Journalism Studies

BA (Hons)


Stirling is top in Scotland for Journalism in The National Student Survey 2016.  Communication and Media Studies is second in Scotland, top 20 in UK in the Complete University Guide 2017.

Journalism Studies combines all the elements of a good Arts degree with a marketable, career- orientated specialism. It  provides you with a broad academic grounding in the contextual knowledge, as well as the critical and practical skills, that will enable you to understand, analyse and produce journalism across a range of media – print, broadcast and online.

Stirling is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence in journalism research and has built up a strong reputation for the teaching of journalistic skills. Working journalists regularly contribute to teaching, while journalism lecturers frequently contribute their expertise to the media.

The Film and Media Studies department is a breed apart. This is a holistic approach to film and media that refuses to ghettoise them into the narrow confines that others pursue in other institutions. For me Stirling is simply the best in this regard.

Jon Snow, broadcaster and journalist


Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: P500
  • Qualification: BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
  • Course Director: Tom Collins
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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Tom Collins

University of Stirling

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  1. 1st in Scotland: 93% student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2016)
  2. Top 20 in UK in the Complete University Guide 2017
  3. The combination of training in practical journalism skills with critical thinking and analysis makes graduates highly competitive in the job market
  4. You will be encouraged to build a portfolio of work to showcase your talents to potential employers, while our work experience module offers the possibility of placements in top media organisations in the region.
  5. Journalism Studies have excellent relationships with media organisations and individual media practitioners, who advise and contribute to our degrees.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

BTEC (Level 3):

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.

Advanced entry
Year 2 entry may be possible with an HND in a related subject. Please consult our Advanced Entry pages for possible courses.

Access courses:

Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Foundation Apprenticeships:

Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Additional information

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

General entrance requirements apply.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Fees and costs

Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 12,140.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Delivery and assessment

Lectures, seminars, workshops and presentations are the main teaching methods and you will take part in live reporting assignments whenever possible. The degree is assessed by means of essays, examinations, individual and group practical assignments, and a dissertation on a topic related to journalism.

Journalists and editors from a range of newspapers and broadcasting organisations contribute guest lectures and seminars. The annual Hetherington Memorial Lectures have featured distinguished journalists John Lloyd, Jon Snow, Roy Greenslade, Jonathan Freedland, Sheena MacDonald, Elinor Goodman and The Guardian editors present and past, Alan Rusbridger and Peter Preston, and broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell.

Combined degrees

Journalism Studies can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
English Studies QP35
Film and Media PP35
French RP15
History VP15


Politics PL52
Spanish PR54
Sports Studies PC56

(For a Combined Honours degree where the two subjects have differing entrance requirements, the higher entrance requirement usually applies.)

Learn more about studying these subjects

Related degrees

Film & Media

Recommended reading

Introductory Reading and Preparatory Work

You don’t need any prior experience for the Introduction to Journalism Studies module. You’ll be provided readings throughout the semester, some general, some specific to each lecture. The most important thing however is for you to immerse yourself in the content, style and rhythm of the craft. For this, we recommend that you follow at least one quality newspaper or magazine (e.g. The Guardian, Financial Times, The Times; or The Economist, Time, Der Spiegel, Prospect) regularly and follow news on the BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera, or CNN. For the issues that will be covered in the module itself, we recommend that you read the following. 

Wahl-Jorgensen, K. and Hanitzsch, T. (Eds) (2009). The Handbook of Journalism Studies. London: Routledge.

Adam, G. and Clark, P. (Eds) (2005). Journalism: The Democratic Craft. Oxford University Press. 

Reading List

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates

Find out more

Why Stirling?



Stirling is ranked:

  • Top in Scotland for Journalism in The National Student Survey 2016
  • Top 25 in UK, Top 150 in the world Media and Communications (QS World University Rankings 2017)
  • Top in Scotland, top 15 in the UK (Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2017)
  • Second in Scotland for Communication and Media Studies, top 20 in UK (Complete University Guide 2017)
  • Third in Scotland for Journalism (Guardian University Guide 2017)
  • Top in Scotland in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies as rated by the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise (70% of our research in highest categories ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’)

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling’s well-established connections with several American and European universities.

Our students

"In my course, I definitely enjoyed all the hands on aspects the most. As interesting and thought provoking as theory parts were, when I got to go out of the teaching room with a camera, a mic, or something as simple as a notebook, I felt as though I was being handed valuable time to experience what working in the field was like." 

Mark Cruikshank, Journalism and Film & Media student, Graduated 2017

"As you progress through the programme, you get greater opportunities to develop your technical and written skills for journalism. Sadly, because of the way my modules worked with my joint degree, I couldn’t take some of the more practical modules than I would have liked, but those modules I did have an opportunity to take were excellent. Some modules such as Writing for Journalists and the Work Experience module allow for hands-on learning, in a field where your technical abilities are just as important as your ability to think critically."

Ross Brannigan, Journalism and Politics student, Graduated 2017

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The media is one of the dominant forces in the world today, and a journalism studies degree gives students the practical and analytical skills needed to work in broadcasting, print and online. These skills are also valued by employers in other sectors who need staff who understand the media and how to deal with it. Core journalistic skills – shorthand, researching, writing and editing compelling stories – are supplemented by modules exploring design, web content development, mobile journalism, social media, audio production, and video production.

A degree in journalism studies allows you to develop important transferable skills including:


Expand your horizons

As part of this degree you will:

  • Be able to choose a range of optional modules* which offer activities and skills to help you get the most from your degree and your future career. These include:
    • Undertaking a work placement to put your learning into context
    • A Career Management Skills module, preparing you to enter the job market
    • Business, accounting and management modules
    • Law modules
    • Business writing and digital literacy modules
    • French/Spanish language modules
  • Be taught by staff with huge experience in the industry
  • Receive talks from visiting speakers from industry and alumni
  • Go on field trips
  • You will also be encouraged to take part in clubs and societies

*modules are subject to availability and dependant on your degree structure

We’re here to help

We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Career and Employability Service who work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Our Alumni

Our alumni go into a range of careers but some have shaped the world of journalism including John McLellan, former editor-in-chief of the Scotsman, a former member of the Press Complaints Commission, and currently Director of the Scottish Newspaper Society; and Bafta-award winning BBC Investigative journalist Mark Daly.

Career options

Studying journalism opens doors to a range of careers where creativity, writing, communication and research skills, are invaluable.

Jobs where degree would be useful include:

Many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, strong communication skills and an understanding of the media are prized, so don't restrict research or ambition to the jobs listed here.

Typical employers

Some journalism studies graduates go on to work as reporters and writers for a range of organisations such as national, regional and local newspapers (print and online), radio and television stations, magazines, media and broadcast companies and creative digital media companies.

However, many find employment outside journalism and the media. Typical employers of journalism graduates include:

  • PR consultancies;
  • Corporate communications agencies;
  • Advertising and marketing companies;
  • Third sector organisations.

Other common employers include the Civil Service and further and higher education institutions.

Work can also be found in law, management, public administration and politics.

Work experience

If you want to be a journalist, it is vital to build up a portfolio of work and gain as much relevant experience as possible. You will get practical experience in workshops throughout your studies. You can add to your portfolio by working on a student newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station. Starting a blog is also a  good way to get started and gain experience.

There is a specific work placement module on the course allowing you to gain experience and make contacts within the industry. Students have undertaken placements with The Daily Record, the Sunday Mail, The Herald, The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, Central FM radio, the Oban Times, the Alloa Advertiser, the BBC, Channel Four, and Sky, among others.

Valuable experience can be gained by contacting TV production studios, radio outlets, magazines and newspapers. Writing voluntarily for websites, print publications or other media outlets will also add to your portfolio and display skills accrued.


Further study

A small number of journalism graduates go on to undertake further training at postgraduate level. Some graduates pursue training courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

For those looking to enter other career areas, options for further study include teaching and law qualifications, or postgraduate courses in areas such as marketing or PR.

Relevant further Study available at Stirling includes:

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