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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3355 Journalism Placement

20 creditsClass Size: 55

Module manager: Kate Watkins

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19


COMM2410Journalism Practice

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to ...
This module aims to give students three weeks assessed practical experience within the news media industry. It enables students to be taught, supervised and supported by a team of media professionals . It allows students to put into practice the broadcasting and intellectual skills they have developed in level 2 modules within a professional news environment. Prior to the placement, students are given advice in the skills required for working effectively in a media environment. After the placement students will critically evaluate this experience of professional practice.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Apply knowledge of and skills in media production (including knowledge of ethical, legal and editorial processes) during a professional work placement.
2. Demonstrate a range of personal skills – communication, team work, presentation and initiative – relevant to working in the media industries.
3. Reflect critically on their experience of working in media production explaining how it connects to their study of journalism and media.
4. Reflect on what they have learnt about themselves – their interests, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses and suitability for work in the media industries.

Skills outcomes
Students will learn to work under pressure in order to meet the exacting deadlines within the industry. They will be required to prove the intellectual and practical capabilities they have acquired at University within the professional industry environment and under the scrutiny of working professionals. The placement assessment develops students’ ability to critically reflect on practice in their chosen field.


During Year 2, Semester 2, prior to the placement, students will have two lectures which prepare them for the duties they will be required to undertake in a professional journalistic environment and revise their knowledge of media law.

The student placement normally takes place between the end of May and September at the end of year 2. Each student's experience will depend on the project(s) in which they are involved, their specific role(s) and the organisation in which they will work. They will, however, be involved in the development, implementation and execution of a news production in a variety of junior capacities.

In Year 3, Semester 1, students will receive lectures and seminars to consider key issues from the study of media and journalism that should be employed in the writing of the reflective essay.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours122.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Most of this module is delivered via teaching and placement attendance but students are required to independently prepare for the placement by providing an industry-specific CV of professional standard to the placement provider; or by applying to the placement online (if necessary). They are advised to keep a placement diary and a record of their work.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

This module is monitored, supervised and assessed by School of Media and Communication staff. Tutors are judging a student's ability to reflect and report on their skills, aptitudes and the development of their professional experience in a working context.

If a student is not judged to have a sufficient level of competency to undertake a placement , the student will be required to retake the module in the following year. A lack of competency would be defined as unacceptable module marks(such as failing to achieve a pass standard of assessed work) and poor attendance of the second year practice based journalism modules in semesters one and two.

The students must undertake the three weeks placement, normally consecutively, at any time from mid May to mid September. This timescale gives the School the opportunity to schedule students throughout the summer.

Prior to the attachment, a senior member of the particular news and current affairs unit concerned receives a letter outlining the key skills a student already possesses, and a suggestion of what kind of level of work the student should undertake. The provider is required to sign a contract with the University and student which confirms our Health and Safety requirements. The placement provider is required to assign a designated mentor to each student.

The tutor is available throughout the 3 weeks by phone or email to discuss any issues raised by either the host or student and if necessary will undertake a visit to the work placement. In the last week of the placement, the host is sent a form which assesses the student’s work. This is a written report in the form of a tabulated list of tasks including satisfactory attendance and performance in the areas of research, scriptwriting, reporting, individual initiative, teamwork, and overall potential. The report should be completed then discussed with the student before they depart.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Reflective log1 x Reflective Report 2,500 - 3,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The placement is a pass/fail element of the module. If a student fails to complete a total of 3 weeks placement then they will be required to retake the module in the following year. Satisfactory attendance of 75% of the placement is required. A report (based upon a questionnaire issued by the School ) by the placement provider, outlining the context of the student's work and offering a professional judgement on the student's performance in their specific working environment will be used as evidence of the student's experience and help to inform their critical reflection , but will not form part the student’s assessment

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2018 09:25:36


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