Best Universities For Journalism In The UK: The 2024 Guide

In an era defined by the rapid evolution of media and communication, the choice of where to study journalism is more crucial than ever. Join us as we navigate through the best universities for journalism in the UK, renowned for their excellence in journalism education, innovative programmes, and commitment to shaping the future of media. Whether you’re passionate about investigative reporting, digital media, or broadcast journalism, this guide will help you make an informed decision about where to kickstart your journey towards a successful career in journalism.

Best universities for journalism

Table of Contents

Why Study Journalism in the UK?

Studying journalism in the UK offers a myriad of compelling reasons for aspiring journalists. Firstly, the UK boasts a rich journalistic heritage, with a long history of producing world-renowned journalists, publications, and media outlets. By studying in the UK, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this vibrant media landscape and learn from industry professionals who are at the forefront of journalism.

Furthermore, the UK is home to some of the most prestigious journalism schools and universities in the world. These institutions offer cutting-edge programmes, state-of-the-art facilities, and renowned faculty members who are experts in their field. 

Moreover, studying this programme in the UK provides access to invaluable networking opportunities. Students have the chance to connect with journalists, editors, and media professionals working across a wide range of platforms, from traditional newspapers and magazines to digital startups and broadcast networks. These connections can open doors to internships, work placements, and ultimately, job opportunities in the competitive field of journalism.

Top Journalism Universities in the UK

Here are the best universities for journalism degrees in the UK entering 2024 using the latest league table from The Guardian. 

  • Oxford Brookes
  • Leeds Trinity
  • City
  • Sunderland
  • Sheffield

1. Media, Journalism and Publishing BA (Hons) - Oxford Brookes University Review

At Oxford Brookes University, the BA in Media, Journalism and Publishing is your ticket to becoming a media creator in a world where we’re constantly immersed in news and entertainment. This programme isn’t just about studying media – it’s about learning how to shape and share stories through journalism, publishing, and more. And with Oxford’s rich literary history and connections to top media organisations like Condé Nast and the BBC, you’ll be surrounded by inspiration and opportunity. Plus, studying at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing means you’ll be at the heart of global excellence in education and research. With options for international exchanges, language learning, and work placements, this degree sets you up for a dynamic career where every day brings new possibilities.

2024/2025 Tuition Fees: £15,950

2. Journalism BA (Hons) - Leeds Trinity University Review

At Leeds Trinity University, you’ll find a journalism programme that’s not just about theory but real-world practice. Imagine learning from journalists who’ve been in the trenches of regional, national, and international media, all while honing your skills in top-notch facilities. And it doesn’t stop there – think about the opportunities to intern at big names like the BBC, ITV, and even sports giants like Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos. Plus, picture yourself rubbing shoulders with industry bigwigs at events like Journalism and Media Week, where you could hear from folks like Jeremy Vine. By the time you graduate, you won’t just have a degree – you’ll have a wealth of experience and connections to jumpstart your journalism career.

2024/2025 Tuition Fees: £12,000

3. Journalism BA (Hons) - City, University of London Review

If you’re looking to kickstart your journalism career in the heart of London, City, University of London’s journalism course is a top-notch choice. With impressive rankings placing it at the forefront of media education, including being ranked 1st in London for Graduate Prospects in Communications and Media by the Complete University Guide 2024, and 1st in London for Communication and Media Studies by the Times Higher Education 2024, you can trust that you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the industry. Additionally, City ranks 3rd in the UK for Journalism according to the Guardian University Guide 2024, further solidifying its reputation for excellence in journalism education. With its central location and strong industry connections, City offers a vibrant learning environment where students can thrive and excel in their journalism careers.

2024/2025 Tuition Fees: £20,090

4. Journalism BA (Hons) - The University of Sunderland Review

Embark on a hands-on journalism degree programme guided by seasoned professionals with extensive experience in top UK media outlets. Benefit from close collaboration with industry experts to acquire the latest skills necessary to excel in the fast-paced world of media. You will also be contributing to their acclaimed radio station and websites. Throughout the course, you will cover diverse topics ranging from news and sports to fashion, arts, and entertainment, gaining invaluable practical experience along the way.

2024/2025 Tuition Fees: £16,000

5. Journalism Studies BA - Sheffield University Review

With the wide network that comes with Sheffield University, learning on the job becomes one of the strengths of the programme. Here, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in various challenging yet exciting scenarios. It may be interviewing a sports star or location filming for a breaking news today, hunting down criminal prosecution details tomorrow, and a whole lot more! As for the accreditation, this course is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists and the Professional Publishers Association. 

2024/2025 Tuition Fees: £25,540

Journalism University Rankings in the UK

Here is the latest list from The Guardian featuring the best universities for Journalism in the UK as we enter 2024:

RankInstitutionGuardian ScoreSatisfied with TeachingSatisfied with FeedbackStudent to Staff RatioSpend per StudentAverage Entry TariffValue Added ScoreCareer after 15 MonthsContinuation
1Oxford Brookes10096.870.211.151309n/a98.6
2Leeds Trinity97.985.482.613.2211910n/a93.7
8Edinburgh Napier87.487.773.722.2616798693.8
13Manchester Met82.98187.611.161218n/a82.9
16Central Lancashire79.183.480.813.7512649084.4
17East London79.180.772.414.351199n/an/a
21Nottingham Trent75.185.777.216412348391.1
24Liverpool John Moores72.880.374.515.5612648194.4
25London South Bank71.366.769.1127979n/an/a
26Bath Spa70.486.283.518.7211777493.7
29Leeds Beckett66.685.37320.1311947691
30Robert Gordon65.383.372.116.131622n/a88.5
31Sheffield Hallam65.361.156.415.661124n/a92.1
32University of the Arts London65.363.474.720.41013147990.9
35South Wales54.868.467.414.341261n/a84.2
40Birmingham City48.864.863.217.5613327087.2
41De Montfort46.4746615.7210746981.4

How are the Rankings Measured?

This league table presents a comprehensive overview of various universities in the UK, showcasing their performance across multiple metrics. The calculation methodology involves aggregating data from diverse sources to offer insights into each institution’s educational quality, resources, and outcomes. Key factors such as satisfaction with teaching and feedback, student-to-staff ratio, spend per student, average entry tariff, value-added score, and career prospects after 15 months are considered. Each metric is meticulously assessed and assigned a numerical value, which is then collated to generate an overall ranking. This approach provides prospective students and stakeholders with valuable information to make informed decisions regarding university choices, reflecting the diverse strengths and characteristics of each institution within the higher education landscape.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Journalism Programme

When choosing a journalism programme, several factors should be considered to ensure you select the right fit for your academic and career goals. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Accreditation: Ensure that the journalism programme is accredited by relevant professional bodies or organisations, such as the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) or the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC).

  2. Curriculum: Review the curriculum to see if it covers a wide range of topics relevant to modern journalism, including writing skills, digital media, investigative reporting, ethics, and media law. 

  3. Faculty: Research the qualifications and experience of the faculty members. Look for programmes with faculty who have a combination of academic expertise and professional experience in journalism. 

  4. Facilities and Resources: Consider the resources available to students, such as newsrooms, broadcast studios, multimedia labs, and equipment. Access to up-to-date technology and tools used in the industry is essential for hands-on learning and skill development.

  5. Industry Connections: Investigate the programme’s industry connections and partnerships with media organisations, news outlets, and journalism networks. Programmes that offer opportunities for networking, internships, and placements can provide valuable connections and real-world experience.

Career Opportunities for Journalism Graduates

Journalism graduates possess a diverse skill set that opens up a wide range of career opportunities in various sectors of the media industry. Here are some potential career paths for journalism graduates:

  1. Journalist/Reporter: Graduates can work as journalists or reporters for newspapers, magazines, online publications, radio stations, television networks, or news agencies. They may cover a wide range of topics, including politics, current events, sports, entertainment, business, or investigative reporting.

  2. Editor/Content Producer: Graduates with strong writing and editing skills can work as editors or content producers for media organisations, overseeing the production of news articles, features, or multimedia content. They may also be responsible for managing editorial calendars, assigning stories, and ensuring content meets quality standards.

  3. Copywriter/Content Marketer: Journalism graduates with strong writing skills can transition into careers as copywriters or content marketers, creating promotional or branded content for advertising agencies, marketing firms, or corporate clients. They may write advertising copy, blog posts, social media content, or website copy to engage audiences and promote brands.

  4. Media Relations/Public Relations Specialist: Graduates can work in media relations or public relations roles, representing organisations, companies, or public figures to the media. They may write press releases, pitch stories to journalists, coordinate media interviews, or manage communication strategies to shape public perception and promote positive media coverage.

Dissertation Topics for Journalism

Choosing a dissertation topic for journalism requires careful consideration of current trends, personal interests, and academic feasibility. Here are some potential dissertation topics for journalism students:

  1. Ethical Dilemmas in Digital Journalism: Investigate ethical challenges faced by journalists in the digital age, such as fake news, clickbait headlines, privacy concerns, and the spread of misinformation on social media platforms.

  2. Impact of Social Media on News Reporting: Analyse the role of social media platforms in shaping news consumption habits, audience engagement, and the dissemination of news content. Examine how journalists use social media for sourcing, reporting, and distribution.

  3. Journalism and Democracy: Explore the relationship between journalism and democracy, examining the role of the media in holding power to account, informing citizens, and fostering public debate and participation in democratic processes.

  4. Covering Crisis and Conflict Reporting: Investigate the challenges and ethical considerations involved in reporting on crisis situations, conflicts, and humanitarian crises. Analyse the role of journalists in providing accurate and balanced coverage while ensuring the safety and well-being of both reporters and subjects.

Frequently Asked Questions about UK Journalism Universities

Journalism is the practice of gathering, verifying, and disseminating news and information to the public through various media platforms, including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and online outlets. Journalists play a crucial role in informing the public, holding power to account, and fostering democratic discourse.

Important skills for aspiring journalists include strong writing and storytelling abilities, critical thinking and analytical skills, research and investigative skills, interviewing skills, multimedia skills (such as photography, video production, and digital editing), ethical decision-making, and adaptability to new technologies and platforms.

Journalism encompasses various forms and genres, including:

  • News journalism: Reporting on current events, breaking news, and developments in society.
  • Investigative journalism: In-depth reporting that seeks to uncover wrongdoing, corruption, or abuses of power.
  • Feature journalism: Long-form storytelling that explores human interest, profiles individuals or communities, or delves into social issues.
  • Opinion journalism: Commentary, analysis, and opinion pieces expressing the author’s perspective on current affairs and issues.
  • Multimedia journalism: Journalism that incorporates various multimedia elements, such as video, audio, infographics, and interactive content.

Journalism faces numerous challenges in the digital age, including:

  • Declining revenues and financial sustainability for traditional media outlets.
  • Disinformation and misinformation spread through social media and online platforms.
  • Attacks on press freedom and threats to journalists’ safety and security.
  • Technological disruptions and changes in audience consumption habits.
  • Trust and credibility issues amid concerns about bias, partisanship, and fake news.

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