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The basics
THE UK: Subject Guides

Course Info: Journalism

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One of the most popular degree choices amongst young undergraduates and adult learners alike, journalism is a great way to turn academic skill in to professional prowess. If you are interested in becoming a writer, researcher, correspondent or even a media mogul, this could be the path for you. In this article, Hotcourses’ student editor, Tatsuya Ishii puts pen to paper and gives us the inside scoop on journalism courses in the UK.

Getting a degree in the UK is a fantastic experience and one that can open many doors for you in your personal and professional life. There is a world of possibilities waiting out there for you, but before choosing your course and college, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself.

What’s it all about?

The aim of a journalism course is very simple – to prepare you for work in both print and the online media industries as a professional journalist. This course is often available for both Undergraduate (3 years course) and Postgraduate (1 year).

The degree concentrates on journalism in general – so you will have a chance to learn a touch of various journalistic genres as well as the principles and basic skills of journalism. If you gain an interest in a particular jounalistic genre such as sports and fashion journalism through the course, there are several universities providing such specialised degrees at Master’s level.

To find out more about the course, read our case study from a current journalism student.

Alternatively, if you already know which journalistic genre you would like to specialise in, you can begin the search for your perfect course.

Am I suited to this programme?

Journalism is a dynamic and wide-ranging career path, with many possible avenues to explore. The most important thing is to have the skills and the confidence needed to succeed. Do any of the following qualities describe you?

  • Innovative and Creative
  • A desire to seek out the truth at the heart of the matter
  • Passionate about a particular subject (e.g. sports, politics, celebrities, music, film etc)
  • Excellent writing skills
  • An interest in the news and media
  • Competitive

This last quality is quite possibly the most important. Without a competitive edge, your talents will be swept aside by more driven and determined candidates.

Did you get a few matches? Congratulations! Perhaps you could be a great journalist one day.

 If you consider applying for the course, the typical entry requirements are as follows;

  • 300-320 UCAS Tariff points from 3 A-levels equivalent


  • IELTS  7.0 or above if English is not your first language

The minimum English requirement for international students (i.e. IELTS) in Journalism is slightly higher than the other courses.  Naturally, this is because the course demands a demonstrably high level of written and spoken English from its students. If you have a way with words and a skill for syntax then journalism really should be taken into consideration when picking your course.

But what if your English is not so great? Don’t worry – some universities offer you an English access courses to help you get up to speed before tackling the full degree. If you’re worried about IELTS, read our article about their examinations.

Is there a career in it for me?

The course aims to prepare you for work in the industry. You will get familiar with many sorts of journalism in various platforms (i.e. TV, Radio, print or online media) such as;

Politics, Science, Community, Fashion, Film, Video Games, Civil rights and the Environment

Obviously this is just the tip of the iceberg – the best thing about studying journalism is it gives you the tools and the qualifications which can then be turned to any available genre within the discipline.

In fact, journalism is such a versatile degree that many graduates go on to work in other professions:

  • Public Relations  (read current  PR student and tutor case studies)
  • Advertising ( Find out more in our Advertising course info entry)
  • Communications department
  • Media production
  • Politics
  • Publishing
  • Creative writing
  • Teaching

Many courses include practical work placements to help you get a feel for the industry. By the time you graduate, your CV will be bursting with skills and experiences that prepare you for a career under the hot lights of television, film and media. Want to know what documents you will need for working in the UK? Read our article about documentation.

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