Subject Guide

Journalism Degree

Uni Compare  · Sep 24th 2020

Journalism is an exciting subject best suited for those who are creative, investigative and curious about the world and what happens in it.


Journalism is a vocational subject, meaning it completely prepares you for a specific career path. The chances are, you chose a journalism degree because you were hoping to become a journalist! Here, we’re going to explore some of the different types of journalist roles available to journalism degree UK graduates, as well as some of the other connected career paths that you might consider instead.

Journalism Degree

What to do with a journalism degree

Journalism has always been a competitive industry, and this remains true now more than ever, with the decline of print media, social media as a news-breaking medium, and the proliferation of free content online. It could be a good move, then, to beef up your student CV by studying more at postgraduate level.

Complementing your journalism degree with, say, a master’s in history (unless you decide to study a masters degree in journalism as well), law or politics (which would also work well for a political journalism degree), could give you the edge over other writers who have the skills but not the knowledge base to write about technical fields. Or perhaps your journalism degree already helped you narrow your focus: a sports journalism degree will better-equip writers who want to enter that particular world than a more general qualification, or maybe you study in conjunction with another degree, by studying an english literature and journalism degree (or any kind of english and journalism degree) or a politics and journalism degree.

After considering types of journalism degree courses (like the online journalism degree), think about the type of role you would enjoy and excel at. Journalists can work in broadcast (such as TV or radio), magazines, newspapers, editorial departments, or as a sub-editor (a micro-focussed role involving proof-reading for fluency and grammar, crafting headlines to suit articles, and fact-checking information). Increasingly, members of the public consume information through the web, so there may be a number of opportunities in copywriting and web content roles, for advertising and digital spaces. But what about if you want to use your journalism degree for something a little bit different?

The techniques, rules and regulations will help you find a job as it shows that individuals are not only dedicated to the job but have gained experience.

What can you do with a journalism degree?

Once journalism degree requirements are a distant memory and you’ve shaken hands with the chancellor and filed your degree transcript away, what happens if you don’t want to pursue journalism further? Maybe there aren’t any journalism degree jobs in your area, or you’d just like a change? The skills developed on your journalism degree will help prepare you for a range of other careers, so consider all your options.

Communication skills, confident writing and an ability to work to a deadline make journalism graduates excellent PR officers. Public relations roles are available with big and small businesses, so gravitate towards a field you’re interested in: football, food and flight companies all require PR!

Thanks to your knowledge of readership markets and professional writing skills, you might be suited to a job in publishing. It’s highly competitive but there are often internships available to gain some experience and get a foot in the door.

Or how about market research, translation or transcription? You could even choose your hours for a flexible career as a photographer (for families, weddings, or publications) or English tutor for students or non-native speakers.

Journalism students tend to love writing, and enjoy writing copy, may like to get creative and create their own YouTube videos, blogs or integrating the neighbours.

Journalism is part technique, and part talent – it takes a lot to know what questions to push, but also how an article should look.

It may be difficult to find a career in journalism without a degree.

What A Levels do I need?

A degree in journalism tends to ask students to have English, media or communications A-levels to set a decent foundation, much like how a normal journalism foundation degree works. Journalism students need to have excellent grammar and writing skills to survive and pass the course, as well as an understanding of the media and how it works.

Each university will ask students for varying prerequisites, no matter the course; even with a foundation degree journalism or an undergraduate degree in journalism. Therefore, individuals are encouraged to research their chosen courses and universities to understand what they need to get accepted onto the course.

Journalism Degree

What are my study options?

Students will be able to study a bachelor's degree in journalism, or if they wish, as part of a combined or joint degree which offers two similar and connecting subjects to be studied at the same time. This combined degree suits individuals who want to explore and study two areas while at university – it’s essential choosing a degree course that suits the student’s personal needs.

Subjects that complement journalism are; Media, Communication, Politics, Finance, Creative Writing, Art, and Film. There may also be options to study a particular area of Journalism, such as studying Multimedia Journalism, Fashion Journalism degree (and other fashion journalism degree courses), Music Journalism degree, Financial Journalism, Print or Online Journalism, Creative Writing and Journalism degree, Sport Journalism degree (and other sports journalism degree courses) and a Broadcast Journalism degree. Each degree within the areas above will focus on this type of Journalism throughout the course and is well-suited for individuals who have a direct career path in Journalism in mind or even a full form of degree from journalism school.

Communication skills, confident writing and an ability to work to a deadline make journalism graduates excellent PR officers.

What should I expect from studying Journalism?

It will involve an array of practices, techniques and assessments. Students will have to investigate and source their own stories, interview people and write a great article that people want to read (sounds easier than it is!). Journalists need to be aware of the area around them, what events are occurring, and what information people want to read in the news.

Studying journalism will offer individuals a chance to become a part of different projects, from radio, print, television and magazine journalism and the opportunity to create front page news, feature article, or a news bulletin on a radio show.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed through written coursework and assignments through the submission of articles, features, plans, proposals, briefs and transcripts. Candidates may also be assessed within practical elements through radio shows, interview techniques and creation of a magazine or feature design. The way institutions assess the course will vary, hence why choosing the right university and course is important and it’s incredibly important to visit university open days to get a feel for the institute.

Students tend to focus on a research project/area or investigative piece during their final year.

Journalism Degree

What skills will I learn from studying Journalism?

Studying within this area offers candidates the chance to gain skills in communication, writing, grammar, investigation, as well as social skills from working with others and interviewing sources. Individuals will learn how to work towards a deadline and how to organise their time effectively, which will prove helpful later on in life.

Why study Journalism?

Journalism is ideal for those individuals who want to be in front of the camera or those who write the big headlines, or even the persons who crack huge open cases such as the phone-hacking scandal in England a few years ago. Journalism and an online degree journalism is perfect for those who want to seek the truth and to give it to the people.

However, even those journalists seek, to tell the truth, and to expose lies, should be noted that journalists still have to study and work within regulation, ethics and laws – which in some cases may change the aspect of journalism.

Journalism will involve an array of practices, techniques and assessments.

What happens after I graduate?

Some students go into internships, gaining work experience to add their CV or complete a postgraduate qualification to specialise their training, or even seek employment through securing a job or being chosen for a graduate scheme.

Journalism is a tough area to find work in after graduation, as many companies, newspapers and news corporations want candidates with experience, creativity and a bag of ideas.

Will it help me get a job?

The techniques, rules and regulations will help you find a job as it shows that individuals are not only dedicated to the job but have gained experience.

Journalism Degree

What types of jobs can I get from studying Journalism?

Graduates may find themselves writing copy for websites, writing content for regional newspapers, online magazines, weekly national magazines, or on a graduate scheme with a big corporation hoping to gain experience and networking effectively.

What can I study after Journalism?

Students can study further after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, from a Master’s of Arts (MA) in Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Print Journalism, Online Journalism, Sports Journalism, Financial Journalism, Journalism and Law degree, Multimedia Journalism, or Journalism and Media.

Postgraduate options offer students the chance to specialise solely in one area that they wish to become an expert in and aid their employment thereafter.

Subjects that complement journalism are; Media, Communication, Politics, Finance, Creative Writing, Art, and Film.

Famous Journalism studies alumni

Greg Kinnear, an actor, known for his roles in Little Miss Sunshine, You’ve Got Mail, and As Good as it Gets received a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Arizona in Tuscon.

Also, Documentarian, Michael Moore, famous for his movies: Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Capitalism: a love story studied journalism at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he grew up. Brad Pitt enrolled at the University of Missouri in 1982, choosing to major in journalism, and two weeks before earning his degree left to move to Los Angeles where he decided to take acting lessons!

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