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journalism in the dictionary

BAEnglish & Journalism & Creative Writing

Why this course?

As an English student at Strathclyde you'll enjoy the best of old and new: a grounding in the classics as well as an insight into new fields of literature.

We'll show you how exciting and wide-ranging our subject can be. Employers like the skills developed in an English degree: written and verbal communication, analysis and discussion of ideas, and broad, creative thinking.

From crises in the Middle East to the economic and political situation at home, journalism informs our view of the world and shapes our decisions.

At Strathclyde, you can combine Journalism & Creative Writing in one programme taught by internationally-recognised writers, academics and experienced journalists.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are broad-based to start with. In Year 1 you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

English

What you'll study

Year 1

Your first year of study will include Shakespearean drama and modern, cutting-edge fiction.

Year 2

You'll study some of the most momentous events in literary history, with classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing.

Year 3

In Year 3, you'll choose from options including children’s literature, America in the 1920s, the First World War and the Glasgow novel.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation and choose from options including Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, travel writing, oral narratives and fairy tales.

Dissertation 

In Honours year, you'll write and research a 6,000-word dissertation with guidance from a personal supervisor. This is an opportunity to investigate a topic of your own choice. Previous dissertations have focussed on music and film as well as literary topics.

Socrates exchange

You'll have the opportunity to take part in the Socrates exchange programme, in which you can spend your third year (two semesters) abroad and obtain credits that qualify you to enter the Honours year in one or both of your principal subjects on your return.

Socrates have partner institutions in Germany and France, as well as programmes in North America and elsewhere. While priority on Socrates is given to students who have proficiency in the relevant language, many classes (at least in the host English departments) are conducted in English and there is no language requirement for countries like the USA.

Journalism & Creative Writing

What you'll study

Year 1

You’ll be introduced to core concepts in both journalism and creative writing and explore the connections between the two areas of writing.

Year 2

In second year, you’ll explore the structure of media institutions and develop awareness of writing techniques common to journalists and creative writers.

Year 3

Areas of study include script writing, features journalism and research techniques for writers and journalists.

Year 4

As an Honours student you’ll prepare a portfolio over the course of the year. There’s also the opportunity to take advanced Honours classes in journalism and creative writing.

Work placement

Although there is no obligation for students to undertake work placements, staff are regularly contacted by newspaper editors seeking help from students with various projects. So there are a good number of opportunities for work experience during the course of study at Strathclyde.

Short work placements are occasionally available to students of journalism during summer periods. These are not part of the course and entry is often competitive. Recent placements have included the communications division of the Scottish Government.

Major projects

Journalism staff are involved in a number of projects involving investigative journalism, digital journalism, health journalism and media talk, and are regular contributors to broadcast and print media. Staff in journalism have also been involved in the delivery of a recent Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Creative writing staff take part in many of Scotland’s literary festivals, including the International Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write and others. Postgraduate students recently organised two creative writing conferences and staff organised and hosted a major international conference on poetry and the visual arts in association with Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.

Facilities

The department of journalism and creative writing are located in the Lord Hope building, in the centre of Glasgow just a few minutes from the railway stations, bus stops, shops, and restaurants. This location is ideal as it provides a social hub and access to student services such as the library, cafés, meeting areas and exhibition spaces.

Many of the classes in journalism take place in dedicated news classrooms.

Student competitions

Students have the opportunity to enter their work in a wide range of competitions.

During the 2013/14 academic year a number of pieces of work from Strathclyde's creative writing students was recognised. A short story by Melissa Reid, a Masters student, was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 as part of their New Writing from Scotland series. Zoe Storrie's fiction won first place in a competition run by the National Galleries in Edinburgh and Kate Martin's memoir about her grandmother's Alzheimer's was published in the Herald Magazine.

Postgraduate study

We offer these taught masters degrees:

Masters degrees can be a first step to a PhD or help with career and personal development. We welcome overseas students, including visiting students.

We also offer various research degrees, including an innovative MRes in Creative Writing.

Course content

Year 1

English

Year 1

In this wide-ranging introduction to university-level English, your required reading ranges from ancient tales, to Shakespearean drama, to cutting-edge contemporary fiction.

Journalism & Creative Writing

Journalism & Creative Writing 1A

The class introduces key concepts in the theory and practice of creative writing. During the course of this semester we focus mainly on the exploration and production of short stories.  This module aims to:

  • introduce you to the basic skills and techniques involved in writing short fiction
  • develop good practice related to the professional presentation of creative work
  • encourage you to discuss creative work collaboratively and constructively
  • introduce you to the skills involved in reflecting critically on creative products and processes

You're introduced to core concepts in both journalism and creative writing and explore the connections between the two areas of writing.

Journalism & Creative Writing 1B

This class introduces key concepts in the theory and practice of journalism. It focuses mainly on the examination and production of journalism as a form of storytelling.

You'll be introduced to the fundamental skills needed to write effective news and features and will have the opportunity to practise these in the workshops.

Year 2

English

Year 2

You'll study momentous events in literary history in the historical core classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing. You'll also learn about the various ways in which philosophers, historians and authors have tried to analyse literature in a course on Literature, Criticism and Theory.

Journalism & Creative Writing

Journalism 2

How we gather news, how we write news and how we consume news is changing. The aim of this class is to introduce you to classic and modern newsgathering methods in the 21st century. That means you'll be combining the best of the old with the most relevant and effective of the new.

The foundation stone of journalism is news. That’s what drives newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online content. So, we’ll be looking at what news is, where it comes from and how we go about gathering it ourselves. The next step is to write news. Therefore, we’ll spend some time examining how best to write news for print and online platforms.

The class is a careful mixture of studying journalism and doing journalism because understanding what you are doing and why you are doing it is just as important as learning how to do it.

Creative Writing 2

You'll study contemporary literature from the perspective of the writer, analysing the craft of writing, as opposed to studying these texts in terms of their historical or cultural context, as you might be familiar with from English Studies classes.

The key objective of a creative writing seminar is to begin to understand the mechanics of how contemporary writers put their work together. Some of this analysis will reinforce and build upon lessons learned in first year relating to the basics of structure, tone, narrative, characterisation etc.

This class seeks to stretch you further, aiming to achieve a more sophisticated understanding of what makes a good story work. As well as working on short fiction, the class studies a novel and introduces some examples of flash fiction and short fiction. There's also a unit designed to introduce you to the basics of writing good contemporary poetry in free verse style and one that introduces the craft of dramatic writing.

The second hour of each class is generally a workshop, with elements of the texts being studied in the first hour used as a platform for writing exercises, group work and discussion in the second hour. Primarily, the second hour of the class focuses on you doing writing of your own. You'll also start to develop rewriting and editing skills. 

Journalism & Creative Writing 2

This class is an introduction to creative nonfiction. It looks at writing that relates to the self, such as autobiography, the diary, the memoir, the lyric essay and beyond. We focus on the way writers have written about themselves and their lives, and will explore how personal experience is transformed into literary and journalistic practice.

During the semester you'll develop your own ideas into written assessments.

Year 3

English

Year 3

You'll continue with historical core classes on Victorian and 20th-century Literature, and you'll also choose one further class (English with another subject) or three classes (single English). Our extensive menu of options means you could study anything from Shakespeare to experimental fiction, from children’s literature to America in the 1920s, from autobiography to the Glasgow novel, from First World War literature to detective fiction.

Journalism & Creative Writing

Journalism 3

We examine the techniques and art of feature writing. This means building upon key aspects of the news writing class in year 2. It also means exploring why features are important in tabloid, broadsheet and digital forms:

  • identifying what elements make a good feature article
  • how features are constructed
  • what major skills are needed to write a good feature piece

The art of feature writing has been impacted by the use of digital technology, from Tweeting to major long-form article sites. We’ll look in the lectures and, particularly in the workshop activities, at how digital technology has shaped everything including how we actually use that technology to research and source stories.

The history of feature writing in magazine, newspaper and various online forms will be studied. The class will build towards showing the links that exist between shorter feature pieces (profiles, columns etc) and longer magazine articles.

By the end of the class, you'll understand:

  • the links that exist between news writing and feature writing
  • how to tell a story within a feature article
  • how to gather research with an eye to characterisation and narrative
  • how to structure articles
  • how to use creative fictional techniques without losing sight of strict journalistic best practice techniques
The class should also be able to spot what can take a long feature article into other mediums like full-length books and multi-media projects on other digital platforms. 
Creative Writing 3

Covering the technique and craft of dramatic writing, this class looks at writing for screen and for radio, and examines how these skills can be used in fiction. We discuss a range of sources including screenplays by Harold Pinter, as well as radio plays.

Starting with the scene, the weekly workshops allow you to work on structure, plot, characterisation, dialogue and non-linear structure, which you will use as the basis for assessed pieces, which can be either screen or radio plays, or fiction. 

Journalism & Creative Writing 3

The first half of this class focuses on research informed creative non-fiction pieces including the profile, the travel piece, the obituary and the hybrid narrative. Set texts and films include work by Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace and Susan Orleans and examines how these writers have used narrative to capture real life, people and events.

In semester 2 the focus switches to journalism.

You'll attend a series of lectures and workshops which focus on the connection between using ‘real-life’ gathered raw material for journalism-based and /or fictional projects. We'll explore the complex links between non-fiction and fiction, including:

  • How can you use fictional techniques in non-fiction projects?
  • How far can you stretch the ‘rules’ of journalism?
  • What strategies must you employ when gathering material for a non-fiction project which ensures most impact for the readers?
  • How can these projects be exploited to fullest effect without losing inherent integrity and worth?

You'll learn through case-studies how the authors have used real-life as a source for their work, whether it is long-form journalism, documentaries, reportage photography, or journalism-based Hollywood movies.

The class reading list includes:

  • novels
  • adventure narratives
  • travelogues
  • novelists using non-fiction forms for social justice ends
  • novelists using journalistic research-gathering means to add realism and a factual-edge to their fictional-work

Year 4

English

Year 4

Throughout the degree, analytical and writing skills are being developed, preparing you to tackle the final-year dissertation. The choice of subjects for your dissertation is wide open – we value student initiative and reward it when we see it.

Fourth year is also your chance to take some more options – two for Joint Honours and three for Single Honours. The options on offer in Honours year include classes on Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, 1930s literature and culture, travel writing, atrocity and modernism, oral narratives and fairytales.

Journalism & Creative Writing

These are Honours classes currently offered. Not all of these classes will necessarily run every year and you should check with Course Support which are available for study.

Dissertation Journalism

The dissertation is 6000-8000 words long and provides an opportunity to undertake a short research project on an approved topic of your choice. You'll be allocated an individual supervisor who'll guide your research and read drafts of your dissertation.

Please consult the dissertation handbook on MyPlace for further information on the English, Journalism and Creative Writing dissertation options and requirements for entry to these classes.

The ‘special project’ journalism dissertation should consist of 6000 words of journalism and 2000 words of critical analysis/reflection.

Dissertation in Creative Writing

The dissertation is 6000 words long and provides an opportunity to undertake a short research project on an approved topic of your choice. You'll be allocated an individual supervisor who'll guide your research and read drafts of your dissertation.

Please consult the dissertation handbook on MyPlace for further information on the English, Journalism and Creative Writing dissertation options and requirements for entry to these classes.

The Creative Writing dissertation has two components:

  1. creative work of up to 6,000 words
  2. a 2,000 word critical reflection
Elective classes
Journalism Portfolio

This class is driven by the realities of journalism in Scotland, the UK and wider world, in the 21st century.

The media landscape is changing fast and this class aims to study, impart and practice skills, theories and approaches which will assist us in understanding journalism and becoming better journalists. Technology and journalism have gone hand in hand since the days of paper and pencil.

This class identifies and utilises the latest developments in our digital toolbox which include:

  • online databases
  • online sources
  • discussion boards
  • social networking sites
  • blogs
You'll study how best to use them in producing excellent journalism. Technology can help journalists create great journalism – but it should never overwhelm, control or unduly influence the story. It's only useful if it helps us be produce powerful and compelling work. So, we'll learn how to use classic newsgathering techniques (e.g. face-to-face interviewing) alongside exciting new approaches.

Much superb journalism still exists in print of course. But increasingly, stories are also being published on a multi-platform basis allowing us to see, hear and read additional material which adds depth and width to the stories themselves.

Creative Writing Portfolio

You'll develop your knowledge and understanding of advanced skills necessary to the creation of fiction and poetry. These will be developed via critical and analytical reflection on aspects of enjoyable published work by leading writers in these fields.

You'll undertake a series of writing tasks on a weekly basis designed to foster your ability to manipulate narrative and poetic structures and an understanding of the importance of editing and redrafting your work. You'll also develop a knowledge of some of the major thematic and formal issues present in current British and American fiction and poetry.

The course will be taught through a mixture of workshop, guided reading and practical tasks and is taught by published creative writers.

Media & Literary Publics

This class looks at the development and significance of the various formations of media and literary publics.

We'll examine the cultivation of the literary public in the 17th century, alongside the development of particular literary forms, and will look at the development of political forms of public and its literary expression.  The class will look at literary production as a vital component in the shaping of the social environment and relations.

We'll also examine the extent to which an understanding of public allows us to critically evaluate such issues as cultural distinction, the marketing and branding of literary and media production, and the expansion of political and literary engagement.

Finally, the class will look at the manner in which alternative ideas of media public have been used to create innovative and radical types of media and literary production and consumption.

New Narratives

The class will mainly focus on your own creative output be that fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry.

It will also look at what is possible using traditional and digital media and encourage you to disseminate their work in a number of ways. This could be creating audio recordings or digital 'trailers' of their work to be accessed through a podcast or on a dedicated Youtube channel. Technology used will all be readily accessible on a smartphone or a computer, such as Paper Camera, Hipstamatic, Voice Recorder, imovie, and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The class will also look at traditional literary magazines, online literary magazines and the emergence of magazines that use new technology such as Electric Literature. Culminating in a public reading, the emphasis will be on how to move beyond the university workshop and engage with the rapidly evolving publishing landscape.

The Journalism of War

This class will examine the reporting which has emanated from major conflicts over the last century.

The starting point will be dispatches from the First World War. The class will end with recent reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan. The journalistic output will be in the form of published press reports, novels, travelogues, radio scripts, television broadcasts and online coverage.

The class will focus on the techniques used by the authors:

  • historical constraints
  • identify common threads through output through the decades
  • assessing the changing mission of reporters
  • evaluating the technological impact of the broadcast and recent digital eras
  • the various focus chosen by journalists in the last century – moving from the ‘general’ reporting to the ‘personal story’

The style of output will be scrutinised, along with the changing needs of the audiences. The theoretical backdrop will focus on:

  • the shifting demand for conflict reporting as democratic societies developed in the last century
  • the changing nature of the backgrounds of the journalists themselves
  • the widening access to new technology
  • the move towards increasing risk in reporting from conflict zones globally
Ethical Issues in Journalism

In reporting the news today journalists face an increasingly diverse range of ethical dilemmas. This can have a significant impact on the manner in which they report the news.

Ethical issues do not only occur in traditional, mainstream reporting. New challenges are being thrown up by the use of the internet as a newsgathering tool, a publishing forum and as a means of interacting with the audience.

This class examines ethical issues relating to truth and trust, taste and offence, privacy and intrusion and respecting people. It considers the procedures that journalists use to solve ethical dilemmas and systems that are used to curb media excesses, both in traditional media forms and online.

Assessment

English

In addition to traditional exams, many classes are assessed partly or solely by essays. In later years, you have the opportunity to set the topics and titles of these essays themselves.

Some courses have specific assessment methods, for example drama students are assessed for their writing and practical performance skills, while those studying digital humanities use social media and analyse texts with software.

All our classes use Myplace, Strathclyde's virtual learning environment, which can be used for online quizzes and keeping a reading diary.

Journalism & Creative Writing

Assessment methods include:

  • essays
  • portfolios
  • presentations
  • group work
  • reports
  • exams
  • reflective diaries

Learning & teaching

English

You'll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops and take part in small group work, individual and group presentations, debates and writing exercises. Some classes also take place in computer labs and include analysis of texts using software tools.

We've recently introduced a new research task in which staff, undergraduates and postgraduates work together (Vertically Integrated Project).

Journalism & Creative Writing

Our learning and teaching aims to help you:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of the professional practices, skills and social contexts of the journalism, creative writing and communication industries
  • help you think and work critically and constructively
  • become a confident and responsible graduate, equipped to develop your potential throughout your career

Guest lectures

A programme of visiting speakers from the world of broadcasting, publishing and newspapers, including Gaynor McFarlane (BBC) and Alan Ramsay (Connect Communications) runs alongside the Literary Lunch, run by our Keith Wright Literary Fellow. This series showcases the best in Scottish writing, and features poets and novelists such as Liz Lochhead, James Robertson and Andrew Greig.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA

2nd sitting: AAAAB

Required subjects

  • Higher English B, plus one from the list below
  • Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Higher subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.

A Levels

Year 1 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Year 2 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry:

HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers.

Additional information

Personal statement

It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than ABB at the first sitting of Highers.

Second-year entry

Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible withAA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours

All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU
  • TBC
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

The 2018-19 fee rate will be updated when it has been confirmed by the UK and Scottish Governments. Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on Integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

International
  • £14,050

International Study Centre

Please find information about the student fees for university pathway programmes on the International Study Centre (ISC) website.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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