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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years, Part-time: 4-6 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road and Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Journalism is featured in the top 20 in The Guardian University Guide 2020 and is rated 2nd for student satisfaction with feedback.

From the Olympics to Premiership football, our nation’s passion for sports coverage has never been stronger. If you’d like to be part of the action as a sports journalist, this course delivers the skills, knowledge, practical experience and professional contacts you need.

We've developed this course with your future in mind. New technologies are revolutionising media and the ways in which people receive their sports news. Today’s digital technologies allow people to follow their chosen sports much more closely – and they expect a high level of expertise from those reporting on sport. We will equip you with the professional knowledge and multimedia skills to rise to this challenge.

New skills for a new era

In an age of digital news, there has never been a more exciting or challenging time to study sports journalism. This dynamic course enables you to produce compelling content for both traditional and emerging media platforms.  And, unlike with other courses, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in a sport of your choice – from minority sports through to cricket, rugby and football.

You'll gain the core journalistic research and writing skills as well as studying media law and ethics. At the same time, you’ll develop a multi-platform mindset, producing print, radio and TV reports as well as creating blogs and podcasts, digital photos, audio/video stories and content for websites and mobile devices.

Meeting industry demand

We are collaborating closely with leading names in sport and media to ensure this degree delivers the right level of skills and knowledge. You’ll be equipped not only to cover sport as a journalist but also for the growing number of media relations roles in the sports industry.

The course has been developed following discussions with major media companies like the BBC, national and local newspapers, sports industry bodies and sports clubs themselves. Drawing on these strong partnerships, you’ll be able to extend your professional networks, gain practical work experience and hear guest lectures from experienced sports journalists.

Hone your expertise in news gathering

Throughout your studies, you’ll gain significant hands-on experience of gathering and reporting news and information on your chosen sport. You’ll also analyse traditional media coverage and the way in which social media and individual blogs are transforming sports journalism.

You are expected to gain an in-depth knowledge of your sport, covering every level from local grassroots players to the biggest names in international sport. We focus on the governance and business aspects of sport too, reflecting how these are never far from the headlines.

Exciting work experience opportunities

As part of your course, you’ll boost your CV by gaining practical work experience with a media or sports organisation in the UK or overseas. All our students are expected to have completed at least 15 days of work placement by the time they graduate.

The course features work-based modules where you can expand your professional know-how. We also encourage you to work with charities and other not-for-profit organisations to gain an insight into why media matters so much. In addition, you can contribute to the various print, radio and online news outlets at the University, which is itself a rich source of news and debate around sport.

Outstanding facilities

You'll be based at our main campus at Kedleston Road and at our Markeaton Street site where you'll discover our excellent facilities including three radio studios, a fully equipped television studio, video editing suites, Mac suites and a newsroom featuring the latest software.

You’ll work with 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.

Variety and versatility

Our emphasis is on fostering creative, versatile journalists with experience in a variety of production techniques. On top of this, you will gain journalistic expertise in your chosen sport, helping you to pursue a career in your specialist area of interest.

Alongside your traditional reporting skills, we want you to develop a passion for ideas and creative communication, to seek people out and find the human stories behind the headlines. You'll also focus on your intellectual and critical development, study research techniques and gain an understanding of audience theory.

Broaden your perspectives

We encourage all students to take part in international study, either through the Erasmus scheme which allows you to spend time at a university almost anywhere in Europe, or through our American exchange programme, in which you will spend a full semester studying at one of our partner universities in the USA:

Top20for Journalism**The Guardian University Guide 2020
Football Journalism Student Playing Football on Beach

Three fully-funded football journalism scholarships

The University of Derby has teamed up with Derby County Ladies (DCL) to offer this amazing scholarship. Three full scholarships are available for women starting the course in 2020.

Find out more about our football journalism scholarshipsFind out more about our football journalism scholarships

What you will study

The key to becoming a great sports journalist is to learn the essential skills required by all journalists. So, at the start of your degree, you’ll gain a thorough grounding in the basics of finding and telling stories for different forms of media. 

There are introductory modules on print, online, video and audio journalism, and you will build your understanding of the law, ethics and governance of journalism. 

As you progress through your course, you will develop more advanced skills and will be given the opportunity to specialise, not only in the sport of your choice but also in different media platforms such as TV, radio, online or print.

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Year 3Year 3

Code: 4JN508


The role of the photographer in the media has undergone rapid and fundamental changes over the past decade. The introduction of digital technology and the ubiquitous camera phone, has meant that every journalist is now expected to take photographs. While specialist photographers still exist, more and more media outlets rely on the images captured by their reporters and readers.

This module will teach you the basics for capturing usable photographs and understanding the role that images play in telling a story. You will study how images have been used by the media over time and how a single photograph has the power to change opinion or to capture the essence of a moment or event. You will be encouraged to take photographs on a variety of cameras, ranging from your mobile phone, to more sophisticated DSLRs.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4JN510

Introduction to Audio and Video Journalism

This module provides an introduction to audio and video journalism skills. You will develop an understanding of how to construct story ideas in sound and vision and gain an induction to the range of technical skills required for audio and video journalism.
20 Credits

Code: 4JN511

Multimedia Practice

This module aims to advance you to the fundamental skills essential to create an online multimedia publication based on the subject matter of your choice to expected online industry standards.
20 Credits

Code: 4JN515

Introduction to Sports Journalism

This module will present an introduction to journalism in print and online. You will gain knowledge and understanding of current journalism practice in print and the developing practices online as they relate to the area of sport.

The module will outline issues facing the industry, as well as presenting research and sourcing techniques applicable to further study. You will be introduced to some of the key laws and regulations affecting journalists, including libel and copyright. You will also study the issues around accreditation, licencing and access to venues, grounds, and matches.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4JN516

Event Reporting

Event reporting is the foundation block which underpins the work of a sports journalist. However, it has undergone – and continues to undergo – a transformation in its purpose, form, and platform.

This module will look at the event report in all its forms, from the traditional print runner and post-match articles, to today’s moment-by-moment social media live reporting, and computer-generated reports. You will study how technology and changing audience habits affect the work of the journalist, along with the accreditation and licensing requirements of writing about sport. You will also learn the skills required to produce reports from events in a variety of formats, focussing on print and online. You will hear from a number of practising sports journalists on how they do their work and how it is changing.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4JN517

Sports Reporting

This module builds on the Event Reporting module, allowing you to expand your skills into the wider requirements of the sports journalist.

It will take you beyond the event: you will get the opportunity to start to look at your chosen sport as a whole, considering all areas of the sports industry, from the fans, to the clubs, to the governing bodies. You will get the opportunity to start to specialise in an area of interest to you as you are introduced to the concept of building yourself as an expert. Much of the work you do will be guided by live briefs from industry and, whenever your work is good enough, it will be published by professional publications.

You will hear from industry experts, both from the media and the sports industry, and you will study the work of other journalists. The module will further improve your knowledge of the role of technology, audience, and platform, and how they affect journalism. You will focus on print and online, including social media. The module will also build on your legal knowledge and encourage you to think about the ethics of your work.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5JN510

Video Journalism

This module provides you with an opportunity to advance your skills from Introduction to Audio and Video Journalism at Level 4. It will further your appreciation and understanding of the creative and technical processes involved in the production of video journalism.

It will also enable you to contextualise your practice within contemporary journalism, including issues such as ethics, regulation, editorial policy, and audiences. You will develop ways to present compelling ideas for factual video output and refine your appreciation of how to construct stories in pictures and sound. You will also work as part of an editorial production team on a series of news days, which will be part of your assessed work.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5JN520

Advanced Feature Writing

This module builds on the basic feature writing skills you have learnt during your first year of study. In particular, it will look at how to use different interview techniques to find the information you need to write great features. It also allows for a more formal study of the law and ethics that will guide your work as a journalist.
20 Credits

Code: 5JN503

Work-based Learning in Journalism

This module will enable you to link the theory and practice you have learnt on the course so far to current workplace practices and experience. You will undertake work experience within the journalism work environment, which will involve the completion of an agreed project and process analysis.

The work-based learning must be negotiated for no less than 14 days (112 hours) or its equivalent in the form of a project.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5JN513

Audio Journalism

This module provides you with an opportunity to advance your skills from Introduction to Audio and Video Journalism at Level 4. It furthers your appreciation and understanding of the creative and technical processes involved in the production of audio journalism. It will also enable you to contextualise your practice within contemporary journalism including issues such as ethics, regulation, editorial policy, and audiences.

You will develop ways to present compelling ideas for factual audio output and refine your appreciation of how to construct stories in sound. You will also work as part of an editorial production team on a series of newsdays, which will be part of your assessed work.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5JN514

MoJo: Mobile Journalism

This module is designed to enhance your knowledge and understanding of a diverse range of presentation methods in multimedia journalism. You will deconstruct and critically evaluate a range of multimedia editorial features from a variety of sources, which reflect a number of approaches in delivering to your target demographic.

The focus of the module is on how to use smart devices and associated technologies to tell your story. You will learn how to recognise the importance of matching your story with appropriate technologies to enhance the reader experience. You will learn by doing and you will be expected to create a number of story experiences through technology.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5JN518

Specialist Online Sports Journalism

This online journalism module allows you to acquire knowledge and critical understanding of a genre of online sports journalism of your choice and to progress the digital journalism skills learnt at Level 4. You could choose, for example, football, cricket or athletics journalism, and you will consider specialisms within that sport. You will study your chosen genre’s place in the modern journalistic landscape, and you will put into practice your journalistic skills by producing digital output.
20 Credits

Code: 5JN519

Public Relations and Media Management in Sport

This module introduces you to the differences between working for the media and for an organisation within the sports industry. Public Relations is about managing a corporate image and reputation. The development of the internet over the past 20 years has given sports organizations far more options when it comes to deciding how they want to talk to their audiences.

Traditionally, they had to go through the media to talk to their fans and other stakeholders. Managing the relationship with newspapers, radio and TV was the key role of the press office. Now, while that relationship is still vital, the entities can also talk directly to fans through a variety of digital platforms including their website, social media, and apps. This module looks at the work of the press office, both at clubs and other sports organisations, and is aimed at equipping you with the knowledge and skills required for a career in this area.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5MR503

Media Research Project

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop a research project relating to a contemporary media debate or issue. You may choose to expand upon a topic covered in other modules. You may relate your case study to the historical issues which underpin your chosen topic. The module includes an introduction to research skills, a further consideration of study skills and an introduction to research methodologies. It prepares you for the Independent Study at level 6.
20 Credits

Code: 6JN506

Online Production Project

This module builds on previous modules to provide a realistic experience of content and production journalism for online. This is a practice-based module where you will work individually or as part of an editorial news team to plan, create content, and produce an online news site using professional workflows and editorial criteria. You will work within allocated roles over a defined production schedule to produce multimedia content to deadline. You will get the chance to specialise in an area of personal interest and to take on a variety of roles to produce pages for the University of Derby journalism website.
20 Credits

Code: 6JN505

Multimedia Portfolio

This is a practical workshop double module, which draws upon and develops skills and techniques of levels 4 and 5 practical journalism modules. It allows you to produce of a professional-standard portfolio of your own work.

This will be researched and produced across multi-media platforms to demonstrate your individual journalistic skills, newsgathering abilities, and production techniques. Lectures and seminars will enable you to contextualise your practice within current developments in technology and associated changes in traditional narrative and aesthetic practices. You will also work as part of editorial production teams in a series of newsdays.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN507

Print Production Project

This is a practice-based module where you will create content, and then plan and produce print-based pages using professional workflows and editorial criteria. You will work within allocated roles over a defined production schedule to produce content to deadline. We will also seek to partner with an external professional publisher to produce content for its publications. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to experience producing content to professional criteria and to build your portfolio of work for potential employers.
20 Credits

Code: 6JN508

Entrepreneurial Journalism

This module sets out to equip you to work as a freelance or set up your own business. While the number of journalists employed by mainstream media companies continues to fall, the number of people who say they make their living as a journalist is rising. Many of these extra journalists work for themselves, either running small online sites or selling their journalistic work as a freelance.

This module will cover both the technical side of setting up and running your own business, and the entrepreneurial skills required to come up with a business idea that can work. You will learn the basics of writing a business plan, including understanding revenues, costs, tax, cash flow, and profit and loss.

The module will also help you understand how the digitisation of news and information is changing the media scene, and the opportunities this presents for entrepreneurial journalists. You will look at how to find opportunities and how to exploit them. By looking at successful – and unsuccessful – businesses, you will understand the pressures and the opportunities of working for yourself as a journalist. 

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN509

Radio Journalism

This module provides a deep understanding of current radio broadcast journalism. It examines the history and current position of radio as a broadcast medium set against other modern journalism platforms.

It will take you through newsroom processes, from newsgathering, writing for radio, development of story ideas, treatment and eventual broadcast of these stories. Production values will be of a professional standard, you will explore the techniques used by professional radio broadcaster and learn to apply these with the same high quality.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN510

Television Journalism

This module will enhance the skills you have learned at Level 5 in Video Journalism, and concentrate on television journalism. You will produce professional standard television output.

It provides an opportunity to take part in the creative and technical processes involved in the production of contemporary television journalism. It will also enable you to contextualise your practice with theoretical debates and issues in ethics, regulation, editorial policy, and audiences. You will develop ways to present compelling ideas for factual TV programmes and refine your appreciation of how to construct stories in video.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN513

Public Relations and Social Media in Sport

PR has been massively changed by the advent of digital and social media. By its very nature, social media is amplified by the public, consequently any work by a press office can quickly become owned and controlled by others in a way that could never happen before the advent of the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Sports clubs have been amongst the early adopters of social media – top Premiership clubs have 10s of millions of followers – and it is a powerful, sometimes dangerous tool in the armoury of the club press office. This module will nurture your skills to become an opinion former through social media with an eye on the media landscape, and analytics, to react, shape and manage your message.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN516

Reporting Football Business and Finance

This module will analyse the increasingly influential financial perspectives within modern football and the stories and processes that emerge.

With clubs and governing bodies increasingly dominant in the reporting of the game, journalists must be able to investigate finances critically and from original sources in order to distinguish between fact and PR. Understanding the business basis of football clubs allows reporters to write from a position of knowledge when faced with the complex nature of the rules and regulations which dictate many of the ups and downs of clubs and their players. 

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN517

Tactical and Statistical Analysis within Football Journalism

This module will look at the relationship between journalism and football data and tactics. It will analyse how the digital changes in the business have rendered statistical material and tactical data almost as important as interviews with players and managers.

It will consider how a detailed understanding leading to expert interpretation and use of the material is essential to the reputation of journalists. The module will also encourage a historical and holistic perspective on tactical developments. 

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6JN998

Independent Study in Journalism

Independent Study provides the opportunity for you to respond to issues raised in the course of your studies, building on themes studied in the modules at levels four and five and/or forging new areas of study.
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Open Days

Register your interest for a future Open Day and we'll be in touch as soon as we are able to welcome you on campus.

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How you will learn

We believe that you learn best by doing. As often as possible, you’ll be creating content for print, online, audio and video platforms. You’ll have opportunities to work on real-world projects and complete stories on location as a matter of course. You’ll gather sports news, interview people and write reports and features with accuracy.

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, historians and commentators. You’ll also go on visits to professional media companies.

Practical experience

Our great contacts with local and national radio and TV, newspapers and online outlets open the doors to a variety of work experience opportunities for you. We work closely with media organisations to enable you to have your work published.

In addition, you can hone your skills by contributing to our student-run media, helping with the radio or TV stations or writing for the Phantom newspaper. We’ll also encourage you to produce content for the online news and sports websites run by the Students’ Union.

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed both for the quality of your journalistic work, and through academic work.

Journalistic assessments will include writing, designing, and the use of images.  You will also create video and audio content, as well as producing online content.

Academic assessment will include essays, case studies, extended reports, presentations, process analyses, reflective diaries, report writing and self-evaluation. 

As we are helping you to become a professional journalist, most of your assessments will involve you producing journalism. In the first year, you will be assessed through essays and in-class tests.

Who you'll meet

The course is taught by highly skilled lecturers who have many years of first-hand experience in staff and freelance journalism in print, photography, documentary, radio, TV and online media. Most of them also have national and international awards.

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.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Alex Ward talking at an Open Day

Alex Ward
Programme leader

Has a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies and an MA in Broadcast Journalism. After spending two years as a broadcast journalist in radio, he made the move to Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, where he was responsible for the club's video content for nine years, managing the club’s website and developing Wolves' social media channels.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS7.0 (with 6.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details

Alternative entry qualifications:

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.

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.

Two students sitting in front of a laptop smiling

Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


This course develops the broad range of knowledge and skills you need to become a multimedia professional, adept in the production of journalistic content for print, online and broadcast outlets. While it equips you to work in sports journalism specifically, it also prepares you for careers in broader areas of journalism.

The research and communication skills of a journalist are highly transferable to a huge variety of graduate level careers. Our graduates secure jobs not only in newspapers, magazines and broadcasting but also with online businesses and social media agencies. While many go on to work in traditional journalist roles, others find careers in PR, marketing, advertising and corporate communications.

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.

Contact us

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.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included 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.

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