BA (Hons) Journalism

  • Ranked 20th nationally for Journalism, Publishing and PR (The Guardian)
  • We are small enough to have a tightly knit community, but big enough to give you the confidence and skills you need to succeed
  • Our courses are led by a mix of experts who work or worked in the media across a wide range of platforms and cutting edge researchers

About the course

What are the skills a journalist needs in today’s fast-paced, exciting, digital world?

The way we consume media has been revolutionised by digital technology. Online news, podcasts and social media compete for our attention alongside newspapers, magazines and radio. But today’s journalists still need to be able to tell a story, to keep people informed and entertained, and to communicate the truth.

From learning how to webcast and create videos, to carrying out research and conducting interviews, our BA Journalism degree will give you hands-on practical experience and high-level communications skills from many different areas such as journalism, PR and marketing.

At Hertfordshire, you’ll explore journalism in the context of the wider media landscape, giving you the flexibility to mould your future, whether that’s in hard news or lifestyle journalism, social media, corporate communications, magazines, marketing or PR.

You’ll be taught by academics who have worked for the BBC, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, The Sun, The Times and a wide variety of other media and broadcast outlets.

Core subjects in your first year include an Introduction to Media Practices and Introduction to Journalism, and cover media platforms, from video and podcasts to web-based and interactive media. You’ll explore the law and ethics of journalism and study Global Media and Society, considering issues such as how globalisation has impacted on the media. Optional modules introduce you to creative writing and film criticism.

In your second year you’ll focus on social media, radio journalism and research methods, as well as building on the skills you’ll need to write engaging features and strong news stories. For potential media entrepreneurs, optional modules on App Design and Video Feature will enable you to explore their commercial possibilities.

Choices in your third year could include studying abroad or spending a placement year building your mass communications skills through working in a social media role, marketing, PR, magazines or corporate communications. Or mix the two with a half-year placement and half-year study abroad, an unusual but increasingly popular combination.

You can also write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, build your own journalism skills portfolio by creating a website or social media campaign, or writing a series of articles – or even start your own business. A further option is a term’s work experience, supported by your tutor, adding to your employability as a skilled media practitioner.

Why choose this course?

We give you:

  • A flexible programme, allowing you to explore the many different applications of journalism
  • We are top 20 in the Guardian League Tables 2020
  • Expert teaching by lecturers experienced in all aspects of the industry
  • Individual support – you’ll have a personal tutor to guide and advise on your academic and personal development
  • Industry insights – our Media Matters series of talks by invited speakers are delivered by professionals who are also active contributors within our graduate network
  • Placement opportunities, enabling you to enhance your employability and create a portfolio of work 

What will I study?

Our Journalism students benefit from being part of a boutique, supportive academic community. There are weekly lectures, practicals where you’ll learn interviewing skills, and other interactive seminars to help you find your feet and establish ways of working confidently, creatively and collaboratively.

You’ll be encouraged to take part in Hertfordshire and London’s vibrant media scene through work placements and making industry contacts. Recent students have worked for diverse media outlets ranging from the BBC to Hello! magazine and local news sites.

There are also opportunities to get involved in activities that complement your studies, such as writing for the University’s newspaper or working at community and local radio. On campus, this includes Crush Radio, the country’s longest-running university radio station, and Trident Media, UH’s video and print media outlet, run by the Students’ Union.

You’ll be able to network with industry professionals invited to our Media Matters guest lecture series, such as journalist Georgina Lawton, of Gal-dem, the online and print magazine written by women and non-binary people of colour, Terry Mansfield CBE, top executive from Hearst Corporation, publishers of magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Digital Spy and Men’s Health, as well as independent broadcasters and the BBC.

Careers

Studying journalism opens doors to a range of careers where your creativity, writing, communication and research skills are invaluable. Jobs directly related to your degree include:

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Our hands-on journalism training equips you to pursue a career in the media, whether in features, news, radio or online, but this degree course also opens up opportunities in PR, corporate communications, marketing and advertising. Your creative and critical thinking, as well as the analytical, research and communication skills you’ll gain through this degree, are all highly valued by employers in a wide range of industries.

One of our recent graduates has been shortlisted for Blogger of the Year in the UK Blog Awards and is now a staff writer on National Geographic Kids magazine. Another is manager of community online development at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, while another is a sports journalist on the Daily Express.

I was always encouraged and welcomed when I asked for any additional support with studies and assignments, or when meeting challenges during the course of my editorship of the student union magazine. This personalised tuition was extended further with the support I received after leaving university. Through the special guest lecture series I met one of my close industry mentors. All this helped lead to my securing a job at a national Business to business publication.

Kate Snowdon

BA (Hons) Journalism graduate, editor and award-winning blogger