The Centre for Journalism at Kent is leading the development of journalism as an academic discipline rooted in professional newsroom practice. On our professionally accredited programme, you study for an honours degree that includes history, politics and law while completing the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ (NCTJ) Diploma in Journalism. (*See Fees and funding for additional costs.)
Our degree programme
The programme is based in state-of-the-art newsrooms complete with dedicated radio and television studios, and editing and production facilities. You learn to write and report in text, on air and for the internet. You also have regular access to work placements with the KM Group and other news organisations.
The first year introduces you to the academic and vocational knowledge you need to get a principled vision of the profession and its social purpose. Modules may include history of journalism, reporting and writing, government and politics, and convergent journalism. You also have intensive training in shorthand note-taking.
In your second and final years, you can study a range of topics, including: documentary making; television presenting and reporting; radio presenting and reporting; producing live radio and television programmes; producing quality newspapers and magazines; feature writing; news websites and citizen reporters and investigative reporting.
Tutors include working reporters and columnists, former editors of national newspapers, radio and television programmes and magazines, network broadcasters and web publishers. Their professional expertise is reinforced by excellent academic teaching by leading historians, political scientists and lawyers.
Journalism graduate Ayo discovered her passion for telling the stories of her community.
Even before graduating, Brad got a job as a multimedia reporter at Essex Live.
You can use the Centre’s full range of editorial resources including audio and video editing, cameras and autocues, wire feeds from the Press Association, and video feeds from Reuters World News.
The Centre is home to KMTV, the county’s first dedicated television channel offering news and entertainment to Maidstone and the surrounding areas. KMTV combines the University’s expertise and facilities with the KM Group’s extensive experience in multimedia broadcasting.
A lively and welcoming community spirit exists within the Centre for Journalism. There are regular social events, seminars and masterclasses. Recent visitors have included:
Amol Rajan - Media Editor BBC News Ed Conway - Economics Editor, Sky News Gavin Esler – former presenter of Newsnight Jon Snow – presenter of Channel 4 News Mark Thompson – CEO New York Times Alex Crawford – three times RTS TV journalist of the year Stephanie Flanders – former Economics Editor, BBC Stuart Ramsay – Sky News Chief Correspondent John Humphrys – presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Faisal Islam – Political Editor, Sky News.
The student newspaper, InQuire, is run by the student union and gives you the opportunity to develop your writing skills and to gain valuable work experience in journalism.
Each day in the Centre for Journalism begins with an editorial conference. Students and staff gather in the newsrooms to discuss the top stories on the local, national and international news agendas and to consider how they have been reported in newspapers, by broadcasters and online.
Teaching is by a variety of methods including masterclasses, lectures, seminars, films and small group discussions. Professional skills are taught in a live newsroom environment, which replicates the atmosphere of a working multimedia newsroom. You participate in regular Live News Days, during which you work to deadline to produce live radio and television bulletins and newspaper pages, and to update websites. There are frequent guest lectures and masterclasses by working journalists and editors, including network broadcasters and editors of national and regional newspapers and magazines.
Assessment includes coursework (such as academic essays, television, radio and online news reports and newspaper articles) and examinations. Students compile portfolios of reports. In your final year, you complete an extended project in journalism, which may take the form of a television or radio documentary, an extended newspaper or magazine article, or a web report. You may also choose to write an academic dissertation.
There is a minimum of 21 hours contact time per week in your first and second year, in addition to which all students receive guaranteed one-to-one feedback on their assignments and have regular meetings with their personal academic adviser. You should expect to do a minimum of 15 additional hours personal study per week.
Students undergo assessment for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism via examinations set by the NCTJ. There is a fee for each of these examinations, which students must pay in addition to their tuition fees. See the Journalism website for current NCTJ exam fees.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- key concepts, practices and methods used in the production of multimedia journalism
- the economic forces which frame the news industry and the role it plays in specific areas of contemporary political and cultural life
- the political, social and cultural histories from which modern journalism and its practices and structures emerged
- the possible future development of journalism in a national and international context
- the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks which affect journalism
- the ways in which specific technologies enable different kinds of journalism
- the processes linking the production, circulation and consumption of news
- how news operations operate and are managed.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the ability to gather, organise and deploy information, images and data from a variety of primary and secondary sources
- the ability to engage critically with major practitioners, debates and paradigms within the subject area and put them to productive use
- how to carry out various forms of research for essays, presentations, documentaries and dissertations involving sustained independent inquiry
- the ability to reflect upon the relevance of your own cultural commitment and positioning to the practice of journalism.
You gain the ability to:
- understand the significance of journalism to political democracy, its powers, duties and responsibilities
- analyse closely, interpret and show the exercise of critical judgment in the understanding and evaluation of various forms of journalism
- consider and evaluate your own work with reference to professional issues, debates and conventions
- describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to presenting and analysing factual information as news
- produce work of publishable quality for regional, national and international newspapers, websites and broadcasters.
You gain transferable skills in how to:
- gather, organise and deploy information in order to formulate arguments cogently and communicate them fluently in speech and writing
- work to deadlines in flexible and innovative ways showing self-direction and self-discipline
- work productively in a group or team showing the ability to contribute, lead and collaborate with others in the pursuit of common goals
- use information technology to perform a range of tasks ranging from basic word-processing to deployment of complex web-based multimedia technology
- identify and define problems, assess possible solutions and discriminate between them
- take accurate shorthand notes at a speed of at least 100 words per minute.
The programme aims to:
- produce graduates with a courageous and principled vision of the purpose of journalism, who have an informed, critical and creative approach to its role in contemporary society
- enable students to acquire the skills and aptitudes to practise the convergent skills of print, broadcast and internet journalism in a supportive and responsive environment
- develop a detailed and systematic understanding of particular forms of journalism and their historic and contemporary role in the shaping of culture and society
- encourage students to think critically about the ethics and responsibilities of journalism and to relate academic study of the subject to questions of public concern
- describe and comment upon aspects of current research into the impact of new technologies on journalism
- provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual debate and enquiry.