Module
descriptions

for Liberal Studies (Journalism)

Journalism Practice 1

This module offers students the opportunity to understand the practice and craft of journalism and the job of the journalist. Students will study media coverage from the point of view of news values and readership, and see how this influences media tone and reflects bias.

Students will learn the styles and techniques of basic journalistic writing, from news writing, to interviewing and feature writing. Students will be guided on structure, sourcing and attribution, ethics and legal considerations in their story coverage and writing. The module will help students to differentiate between writing and reporting in different formats including print, web and broadcast. They will become familiar with the essential elements within reporting, such as using statistics and data, covering live events and generating story ideas.

Journalism in Society

This module introduces students to core concepts and theories outlining the role, purpose and functions of journalism within society. These theories draw from core principles relating to the freedom of information such as liberty of the press and freedom of speech. This module examines the early history of journalism including the revolutionary history of the printing press, yellow journalism and penny dreadfuls, followed by the growth of media ownership from 18th to 21st Century press barons.

Students are expected to understand the close relationship between journalism, politics and democracy by bridging theoretical foundations with case studies mapping the history and development of journalism in society. Current research and practice around media work and practice in news production informs analysis of changing journalistic practice and its social impact. Contemporary case studies illustrate the tensions prevalent in theoretical foundations, rapid developments in the field and emerging issues and debates related to journalism.

Media Analysis and Literacy

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to theories of media analysis. The module will investigate media literacy in multi-platform journalism, film and television studies, news and political communications, the internet and gaming. Theoretical foundations will include approaches like semiotic analysis, behavioural development models, mass communications models (such as the work of Marshall McLuhan) and specific philosophical perspectives (such as rhetoric studies).

Students will learn the context of each theory and will learn to apply these theories to analyse existing media texts. In addition, students are expected to develop their own theoretically informed information campaigns, demonstrating understanding of media analysis techniques and theories.

Introduction to Media Production

The course will allow students from a broad range of disciplines to gain a level of Media Production literacy. It will combine both theory and practical experience in planning, preproduction, video & audio recording and post-production. The course should be viewed as both an introduction to the more technical aspects of media production as well as grounding for further production related courses within the school. 

Digital Basic Photography

This module covers the basic concepts and practice of digital photography, including understanding and use of the camera, lenses, and other basic photographic equipment. The module will address aesthetic principles as they relate to composition, space, exposure, light and colour. Technological requirements of digital formats will be discussed, such as formats and resolution.

Students will learn basic digital manipulation of images in preparation for creating a photo portfolio of images. Students will produce photographs in response to seminars looking at the work of notable photographers, and give an oral presentation about the work of a photographer of their choice.

Journalism Practice 2

This module advances knowledge and understanding in the practice and craft of journalism and the job of the journalist. From understanding news values and readership in Journalism Practice 1, students will now begin to consider them in their own writing. The module provides the opportunity for students to develop proficiency in more complex styles of writing and to write for a particular brief or beat. It requires students to gather information from a variety of sources and to carry out more in-depth reporting on a particular topic.

Students will begin to conceptualize stories, and follow up the necessary routes of research and sources to fulfil them, within deadline constraints. Students will gain understanding and experience of the requirements and value of using different platforms for their stories.

Media Research Methods

This module introduces core research methods in media and communications, including research design, qualitative and quantitative methodologies and the logic informing particular research traditions and practices. Students are expected to become familiar with a wide range of research methods and current debates related to particular approaches. Based on applied exercises, students will broadly understand research principles and techniques and will be expected to develop expertise in selective quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as research design. This module aims to provide students with essential practical and theoretical skills so that they are able to develop and conduct accurate, original and high quality media and communications research.

Interactive Media

This module offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of practical elements of new media, with a particular focus on online platforms. Through the study of changes in the media landscape, students will learn about elements of interactivity, how society has changed with the introduction of new media and how online platforms and journalism and media roles have changed over time.

Students will also learn about key theoretical models relating to digital engagement and their relevance in practical terms to working within a modern media environment.

Photojournalism

This module is designed to introduce students to practical and theoretical aspects of photojournalism. The module will develop the student’s skills and knowledge via taught techniques, practical assignments and class discussion.
Ultimately the module will develop the student’s understanding of visual language and photographic representation in the context of shooting stories. The module will develop and build upon the student’s digital camera skills and introduce them to picture editing and the production of captions and keywords.

Through the study of current and past photojournalists, students will be introduced to fundamental principles of ethics, law, copyright, codes of conduct and critical theory of photojournalism. Students will consider and critically analyse the impact of social media, user-generated content and citizen journalism on contemporary photojournalism.

Media & the Law

This module aims to offer participants a thorough grounding in various legal disciplines that underpin Media Law. It focuses on the ways relevant legal provisions apply to traditional media and explores how the law has struggled to respond to the growth of 24/7 news and the new world of social media. Ample emphasis is placed on seminal cases and cutting edge issues, as the law cannot be divorced from media practice.

In particular, the module seeks to cultivate an appreciation of the centrality of human rights to the development of the law in this field; to inform learners how the law approaches social media communications and help them navigate the risks involved in the use of social media tools; to equip participants with a critical understanding of the crucial role of intellectual property rights in protecting innovative and creative endeavour in the media sector; and finally, to engage learners in a critical evaluation of domestic media law as compared to the constraints affecting the media in other jurisdictions, especially the USA and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

Participants will acquire a sound grasp of various legal issues which will enable them to make justified and informed decisions, and persuasively argue how those decisions can be applied within a dynamic multi-mediated and more digitally-connected world.

Editorial Photography

This module is designed to introduce students to theoretical and practical aspects of editorial photography practice (photojournalism, documentary, news, fashion). Through classroom work and practical exercises, the student will gain understanding of visual language and photographic representation in the context of editorial photography.

The module will develop and build upon the student’s digital camera, picture editing and caption and keyword writing skills. Through the study of current and past photographers, students will be introduced to fundamental principles and critical theory of editorial photography. Students will consider and critically analyse various types of print and online editorial publications. The module will develop the student’s ability to work independently and professionally in the field of editorial photography.

Publication and Design

This module introduces students to the process of producing and designing a publication. It draws upon and refines students’ skills in reporting and photography from previous modules and combines them with new skills taught in design and editing. After thoroughly analysing the core theories of production design and elements of existing publications, students will design and create a timely and attractive journalistic product for the Regent’s University community.

With tutor guidance, students will assume the editorial and production roles needed to design and produce this group publication. The module will develop proficiency in combining skills, including generating ideas, reporting and writing skills, editorial design and layout, photo editing and working in groups to deadlines.

Broadcast Reporting

This course is designed to introduce the principles of video storytelling and to give students experience in reporting news and features using cameras for broadcast platforms. It involves shooting video, editing, reporting and writing for broadcast. The focus is on producing stories that have the same qualities of good journalism in a print medium.

These include using solid research and reporting, good structure and engaging storytelling. Students will learn the principles of communicating effectively in a visual medium by using examples from broadcast media and looking at the theory behind the visual medium. They will benefit from seeing the work of visiting professionals in the broadcast news media.

 

Major Capstone (Dissertation)

The purpose of this module is to bring together the breadth of a Liberal Arts student’s learning and experience to bear on a major project. Starting from the student’s major area of study the project will reach out to incorporate elements from the totality of learning on the programme and the realisation of the breadth that a Liberal Arts graduate has achieved. The Capstone can take the form of a reflective practice-based project or a traditional written dissertation subject to meeting the word-length equivalencies below. The Capstone will run over two semesters and will be supervised by a minimum of one supervisor although two may be allocated depending on the nature of the work.