BA Hons Journalism, Media and Communication & Social Policy

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: PL54
  • Start date: Sep 2020
  • Ranking: top 10 in the UK for both Social Policy and Communication & Media Studies (Complete University Guide 2020)

  • Work placement: strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations

  • Applicant visit day: March each year

Study with us

  • learn the skills and practices of contemporary journalism in a digital, multimedia era
  • learn about the social and economic challenges facing both Scotland and the UK
  • enjoy our programme of visiting speakers from the world of broadcasting, publishing, communication and newspapers
  • engage in useful learning in a broad professional context, which includes a critical understanding of the media industry

  • acquire technical and professional skills in journalism, communication, information design and management

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Why this course?

Today’s media industry expands beyond traditional print and broadcast journalism. It includes professional bloggers and vloggers, freelance writers and editors, podcasters, people working in entertainment TV, radio, or film, creators of video games and interactive apps, promoters of ideas and products, and many others.

The most successful professionals in today’s media are not only highly skilled in reporting, writing, editing and pitching their material, but they're also excellent communicators online and offline, and problem-solvers. They're innovative and entrepreneurial, bold and curious, open-minded and collaborative. These are also some of Strathclyde’s core values, which guide our own teaching, research, and public engagement.

Social Policy examines the ways in which societies distribute resources and develop services to meet individual and social needs. Key social policy issues examined include poverty; economic, race, age and gender inequality; social justice health; education; criminal justice and housing.

It utilises a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to improve our understanding of how societies organise their resources to meet individual and social needs and how they measure progress in these areas. 

This programme gives you the opportunity to learn more about the social and economic challenges facing Scottish society and place these in a broader international perspective. It draws on disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, economics, law, psychology, social anthropology and politics.

Creative Writing MLitt 600x600

Complete University Guide Top 10 for Communication & Media Studies
QS logo 2019 - 5 stars
Complete University Guide logo 3rd Place ranking Social Policy

What you’ll study

Journalism, Media & Communication

Year 1

All students take one core required class per semester in year 1, which introduces them to the larger field of journalism, media and communication (semester 1) and to essential skills of journalism reporting and writing (semester 2).

Year 2

In the second year of the course, students must take two required classes and one option, which will enhance students’ conceptual understanding of the field and strengthen their practical skills, plus will introduce them to digital media.

Year 3

In third year, students can choose from various option classes, which build on their practical skills and introduce more advanced conceptual topics, which are based on our staff’s research specialisms.

Year 4

In the Honours year, students again can choose from a variety of specialised practical and conceptual option classes. They can also choose between an academic dissertation in journalism, media or communication, or a practice-based final project. The final year is designed to help students enhance their professional profile for whatever they plan to do after graduation: whether pursuing employment in the media and communication field, entering the graduate job market in the private/public sector, or staying on for further study at postgraduate level.

Student competitions

Every year students from our programme win nominations for their work at the Scottish Student Journalism Awards. Many also win prestigious nation-wide scholarships and grants to conduct research on various topics, and industry placements in various media organisations in Glasgow and beyond.

Guest lectures

Our strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations in Glasgow and Scotland allow us to host many external speakers as guest lecturers in various classes or as extracurricular talks and events on campus.

We also organise field trips to newsrooms in Glasgow, such as BBC, STV, The Herald and Radio Clyde, and work continuously with students on ideas for future professional events.

Student activities

Our students apply their skills in various ways beyond the classroom through student societies, volunteering for events on campus, and working at university offices. They staff and often run the campus newspaper Strathclyde Telegraph, run the industry-focused Byline Club, the podcast society, the photo club, etc.

 

Social policy

Year 1

Our Semester 1 module provides a wide-ranging introduction to some of the key challenges facing Scottish society in areas such as health, housing, education and social security.  The Semester 2 module asks how different issues come to be recognised and defined as ‘social problems’.  At what point do individual or personal issues come to be defined as social issues, and why?

Year 2

You'll have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the development of Scottish social policy. You will also discover more about some of the key concepts in Social Policy, including such issues as human needs, social welfare, inequality, poverty, citizenship, and social exclusion. You'll also get the chance to discuss the processes through which policies are made and engage in debates about their effectiveness.

Year 3

You'll be expected to undertake a more detailed examination of the development of Scottish social policy in a UK context, alongside in-depth studies of the particular social policy areas or themes that interest you.  You will also take a class in research methodology which will help you to prepare for your final year dissertation.

Year 4

You'll take a core module in Comparative Social Policy, alongside the more detailed study of a particular area or theme. Your classes will be based around the specialist research interests of the academic staff and you will be engaging in debates at the cutting edge of current Social Policy thinking. The 10,000-word Honours dissertation will be your chance to undertake some original research of your own in a key area of Social Policy.

Work placement and links with industry

Work placement can be pursued as a credit-bearing option class in fourth year. Students can take a short-term experience placement in a variety of organisations: newsrooms, third-sector organisations, government bodies, various industries, etc.

Our strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations in Glasgow and Scotland allow us to host many external speakers as guest lecturers in various classes or as extracurricular talks and events on campus. We also organise field trips to newsrooms in Glasgow, such as BBC, STV, The Herald, Radio Clyde, etc. and work continuously with students on ideas for future professional events.

Student activities

Our students apply their skills in various ways beyond the classroom through student societies, volunteering for events on campus, and working at university offices. They staff and often run the campus newspaper Strathclyde Telegraph, run the industry-focused Byline Club, the podcast society, the photo club, etc. 

Postgraduate study

Journalism, Media & Communication

Our taught graduate programmes combine academic excellence in journalism studies with professional education to industry standards. We offer taught Masters degrees in:

We also offer various research degrees including an MRes in Journalism.

Social Policy

We offer two MSc programmes:

If you're looking to build on what you learned in your undergraduate degree, this is the post-graduate course for you.

If you're looking to undertake a postgraduate research degree or embark upon a research career, this is the postgraduate course for you.

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Course content

Journalism, Media & Communication

Introduction to Journalism, Media & Communication

An introductory conceptual class on these topics, it will provide a wide overview of the media, journalism and the communication fields. Key contemporary issues in journalism, media and communication will be introduced and discussed. 

Introduction to News & Features

A practical introductory class on journalism reporting and writing. Students will learn the basic rules of reporting, interviewing, writing news and features, and editing them. The specifics of each format of writing will be emphasised. Assessments include writing real-life stories on topics chosen by students.

Social policy

Social Policy & Society in Contemporary Scotland

This class is designed to introduce you to some of the major issues confronting Scottish society and to provide an accessible introduction to some of the key concerns of Social Policy.  It will examine a range of issues, including questions of poverty and inequality, social divisions, health, housing, education, and criminal justice.

Private Issues & Public Problems

This class examines the different ways in which ‘private issues’ become recognised as ‘public problems’.  Using a number of different case studies, such as domestic violence, homelessness or poverty, it will look at the different ways in which social problems have been identified and at the different standpoints from which they can be viewed.

Journalism, Media & Communication

News Reporting and Writing

A practical intermediate class focusing on journalism skills related to news writing. Students explore news reporting and writing in more depth, including how to work with numbers, how to interview and write about vulnerable people and how to conduct research online. Assessments are real-life news stories written on topics assigned by the instructor or chosen by the student.

Journalism, Media & Communication: Theories & Methods

A theoretical class, which takes an in-depth look at major theories of the field and related methods. The class will prepare students for research by exploring the main methods of studying the media. It will connect these methods to the major theories in journalism, media and communication, which aims to bring a deeper conceptual understanding of the field.  

Elective

Digital Media: Histories, Theories, Practices

This class mixes conceptual and practical elements with a focus on digital media. It explores the history of digital media and asks students to think conceptually about it, but also to gain relevant practical skills related to digital journalism & effective communication in the digital age.

Social policy

Scottish Social Policy since 1845

This class explores some of the different ways in which social policy has evolved in Scotland in response to a variety of social problems since the introduction of the Scottish Poor Law Act in 1845. It covers all the main areas of social policy, including health, housing, education and poverty, and also explores the changing boundaries between individuals, families, communities, voluntary organisations, commercial welfare and state over the course of this period.

Key Concepts in Social Welfare

This class explores some of the most important concepts in the academic study of Social Policy, including such concepts as equality, justice, need, happiness, poverty and wellbeing. It also examines a number of different ideological perspectives on these issues, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, social democracy, Marxism, feminism and the New Right.

The Making of Social Policy

This class examines the ways in which social policies are ‘made’ at both a national and international level.  It examines the roles played by different actors, institutions and ideas.  It also looks at the ways in which evidence is used to inform policy-making, and at the ways in which we are all involved, as citizens, in the policy process.  These themes are explored with the aid of a series of case-studies, including health and education policies, and the development and implementation of equalities legislation.

Journalism, Media & Communication

Elective

Feature Writing

A practical intermediate class focusing on journalism skills related to feature writing. Students learn about different types of features (e.g. profile, review, news backgrounder, column, travel or sport), in-depth reporting and writing.

Assessments are real-life features on topics chosen by students.  

Journalism and Popular Culture

A theoretical class exploring in depth concepts around popular culture, as related to journalism. The class analyses the construction of the popular, along with those historical, economic and cultural forces involved in deploying the popular to establish hierarchies of judgment and legitimacy.

Law for Journalists

A conceptual class covering Scots law for journalists. The class explores specific cases of media law in Scotland and how students need to conduct their reporting and writing in a way that respects those boundaries.

Communicating Politics: Truth, Legitimacy, Participation

A theoretical class on concepts and theories from political communication. The class will explore recent developments in politics, political communication and the media, and will discuss their implications for democracy.

Social policy

Compulsory classes:
Research Skills in Social Policy

This class will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the key methods used by researchers in the field of social policy.  It will introduce you to a number of different qualitative and quantitative methods, and to some of the basic principles of research design.  It will provide an essential foundation for your final-year dissertation.

Scottish Social Welfare in a UK Context

This class examines the ways in which recent political developments have placed questions of social policy at the heart of debates over the future of the United Kingdom.  To what extent do the different parts of the UK face different social problems?  To what extent do different parts of the UK possess a different approach to the resolution of these issues?  How has the governance of social policy in different parts of the UK been affected by its current constitutional arrangements?

Journalism, Media & Communication

Elective

Dissertation/Special Project (Semester 1 or 2)

Students can choose to do an individual project on a topic related to journalism, media or communication, which involves original academic or journalistic research under one-on-one supervision with staff. An academic dissertation involves individual scholarly research on a chosen topic. The special project is an extension of feature writing skills and will take those to a new level by requiring students to produce a much longer and more sophisticated portfolio of work.

Media and Health

The class mixes conceptual and practical elements for an in-depth look at the media’s role in society’s health and wellbeing. The class covers topics such as media coverage of disease and disability, chronic versus acute conditions, how the media shape the image of doctors, people with various conditions.

Gender Issues in the Media

A theoretical class, underpinned by feminist media studies, which explores gender issues in relation to media production, representation and consumption practices – both in relation to mainstream media and ‘alternative’ content and distribution strategies. This class explores how gender intersects with other structural inequalities such as race, class, sexuality, dis/ability and age.

Digital Communication and Society

This class explores the implications and futures of digital technology in communication. It incorporates the range of digital communication, from mediated conversation, through social media, to blogging and the production and distribution of video content. The importance of the digital environment for politics and the labour market is also explored.

Working for and with the Scottish media

A seminar class, which capitalises on staff’s relationships with media organisations, NGOs and government bodies in Scotland and brings professionals into the classroom for guest talks and discussions of professional nature. The class will help students with establishing professional connections in the media field and with getting an overview of the media landscape in Scotland.

Ethical Issues for Journalists: Controversy, Responsibility, Care

A conceptual class that builds on journalism practice and explores it from a theoretical perspective. The class explores the accountability systems used by journalists, both external such as IPSO and internal such as methods of self-censorship. Students examine a series of ethical dilemmas emanating from the concepts of truth and trust, taste and offence, privacy and intrusion and respecting people.

Digital Tools & Skills in Journalism

A practical class on current software and online tools that enhance digital storytelling for journalists. It explores the changing nature of journalism in the face of rapidly advancing technological environment and asks a range of questions: how does the rise of information-driven society change journalistic practices? How do technological affordances help develop novel forms of storytelling? Which tools can develop and maintain professional presence on online platforms?  

Journalism and Popular Culture

A theoretical class exploring in depth concepts around popular culture, as related to journalism. The class analyses the construction of the popular, along with those historical, economic and cultural forces involve in deploying the popular to establish hierarchies of judgement and legitimacy.

Social policy

Compulsory classes:

The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective

This class examines the development of welfare states as a global phenomenon.  It asks what we mean by the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and looks at the ways in which welfare states have developed in different countries.  It also explores some of the major differences between different types of welfare state, using the concept of ‘welfare régimes’.

Dissertation

Many students find that the dissertation is the most fulfilling part of their degree. It will provide you with the opportunity to undertake your own in-depth investigation into a topic of your choice, and to develop skills as an independent researcher.

Assessment

Assessment methods include:

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

Learning & teaching

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.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements:

  • 1st sitting: AAAA
  • 2nd sitting: AAAABB

(Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent)

Minimum entry requirements*:

  • 1st sitting: AABB
  • 2nd sitting: AABBB

(Higher English B and Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)

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

A Levels

ABB-BBB

(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

36

(Maths SL5)

HNC

Creative Industries:

Year 1 entry: Media and Communication A in Graded Unit; Professional Writing A in Graded Unit

HND

Practical Journalism:

Year 1 entry: A in Graded Unit

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country by visiting our country pages.

Deferred entry

Not normally accepted

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.

Degree preparation course for international students

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

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

map of the world

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Fees & funding

2020/21

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

Scotland/EU

TBC

Fees for students domiciled in Scotland and the EU are subject to confirmation in early 2020 by the Scottish Funding Council.

(2019/20: £1,820)

Rest of UK

TBC

Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2020/21, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), 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.

(2019/20: £9,250)

International

£15,300

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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?

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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.

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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.

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International Students (Non-UKScholarships, EEA)

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

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Careers

Journalism graduates from Strathclyde have won awards for student journalism and have gone on to succeed at national newspapers, the regional press and as published authors.

Our graduates work as press officers, marketing and media officers, freelance journalists, fundraiser and PR assistants.

The most common employment destinations for social policy graduates include:

  • local & national government policy development and research
  • regional & urban development
  • business administration & management
  • third sector/charity research & policy development
  • children’s services
  • education
  • health & social welfare
  • protective services
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Journalism, Media and Communication & Social Policy

Qualification: BA

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Contact us

Undergraduate Selection

Our team are available to chat from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT.

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8600

Email: hass-ug-selectors@strath.ac.uk