Sports Journalism BA(Hons)

Sports Journalism_Main
UCAS Code
46G1
Location
Penryn Campus
Length
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

Start your career as a sports journalist for the modern age – joining the ranks of digitally adept reporters, commentators and feature writers eager to put sport on the front pages and at the top of broadcast news bulletins and websites.

Benefiting from a strong tradition of journalism education at Falmouth, you'll study the only sports degree in the South West, accredited by both the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) and the BJTC (Broadcast Journalism Training Council) – giving you a valuable competitive advantage in the eyes of employers. You'll gain a grounding in the fundamentals of sports journalism and communication while being challenged to rise to industry standards and meet tough deadlines. In your final year, you'll specialise in your personal sporting interests and work on real live sports desks. You'll also have an opportunity to gain work experience with the internationally circulated surfing magazine Wavelength.

How the course is taught

A distinguishing feature of this degree is the abundance of practical workshops, alongside news days, lectures, seminars, group and 1:1 tutorials. You'll be on campus for a minimum of 12 hours a week during term time, supplemented with at least 24 hours of self-directed study and journalistic assignments each week.

How you'll spend your time 

YearTime spent in timetabled teaching and learning activityTime spent in guided independent studyTime spent on placements
125% 75% 0% 
229%71% 0% 
321%70% 9% 

How you'll be assessed 

Year   Assessment by written exams                                                        Assessment by practical exams                           Assessment by coursework     
120%7% 73% 
218%64% 18%
30% 0% 100% 

Course outline

BA(Hons) Sports Journalism aims to nurture knowledge, critical thinking and, most importantly, the practical skills necessary for employment in the competitive journalism industry. It will also give you transferable skills to ensure you're ready to tackle a range of professional opportunities with confidence when you graduate.

All the fundamentals of journalism are addressed from the outset and our programme of relevant, research-led teaching is designed to create motivated and independent learners with a professional approach and a coherent and useful portfolio of work.

What you'll do

Year one

The first year is foundational, introducing you to sports journalism and its place in the modern media world. You'll be eased into what is recognised as a challenging transition to trainee journalist, learning by doing - and critically reflecting on what you do.

You'll cover the language of news and opinion writing to politics and media law, acquire a multimedia toolkit and learn shorthand, a note-taking skill that remains relevant and really useful in the digital age. You'll also visit a working newsroom here in Cornwall and get a chance to engage with the sports staff.

  • Sports Reporting
  • Sports Journalism in Context
  • News Reporting 1
  • Multimedia Methods
  • Blogging & The Personal Voice
  • Politics & Law for Journalists

Year two

The second year is transformative. You'll expand your sports writing skills and engage further with the contextual issues that affect sports journalists today. NCTJ exams will really put you through your paces, to skilfully and speedily apply the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the areas important in a deadline-driven industry.

Classes on reporting, law, public affairs and shorthand will be enhanced by class visits to Cornwall County Council and the Courts of Justice in Truro. You will also have a lot of creative fun by focusing on the production of multimedia magazines and news sites - again, an opportunity to specialise in sport.

  • Sports Writing
  • Sports Journalism & Communications Research
  • News Reporting 2
  • Magazine Content & Creation
  • Advanced Multimedia Methods
  • Applied Media Law & Public Affairs

Year three

The final year allows you to refine your skills. We finish with a flourish, giving you the opportunity to operate a multimedia sports desk for two whole semesters, and contribute to commercially and creatively driven publications and websites. Gaining real news media experience and an enterprising outlook will prepare you to compete for employment and freelance commissions. Valuable industry insight and contacts can also be developed by undertaking placements, producing a practical portfolio and completing a dissertation.

You'll also have the chance to go on a class trip to London. Guided tours of state-of-the-art digital newsrooms (such as Sky Sports and Radio Five Live) will be supplemented by visits to Parliament and the Old Bailey.

  • Multimedia Sports Desk
  • International Sports Journalism
  • Dissertation
  • Multimedia Storytelling or Literature & Journalism

Facilities

Our industry-standard facilities are at your disposal and we encourage you to make the most of these by working on extra-curricular and externally-sourced projects alongside your course assignments. Specific facilities include:

  • A well-equipped digital newsroom with news feeds and 25 workstations with professional scriptwriting and editing software
  • TV and radio studios
  • A comprehensive range of DV cameras and audio recording devices

Staff

Head of Journalism is Rob Brown, a former media editor of the Independent and Scottish TV reporter, who has launched successful Sports Journalism courses at several universities.

William Barclay spearheads the teaching team after covering three Olympic Games, two World Cups, nine Wimbledon tournaments and numerous other global sporting events for international news agencies such as Reuters.

Kevin Bishop spent over two decades working as a field producer for the BBC, where he oversaw news coverage of England international football matches and masterminded a multimedia series on Olympic dreams.

Steve Bough has been editor of the surging magazine Wavelength,now edited and produced in his hometown of Newquay, Cornwall.

Nick Parkinson, as associate lecturer, combines reporting on boxing for the Daily Star Sunday, espn.co.uk/com, AFP and several UK nationals with page design and editing match day football programmes.

Dr Hayes Mabweazara is an internationally recognised scholar who places Sports Journalism in a wider context and imparts the critical thinking and academic research skills required in this fast developing field.

Sue Norcross is a highly experienced NCTJ Shorthand tutor who has long experience of teaching this traditional note-taking skill which is still highly valued by organisations such as Sky Sports.

Assessment

  • Continuous assessment via practical journalistic assignments, portfolios, academic essays and presentations
  • Deadline-driven, in-class tests set by the NCTJ and concentrated in the second year of your studies
  • Special attention to teamwork and collaborative practice in your final year, plus the production of a freelance portfolio and an extended critical dissertation

Careers

This course is for anyone eager to carve out a career in sports journalism and related communication fields. But it also supplies a sound training in general journalism. For us, sports journalists are not a separate specialist breed, they are versatile, often virtuoso performers at the core of any contemporary, cutting-edge media organisation.

Potential careers include:

  • Sports journalism
  • PR/communications for sports clubs and organisations
  • General news and features
  • Magazine production
  • Social media strategy
  • Web content management

Student mentor scheme

Falmouth's student mentor scheme matches new starters with a second year student, to help you settle in and find your feet.

Our mentors can be reached on the Sports Journalism BA(Hons) Facebook group

They'll help with topics like living in Cornwall, what to expect at Falmouth, and the course itself.

Also worth a look are additional groups that offer assistance for disabled students, LGBTQ+ studentsmature studentsinternational students, and Cornish locals

You'll need to join the groups before you can post. If you don't have access to Facebook, please email your name and proposed course to studentmentors@falmouth.ac.uk