BA (Hons) Politics with JournalismSouthwark Campus
A unique insight
Learn to produce engaging multimedia content, grounding your investigative pursuits in political theory, political science, political economy, area studies and international relations.
Politics with Journalism BA (Hon) brings together our established expertise in both politics and journalism to provide you with a fully-rounded education, offering you an exciting range of academic modules and topics, whilst also allowing you to develop a variety of skills valued by employers.
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2020.
Why Politics with Journalism at LSBU?
- We’ve got great relationships with local parliamentary constituency offices, meaning placement opportunities, visits, lectures and more are possible.
- Number 1 University in London for Academic Support, Personal Development and Learning Resources in Journalism (National Student Survey 2016).
- We host Journalism.London, a student-led content platform for you to publish videos, audio and written news and features as well as social media and live streaming.
- Our academics have worked professionally in the journalistic and television industries; our guest lecturers are at the forefront of contemporary journalism.
If it’s a key political issue that’s relevant to the world today, this course covers it. You’ll study areas such as genocide, human rights, religious activism, sustainability, war, terrorism and migration amongst others, building a detailed understanding of the myriad factors that make our world what it is today, and the complex interactions between them. In addition, you'l gain a grasp of digital and investigative journalism.
- Introduction to political theory
You'll be introduced to key ideas and concepts in political theory. These include democracy, freedom, justice and power. These ideas and concepts are explored in the social and historical contexts in which they developed. You'll also be encouraged to explore the way that these ideas and concept have been transformed historically and the manner in which they are mobilised in contemporary political debates.
- Power and inequality in contemporary society
In this module you will explore a series of problems related through the general ideas of power and inequality. You will explore how power and inequality are related through a series of case studies. You will examine both how these issues are contested and the implications of these problems for society and for politics. Seminars and workshops will be used to develop your understanding of these related problems in a way that will help develop both analytical and practical skills for learning.
- Digital journalism 1
The aims of this module are: to promote comprehension of the impact of the internet and social media on newsgathering and writing; to enable you to develop basic skills in creating and launching a website, writing for the web, uploading content online, visual thinking and using relevant digital tools to engage audiences online; to encourage cross year collaboration on content for the course site http://journalism.london (specifically by writing reviews). Assessment: WordPress website with three event reviews (50%), online test covering creating a website/content online and basic WordPress coding (30%), and professional conduct through a workbook covering the stories submitted for the website including research, sources, issues and processes. Attendance and punctuality will also be assessed (20%).
- Politics, decision making and democracy
The module is concerned with the key institutions and processes of British politics. It looks at the framework and the dynamics of the British system of government and aims to promote an understanding of the key issues and debates in contemporary British politics. There is a focus on the nature of power and its impact on decision making and policy development. The module looks at formal aspects of British politics including the role of political parties and the key role of ideology. Key institutions such as Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament and local government are investigated and analysed. The module looks also democracy beyond the formal realm including the role of pressure groups in the political process. There is also a focus on specific policy areas.
- War and social change in the 20th century
This module is an introduction to aspects of world history in the period after the Second World War, building on the module Revolutions, Wars and Social Change I. It examines the origins of European integration and the development of the EU, the Cold War, Decolonisation, China under Mao Zedong and the impact of globalisation. It also looks at Britain in the postwar period. It ends by looking at contemporary history and new world orders
- European politics in transition
The module looks at political processes in Europe in a comparative perspective. It aims to examine the factors that explain the continuity and stability of politics in Europe as well as the changes that have taken place over the last 2 decades. The module looks at ideology, power and decision making. There is a focus on political events and policy processes, looking at both individual nation states and the European Union. An organising theme of the module is the impact of the end of the cold war on the politics of Europe over the last 2 decades.
- Journalism and society
This module will explore the wider social and cultural contexts within which journalism is practiced in our society. The module will focus on issues such the development of the news media (press, radio, television and online); the role of journalism as a ‘public sphere’; the rise and fall of ‘objectivity’ as a professional ideal and its value for the public interest; the constraints within which journalists work, in terms of ownership, regulation and the relationship with the audience; and the emergence of new media and ‘citizen journalism’, and their implications for professional identity. These issues will be addressed by both reviewing the variety of ways in which journalism has been understood as an object of academic study and by critically evaluating how they affect news representation and discourse. Assessment: 1,500-word essay (100%).
- Global governance, regionalism and the nation-state
This module explores the contemporary multi-layered international system. We'll focus on the complex, dialectical (non-linear) economic, social and political relations between nation-states, regionalisation and globalisation. Regionalisation has emerged across the world, but is most developed in Europe. We'll also explore the role of international organisations in the global system, with particular emphasis on the United Nations system, including international financial institutions. In problematising one-sided arguments about the decline of the state, we'll critically reflect on state power and global inter-dependence in the 21st century. Assessment: international news diary (50%) and 2-hr exam (50%).
- Journalism futures
This module introduces you to a range of debates around the future of journalism as it goes online, interactive and mobile. It will enable you to examine digital journalism within a theoretical context to support any independent projects or research papers undertaken in your final year. It examines how technology has radically changed the way we receive and interact with news and current affairs, identifies what constitutes journalism in a global digital news culture, and provides theoretical underpinning for the upcoming module interactive journalism. Assessment: a 3,000-word essay.
- The environment, sustainability and climate change
The scope of this course is designed to provide a grounding in the study of the politics of environmental sustainability. The module focuses firstly on the debate on environmental sustainability which includes the challenge by environmentalists that it is a contradiction. It also covers the defining features of the concept before moving on to the first part of the module which aims to conceptualise and theorise the environment and sustainability. Alternative approaches will also be examined including green theory, the free market and Marxist approaches. The second part of the module looks at increasing global competition for water, food, energy and oil. The politics of climate change and deforestation; transport and tourism; global security and justice will also be covered. The third part of the course focuses on case studies of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability. It includes IPCC; Copenhagen Climate Council; the Fair Trade Movement; Ethical Consumerism and the Environmental Movement.
- Globalisation and development
This module introduces key concepts, issues and theoretical debates in development studies. The module locates the debates and issues that it explores within both an historical and global context and encourages students to explore the inter-dependence of the developed and developing world.
- Investigative journalism
This module will focus on the techniques involved in writing for newspapers in general and in reporting and investigating a controversial topic (crime, corruption, a scandal, etc.). This unit will allow you to work on news or an investigative project while exposing a ‘real life’ alleged failure of justice. The unit will address the techniques required for both the research/investigation (surveillance techniques, going undercover, archive research, use of anonymous sources, analysis of documents, scientific analysis, social and legal issues, and the like) and the writing of a final news piece. The unit will also address the consequences of investigative journalism, for the individual and for the society as a whole. Assessment: One 1,500-word journalistic investigative feature (80%). And you'll be required to submit a full notebook with notes and sources clearly recorded. Attendance and punctuality will also be assessed as part of the professional conduct element (20%).
- Contemporary dynamics of the world system
This module draws on the disciplines of international political economy, political theory and international relations to explore central features of the contemporary international system. It introduces you to the major theoretical perspectives in international relations (including the dominant Realist perspective and its critics), and analyses the global power of the US and that of its rivals, including China. Alongside this theoretical and agent-based analysis the module also introduces you to a number of significant contemporary issues, including the debate on transnationalism, the international role of non-state actors, and the international politics of the environment.
- Diplomacy and conflict resolution
This module examines the historical, theoretical, normative and practical aspects of diplomacy and conflict resolution, Having defined the key concepts, we'll explore a range of approaches to the subject, including political and legal approaches. Our primary focus is on the role of states but we'll consider international institutions and non-state actors, such as NGOOs, too. Key topics covered include: the nature and history and nature of diplomacy, the history of conflict resolution, the processes of conflict resolution including peace-keeping, humanitarian intervention, and responsibility to protect, including a critique of liberal interventionism. Assessment: blog on a recent international conflict resolution effort (50%), presentation (30%), participate in model UN event (20%).
- Crimes of the powerful: states, corporations and human rights
This module explores the phenomena of state crime, corporate crime and the involvement of powerful social forces in human rights abuses. We'll examine the problems involved in conceptualising state crimes and human rights and looks at contemporary crimes against humanity, including in the area of environmental rights. We'll also explore the problems involved in regulating and controlling state crime and human rights atrocities in which states and state officials play a key role. The critical engagement with globalization provides a you with a framework to explore significant contemporary debates and developments. Assessment: 500-word annotated bibliography (20%) and 2,500-word case study (80%).
- American politics: ideology and power
The module looks at the government and politics of the USA including selected aspects of political economy and society. Attention will be given to historical developments by examining political culture and the notion of American exceptionalism. There will be a focus on ideology and its link to religious and cultural values including an analysis of such phenomena as the 'Tea Party Movement'. Key institutions and issues analysed include the Presidency, Legislature and Supreme Court, the federal system, elections and electoral demography and political parties.
Plus one choice from:
- Journalism project
This module provides the platform to showcase your abilities with a practical piece of journalism. The module enables you to produce an individual piece of work in an area of your choice, resulting in an applied project demonstrating professional competencies and skills. A journalistic piece of work in negotiation with the supervisor (90% element) plus one reflective essay of 1,000 words evaluating the challenges of the journalistic piece of work (10% element).
- Research paper (journalism option)
The final year research paper provides the opportunity for you to conduct original research in an area of your degree or field of interest. The research paper allows you to use any of the theories, topics and methods encountered on your course. You’ll manage your own learning under the guidance of an academic supervisor. Lectures will offer general advice and guidance on research methods and describe different ways of approaching and structuring the research paper. The way your own research paper is organised and structured is best decided in consultation with your supervisor. Assessment: a 6,000-word research paper of 6,000 words (100%).
- Politics research project
This level six double module covers two semesters and consists of the study and research for and completion of a politics research project with a 10,000 word limit. Each student chooses a subject relevant to the study of politics in which they wish to specialise, and then uses the skills and knowledge that they have accumulated and developed through modules studied at previous levels to undertake and complete the research project. During the whole process, from choice of subject to final submission, each student will have the support and guidance of a supervisor allocated for this purpose.
You’ll be studying in the heart of London, surrounded by the politicians, policy-makers and legislative bodies that define British politics. The work placements available can help you to build your own network of contacts if you’re looking to work at various levels of government, including opportunities within foreign ministries and national UN delegations.
The skills and knowledge you’ll gain on the degree are also highly transferable and can help you move into such as teaching, the media, social work, administration, youth and community work, business, education, and psychology.
You'll also learn the traditional tools of journalism, including researching, writing, proof-reading and sub editing.
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Our academics build and maintain great relationships with organisations that can offer placement opportunities and bring colour and experience to your learning. These include Lambeth Council, Race on the Agenda (ROTA), local parliamentary offices and Homestart Lambeth (a voluntary family support service).
Our academics have worked professionally in the journalistic and television industries; our guest lecturers are at the forefront of contemporary journalism.
Recent guest lecturers:
- Francesca Panetta, freelance multimedia editor, The Guardian
- Claudine Boeglin, in-house digital media editor and creative director, Thomson Reuters Foundation
- Michael Kosmides, freelance broadcast journalists, BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera
- Christopher Hack, freelance journalist, BBC and The Times
- Rob John, freelance documentary producer, BBC and Channel 4
- Angus Bate, freelance journalist, The Guardian and The Sunday Times
- Nick Johnstone, freelance journalist, The Guardian, The Times, Dazed and Confused and The Daily Telegraph
- Nina Perry, freelance journalist, BBC
- Honey Salvadori, freelance journalist, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Elle and Marie Claire
- Denise Scott-McDonald, freelance broadcast journalist, Bloomberg Television
- Adrian Gatton, freelance broadcast investigative journalist, BBC and Channel Four
- Joseph Stashko, in-house digital news development editor, The Times and The Sunday Ti
Teaching and learning
Year 1 class contact time is typically 9 hours per week. In addition, you'll be expected to devote time to independent study and attend personal tutorials.
Research active academics
You'll be taught by research active academics whose work is internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum.
Online learning resources
We also provide extensive virtual learning resources with access to core texts whenever you need it. A wide range of support is available through LSBU's student services.
|Lectures and seminars||Self-directed study|
- A Level BCC or:
- BTEC National Diploma MMM or:
- Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits or:
- Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
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Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
Prepare to start
We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.
Applicant Open Days
To help you and your family feel confident about your university choice we run Applicant Open Days. These are held at subject level so students start getting to know each other and the academic staff who will be teaching them. These events are for applicants only and as an applicant you would receive an email invitation to attend the relevant event for your subject.
Students can prepare themselves for the course by following the news - quality newspapers, good TV news bulletins, Radio 4 news etc.
Enrolment and Induction
Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.
In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.
Suggested reading list
- B. Axford et al, Politics: An Introduction (Routledge, 2002)
- B. Coxall, L. Robins and R. Leach, Contemporary British Politics (Palgrave, 2003)
- J. Fisher, D. Denver and J. Benyon, Central Debates in British Politics (Longman, 2003)
- B. Jones et al, Politics UK (Longman, 2001) R. Leach et al, British Politics (Palgrave, 2011)
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £13780|
|AOS/LSBU code: 5240||Session code: 1FS00|
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For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.