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BA (Hons) Sports Journalism

Study on the BBC campus to fast-track your media career.


Work as part of our sports media team producing content for PAFC, Plymouth Albion and Raiders


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.

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


UCAS points 96

UCAS code P314

Duration 3 years full-time

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 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. There is no course in the country like it.

We have moved courses into a 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 a new era for Marjon and our students to get hands-on and learn skills from experienced journalists and editors.

Our third years are paired with a BBC mentor. One entire 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, but also receive advice on your work when you need it. 

Students can access 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 of the course are taught in our Journalism and Media Centre on the main Marjon campus. 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 sportsmen and women across the region.

Show video transcript

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.

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 - Commentator at Match of the Day

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.

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...

Graduates


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.

Members of:

European Journalism Training Association


Modules for this course

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 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 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.”

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 members of the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) and have built a strong programme that is driven by the industry.

 

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.

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