About the course
Music and journalism are two of the most exciting and creative industries to work in. Our BA in Music Journalism lets you combine your shared passions for sound, social media and the written word.
Why study Music Journalism at Huddersfield?
- The course aims to give you a practical grounding in the styles and techniques of music journalism. You’ll look at everything from writing for the printed page to making compelling videos, plus radio shows, podcasts and social media platforms.
- You’ll be taught by international recognised tutors who are leading the way in the growing area of media participation. Writers, broadcasters, academics and researchers all contribute, and our staff regularly work for national newspapers and magazines.
- We have an impressive range of equipment, including TV and radio studios, professional cameras and software and smartphones for mobile recording.
- Take part in a work placement with an external client, ranging from doing public relations work for a band to spending time with a radio station.
- From Beatlemania to #KatyCats, music fans have been noisy, colourful - and increasingly significant. And it’s not just rock and pop, you’ll develop a broad knowledge of a wide range of music genres.
Studying Music Journalism is much more than just writing about your favourite band. We’ll challenge you to explore a range of genres and give you the skills you need to embark on a range of exciting careers from journalism to music promotion to radio production.
Richard Jones, Course Leader for Journalism and Music Journalism
Writing for the Media and Storytelling
This module introduces students to a range of media and professional writing practices. Students will be guided to develop transferable skills for a broad range of media writing. They will analyse material in newspapers, magazines, broadcast and online and through progressive writing activities develop and hone their writing skills. The module will introduce students to different types of journalistic writing.
Video and Audio Production
The module introduces you to a range of audio and video technologies: mobile, online, TV/video and radio/audio. You will be provided with the essential studio and location skills necessary to produce a series of media artefacts, and to understand the language and concepts required to evaluate the product.
Introduction to Music Research
This module equips you with the skills needed to be a successful and confident music researcher. Drawing on examples from a range of styles and genres appropriate to your course, lectures and seminars will consider the idea of music and musicians as part of historical and contemporary culture. Coursework will allow you to focus on repertoire and issues of your choice, investigating the musical links between aesthetics, society, politics, and technology.
Whether the emphasis is on journalism, film, music, TV, broadcast sports, video games, online streaming, or another media form, the production of creative content always takes place in the context of specific industrial and organisational structures. This module provides you with an introduction to the key theories, concepts and methods needed to understand those structures, their impact on the professionals and organisations working within them, and the ways in which they shape the media landscape. The module places particular emphasis on political economic approaches to the media and production studies, but attention will also be given to theories of creativity, branding, and industrial conceptions of their audiences.Your seminars and workshops explore in particular media entertainment industries.
This module provides you with a detailed understanding of the role of technology in shaping and being shaped by mediated communication with a particular focus on digital media technologies. The module combines the critical analysis of media technologies with practical skills to use those technologies for media and creative industry professionals.
This module examines media, audiences, users and participants. It will explore key approaches and debates in the analysis of audiences, in addition to understanding how they can be placed into social, historical and economic contexts. Attention will be paid to methodological questions about users, as well as examining key debates in Audience and Reception Studies, including active/passive debates; the digital public sphere and participation; questions of power and gender; the relationship between media producers, texts and users; the social construction of identity; and media and cultural globalisation and diaspora. By the end of the module students will be able to apply a wide range of theories about users, audiences and participants in historical and contemporary cultures, while comprehending the contexts and consequences of media convergence and the role of participatory media in the dissemination and reception of mediated content. Your seminars and workshops focus on audiences and users of creative media and entertainment content in particular.
This module examines transformations of employment, agency and practice in creative and cultural industries. You will study the realities and everyday demands of different roles and careers and thus develop a deep understanding of the contexts of contemporary work, employment and entrepreneurship. This in turn will enable you to critically assess the interplay between media work and wider political, social, cultural, technological and economic structures. You will thus develop key knowledge and skills that are applied to identifying suitable career paths and opportunities and success in employment and portfolio building.
Participatory Media and Fans
The module focuses on participatory media and practices, introducing key concepts (such as textual poaching; collective intelligence; spreadable media) as well as setting out the key debates which have framed participatory media including the role of cultural industries, the commercial exploitation of participants, and hierarchies of participation. The module considers the history of participatory media, as well as its textuality and economic basis. The module furthermore examines motivations and practices behind forms of participation including enthusiasm and fandom, introducing you to tools and concepts through which you analyse fan motivations, practices and experiences. Your seminar groups and workshops will focus in particular on users, participation and fan cultures surrounding news media / media sport / music / film and television / consumer culture and branding.
Methods in Media, Communication and Journalism Research
This module introduces key methodological approaches to the study of the interplay of technology, industry, users and texts, and, more broadly to the study of media and forms of mediated communication in society and culture. The module also raises wider questions of knowledge and epistemology of significance for a range of professional practices in media and creative industries, including journalism.
Choose up to three from a list which may include:
Popular Music Studies
Popular Music Studies introduces you to a range of analytical, critical, and theoretical approaches to popular music of the twentieth century and beyond. You will explore popular music from social, cultural, economic, and technological standpoints as well as aesthetic ones, with case studies ranging from rock ‘n’ roll and Philly soul through to hip-hop, chart pop, and electronica.
Digital Radio and Audio Production
This module provides an understanding of the technical, legal and professional standards involved in digital radio and audio production for broadcast and online; and the practical skills needed in the maintaining of a functioning online radio station with additional online content.
Making Film and Television
This module introduces the key creative and technical process in making audiovisual entertainment for film, television, streaming and other distribution platforms. You learn the technical, legal and professional standards involved in audio-visual entertainment production, critically reflect on practices in the context of entertainment audiences and their study, and develop skills required in effective entertainment production management.
Reporting and Writing
This module builds on the foundation provided by Writing for the Media and Storytelling in the first year. It gives students a deeper understanding of the journalistic practice of reporting and writing in a digital age. The module will examine practices in specialised reporting and enable students to become specialists in their areas of interest.
Magazine Design and Production
The module analyses the diversity and complexity of the magazine market and considers the nature of design and production in association with the current magazine market. The economics, costs, techniques, and organisation of design and production are examined and the nature of the publishing industry investigated. The module also looks at the market for new magazines, and investigates how editors and publishers identify and develop new opportunities. It develops ideas of enterprise and business. It includes work with software packages used in the magazine industry.
Planet/Hollywood: Contemporary Global Cinema
This module examines contemporary cinema as a global media industry, with a particular emphasis on the processes of globalisation and circulation that allow film texts to become meaningful far outside the contexts in which they were made. While the global dominance of Hollywood is of course central to this, cultural influences, values and meanings flow in multiple directions. Attention will be given to key theories in film and global media studies, including theories of globalisation, cultural hybridity and exchange, national identities, and imagined communities. By focusing not only on the films themselves, but on their production, distribution, promotion and reception, the module provides you with a detailed understanding of how and why cinema spreads around the globe, and the tensions this cultural flow creates at a political, social, economic and cultural level.
The placement will relate to your course of study and/or desired career It will provide opportunities for the development of a range of personal, interpersonal and professional skills, dependent upon the nature of the working environment and whether the student is working as an individual or within a team. You will be expected to identify a suitable placement for yourselves but will be assisted by the Module Tutor and the Employer Engagement Administrator. It is expected that you will undertake formal recruitment and selection procedures and will be required to prepare a Curriculum Vitae, write cover letters, attend assessment centres and interviews as necessary.
Media Industry Project
This module provides the opportunity for students, working individually or as part of a small group, to devise, plan and create some form of media product, working in partnership with an external organisation. Examples of suitable projects could include a digital promotion campaign for a community organisation, journalistic content for a newspaper or online platform, or a video or radio production for a client.
Dissertation / Practice Dissertation
You will produce an extended piece of work based on individual research into a particular topic associated with media, communication, film, journalism or related aspects of media culture and cultural industries. The dissertation will be supervised by a member of academic staff, who will act as the dissertation tutor. There will be a regular schedule of supervision and you will be expected to submit evidence of their progress (outlines, drafts, etc) at regular intervals.
Students who have successfully completed the optional placement year take an additional optional module in place of the Media Industry Project.
Choose up to four from a list which may include:
Music in the 21st Century
This module explores the major issues and materials of current musical thought and practice. We will draw on a wide range of styles and genres to examine the diversity of music in the early 21st Century, and will focus in particular on some of the aesthetic challenges and debates raised by this diversity. Assessment is through coursework, including a final project that provides opportunities for you to develop your own creative ways of demonstrating the findings from your independent research, including performance, composition, installations, multimedia presentations, blogs, websites and podcasts.
Video Shorts: Music, Advertising and Short film
This module provides the knowledge for you to gain an advanced understanding of the emerging and diverse use of short film and how video can be used across digital and broadcast platforms in innovative and complex ways. You will work in small groups to develop video narratives using a range of styles and platforms, with a clear understanding of audience and production.
Writing Techniques Across Media (Transmedia Writing)
This module concentrates on developing a professional and distinctive style in writing for different media platforms. Students will closely analyse the writing styles adopted for a variety of platforms in the context of media convergence and produce work that reflects their understanding of the style and format in each context as well as strategies employed to develop narratives and texts across media and platforms. The module will also cover theoretical issues related to the platforms.
Students will gain an advanced critical understanding of digital media technologies, and how online and social media tools can be applied to journalism and media production in innovative and enterprising ways. You will work in small groups to identify a new tool, or an existing tool applied in a new method, which can be used in journalism or media production. Each group will develop a plan for a start-up business based on their learning.
The module provides an insight into the world of investigative journalism and will help you to develop the skills involved in successful investigations. You will learn about the history of investigative journalism, subject its activities to analysis, examine its specific techniques and, through a series of exercises, practise the skills that will be required to undertake an investigation of a contemporary subject. The module will develop those journalistic skills and techniques picked up in the previous two years and channel them into the specialised area of investigative reporting.
Digital Media, Data and Analysis
This module explores the various ways in which digital media generate data. You examine and reflect on the types of data generated, their uses and impact. The module introduces methods and tools that collect, process and analyse digital media data.
Stars and Celebrity
This module examines cultures of stars and celebrities, particularly in relation to film, music, sport and other popular cultures. It will explore key approaches and debates in the analysis of stars and celebrities, in addition to understanding the historical, social and economic contexts in which fame operates. Attention will be given to key theories in Celebrity Studies, including: the mediated, discursive, and textual construction of celebrity; celebrities and commodity culture; the social and cultural functions of celebrity; stars and their audiences; and the ‘democratization’ of celebrity culture. By the end of the module students will be able to apply a wide range of theories about fame in historical and contemporary cultures.
Video Games and Culture
This module examines videogames in culture and videogames as culture. It will explore key approaches and debates in videogaming analysis, while placing videogames into their historical, social and economic contexts. Attention will be given to key theories in Game Studies, including narratology and ludology; debates about play, immersion and flow; the (sub)cultures of gamers and players, including age, race and gender; and the media industries that produce videogames. By the end of the module students will be able to analyse videogames utilising a variety of theories, and will understand the social and cultural meaning of games.
This module studies local and national politics in the UK, and the journalistic skills to allow them to report on politics and public bodies.
The Multi-Platform Newsroom
This module provides the knowledge and practical skills for you to understand the technical, legal and professional standards involved in running a newsroom on a multi-platform basis and the rationale and problems of user-generated content. It will enable you to achieve professional standards of capability in radio, TV and internet newsgathering, editing and presentation. In particular, it will stress the importance of team skills in the newsroom context. The aim is to encourage you to produce work which will have a beneficial impact on your employability and will contribute to your PDP.
Media Policy, Law and Ethics
This module explores the legal, ethical and policy frameworks within which the media organisations, policy-making and media professionals operate. It addresses the principles of media law and looks at the regulatory structures for press, broadcasting, music and cinema. It examines the ‘politics of policy’ in the UK, USA and EU in the context of the power of transnational media corporations. Students will study consider various examples of ethical problems in the media and the philosophical ideas and themes underpinning them.
Our degrees seek to develop your creative, technical and analytical skills, and every aspect of your learning is designed to help you succeed in the media, creative and cultural sectors. We thus work with a wide variety of teaching formats which alongside lectures, seminars and workshops, include newsdays, work-based learning and placements, project work, dissertations, one-on-one and group supervision, and digital learning. We continuously review and innovate teaching formats to reflect changing technologies and industry contexts.19.46% of the time on your course will be spent on timetabled activities.
We use a variety of assessments, including video shorts, podcasts, newsroom days, audience research portfolios, essays, production pitches, data analytics, presentations, and dissertation. This allows you the ability to tailor your degree to fit your passions, interests and strengths. You will be taught by world-leading scholars whose research is helping to shape our understanding of how media, journalism and culture operate alongside industry-leading practitioners and producers, supplemented by a variety of guest talks.
BBCat A Level
112 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications
DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
Applicants with prior learning or prior experiential learning will be considered individually by the School of Music, Humanities and Media Accreditation and Validation Panel, to assess whether it is appropriate to grant general or specific credit towards the course.
Applications from international students will be considered on an individual basis, and with advice from the University's International Office.
If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable.
Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.
- Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
- We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
- Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
- For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
- We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.
*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.
Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant.
The Department of Media, Journalism and Film at the University of Huddersfield is home to one of Europe's leading centres for the study of participatory culture, fans and popular media. The Centre for Participatory Culture brings together preeminent researchers in the study of popular culture with specialism such as screen industries and branding, media sport in the digital age, music festivals and music tourism, science fiction fandom, Regional Reality TV Drama, identity and globalisation, and the rise of fandom and anti-fandom in politics. The centre also explores the rise of digital media technologies and platforms, including social media and their impact on media industries and media representations, including on forms of journalism. We also assess the role of these technologies in changes to political participation and democracy.
At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.
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Changes to option modules
Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.
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Termination of course
In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.
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