Journalism is featured in the top 20 in The Guardian University Guide 2020 and is rated 2nd for student satisfaction with feedback.
Combine your passion for football with high level journalism skills on the only course of its kind in the country.
- Choose our foundation year route if you want to strengthen your knowledge and skills before you progress to stage one of the BA (Hons) Football Journalism degree.
- Join the next generation of talented football journalists at a time when interest in the ‘beautiful game’ has never been higher
- Enjoy substantial practical experience of researching and producing powerful print, radio, TV and online football stories. Our students (Derby Uni Footy Journos) were in France reporting on the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019
- Get to grips with the latest techniques and technologies which are transforming journalism in an era of digital news
- Learn about the culture, history and practice of the football industry and the media that surrounds it
- Gain invaluable insights through work placements within football and media organisations
- Benefit from our outstanding facilities which include TV and radio studios as well as a fully equipped newsroom
- Build the core practical and intellectual skills of a journalist so that you’re also equipped for a broad range of media careers beyond the world of sport.
Derby is the first university in the UK to develop a specialist degree in football journalism. It offers you a clearly defined path to working in the football industry and meets the growing demand for highly knowledgeable, highly skilled multimedia journalists.
Studying Football Journalism with a Foundation Year is for you if you have the ability to study for a degree, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to enter directly on to the Honours degree programme.
It provides you with a firm grounding in the skills and knowledge you need and introduces you to the subject of journalism, enabling you to achieve your full honours degree in four years.
Ahead of the game
Coverage of football in the mainstream media overshadows all other sports, underlined by the recent record £5.1 billion deal for Premier League TV rights.
Interest in our national game is so intense that it is regularly propelled from the back to the front pages of our newspapers, has led to an explosion of specialist football websites and has seen football clubs become global brands taking control of their own narrative.
This new degree reflects the public’s growing appetite for round-the-clock football news and comes at a time when clubs themselves are seeking well-qualified media professionals who can help them build their audiences and communicate directly with fans.
The course also supports national moves to attract more women into football-related careers, including in media roles: statistics suggest that fewer than 10% of sports journalists are female. Organisations such as the FA and Women in Football are now campaigning for a more ‘level playing field’ for females moving into the industry. Their calls coincide with growing interest in the women’s game too - with one billion TV viewers tuning into the 2015 Women’s World Cup across the globe.
New skills for a new era
New technologies are revolutionising the ways in which people receive their news. This dynamic course will equip you to rise to the challenge in the age of digital news.
You’ll learn how to deliver compelling content for both traditional and emerging media platforms - producing print, radio and TV reports as well as creating blogs and podcasts, digital photos, audio/video stories and content for websites.
While career opportunities for media professionals who can specialise in football are growing dramatically, we also ensure you have the foundation skills for journalism careers in the broader sense. You'll gain the core research and writing skills alongside knowledge of marketing, PR and media ethics.
Hone your expertise
Throughout your studies, you’ll have significant hands-on experience of reporting on football. You’ll cover all aspects of the news cycle from previewing matches to live reporting and post-match analysis, along with press conferences, interviews and sports features.
You’ll draw on the general principles of journalism - developing your news values; building a strong network of contacts; learning how to source, research and produce original stories; conducting interviews; and delivering fair, balanced and accurate reports. By the end of the course, you will have an impressive editorial portfolio to show prospective employers.
Meeting industry demand
We are collaborating closely with the football and media industries to ensure that the degree delivers the right level of skills and knowledge - not only for the journalists who cover the sport but also for the growing number of professionals who work in media relations for football clubs.
The course has been developed following discussions with the football industry, major media companies like the BBC and newspapers, as well as football clubs themselves.
As part of your course, you’ll gain practical work experience within the football industry or relevant media organisations to expand your professional know-how and boost your CV. You’ll also hear from guest speakers who will share their experiences of football journalism and help you extend your professional networks.
You'll be based at our Kedleston Road and Markeaton Street sites where you'll study in our excellent facilities including three radio studios, a fully equipped television studio, video editing suites, Mac suites and a newsroom featuring the latest software.
We're an Apple accredited centre and you’ll work with the industry standard recording and editing software that is used worldwide. It means you’ll be both confident and competent with up-to-the-minute technology - giving you a real advantage when you're looking for a job.
Where sport is taken seriously
The University of Derby has an excellent reputation for sport, boasting a new £10.8m sports centre, strong partnerships with the likes of Derby County Football Club and wide-ranging academic expertise in subjects such as sport science and coaching.
You’ll discover the University is a rich source of news, debate and topical comment on sporting issues and you will have every opportunity to work for the various print, radio and online news outlets on campus.
Study in America or Europe
You can choose to study part of your degree at one of our partner universities in America:
- Eastern Michigan University
- Keene State College in New Hampshire
- Longwood University in Virginia
- Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Or you can choose to study for a term at an English-speaking university in almost any major city in Europe under the Erasmus programme.
For a more general journalism degree, you can also study our BA (Hons) Journalism.
Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
During your foundation year you will be assessed mainly by coursework, and with some in-class tests.
For the rest of your degree you’ll be assessed in several ways, including academic essays, audio and video reporting, case studies, editing skills, examinations, extended reports, journalistic writing, presentations, process analyses, production design and content production, production skills in image manipulation, reflective diaries, report writing and self-evaluation.
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study.
|IELTS||7.0 (with 6.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition|
|Portfolio||Yes - see portfolio details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
Please note that admission for the course is conducted on a gathered field basis and this course has an application deadline of 15 January. To find out more about the definition and process of a gathered field please see our Gathered Field Policy.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
This course develops the broad range of knowledge and skills you need to become a multimedia professional, adept in the production of content for print, online and broadcast outlets. While it equips you to work in football journalism specifically, it also prepares you for careers in broader areas of journalism, online or broadcast media production, PR, advertising, corporate communications, law and public administration or politics.
The research and communication skills of a journalist are highly transferable to a huge variety of graduate level jobs. Our students have gone on to work for magazines and local newspapers; BBC, commercial and community radio; and BBC and commercial TV. Others have set up their own digital businesses or worked for online agencies. Three current students launched their own football-based media company in their second year.
Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
† Additional information about your studies
5 Years with optional placement year
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Access to the Equipment Centre which stocks a huge range of cameras, audio equipment, and accessories which are available for booking by students at no cost
- Mandatory trips to media companies or other interesting organisations. Previous trips have included visiting BBC Radio Derby, the Derby Telegraph, the Nottingham Post and BBC News and Sport at Salford
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Some equipment including storage drives (about £10) and external storage drives (£50 - £100) for use with cameras
Optional costs not included in your fees
- It is useful but not essential to have a smartphone (£50 - £750)
- Some students choose to buy accessories for the phone such as external microphones (approx. £10 - £15) and tripods (£5 - £25)
- Some students also find it useful to purchase their own laptop for use in the field but this is not required (from £150)
- It is also possible that you will want to travel to cover particular news stories - as this is not required by the course, the cost is not covered in your fees
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.