Media, Communications and International Journalism Project SOCIO5093P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The practical journalism project involves in-depth investigative reporting into a specific area of current affairs. Students can choose one of two options, both of which develop their practical journalism skills including identifying newsworthy stories, applying a range of newsgathering techniques, collecting evidence and sourcing and engaging audiences. The first option requires students to research and produce a short journalistic video feature (6 minutes) and the second requires students to write a series of articles (6000 words) across a range of formats. Both options require students to write a project report reflecting on the process of doing journalism and contextualising the practical work in the modern journalistic environment. Students will be assigned a supervisor in Semester 2. This option builds on the content of previous courses, allowing students to explore in-depth an area of current affairs (which must draw on some element of their course options, eg human rights, crime, etc) whilst developing their practical journalism skills.



Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





There are two formally assessed assignments for this course. The first is the practical element, which counts for 50%, and requires students to either produce a short journalistic video feature (6 minutes) or to write a series of articles (6000 words) across a range of formats. They will produce these to journalistic standards and research, with support from teaching staff. Assessment will be based on:

- the degree of initiative shown by the student in gaining information independently and in identifying an original topic of investigation.

- the effectiveness of the planning and of completion of the range of tasks.

- the practical skills of the student.

- the success of the student in fulfilling the purpose of the project.


The second formal assessment, which counts for 50%, is an 4000-6000 word project report which focuses on the process of newsgathering, the practical challenges faced, audience strategy and some critical reflection on the comparative quality of their work. The word length is based on other comparative models for project assessment and reflects the need for a detailed and compact reporting style.

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

Foster and guide the skills of independent research.

Further develop students' practical skills in news production, including writing skills, research techniques, sourcing and referencing experts.

Enable students to identify topics that are newsworthy and make a contribution to knowledge in their chosen area of current affairs whilst also being viable within the constraints of time and length.

Explore the commercial and market pressures within which modern journalists produce output, and the way in which these affect editorial decision-making.

Develop students' professional standards in writing and presenting project reports.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Select and apply practical journalism skills demonstrating evidence based knowledge of engaging audiences and market pressures.

Identify and critically evaluate the viability and practicality of topics for investigative reporting.

Identify and evaluate the production processes journalists are subject to in their daily work.

Evaluate and apply a range of journalism research techniques.

And either:

Research, script and produce short broadcast news reports to a professional standard, or

Research and write short and long-form journalistic articles to a professional standard.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.