UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Programme Title:
BA [Hons] Journalism and PR (Joint
BA (Hons) Journalism and PR
Certificate of HE/Diploma in HE/BA Journalism and PR
Mode of Study
Full-time (three years)
QAA Subject Benchmarks: Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies (2008)
Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Date of Production:
Date of Revision:
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EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME 1. To provide a coherent, rigorous, challenging and exciting experience to enable
you to emerge with the confidence, knowledge, understanding, skills and credentials to work effectively and satisfyingly in Journalism and PR or progress to postgraduate study
2. To incorporate the standards of the UK’s leading professional PR body, the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) in its syllabus for the Advanced Certificate in Public Relations 3. To combine theoretical and practical elements as a constant dialogue focusing on real-world Journalism and PR and measure progress and achievement through assessment of academic and vocational performance 4. To blend traditional core communication skills with the knowledge and techniques necessary to capitalise on the multi-media mix of modern PR operations 5. To offer windows of insight and opportunity through guest lecturers from the PR industry, visits to PR operations, work placements and real-world project briefs designed by PR professionals 6. To inspire you to see your studies as a part of a life-long learning experience and to recognise the value of your communications expertise, transferable knowledge and skills essential to a huge range of enterprises, businesses and organisations
What is distinctive about this programme? The massive experience of the delivery team in the Journalism and PR world
A hands-on, real-world focus throughout maintained by specialist lecturers for every aspect of the programme, work placements and real-world project briefs set by PR professionals
An outstanding track record of graduates working in Journalism and PR in broadcast, online and print
A schedule of study which is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and incorporates its full Advanced Certificate in Public Relations syllabus
The course is one of only very few at UK Universities which brings together, under one award, the disciplines of Journalism and PR
The Staffordshire Graduate – Journalism and PR The BA degree in Journalism and PR aims to produce graduates who are reflective and critical learners with a global perspective and who are prepared for the world of work.
Across all levels of the degrees and across all Journalism and PR modules, we aim to provide our graduates with discipline expertise. We instil a critical knowledge of the discipline that is underpinned by the experience, research and scholarship of the academic staff and which strives to reflect the key issues that affect the world in which we live.
As part of our commitment to ensuring that Journalism and PR graduates demonstrate professionalism, we aim to produce graduates who are equipped to enter the world of work and are enterprising or entrepreneurial by nature. We use tutorial modules, practical work, field work, dissertations (or work-place projects) and professional practice, to develop and refine the transferable skills (and the confidence and proficiencies that such skills endow) that create graduates with the abilities that employers seek. PR practitioners and journalists who are enterprising are not only innovative in how they think and conduct their work, but are creative in seeking solutions based on the knowledge and skills that the curricula impart.
In order to capitalize on the knowledge and understanding that the degrees aim to develop, effective communication and an ability to work in teams and with diverse stakeholders, are seen as essential attributes of our graduates. The development of communication, presentation and team working skills lie at the heart of the Journalism and PR degree and are nurtured from first principles to a high level of proficiency in many of the thematic modules and, especially, through tutorial programmes, field work and the work placement or professional practice modules.
Employers also value independence of thought and a creative ability to find solutions. The degree in Journalism and PR enables students to take ownership of their learning – whether individually or in groups – and encourages independence of thought and problem-solving across a spectrum of activities: in the conduct of a research dissertation or a work-place project; in student-led investigative field projects; in critical reading and writing in thematic modules; or in tutorial discussions and presentations.
These are essential attributes of the critical, reflective and life-long learners that Staffordshire graduates are expected to become. Throughout the three years of the degree, students are encouraged to develop their understanding through critical reflection; to question different views and perspectives and to use both their generic and specialist skills (including digital technologies) to recognize and resolve problems.
Increasingly those problems are set in a global context and globalisation and global citizenship are central to the way that journalists look at the world. The majority of the thematic modules that structure these awards explore understandings of how global systems work; how those systems impact upon individuals; and how graduate PR practitioners and journalists can work professionally to manage global issues. 3
PROGRAMME OUTCOMES At the end of your studies you should be able to: Knowledge & Understanding Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of professional Journalism and PR. QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-5, 6.1, 8.1-2 Demonstrate an in-depth critical perspective and acknowledgement of wellestablished theories associated with the organisation, management, demand and supply of professional media. QAASBS 5.3, 6.1, 8.2 Learning Demonstrate fluency with the matrix of considerations in modern PR. QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-5, 6.1, 8.1-2 Enquiry Assess and explore the appropriateness of the range of practical and theoretical tools in research, planning and production.
QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-6, 6.1, 8.1-2
Analysis Think creatively while maintaining focus on outcomes and resources. QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-5, 6.1, 8.1-2 Critically analyse how economic and business research contributes to the study and practice of professional PR. QAASBS 5.3, 6.1, 8.2 Problem Solving Demonstrate resolve, discipline and a can-do attitude in refining actions and products. QAASBS 4.1, 4.3-4, 5.2-5, 6.1, 8.1-2 Communication Communicate logically, thoroughly and professionally in required modes and formats, working independently and with others. QAASBS 4.1, 4.3-5, 5.2-6, 6.1, 8.1-2 Communicate relevant concepts and theories to specialist and non-specialist audiences. QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-6, 6.1, 8.1-2 Application Demonstrate a sophisticated use of appropriate skills, techniques and knowledge. QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-5, 6.1, 8.1-2 Apply relevant concepts and theories from economics and business to the study of professional PR. QAASBS 5.3, 6.1, 8.2 Reflection Critically interrogate performance, recognise and address shortcomings and build on strengths. QAASBS 4.1-5, 5.2-6, 6.1, 8.1-2 These learning outcomes have been informed by the QAA subject benchmarking statement for honours degree courses in communication, media, film and cultural studies (2008). A full PDF copy is available via this link: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/Subject-benchmarkstatement-Communication-media-film-and-cultural-studies.aspx
PROGRAMME STRUCTURE, MODULES AND CREDITS
L E V E L
Teaching Block 1
Teaching Block 2
CORE JOUR40304 Journalism in Practice
CORE JOUR40600 Writing for….
[To include basic video, audio and stills photography skills]
L E V E L
Teaching Block 3
Teaching Block 4
CORE JOUR50606 Journalism in Practice 2
 CORE JOUR40602 Journalism Studies
CORE JOUR50436 PR Operations
CORE JOUR50321 Production Journalism
CORE JOUR50605 The British Media: Behind the Headlines
Teaching Block 5
CORE JOUR50338 Magazine Writing and Business Practices 
CORE JOUR40475 PR Practices
[Seminars within specialisms]
L E V E L
CORE JOUR40601 Introduction to Media Law
OPTION MODULE [in either semester]
CORE JOUR60628 Journalism Project
CORE JOUR60457 Work Placement and Career Development
CORE JOUR60324 Pro PR
OPTION MODULE [in either semester]
CORE JOUR60608 PR Campaigning
Teaching Block 6
Option Modules LEVEL 5 [Choose ONE option in either Semester One or Two] Teaching Block 1
Teaching Block 2
Law for Journalists 2
Magazine Design, Development & Production
Future Journalism 1
Future Journalism 2
Conflict and Journalism [cannot be taken with L6 version]
Serial across both semesters [with assessment deadline in teaching block 2]
LEVEL 6 [Choose ONE option in either semester one or two] Teaching Block 1
Teaching Block 2
Screening Journalism [Not with JOUR50609]
The War on Terror Explained
Future Journalism 1 [Not with JOUR50639]
Conflict and Journalism [cannot be taken with L5 version]
Managing Events Communications
HOW WILL I BE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED? Teaching and Learning Teaching methods are carefully selected and employed to provide you with: appropriate means to engage successfully with the syllabus of each module; to draw out the fullest possible range of appropriate methods by which you can learn across the course. Lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, use of Blackboard, the web and library resources, work placements, meeting project briefs, directed and self-directed research combine to provide you with opportunities to learn and demonstrate your learning in different ways. The emphasis throughout is on your engagement through personal enquiry, a continuous dialogue with texts, techniques, tutors, guest lecturers and professional music journalism and broadcasting practice. Independent learning is important on all modules, as it enables you to develop your subject and key skills and to prepare for written and oral communication. Independent learning is promoted through the feedback given to students, which takes several forms including small group and one-to-one discussions on summative assessment. You are given regular feedback on your progress during seminar/workshop sessions in your practical modules. Q&A will be a feature of every lecture, seminar and workshop, discussion will be encouraged, enquiry championed, revision and reflection and refinement embedded as consistent features of the programme leading to best-practice habits. This underpinning ethos of enquiry is embedded throughout the programme. On some modules particular, specifically assessed aspects of enquiry will be measured and assessed. Appropriate technical resources are in place for the delivery of every module. The media centre loan facility will provide all necessary equipment on loan once appropriate training has been carried out. The library on College Road is open 24/7 and offers a wide array of electronic and printed resources. You receive regular written and oral feedback on your work you produce and portfolios which are largely independently produced, allow tutors to assess student progress towards appropriate professional standards in both Journalism and Public Relations via practical and academic assessments.
Assessment The wide range of knowledge, skills and techniques demanded for modern Journalism and PR requires a sophisticated set of assessments (both formative and summative) to measure practical and cognitive performance. These include: Written, audio and audio-visual material for print, websites and other digital media Reports Essays Presentations Portfolios Class Tests Projects Individual modules may be weighted by combinations of these different assessment methods. Academic essays allow tutors to gauge your ability to independently research and then analyse, assess and present that information in a coherent and detached (i.e., academic) 7
manner. Writing news and feature stories for formal assessment tests your progress towards the appropriate professional standards. Unseen examinations help prepare you for your unseen NCTJ Law examinations (if you wish to take this route). Group oral seminar assessments encourage you to work collaboratively with your colleagues and develop your communication skills. Portfolios of work (including the production of magazines, photojournalism and newspaper page layouts) encourage group working and allow tutors to assess your progress towards appropriate professional standards. The editor's report on your work placement assesses your performance as a sports journalist in a working newsroom (or similar environment). Work Placement (part of Career Development module) is an essential part of the course. You will be expected to initiate your own placements but will be supported by tutors who will be available to provide advice and contacts to help you complete 120 hours
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Entry Requirements (including IELTS score) What qualifications would I need to join this programme? The standard admissions criteria for the programme are in line with the University's general requirements: the equivalent of a minimum of 2 ‘A’ Levels or AVCs, or BTEC National Diploma. For mature students, an Access to HE qualification is also typically accepted. The new Diploma qualification will also be considered as part of the admission process. Students may be considered for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) where a student uses his or her previous experiences to gain admission to a programme of study; admission to a module; admission at an intermediate stage in a programme (advanced standing); or to gain exemption from part of a programme of study. These previous experiences may be workbased learning, general learning experiences (experiential) or certificated qualifications. You should normally apply for exemptions or admission with advanced standing through the RPL scheme when you apply for a place on the award, or immediately upon registration for your modules. You will not be allowed to apply for RPL in a module once you have submitted any assessment for that module. If you apply for exemptions or admission with advanced standing through the RPL scheme you may be required to undergo some assessment to determine the relevance of your experiences/qualifications. Staffordshire University’s RPL scheme can be accessed at: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/assets/Recognition%20of%20Prior%20Learning%20Scheme%20V2% 20(2)_tcm44-79321.pdf The specific entry requirements for Journalism and PR are normally: 260 points for a three A-level (A2) candidate, which can include up to 40 points from an AS subject not taken as full A-level (A2) or level three Key Skills. Details of point equivalents for BTEC and other vocational programmes can be found in the prospectus (in print or online at www.staffs.ac.uk). Candidates whose first language is not English will need: an IELTS test score of 7.5 or higher; or GCSE English at grade C or higher; or an equivalent to GCSE grade C or higher in an English examination equivalent to GCSE; or satisfy the admissions tutor that the use of English is of a sufficiently high standard through a written test and interview. Applications from mature students are welcome even if they do not have the normal entry qualifications but are able to demonstrate that they would be able to contend with the rigours of higher education. The qualities such applicants have to offer could be considered through 8
relevant prior experience in employment, self-employment or a voluntary capacity, evidence of producing materials or operating in a relevant field and the support of a suitably qualified referee. Such applicants might be interviewed and might be required to produce some written work to help make an accurate assessment of suitability. Disability Statement Staffordshire University operates a policy of inclusive teaching and learning to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to fulfil their educational potential. Details about how to apply to have your needs assessed can be found at: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/courses_and_study/disabled_students/index.jsp
AWARD SPECIFIC INFORMATION Careful planning will be required for the successful completion of work placement and the professional PR project brief. Students must ensure that they can afford the travel and living costs, particularly for placements, and that accommodation is convenient for travel to and from the locations where they will be based. Students will be supervised in their work placement choices and cost and access considerations will be discussed, issues resolved and placements arranged accordingly. A financial contribution will also be required for whole-class visits to events and professional PR operations – typically this will be coach fare of less than £10.
Further information about the award can be found in the relevant Student Handbook and on the University Website. This includes information about optional modules, learning outcomes at levels below honours, student support, and academic regulations.