The media landscape has changed almost beyond recognition in recent years following a digital revolution which has paved the way for a 24-hour rolling news agenda. In that time, sports journalism has also developed to become the fastest growing sector in UK media.

Traditional print and broadcast sports journalism, while still powerful communications platforms, are being forced to adapt and change in order to survive in a new and rapidly-developing media environment. As a result, sports journalists are now expected to develop a range of digital and social media skills which enable them to tell a story across a number of platforms in order to reach a wider, often global, audience.

This degree aims to provide students with all the necessary skills and theoretical understanding to succeed in this new media age.

Graduates of the BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism degree will be awarded degrees by our esteemed academic partner institution, Bucks New University.

UCFB degrees fall under three subject benchmark statements – General business and management (2007); Hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism (2008); and Psychology (2010). Visit the QAA website to access each of these benchmark statements.

Download the BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism Programme Specification.

Multimedia Sports Journalism BA (Hons) Modules

 

Semester 1

Principles of Sports Journalism+

Principles of Sports Journalism

This module introduces you to the key skills of a sports reporter, focusing on match reporting. Although underpinned by theory, the module is primarily practice-based. The learning process is developed within a mock news-room environment, supported by formal lectures, one-to-one and group tutorials, and attending a live sporting event – most likely a football match. You will learn to write match previews, live blogs and tweets, full-time match reports on the whistle, quotes-led reports post-match, and to develop post-match news angles. This will be assessed via a portfolio which includes examples of the above.

History of Sporting Venues & Events+

History of Sporting Venues & Events

This module introduces the history and development of sport and its place in British society. This will be achieved through a detailed study of case studies about the use of Wembley stadium, with particular reference to football, from its origins as a sporting venue to its current iconic role as a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue. Wembley has been Britain’s premier venue for major sports events for a century and has witnessed many landmark occasions that reflect social and cultural change. Wembley is also home to The Football Association, the English body that codified football, and has hosted a range of international and mega-events in sport and entertainment.


Semester 2

Media Law & Ethics+

Media Law & Ethics

This module covers the topics of media law and ethics, and how they control and influence the work of journalists and the media, with specific reference to the sports media and football. As digital technology increasingly affects both the speed of news delivery across a range of platforms, so too does the scrutiny of media behaviour. You will learn how diverse coverage of sport activity is used to entice audiences, entertain, promote, market and sell, and how it is used in launching and creating specialist media sectors. You will learn about the legal and ethical framework within which a sports journalist must operate, taking into account OFCOM regulation and the Editors Code of Practice.

Social & Digital Sports Media+

Social & Digital Sports Media

This module considers the evolving digital environment and allows students to develop an understanding of how new technologies are used in, and impact upon, today’s media industry.

Students will be encouraged to explore how social and digital media can be used as news-gathering and information research tools and also as a means of publishing work suited to a range of audiences within an ethical and legal framework.

Students will develop a theoretical understanding of the adaptation of conventional skills to meet the demands of the digital age while expanding practical skills to enable them to work professionally in the digital arena.

 

Semester 1

Practising Sports Journalism+

Practising Sports Journalism

This module develops students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in sports journalism, focusing on sports news and features. Drawing on established theories and practice of news journalism, students will apply their knowledge in a sports context.

Students will deepen their awareness of how sports news agendas are driven as much by what happens off the playing field as on it. Students will develop a “news sense” beyond sport, to enable them to produce content for the sports desk as well as the news desk. This will include developing a knowledge and understanding of key sporting bodies such as the FA, FIFA and the IOC.

This module will increase students’ understanding of what makes a good sports news story. Assessment will be through a sports news story and a topical sports feature.

Broadcast Journalism+

Broadcast Journalism

This module introduces students to broadcast journalism, television and radio. Storytelling within the broadcast media is powerful and can shape public opinion, but with that comes ethical and intellectual responsibility. The importance of balanced and accurate stories will be explained across the module.

Students will be taught the practical skills of broadcast production, reflecting current advances within the broadcast profession. With the growth of 24-hour sport channels and web streaming, the opportunities in broadcast journalism have expanded and students need to be prepared for the challenges of a fascinating and exciting future. In order to succeed in this competitive field, it is vital to be multi-skilled as broadcast professionals are often expected to be able to research, write, shoot and edit their own content. This module will teach students how to operate industry-standard television cameras, audio recorders and editing software. Students will learn to structure their work in a logical and coherent manner and produce TV and radio news assignments for clearly defined sport audiences. Assessment is via a portfolio of TV and radio packages. The radio assignment will take the shape of a match report, which will combine the student’s writing skills with the ability to conduct journalistically-strong and relevant post-match interviews.

Students will also be introduced to the growing importance of smartphone journalism, as well as the ethics of broadcast regulation, in particular the impact of the Ofcom Code on the broadcast journalism profession. Their knowledge of broadcast ethics will be assessed in a summative essay. By the end of this module, students will have received a comprehensive introduction to broadcast journalism.


Semester 2

Research Methods+

Research Methods

The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of research principles, a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and appropriate analysis for these. This will enable the student to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project. Students will be provided with support in developing their writing style to incorporate citations and make use of referencing.

They will be introduced to Academic Journals and will use these to inform their understanding of the research approaches used in the sector. This will also serve to familiarise the learners with the role of Journals in their wider study. The final aspect of this module will introduce hypothesis testing, with learners making use of a computer package to undertake simple statistical tests commonly used within their subject area.

Television Production+

Television Production

This module builds upon the skills acquired in Broadcast Journalism, and will allow students to create more advanced TV sports news stories. In pairs, students will demonstrate journalistic skill and rigour in gaining access to a sports news story; they will develop, film, write, present, narrate and edit the news story into a TV sports new package (CW1). This practical process will help them understand the importance of multi-skilled broadcast professionals in the industry today.

These stories will then be showcased in a TV studio show at the end of the module to which they will also contribute (CW2). This studio production will be their second assessed piece of practical coursework on this module. In groups, students will originate the look and content of the sports television programme that will contain four pre-recorded sports news stories (from CW1 above). Students will have individual roles within this ‘as live’ studio production including presenter, producer, floor manager, autocue operator and assistant director. The studio production will be assessed as per a carefully constructed marking grid that will reflect the following criteria:

• Choice of sports news content

• Production skills

• Journalistic and ethical rigour during content creation

• Good timekeeping

• Attendance and effective participation within the team

• Attention to deadlines

• Successful completion of role within production to standard required

This studio production process will further emphasise the importance of multi-skilled broadcast professionals within the industry as the digital media landscape changes and more localised, smaller-budget television news channels appear.

To demonstrate a contextualised understanding of this, students will also submit a 1,500 reflective essay referring directly to their roles and experiences within both the production of the news item and the more layered television studio project. They will reveal an understanding of the various production roles in programme-making and a recognition of the importance of being multi-skilled within the modern media environment.

 

Semester 1

Professional Practice Portfolio+

Professional Practice Portfolio

This module is based around a work placement. Under the supervision of a lecturer, you are encouraged to demonstrate initiative by acquiring your own work placement and establishing contacts within the media industry; but the lecturer, who will already have extensive industry experience, will help and guide you through the process. You will also have the opportunity to gain work experience on a sports news website designed specifically for UCFB students where you will

have an active role within the editorial team and create original content. You are asked to write a reflective journal that critically relates your work experience to your study on your chosen degree and training. You will accompany this with the production of a portfolio which will include: a literature review on your chosen field within the media; a consideration of relevant professional and ethical concerns and samples of your work. This will enable you to showcase your skills and knowledge as well as your ability to extract information from a variety of primary and secondary sources. The aim of all this is to help in your search for employment in your chosen profession.

Web Design & the Online Journalism Market+

Web Design & the Online Journalism Market

This module is intended to facilitate creative work underpinned by relevant theory and research across a spectrum of sports journalistic production. Students will develop a detailed understanding and knowledge of the online market and the demands for the contemporary sports journalist. Students will be taught web design, the specific skills required in writing for an online audience, online feature writing, podcasting, producing video news content and building an online brand. Students will gain practical experience through the design of their own sports news website, writing and producing their own unique content and then driving an audience to that content through social media channels – reflecting on their experiences via a blog diary. The module also provides students with the opportunity to discuss, analyse and work on current sports journalistic theory, using multi-media facets as the starting point, enhancing employability skills.


Semester 2

Research Project+

Research Project

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity for independent learning through the completion of an individual, extended research project. The project requires a high level of individual application and commitment to research and enquiry. It provides students with the opportunity to identify, reflect upon and explore a topic that has implications for their own professional development.

Contemporary Issues in Sports Media+

Contemporary Issues in Sports Media

This module introduces you to many of the challenging and complex contemporary issues that face journalists working in the rapidly-changing, and demanding, world of sport and the media. It will allow you to build and consolidate knowledge and understanding of these issues within the broad arena of sport, media and culture in a discursive manner that will underpin your work in sports media. You will be encouraged to research events, themes and issues that have affected the work of the sports media and, in some cases, changed the structure and administration of sport and the behaviour of journalists.

 


* Modules listed above may vary depending on changes to the syllabus.

 

Applications are welcomed from students with a genuine passion and ambition to work in the football and sports industries.

The minimum academic requirement for this degree course is a 112 UCAS point score under the new UCAS tariff system for 2017 entry.

Other minimum requirements

Applicants will normally have achieved one of the following:

  • A minimum of 2 A Levels including two C grades
  • A BTEC Extended diploma grade DMM
  • A BTEC Diploma grade D*D*
  • A combination of BTEC and A-Level qualifications with at least two C graded A levels or Merit graded BTEC equivalents.
  • International Baccalaureate (minimum of 30 points)
  • An Advanced GNVQ in an appropriate subject at Distinction level
  • An Access Course: minimum of 60 credits, including at least 45 at Level 3
  • An equivalent level 3 qualification

Applicants should have a strong GCSE profile, including English at Grade C, or equivalent and Maths at Grade C (specifically for Football Business & Finance, Sports Business & Sports Law and Sports Psychology).

Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered. Applicants for whom English is a second language should have achieved IELTS 6 or equivalent for entry into Level 4.

We also welcome applications from mature students who may not possess the above qualifications but may have relevant experience.

All applicants will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in their preferred area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with the subject through the academic programme and our complementary curriculum involving high profile guest speakers, master classes and short course opportunities.

Entry with advanced standing

Students are normally expected to start at Level 4, but can be admitted to any level of the course which is considered suitable, after portfolio review and interview, using the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). Under this arrangement, a student may apply to have previous academic credits or other learning or experience taken into consideration. Such applications are considered by the Faculty CATS committee and must be supported by the Academic Department.

Scholarships & Bursaries

A limited number of scholarships and bursaries are available for 2015. Visit the undergraduate scholarships and bursaries page for more information.

If you have any further questions regarding entry requirements, please contact us at admissions@ucfb.com.

 

Career prospects for graduates of the BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism degree programme at UCFB include roles such as a sports reporter for a local newspaper; a dedicated sporting website; a regional television station or a regional radio station. Opportunities also exist within the media offices of sports organisations.

Read more about Employability at UCFB