Combine your passion for football with high level journalism skills on the only course of its kind in the country.
Journalism at Derby is ranked in the Top 30 in The Guardian University Guide 2023
We have teamed up with Derby County Football Club Women to offer three full tuition fee scholarships for women starting this course in 2023, find out more now.
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 BA (Hons) 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.
Top30for Journalism**The Guardian University Guide 2023
Three fully-funded football journalism scholarships
The University of Derby has teamed up with Derby County Football Club Women to offer this amazing scholarship. Three full scholarships are available for women starting the course in 2023.
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. Recent speakers have included:
Laura Williamson, Sports News Editor at The Daily Mail
Sam Rush, former Derby County Football Club Chief Executive
Jacqui Oatley, TV presenter
Matt Murray, former goalkeeper for Wolverhampton Wanderers
Gareth Southgate, England Manager
Ged Roddy, Director of Youth at the Premier League
Keith Downing, England U18s manager
Howard Nurse, BBC Digital Football Editor
Ellen White, Notts County Ladies and English international footballer
Scott Field, Team GB Director of Communications
Henry Winter, Chief Football Writer for The Times
Nigel Clough, Burton Albion manager
Shaun Barker, Burton football player
How Molly is chasing her football dream
Molly Jennens always wanted to be the next Gary Lineker. Now, she’s studying Football Journalism and, who knows, maybe one day she’ll be presenting Match of the Day alongside him.
You'll be based at our Markeaton Street and Kedleston Road 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
You can choose to study part of your degree at one of in America:
Eastern Michigan University
Keene State College in New Hampshire
Longwood University in Virginia
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.
You’ll have opportunities to work on real-world projects, cover football news stories and undertake the full spectrum of match reporting as a matter of course. You’ll interview key figures in the game and write reports and features with accuracy. As well as concentrating on the core journalistic research and writing skills, you’ll study media law and ethics along with the history and culture of football.
You’ll be taught by a team which has vast experience in journalism and you’ll gain fascinating insights into the profession thanks to our programme of guest lectures by sports journalists, broadcasters and football industry insiders.
Our contacts within the sporting world, local and national radio, newspapers and TV will open the doors to a variety of work experience opportunities for you. In addition, you’ll have the chance to advance your skills by contributing to our student radio station, Phantom newspaper, our online news site and the sports website run by the Students’ Union.
Students will work alongside football clubs and media organisations throughout their course to gain experience of the industry. Trips to clubs and media organisations will also be organised as well as a series of external speakers.
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.
Supporting you all the way
We offer a high level of support to students, including a unique personal tutor system to help steer your academic and professional development.
Who you will meet
The course is taught by highly skilled lecturers who have many years of first-hand experience in staff and freelance journalism in print, stills, documentary, radio, TV and online media. Most of them also have national and international awards.
Senior Lecturer Neil Manship, FHEA, began his career in journalism as a news and sport reporter at the Derby Telegraph before becoming a district reporter for the Western Daily Press. He then moved to the BBC as a reporter, producer and presenter for Radio Devon, before becoming a television reporter and producer for the BBC in Bristol. He subsequently spent 13 years as a lead producer and manager for BBC Look North. Before joining the University of Derby in 2014, Neil also worked for BBC Online News.
Senior Lecturer Richard Bowyer is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on a number of newspapers including the Wolverhampton Express and Star, the biggest selling newspaper outside London. While he was Deputy Editor of the Lincolnshire Echo, the paper received the Newspaper Society Regional Daily Newspaper of the Year award and Richard won an award for his front page designs. As Deputy Editor of the Stoke Sentinel, Richard was involved in major group projects as part of the radical transformation of the industry. He became Editor-in-Chief of the Stoke Sentinel and Group Editor of West Staffordshire Newspapers, along with the publications’ associated web sites, in 2013, before joining the University of Derby in 2015.
Martin Shakeshaft has 20 years experience as a news photojournalist and online specialist. He has produced editorial and news images for websites at Channel 4, BBC, S4C, The Economist, the Daily Mirror, the Independent and Newsweek magazine.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Chris has joined Derby University as a lecturer in Journalism with a particular focus on sports journalism. Chris has over 14 years of experience in football, sports and entertainment having worked for a Premier League club, a football governing body and a national stadium.
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
What we're looking for
GCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HE
Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. You may be given the opportunity, within your offer letter, to submit a portfolio. If you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
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.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.
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 provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
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.