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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM1345 Journalism News Skills

20 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: John Sinclair

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

Incoming Study Abroad Students must have taken COMM1305 to take this module.


COMM1305Introduction to Journalism

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module builds on Introduction to Journalism to develop key skills in news reporting. It also introduces students to the ethical and legal requirements for news reporting. It will also provide students with further practice in news production – finding and selecting stories, news writing and multimedia news gathering.Students must pass the exam in order to pass the module.


This module builds on COMM 1305 to build students skills in researching and producing news content within legal and regulatory constraints. Students will be introduced to key concepts in criminal and civil law. They will understand the organisation of local government and the role journalists play in the democratic process.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the module students should be able to:
1 Demonstrate and understanding of organisational and social structures that are important for journalists
2 Demonstrate the ability to understand and evaluate a range of different kinds of information relevant to journalism
3 Apply media research skills effectively in producing factual material for multimedia news output
4 Demonstrate an understanding of ethics, law and regulation relevant to the practice of journalism and apply this in the production of journalistic work

Skills outcomes
Interviewing, desk research, understanding official documents, media law


Teaching in lectures will cover law, regulation and ethics as well as provide students with an introduction to key institutions relevant to journalism – such as councils, media regulators and the courts.
Workshops will provide an opportunity for the exploration of key concepts, legislation and media policy and receive formative feedback. Students will also receive hands-on experience in research skills - finding and critiquing information released by government sources, charities, companies and lobby groups.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours158.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study should be dedicated to research and preparation of the essay (approx 40 hours) and
research and preparation of the news research project, webpage and ‘newsdays’ (approx 107 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The hands on approach to teaching on the module provides students with frequent opportunities for formative feedback in terms of their research skills. Students will have the opportunity to sit a ‘mock’ law exam in their seminar classes and will be provided with feedback on this in time to support their preparation for the exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PracticalMultimedia news product including image/sound and short project report (1,000 – 1,500 words)60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)40.00

The exam is a requirement of the accrediting organisation for the BA Journalism/ BA Broadcast Journalism the BJTC.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/02/2019


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