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Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Digital Communication

Course Details

Course code:
LM039
Level:
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
Length:
4 Years
CAO points:
388
Course leader:
Kathryn Hayes
Email: Tel:
+353 (0)61 202267

 

Admissions:

Tel: 00 353 61 202015
Queries: www.ul.ie/admissions-askus

 

Follow Journalism@UL to see more about our course

About You

Are you naturally curious? Do you find yourself interested in conversations about events that are happening locally, nationally or globally? Do you want to learn how to ask the right questions and explain to an audience what is happening using multimedia platforms? If you want to be at the heart of telling stories that matter in society, and you want to make a difference, then journalism is the career for you. Your natural skills should be in writing, storytelling and communicating.

Why Study Journalism and Digital Communication at UL?

Journalism is an important, exciting and dynamic field. It tells us about ourselves. The platforms through which we tell our stories are evolving, and in UL we offer students a chance to engage with and deliver stories across all digital and social media platforms. We help develop real-world practical and critical thinking skills in students so that their journalism is informed by a balanced sense of justice, accuracy and life-experience. Over the four years our students will:

  • Produce their own radio reports and TV bulletins, in our state of the art studios
  • Work on the awarding winning Limerick Voice news website, social media platforms and local newspaper (www.limerickvoice.com)
  • Produce and design an online magazine
  • Work with the latest digital publishing and editing software programmes including Adobe Audition, Final Cut Pro and Indesign
  • Use social media to self-publish and promote work
  • Learn key fact-checking and online verification skills

What you will study

We provide a range of core practical modules designed to produce leading multimedia journalists capable of working across all digital platforms.

Our journalism subjects include:

  • Radio and Television broadcasting
  • Writing and publishing for digital media
  • Social Media and Society
  • Interviewing and Reporting
  • Sports Journalism
  • Magazine Journalism
  • Limerick Voice news website and newspaper production

The structure of the programme allows for students to pick from a wide range of elective choices including, Politics, Languages, Law or Sociology, which foster a deeper understanding of societal issues, which are the focus of journalism. In the first year, you will choose two electives alongside your core journalism subjects, one of which you will take to degree level. This will not only allow you to develop your research and analytical skills but also enhance your career prospects. The strong emphasis on team projects in our core journalism modules means students are constantly developing a portfolio of published work which can be used for presentation to future employers.

Our lecturers combine academic expertise with significant professional industry experience in a number of national and international news organisations, including The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE and The Cambodia Daily International. Our adjunct professors include Fergal Keane, BBC Africa Editor. In a special seminar series, editors, correspondents, reporters and other media-interested professionals visit the University of Limerick to talk to journalism students about the media industry and employment opportunities. Our four year programme includes a six-month work placement opportunity in a national or regional news organisation and an international study abroad placement.

For more information, visit www.ul.ie/journalism

LM039 Journalism Course Outline

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2 Summer
JM4011 Introduction to Journalism and Writing for News JM4031 Sub-editing and Design 1  
CU4121 Introduction to New Media & Cultural Studies JM4013 Radio Journalism  
PO4013 Gov & Politics of Ireland TW4006 Writing for New Media  
  Elective:   Elective:  
  Choose Two from Economics, English Literature, History, Law, Politics, Sociology or Language Studies†   Choose Two from Economics, English Literature, History, Law, Politics, Sociology or Language Studies†  

 

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
JM4007 Advanced Practical Journalism (broadcast/online journalism) JM4034 Journalism and writing 2: breaking news and feautures  
JM4003 Interviewing & Reporting JM4027 Sports Journalism (core elective) OR  
JM4044 Magazine Journalism (core elective)
LA4013 Media Law JM2022 Introduction to Social Media  
SO4033 Sociology of Media CU4014 Analysing Media Discourse  
  Elective:   Elective:  
  Choose one from English, Economics, History, Law, Politics, Sociology, or Language Studies   Choose one from English, Economics, History, Law, Politics, Sociology, or Language Studies  

 

Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
  External Placement   External Academic Placement  

 

Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
JM4008 Investigative Journalism JM4048 Journalism Team Project 2 (newspaper/news site)  
JM4047 Journalism Team Project (newspaper/news site) JM4018 Individual Journalism Project 2  
JM4037 Individual Journalism Project 1 JM4028 Current Issues in Irish Media  
CU4128 New Media, Language and Globalization JM4058 Broadcast Week  
  Elective:   Elective:  
  Choose one from English, Economics, History, Law, Politics, Sociology, or Language Studies   Choose one from English, Economics, History, Law, Politics, Sociology, or Language Studies  

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation Maths is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

In addition, students must hold a minimum H4 grade in English.

Students wishing to take a Language Studies elective must hold a minimum H3 grade in that language.

We welcome applications from mature students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.

A degree in Journalism and Digital Communications prepares you to work not just in legacy media but also in social media and the creation and curation of web content. Journalism graduates from UL are employed in a range of international and national organisations including: CNN, BBC, Google, The Guardian, Storyful,  RTE, Independent News and Media, The Irish  Examiner, Breakingnews.ie, The Journal.ie. UL graduates have also secured employment in a number of sport and entertainment websites and leading regional newspaper titles and local radio stations.

Careers open to you with a degree in Journalism and Digital Communication include;

  • •    Multi Media reporter
  • •    Broadcaster
  • •    TV Journalist
  • •    Editor
  • •    Public Relations specialist
  • •    Corporate communications specialist
  • •    Social Media specialist
  • •    Copywriter

You will be well-equipped to work in the fast-changing media world that has been transformed by digital technology. You will have excellent writing, editing and research skills. The application of these skills to print, on-line and broadcast journalism is a major part of the programme. You will be equipped to work in:

  • National and local newspapers
  • National and local radio
  • Digital publishing
  • Communications, and public relations roles
  • Media production, media research
  • Research and teaching at third level

Follow-On Study

Related postgraduate courses at UL include:

  • MA in Journalism, Sport
  • MA Technical Communication and eLearning
  • MA English
  • MA Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies
  • MA Politics
  • Grad Dip/MA in Public Administration

Want to find out more about possible careers with this degree? Click Here

Student Profile - Mark Boylan

Getting to experience a real-life newspaper environment was undoubtedly the most beneficial element of my education at UL. For my co-op placement, I worked as a reporter with The Racing Post. I worked alongside horse racing’s leading writers including RTÉ’s Tony O’Hehir, former Irish Independent horse racing correspondent Richard Forristal and leading sports writer David Jennings.

Every day offered a new challenge, it was always exciting. I got the opportunity to report from racing meetings around the country, generating news stories for print and online, and recording videos and podcasts. I feel the portfolio of articles, video packages and radio features I have accumulated is a testament of my abilities ahead of seeking employment.

Every step of the way I had excellent guidance from my Editor and every facet of my journalistic skills improved through this experience. In particular, I learned how to get the best out of people for stories and how to tackle sensitive topics. I couldn’t have received a better helping hand for my future career. The grounding I got at UL helped me to win the Sports Writer of the Year prize at the National Student Media Awards in 2018.

Several opportunities involving racing media have arisen as a result of this placement. Since completing Co-Op I have continued working for the Racing Post at the weekends and on my college holidays. I look forward to hopefully continuing to play a part in the paper upon graduating.

Graduate Profile - Lisa Blake 

My favourite subject in school was always English. When I began writing workshops as an extra-curricular activity in fifth year, I knew this was something I had to pursue at third level. There were so many courses that appealed to me but I wanted to choose one which incorporated a modern use of the language which is why Journalism and New Media stood out to me. Breaking news excited me and I loved current affairs, so it seemed like a no-brainer. Four years on, I know I made the right choice.

My favourite thing about this course was the emphasis put on the practical application of what we learn in the newsroom; be it editing for radio, practicing a piece to camera, or writing a court report. Journalism is not just about writing for a newspaper, and this course recognises that. Upon graduation, I am equipped with the skills needed for working as a “multi-platform journalist” – something that all employers are looking for nowadays.

Choosing this course also allowed me to delve deeper into my personal interests, such as Law and Irish. As a self-confessed Gaeilgeoir, this course has allowed me to specialise in the area of Irish language journalism, lending me that competitive edge that “specialising” provides. Having chosen Law as my second elective, this gave me a superior understanding when it came to covering Media Law – an area that is crucial for all journalists to be well versed in.

The lecturers in Journalism at the University of Limerick understand that it is an ever-changing profession that requires dynamic and highly-skilled graduate journalists, and it is because of their expertise and hands-on approach coupled with the excellent facilities available to us at the university that I have completed this course feeling very satisfied with my CAO choice.

Graduate Profile - Anne O’Donoghue

On my first day in Journalism & New Media I stood in a classroom with 40 strangers; classmates, lecturers and teachers. What did I know about journalism? To my surprise, it turned out not a lot; I think all I knew was that I wanted to be a journalist and had wanted to be one for quite some time.

I had quite an idealistic image of what journalism was. This was quickly rectified as the course is all about practical industry-based training. The pace of the work is fast and I learned very quickly to respect ‘the deadline’ - there are a lot of them and they come around fast.

I know myself that I was very lucky that I got a place on this course; its practical nature and constant work ethic suited me. For the most part, I was never up endless nights cramming for huge exams, but there is a sense of urgency about the work as the pressure and the workload are constant.

Coming into journalism, I think there were a few character traits that helped me. Being outgoing is one; but however outgoing I was before this course, this has definitely trebled. Also it is important to have a questioning spirit and be curious about the world around you.

My favourite aspect of this course is how industry-focused it is; everything we do is set as if we are working as real journalists. I think also it was very important to me that from the beginning we were educated in online journalism and given the skills to cope with the move to online in the industry.

Now I stand again in the classroom, confident enough to say that I not only know how the journalism industry works but have also acquired the skills to work in print, electronic and broadcast journalism. I can now say that I stand in the classroom not with 40 strangers, but with 40 colleagues and friends.

Student Profile - Hillary McGann

I’m very grateful that in my job there is no such thing as a typical day of work.  For the most part I work as a news desk producer, sifting through newslines and alerting the network (both TV and digital) on what is reportable. The interesting thing is that you can read the coverage plans in the morning and then all of a sudden something happens and your entire day has changed. There’s also a real adrenaline rush when it comes to chasing a news story, getting something confirmed and seeing an anchor read out your work within a matter of seconds. When I’m not on the news desk, I work in the field quite a bit where I get to work closely with a correspondent on interviews.

The real benefit and joy of working with a company like CNN is that you are expected to be both a print and broadcast journalist with an understanding and respect for the different needs of each platform. Studying Journalism at UL has really prepared me for my job here. During the course, I remember being struck by the unexpected differences with how a story should be told on TV in comparison to how it should be read in a newspaper. That being said, while they are two different platforms, the core principles of journalism that I learned in UL are invaluable on any media platform.

Hilary received The Sunday Times Young Journalist of the Year award in 2015. She is currently employed as a reporter with CNN International and based in London.

How important is writing?

Despite the changing platforms journalists need to be able to write whether it’s done in 140 characters or in a piece of longer journalism. Our students are also trained in writing scripts for radio and television reports.

What should I do if I am thinking about studying journalism?

Think about developing your portfolio. You should get involved in your school magazine or website, or try to get some work experience in your local radio station or newspaper. You should also set up your own blog and practice writing there.

Will I get help securing a work placement?

Yes.  Securing a valuable journalism work placement is a key element of our programme. UL has a dedicated co op office which will help you with your co op placement. Our journalism staff members have a strong network of industry contacts which we use to help students secure valuable work placement opportunities, many of which have led to full time employment on graduation.

Are the class sizes big?

No. We only take 35 students every year on our journalism BA programme. This not only allows for a more enhanced learning experience for our students but also affords teaching staff an opportunity to get to know our students; their interest areas and strengths and weaknesses.

Are there any jobs in media?

Yes. Despite the huge changes in the industry there are jobs in journalism and media related careers. More and more of our graduates are securing employment in a variety of different roles both as journalists and in marketing and PR roles.