Foundation Year Zero
Students on all of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:
- Academic Writing and Study Skills
- Personal and Career Development
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
- Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities
In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:
- Dangerous Ideas
- Foundation English Language and Communication
- Foundation English Literature
- Foundation Media and Communications
- Analysing British Cinema
- Historical Foundations
- America and the World (subject to validation)
- Music and Performing Arts in Context
- The Languages and Theory of Music
Introduction to Journalism
This module serves as a broad introduction to the journalism industry. You will learn about the UK (and global) media landscape, its history and its much-debated future. We will also guide you through some of journalisms' biggest ever stories – from Watergate to the Thalidomide Scandal to the MPs expense revelations – showing you what you might achieve in your journalism career.
You will learn the basic concepts and skills needed to write for a range of journalism platforms including online, radio, TV and magazines. You will learn the core skills of research, writing, accuracy and balance common to all journalism. We will encourage you to develop a clear and concise writing style while understanding the differences in writing for text-based or broadcast media outlets.
Journalism: Story Finding
You will learn how to generate original journalism by finding and cultivating contacts as well as deploying several established methods for generating exclusives. You will learn how to identify potential stories from research or interviews. This module will also introduce the concept of integrating text, audio and video online to produce multimedia content by building on the Journalism: Writing, Radio Journalism 1 and TV Journalism 1 modules.
Television Journalism 1
You’ll learn how to film with your own Ipod and tripod kit (supplied at start of year) to generate news and feature footage, the grammar of television and how to edit television films using industry standard video editing software (Final cut pro). Skills in researching, interviewing and developing news stories are emphasised throughout. Techniques of good vocal delivery are studied, as are ‘pieces to camera’ whilst reporting on location. Collaborative skills are developed through team exercises to plan, edit and produce TV news bulletin programmes in our TV news studio.
Radio Journalism 1
You’ll learn to record interviews and voicepieces, write scripts for radio and edit your audio in order to produce entertaining and informative clips, packages, features and finally a programme. You’ll learn how to use the studio and how to adapt your voice for each story during broadcast. We also teach the key principles of journalism here; including balance, accuracy, and codes of conduct.
Politics, Law and Ethics 1
This module takes you through media Law and ethics in practical terms; how must you behave when reporting items involving children for example, or a court case, interpret reporting restrictions, avoiding ‘defamation’ or ‘libel’, and then there’s also human rights legislation; copyright, breach of confidence; negligence; misrepresentation; privacy; and taste and decency. You’ll also learn how the UK and the world work; for example the political system, NHS, employment, immigration and asylum and the EU.
Multimedia Journalism (double module)
You will learn how to be a self-starting multimedia journalists conversant with a broad range of digital content types, online story-telling methods and social media. You will apply the newsgathering, news writing, video and audio production skills and legal and ethical knowledge developed in year 1 to produce a portfolio of original multimedia journalism. The module will teach you how to operate in a digital newsroom and help you understand and analyse the status, role and sustainability of the journalism industry in the digital era.
Television Journalism 2
In Year 2 you will build on television skills from year one. Using a series of practical exercises you will enhance your shooting and scripting skills; practice PTCs (pieces to camera); learn how to use editing software to bring pictures to life and discover how to effectively interview people on camera. You will bring these skills together to make a short, assessed, news film. In the second half of the module the focus switches to studio work. Here you will use our custom-built studio to create your own magazine programme, presenting, directing and making films to deadline.
Radio Journalism 2
This module brings your radio skills up to near professional standards. You will learn how to produce a range of creative audio features; podcasts, as lives, scene sets etc. There is voice training and tuition in individual use of a radio studio for news and general programming as well as working as part of a team to plan and produce live radio news bulletins and magazine programmes.
Politics, Law and Ethics 2
The module again underpins the entire course. As well as revising the key areas of Media Law taught in year one, the module covers intellectual property; copyright, confidentiality; data protection and the internet; injunctions; blasphemy; the Official Secrets Act; DA-Notices; and common ethical dilemmas and responsibilities. Taught by the editor of the Kentish Gazette who also examines law for the NCTJ, this uses real life examples from current news to bring the subject to life. Again, the political world is examined in more detail in Year two including local government, planning, social services, child protection, fostering and adoption, community care, police, fire and rescue, ambulance etc.
This module actually begins in Year two, helping and supporting you in your work placements which happen between years two and three and are so valuable in building contacts and skills. Throughout the third year, you receive masterclasses from recent graduates and senior figures in the industry to help you identify which area of work is right for you and how to get that all important ‘foot in the door’, including roleplay at interviews. The last assignment is to actually apply for a job, whilst still drawing on the staff’s skills and expertise. Shorthand is still taught twice a week, and you can sit for the NCTJ professional exams.
Newsdays (Double module)
This module replicates working days in all the various media outlets. You will spend whole days being a ‘radio’ reporter or newsreader, an online, TV, newspaper or magazine reporter, together with experiencing other roles as well. Aside from being a key part of our accreditation with the BJTC professional body, this revises and sharpens up all the various skills you’ve learned over the whole course, ready to produce your final individual ‘showpieces’.
This is one of the jewels in the crown of the multimedia journalism course. Here all the skills you have learned during the three years are combined into one individual website. You are free to choose whatever subject interests you. In the past we’ve had sites dedicated to sports, fashion, music, video games, politics and crime. You then create a new website from scratch, populating it with an array of multimedia content and stories. Using words, video, polls, audio, maps, lists and links, the site is often used by graduates to show potential employers how good they really are.
You can choose to do an extended investigation in your favourite media in any subject that interests you. You are allocated an expert supervisor who supports you through the production in a tutorial role. For TV or radio, you will make a short documentary/news investigation and in Print, you would produce report and design a whole publication on the subject of your choice. Graduates often make their finished production the centre piece of their show reel for future employers.
Individual Study by Dissertation
You will produce a 5,000 word research project focusing on an area of the media industry of your choice. You will demonstrate you understand the field you are investigating with an in-depth literature review before collecting original primary data on which to draw you findings.
Students can choose an optional module in year 2. These modules are part of other programmes in the School of Media, Art and Design. The choice of optional modules varies each year. Below are examples of optional modules our students have taken in previous years.
Documenting the Real
The module covers the history of documentary film, radio, and television. You are introduced to the key moments, movements, texts, and practitioners that have helped shape this history. Contemporary contexts and developments are explored, with visiting practitioners invited to present their work.
Advertising in Context
An overview of advertising and attitudes to it from the media industry, governments and advertisers themselves From wartime propaganda, to the swinging 60s through to the 80s yuppies – we look at advertising campaigns of their time. How the industry has developed over the last 200 years and how it has been influenced by the state, legislation and commerce.
Celebrity News and the Media
The module looks at the history of ‘celebrity’ and how it is constructed. How does the concept of celebrity affect news and commerce in the press; magazines, reality and talk show TV, photojournalism and online media. Through a variety of case studies, students will also engage with ideas relating to how celebrity pervades cultural life from business and corporate culture to politics, sports and the entertainment and music industries.