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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 28/04/2022 17:17:32

Title of Module: Professional Practice, Journalism & Broadcast

Code: JOUR10005 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Dr James  Mahon

Summary of Module

The Professional Practice, Journalism and Broadcast module will develop level 10 students' professional knowledge and understanding of journalism practice through news days, production workshops and discussions around both current and future requirements of Journalism.  The module will explore entrepreneurial approaches to journalism, examine innovative ideas for journalists looking at a portfolio career and freelance opportunities. Students will build on their journalism skills and knowledge while building on the graduate attributes of being critical and ethical multimedia and multiplatform content creators.

Students will be expected to produce journalism content which meets current industry practice but examines and attempts new methods of newsgathering and storytelling through the use of technology across all media platforms.

Students will analyse and provide detailed consideration of specialised areas of interest (i.e. sport, arts & culture, investigation) and how to present professional pitches to editors and producers providing a focus on illustrating entrepreneurial approaches to journalism and the creation of news media-related products.

The module focus also encourages a highly reflective approach to content creation where students will be assessed on their approaches to their professional practice development in line with 21st century industry expectations – and showing an understanding and awareness of the legal and ethical requirements and expectations of journalism practice.

Key areas: 

  • Production of distinctive journalism for print/online, radio and video.

  • Production of a range of content to deadline and length/duration during news days.

  • Engage in and coordinate a series of multimedia news days to produce news products of an industry standards which meets news-gathering and news production criteria around meeting deadlines, verification of facts, sourcing material and interviewing, editing skills.

  • Professional pitches to industry professionals on story ideas, content approaches and new opportunities to journalism narratives, which illustrate entrepreneurial skills and awareness.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Initiate, develop and create distinctive and professional journalism using various forms of newsgathering to produce a range multi-platform journalism to a professional standard, and to a given length, time, format and brief, to deadline.

L2. Apply critical consideration and understanding of legal and ethical issues.

L3. Consider and evaluate their own work in a reflexive manner, with reference to professional standards, issues and debates.

L4. Critically reflect on your portfolio to informed audiences utilizing appropriate academic conventions.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

Critically appraise issues and debates relevant to the mechanics of news and the influence of political institutions, organisations and public opinion

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Produce work which shows professional competence in operational aspects of news production technologies, systems, techniques and practices

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Undertake various forms of research for essays, projects and dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Demonstrate advanced knowledge of news production software and the requisite practical skills for presenting content in a range of journalistic formats to a professional standard

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive in producing output for a variety of audiences and in a variety of news media platforms

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
A range of formative approaches will be used early in Trimester 1 to prepare students for professional pitches. Students will merge production with reflective insights into ethical issues and considerations to encourage zeitgeist and sharp editorial focus. A flexible teaching and learning approach will be visible with students communicating effectively across the lecturing team.

There will be lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as a series of news days across the module when students will be able to develop their understanding of newsgathering and newsroom conventions. There will also be a series of workshops around voice and sports commentary, capturing good sound and developing mobile journalism skills. These lectures, news days and workshops will support students to build their knowledge and generate content which will be part of the summative assessment.

This module is appropriate for any student and will help students prepare for a career in professional journalism through working to deadlines, working in teams and will build on their newsgathering and reporting skills, develop communication skills as well as understanding of working with in teams as well as independent and autonomous learning. Appropriate support can be provided where required, by contacting the University’s Student Services department.

Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery105
Lecture/Core Content Delivery6
Independent Study89
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bull, A. (2010) Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide. Abingdon: Routledge.

Frost, C. (2015) Journalism: Ethics and Regulation. 4th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Hernandez, R and Rue, J (2015), The Principles of Multimedia Journalism: Packaging Digital News, Routledge

McInnes, R. (2010) Scots Law for Journalists. 8th ed. Edinburgh: Green

Thurman, N. (2008) ‘Forums for Citizen Journalists’, New Media & Society, Volume 10 Issue 1, Sage Journals

Thurman, Fletcher, N, R. (2018) ‘Are Newspapers Heading Toward Post-Print’, Digital Journalism, Vol 6, Issue 8, Taylor and Francis

Westlund, O. (2015) ‘News consumption in an age of mobile media: Patterns, people, place, and participation’, Mobile Media and Communications, Volume 3 Issue 2, Sage Journals

Xu, X. (2016) ‘Impacts of Mobile Use and Experience on Contemporary Society’, IGI Global

Silver, L. (2019) ‘Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally’, Pew Research,

Richardson, A. (2020) ‘The Coming Archival Crisis: How Ephemeral Video Disappears Protest Journalism and Threatens Newsreels of Tomorrow’, Digital Journalism, Volume 8 Issue 10, Taylor and Francis

Pavlik, J. (2015) ‘Transformation: Examining the Implications of Emerging Technology for Journalism, Media and Society’, Athens Journal of Mass Media and Communications, Volume 1 Issue 1

O’Brien, Wellbrock, Kleer, D, C, N. (2020) ‘Content For Free? Drivers of Past Payment, Payment Intent and Willingness to Pay for Digital Journalism, A Systematic Literature Review’, Digital Journalism, Volume 8 Issue 5, Taylor and Francis

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardArts & Media
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) Yes
Subject PanelArts & Media
ModeratorElizabeth McLaughlin
External ExaminerDr John Price
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1 Portfolio of written, audio and video content produced across the news days (85% of total marks for module).
Assessment 2 will comprise a reflective commentary of 1,000 words that critically evaluates professional practice, ethical and legal considerations and is academically underpinned (15% of total marks for module).
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck mark  850

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay  check mark 00
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Paper  check markcheck mark150
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.