whilst at uni we went to Prague and to Belgium. It was kind of the first time the course had done it. So we went out there and kind of worked with international students, which was quite an odd experience, but we worked on live video productions with Facebook Live and stuff like that. So that kind of challenged and working with international students was a real good memory for me.

Advice for people currently on the course, I'd say take any opportunity that comes your way. That's one of the biggest things I learned, was any opportunity, no matter how small, how big, forget about the money, just take it and kind of bank that experience and portfolio. It's all going to help in the future. Anyone that's thinking of study at Marjon, I'd say definitely come because it's being a smaller uni, everyone knows each other. It's a lot of friendlier environment. There's no kind of worries of other people that are getting in your way. You're going to get that time with your lecturers and you're going to have the opportunity to grow as a person.

Why this course at Marjon?

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

Regular teaching input from experienced journalists

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

Small classes where staff can really help your work develop

Wide industry links to help you develop an amazing portfolio

Practical, hands-on delivery where you learn through doing

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

The sorts of opportunity available to the students here at Marjon quite simply didn’t exist when I went to university; I would have absolutely loved it. You need extra attributes than those which are taught in the classroom – and they’re taught really well here.
John Roder - Commentator at Match of the Day

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!

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

How do I tell sports stories online and in print?

What happens at a sports press conference?

What are the skills required of sports journalists right now?

How do I turn my sports blog into a career?

How will I make contacts that will help me stand out?

Where can I get the industry experience I need before I graduate?

The sorts of opportunity available to the students here at Marjon quite simply didn’t exist when I went to university; I would have absolutely loved it. You need extra attributes than those which are taught in the classroom – and they’re taught really well here.
John Roder - BBC Match of the Day Commentator

Ask a student

See where our graduates are now


Sam East

“I didn’t think I’d be doing a job such as this straight away after uni - essentially I’ve got my dream job straight off the bat. I was pretty happy just to get an interview, they told me they had had hundreds of applicants from all over and I was the only recent graduate they interviewed. They just said they were really impressed with my interview, and I’d done everything I could to make myself stand out.”

Sam is Video Editor at Huddersfield Town FC (English Premier League).


Ali Alexander

"The lecturers are practicing what they are teaching so are enthusiastic and well connected. Marjon was great in terms of providing me with skills and confidence, and also gave me the confidence to talk into the microphone and really be myself for the listeners. I really felt ready for the workplace once I graduated."

Ali is a Presenter on X-Rhythms Radio.


Dan Cole

“One of the tutors took time out to help me with essay writing in the first weeks of the course. My first effort was, um, uninspiring, but I improved drastically with the support of the tutors. By the end of my studies, my final dissertation was put forward for publication. I do not believe that I would have improved at the same rate where the class sizes are bigger, and the staff less approachable.”

Dan is Communications Officer for Plymouth Argyle Football Club and Wimbledon Tennis Championship.

What might you become?

We have a long list of graduates who have gone on to work in the sports media industry at newspapers, magazines, national radio stations and websites as well as in the press departments of professional sports clubs, and in the sports PR and marketing industry. Roles held by recent graduates include Digital Content Manager at Huddersfield Town FC; Media Officer at West Bromwich Albion FC; Media Officer at Plymouth Argyle; Data Analyst for IBM at Wimbledon; Sports journalist at Bath Chronicle; Sports Writer at Mid Glamorgan Press Agency; freelance sports journalist and film-maker.

Employability workshops, mentoring and work experience placements are integral to our BA (Hons) Sports Journalism programme; we know from working with and speaking to prospective employers that they like graduates to be well qualified and experienced.


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 be appraised on your performance on work placements.

Mike Baker

Course leader

View full profile

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 as a commissioning and sports 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

Lecturers

Tom Godwin

Associate 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.

Justin Leigh

Associate Lecturer

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Justin has 30 years experience as a television and radio broadcaster, including 20 years in front of the camera as a presenter on BBC Spotlight, the regional news programme for the South West of England.

Sarah McAdam

Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

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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.

Dr Natalie Raven

Associate Lecturer

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Dr Natalie Raven is a scholar and performance artist, with over 12 years professional experience in industry presenting and exhibiting her work across Europe and North America.

She is currently leading in the development of a new Liberal Arts BA (hons) programme at Marjon. This exciting new degree will offer a bespoke learning experience, where students pick and choose modules across a range of programmes in different disciplines. Imbedded within the programme are avenues for cross cultural exchange and industry placement, as well as honing creative practice, critical thinking, and an in-depth understanding of ethical leadership and managemennt

Natalie has research interests in: performer training; feminist performance (1960 - present); body-based practice; queer performance; Semiotic and Phenomenological approaches to performance making; representations of self and identity in performance. Expressions of interest for postgraduate supervision are welcomed.

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.

Anna Turns

Associate Lecturer

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Anna is an environmental journalist with 20 years’ experience working in the media. As a biology graduate, she specialises in writing news and features about sustainability, climate change, marine issues and our connection with nature. Anna writes regularly for national publications including the Guardian, Positive News, Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Coast magazine and Resurgence. Anna teaches students employability skills from freelancing to pitching and building their brand, as well as focusing on written journalism skills and research. With a vast contacts book and a track record of producing creative, successful pitches, Anna has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to our journalism students.


Your schedule

In-person taught sessions two days a week which include live news sessions. 


You will also be expected to work on assessments and practice for 10 hours per week in year one, rising to 20 hours per week in year three. 

Course location(s):

  • Marjon Campus 
  • The Workshop, BBC Plymouth Campus

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.

The Workshop Tour featuring John Roder

John: As you come into reception here of the old villa that is now the Marjon Workshop, we've got some fantastic facilities to show you. Follow me and we'll come in and see the television studio, which is right here. And this is the television studio here at The Workshop for Marjon University. You might be wondering what this is. This is a green screen, and we can project all sorts of images behind the presenter onto the green screen. And here in front of us, we have the actual cameras. These are fully equipped broadcast cameras. They are the latest state of the art technology, and they were only installed very recently. If we turn around here, you can have a look at where the studio set is. This is what the presenter will look at. They've got cameras here, guest here, another guest here. Up above us. We've got the lights, which give us an absolutely professional television studio environment in which to work.

Every television studio needs a gallery, which is where the production work is all done. And here at Plymouth Marjon University, we've got, again, a state of the art production gallery. Let's go and have a look. And this is the gallery. As you can see, there are different positions for everybody who has a role in the program. There's sound on the far side, the director sits there, the vision mixer sits here, and on the back desks is where the producer and the assistant producer would all sit. They'll all be working as a team to put out the television programs that we create here on the journalism course at Plymouth Marjon University. This room is known as the editing room. As you can see, we've got the latest equipment here for you to work on. Everybody editing will work together collaboratively to produce the best television output that we can make.

So that's the TV side of the operation here at The Workshop. But what about radio, I hear you say? Podcasts, audio of all forms. Well, we've got some fantastic equipment and facilities to show you. Let's take a look. This setup of wires and faders might look complicated to you, but we'll explain it all. This is where we do a lot of our podcast work here at The Workshop. And this whole room is where we do our editing, not only of the podcast, but also for features for the radio station. Now the main radio studio is just behind me. Let's go and have a look at that. And this is the radio studio. This room is actually a purpose built BBC Radio studio. It was formerly the home of BBC Radio Devon. And at The Workshop we have kitted it out with ultra modern equipment. You've got everything you need here to present a radio show. Let's ask somebody who's a little more mature for their views on this studio. John, what do you think of this studio? And how much would you have liked it when you were a student many centuries ago?

”Well, John, I'd have absolutely loved these sorts of facilities when I was a student. As you say, it was a long time ago, but I actually started my broadcasting career on a university radio station. We had nothing like the equipment that is here. I would have crawled over broken glass to have had equipment like this. It's absolutely fantastic. I love it.” So if you're thinking of studying journalism, whatever form of journalism that you're interested in, come and study it with us here at Plymouth Marjon University. You've seen the facilities that we've got at The Workshop and they are second to none. And we'd like to think that our lecturing team is second to none as well. We all work regularly in the media, so we'll be able to give you all the benefit of our experience. We do hope that we will be able to see you at The Workshop at Plymouth Marjon University, because quite simply, it's a great place to study journalism.

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