From the Olympics to Wimbledon or the Rugby, our nation’s passion for sports coverage has never been stronger. If you would like to be involved in covering sporting events as a sports journalist, then this course delivers the skills, knowledge and practical experience you need.
- Journalism at Derby has been ranked Top 30 in the Guardian University Guide 2023
- Develop skills in researching and producing compelling sports content for multimedia platforms
- You will have opportunity to focus on the sport of your choice – from cricket, rugby, football to minority sports
- Gain invaluable experience through opportunities with sporting organisations or live sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games
- Learn in our exceptional facilities which include TV and radio studios plus a fully equipped newsroom.
This degree is focused on equipping you with the skills you will need. Media technologies have revolutionised how journalists work, and how people receive their sports news. Sporting fans can follow their chosen sport much more closely – and they expect a high level of expertise from those covering it. This course will equip you with the professional knowledge and multimedia skills to rise to the challenge.
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 new emerging platforms. Unlike other courses, you have the option to specialise in a sport of your choice – from minority sports through to cricket, rugby and football.
You will learn core journalistic skills such as writing, interviewing, research and study media law and ethics. You will also create content for print, radio and TV, alongside creating blogs, podcasts, audio/video stories for the web and social media. We want to develop your passion for sport and help you find people and hear the human stories behind the headlines.
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 to work as a content producer for various sports clubs.
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 will gain significant hands-on experience of gathering and reporting on your chosen sport. You will also analyse media coverage and learn how social media has transformed sports journalism.
You are expected to gain an in-depth knowledge of your sport, covering every level grassroots, to the biggest names in international sport. You will learn the business, finance, the use of data in sport and critically explore current key issues in sport.
Exciting work experience opportunities
There are opportunities for students to report on a variety of sports events, volunteer or have paid roles with various sports clubs. We work closely with media organisations such as Reach Plc to enable you to have your work published.
You are encouraged to work with charities and other not-for-profit organisations to gain an insight into how they operate. In addition, you can contribute to StoryHub or contribute to our student-run media and produce content for the online news and sports websites run by the Students’ Union.
You'll be based at our Markeaton Street site in Derby, which has a purpose-built journalism facility. This includes three radio studios, a fully equipped television studio, video editing suites, Mac suites and a newsroom featuring the latest software. Our radio studios have recently been refurbished and fitted with Calrec technology — a leading range of broadcast audio mixing consoles and equipment. All large media companies are now migrating to this technology, so we're ahead of the game.
This means you’ll be confident using industry-standard technology, giving you a real advantage when you're looking for a job.
The key to becoming a journalist is to learn the essential skills so, at the start of your degree, you will learn the basics of finding and telling stories. As you progress you will develop more advanced skills in multimedia content production.
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.
We believe that you learn best by doing. We use a practice-based learning approach in most of your workshops which means you will often be creating stories for online, audio, video or social media. You will also have lectures, seminars and participate in newsdays.
You will be taught by a team of lecturers who have a range of experience in journalism. Your learning is supported with guest lectures by sports journalists, broadcasters, historians and commentators and trips.
How you'll be assessed
You will be assessed on the quality of your journalistic work and your academic work. Journalistic assessments include writing stories, producing video or audio stories, podcasts, and producing online content.
Academic assessments include essays, case studies, reports, presentations, reflective diaries, and self-evaluation.
Who you'll meet
The course is taught by highly skilled lecturers who have many years of first-hand experience in print, photography, documentary, radio, TV and online media.
- Programme Leader Niall Hickman worked as a news reporter and news editor at ITV and Sky television before working abroad in New York. He was then a sports reporter for the Daily Mail and Daily Express before moving into academia.
- 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 websites, in 2013, before joining the University of Derby in 2015.
- Senior Lecturer Peter Lansley spent 12 years as the Midlands football correspondent for The Times, where he was also responsible for covering women’s football. He has also freelanced for The Sun, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times. He reports on youth football too, contributing a monthly feature to PremierLeague.com, and has covered 14 tournaments, including men’s and women’s World Cups. He has published two books, Out of the Blue (about Martin O’Neill’s Wycombe Wanderers) and Running with Wolves (about Wolverhampton Wanderers). Peter was the main football reporter for BBC Online between 1997 and 2000, and more recently for Fanbookz, a social media platform. He has excellent, wide-ranging contacts throughout the world of football. In addition, he is a qualified football coach and has worked for the FA as a coach mentor, having gained a Youth Award coaching certificate.
- Lecturer Chris Hall spent 8 years working in the communications team and managing social media for West Bromwich Albion Football Club. Chris also worked at The Football Association managing social media and customer engagement teams for Wembley Stadium.
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
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||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.
Additional entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS: 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each skills area)
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per 20 credit module
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
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.
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.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
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.
Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.
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.