Study Journalism: A Comprehensive Subject Guide

The world of journalism is a dynamic and ever-evolving field that plays a crucial role in shaping societies and keeping the public informed. From breaking news stories to investigative reporting and multimedia storytelling, journalism is at the heart of how we understand and engage with the world around us.


Table of Contents

What is Journalism?

Journalism is the practice of gathering, verifying, writing, and disseminating news and information through various media platforms, such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and digital media. Journalists play a critical role in providing the public with accurate and timely information about current events, issues, and developments on local, national, and global scales. 

They adhere to ethical principles, including objectivity, accuracy, and fairness, to deliver news that informs, educates, and serves as a cornerstone of democratic societies. It encompasses various forms, including investigative journalism, photojournalism, broadcast journalism, and online journalism.

Why Study Journalism?

Studying journalism offers numerous benefits and is a valuable pursuit for individuals interested in the field of media and communication. Here are some compelling reasons to consider studying journalism:

  1. Informing the Public: Journalism plays a crucial role in providing accurate, timely, and reliable information to the public. This is essential for an informed society and a functioning democracy.

  2. Promoting Transparency: Journalists help uncover and expose corruption, wrongdoing, and injustices, holding individuals, organisations, and governments accountable for their actions.

  3. Developing Critical Thinking: Journalism education fosters critical thinking skills, helping students analyse complex issues, sift through vast amounts of information, and assess the credibility of sources.

  4. Enhancing Communication Skills: This programme emphasise effective writing, interviewing, and communication skills, which are valuable in various careers, not just journalism.

  5. Becoming a Storyteller: Journalism allows individuals to become skilled storytellers, conveying stories and information in engaging and compelling ways, whether through writing, photography, or multimedia.

  6. Career Opportunities: A journalism degree opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities, including roles in journalism, public relations, advertising, corporate communications, and digital media.

  7. Media Literacy: Studying journalism enhances media literacy, enabling individuals to critically assess the media they consume and distinguish between credible and unreliable sources.

  8. Global Perspective: Journalists often cover international events, providing a global perspective and an understanding of the interconnectedness of the world.

  9. Adaptability: Journalism programems teach adaptability and versatility, as graduates are prepared to work in a rapidly changing media landscape. This includes digital and multimedia platforms.

  10. Making a Difference: Many journalists find fulfillment in knowing that their work can make a positive impact on society. This is by raising awareness, influencing change, and giving a voice to marginalised communities.

  11. Networking Opportunities: Journalism programmes often provide opportunities to build a network of contacts in the media industry. This can be beneficial for internships and job placements.

  12. Creativity: Journalists have the opportunity to be creative in their storytelling, whether through investigative reporting, feature writing, or multimedia presentations.

  13. Public Engagement: This programme encourages public engagement and civic participation, as journalists often cover issues that spark discussions and debates within society.

Entry Requirements for a Journalism Degree

Entry requirements for journalism programmes in the UK can vary between universities, but there are general guidelines and standards that most programmes adhere to. Here are the typical entry requirements:

A-levels: Most universities will require A-levels or equivalent qualifications. Typical offers may range from AAB to BBC, depending on the university and programme.

International Baccalaureate (IB): Some universities may accept the IB diploma with a certain number of points, often in the range of 32-36 points.

BTEC Extended Diplomas: Certain journalism programmes may consider BTEC Extended Diplomas in related subjects.

Subject RequirementsWhile there are no strict subject prerequisites for journalism programmes, relevant subjects such as English, media studies, communication studies, or a social science can be advantageous.

Jobs for Journalism Graduates

Here are the career prospects for graduates in this field:

  • Journalist/Reporter
  • Editor
  • Photojournalist
  • News Producer
  • Digital Journalist/Online Editor
  • Investigative Journalist
  • Freelance Writer/Reporter
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Foreign Correspondent

Salary for Journalism Graduates

Check out the average salary for graduates in this field: 

Low skilled: £21,600

Medium-skilled: £20,000

High-skilled: £17,500

Topics for Journalism Dissertation

Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of Journalism and make a significant contribution to its advancement:

  1. Media Bias and Political Reporting: Analysing the presence of bias in political reporting and its impact on public perception and trust in the media.


  2. Data Journalism and Investigative Reporting: Investigating the role of data journalism in uncovering and reporting on complex issues, such as government corruption or environmental crises.


  3. Journalism Ethics in the Digital Age: Exploring the ethical challenges and dilemmas faced by journalists in the era of online news, social media, and clickbait journalism.


  4. Local Journalism and Community Engagement: Studying the decline and resurgence of local journalism, with a focus on its role in fostering community engagement and civic participation.


  5. Diversity and Representation in Media: Analysing the representation of underrepresented groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities, in media content.


  6. Journalism and Disaster Reporting: Investigating the challenges and ethical considerations in reporting on natural disasters, pandemics, and humanitarian crises.


  7. Media Ownership and Independence: Examining the influence of media ownership structures on editorial independence and the diversity of voices in journalism.


  8. Environmental Journalism: Studying the role of environmental journalism in raising awareness about climate change and environmental issues, as well as its impact on policy and public opinion.


  9. Media Literacy Education: Evaluating the effectiveness of media literacy programmes in schools and communities in promoting critical thinking and responsible media consumption.


  10. Journalism and Social Media: Investigating the impact of social media platforms on journalism practices, including sourcing, audience engagement, and the spread of misinformation.


  11. War Correspondence and Conflict Reporting: Analysing the experiences and ethical dilemmas of war correspondents reporting from conflict zones around the world.
  12. Investigative Journalism and Legal Challenges: Examining the legal challenges, risks, and protections for investigative journalists working on stories with potential legal implications.


  13. Media Coverage of Health Crises: Studying media coverage of health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and its role in shaping public perceptions, government responses, and public health outcomes.


  14. Newsroom Diversity and Inclusion: Investigating efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in newsrooms and their impact on news coverage and storytelling.


  15. Media Ownership and Democracy: Exploring the relationship between media ownership, editorial independence, and the functioning of democratic societies.

Journalism Employment in the UK

The number of people employed as journalists and newspaper and periodical editors in the United Kingdom was reportedly 110,000 in 2021. Although this figure represented a continuation of the upward trend beginning in 2018, the number of employees in this field accounts for a mere fraction of the UK workforce. Employment figures for the United Kingdom place the number of employed persons at over 32 million, meaning that those working as journalists or editors represent less than 0.5 percent of the total.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK

One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:

  • For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
  • In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
  • Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
  • Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
  • International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Besides the tuition fees, there are also several other cost considerations such as food, accommodation, phone bills, books, social life, memberships, and others. Remember to check out our free student budget calculator

Other Subjects to Consider

Given that you are interested in this subject area, you might also want to consider the following options: 

  • Media Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • History
  • Law
  • English or Literature
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Environmental Science or Sustainability Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.

While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.

Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.

Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.

Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.

Apply To A UK University Today!

Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help!

Subscribe For Our FREE Insider UK Study Advice

Apply To Your Favourite UK University Today!

Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help!

Scroll to Top