University of Hertfordshire - BA (Hons) History and Journalism

University of Hertfordshire

BA (Hons) History and Journalism

Ever wondered how past events shape the current world?  You’ll learn how the past affects today’s world, how people learn (or don’t learn) from these events. You’ll see patterns and parallels between the past and present. You’ll critically analyse how events are told by different people.  

The famous war reporter, Kate Adie, described journalism as “a ringside seat at history” and by studying both subjects together you’ll get the chance to think both about how past events were covered and how current news stories and features can help us understand both past and present better. You’ll start to learn to write and broadcast using journalism conventions while building confidence and communication skills through learning to write articles, blogs and broadcast. You’ll even take a module looking at some of the journalistic stories that have changed History alongside learning to be critical of what you read and how to avoid disseminating or being taken in by fake news.

The University uses a variety of teaching methods. For Journalism and History, you'll have interactive workshops with the occasional lecture. This course is about much more than sitting in a classroom. It’s about doing practical work to get you ready for a career, with employability skills built into all modules. It’s no wonder that 96.5%* of the University’s students are in work or further studies within six months of graduating. History and Journalism graduates have in the past gone into areas such as journalism, marketing, PR and the civil service. 
You’ll study at the University that has contributed to ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic,’ part of a British Library exhibition. You’ll learn about national and international history, from Europe to Africa and America. Our course focuses on the connection between past and present, linking people’s history and everyday lives. 
Your Journalism lecturers are practising journalists and journalism theorists who are experienced in a range of platforms and you will learn to both write and broadcast. There are also ample opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities, such as clubs and societies. As part of the Oral History team, some of our students produced interviews for a BBC Radio 4 programme, which was commended for the Public History Prize by the Royal Historical Society. Many journalism students take part in our Journalism Society, or come to the Media Matters series where you can meet industry practitioners ranging from people running features agencies looking for new talent to owners of their own media companies. 

Herts is one of the few universities in the UK with an active Oral History team. This is all about recording people’s stories before they are lost forever. This can be on topical issues, such as immigration and retirement. You could set up your very own project. For example, we've run projects with Watford and Stevenage Football Clubs, local charities, and groups from the wider community, on projects ranging from migrant experiences to the de Havilland Aircraft Company. This optional co-curricular is great for your CV. It helps you develop project management, research and even networking skills, that employers' value. In journalism, you can opt to take a work experience module, build your own portfolio, liaise with international journalists on our international module or even take a placement year in an area related to media or journalism. Our nearness to London means there are a great many opportunities to get a taste of the thriving world-renowned media industry and previous students have had internships ranging from Hello magazine to local radio.

In your first year, you’ll learn the foundations of Journalism and History. You can explore faith, magic and medicine and campaigns for freedom and equality. You’ll learn essential journalistic skills, learn about the media industry and think about the importance of behaving ethically.  

In your second year, you’ll study news, features and radio in more depth alongside the history of journalism. You’ll be able to choose all your History modules. These include family life in the 18th century, crime and society in the 16th century and British imperialism. It’s totally up to you. 

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too. You’ll decide in your second year with us, so there is still plenty of time to think about this.  

In your final year, you’ll do a final year History project known as a dissertation. You’ll do your own research on a topic of your choosing. You can even do an oral history project if you prefer this – a unique opportunity to combine your Journalism and History knowledge. For Journalism, you can specialise in online Journalism, global news reporting or make your own Journalism portfolio. This will give you the chance to gain work experience in a real news setting, such as a newspaper, magazine or newsroom.  

Entry Requirements

UCAS points

A Level




GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language and 4/D Mathematics

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Course Details

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.  

Year 1

Introduction to media communications
Introduction to journalism
Journalism, law and ethics
Global media and society
Belief and disbelief: faith, magic and medicine, 1500 - 1800
The fight for rights: freedom and oppression, 1790s-1990s
Historians' toolkit
Africa and the world, 1450-1850
Optional modules

Cashing in: traders and consumers, 1600 - 2001
Introduction to public history
The heritage industry in britain
Leisure and lifestyle: 20th century american music, sport and entertainment

Year 2

Graduate skills
Journalism skills: features
Journalism skills: news
Optional modules

Usa 1861 to 1969: from civil war to civil rights a
Radio journalism
Social media
Hearth & heart: family life in the long eighteenth-century
Propaganda in twentieth-century war and politics
Nation & identity: newly independent states in interwar europe, 1918-1939
Making a historical documentary
Making histories: public history work experience
Postcards from the empire: experiences of british imperialism
Maladies and medicine in early modern europe
Crime and society in england, 1550-1750
The age of the cold war, 1945-1991

Year 3

Optional modules

Online journalism
Journalism skills portfolio
International politics and reporting global news

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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