DCU’s BA in Journalism is a top degree in Ireland designed to equip you with practical skills in reporting and writing for different media as well as providing you with essential knowledge in politics, law, ethics, society and culture. This degree will really appeal to you if you have an enquiring mind because the world needs journalists to analyse, examine and reveal how things work and what the future holds for people.
Here at DCU we believe in creating journalists who will tell stories that will help people in Ireland, and around the world, find the best way forward. On this degree you will cover the theory behind journalism and communications to help you understand your role as a journalist and the vital role journalism plays in society.
Building your journalism skills
Our Journalism degree focuses on three essentials:
- practical skills such as video and audio production, news gathering, fact-checking, presenting and writing for different platforms (digital, social, print and broadcast)
- knowledge of people, institutions and ethical principles needed as context
- academic studies of law, politics and society to sharpen your critical thinking
Learn from the best
As a journalist, you often have to absorb information quickly, relate facts to the bigger picture and work to a tight deadline. Many of our lecturers are or have been practising journalists who are familiar with the profession and will help you develop the necessary skills to succeed in journalism.
INTRA eight-week placement
As a DCU journalism student, you will take part in an 8-week placement with a media organisation through DCU’s INTRA internship programme in the final year of your degree, where you can put your skills and learnings into practice.
This degree requires a minimum of H4 in English. We also recommend that you have an interest in writing, reading and all kinds of media and current affairs.
DCU’s journalism course always stood out as the best journalism course in the country and ‘INTRA’ is what sold it, because it gets a foot in the door in such a competitive area.”
Read more about Sonja Tutty
Hi I’m Dawn Wheatley and I’m an Assistant Professor at DCU’s School of Communications and Chair of the BA in Journalism.
Read more about Dawn Wheatley
Careers & Further Options
Today media employers expect new recruits to be skilled in video and audio production, reporting, social media engagement, web design, writing, presenting and producing, in all media formats. DCU's BA in Journalism has been designed to produce such multi-skilled graduates. Your ability to write clearly, quickly and accurately, and to process information speedily will equip you for a wide range of careers, not just those in journalism. Your communication skills and critical thinking will also be valuable in the public service, in non-governmental organisations, in public relations, in the commercial sector, and in organisations connected with international development.
- Corporate Communications
- Public Relations
- Public Service
- Politics Advocacy/Campaigning
- Not for Profit
- Web Content Management
- Feature Writing/Magazines
DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.
DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.
Applications are welcomed from students who have studied at Level 6, Level 7 and Level 8 in relevant areas. Such transfer students may be exempt from certain modules.
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.
First, it provides the essential practical skills you will need to produce original journalism, such as reporting and writing for different media (including social media).
Second, it provides the knowledge of culture, politics, society, law and ethics that you need as essential context for your journalism.
Third, it provides a theoretical study of journalism and communications that will help you understand your role as a journalist and the function of journalism in society.
To provide these skills and understandings, you will be taught by lecturers who are, or have been, practising journalists who are in close touch with the profession, and by researchers who are scholars of national and international reputation.
An essential element of the final year of the course is an eight-week work placement (INTRA) with a media organisation. On this placement, you will put into practice the skills and understandings developed over the previous three years of the course. All journalism students must complete a relevant work placement arranged or approved by the University.
In your final and third year, you will also undertake an academic dissertation or journalistic project. This is your final project that showcases all you’ve learned and the skills you have acquired over the course of your studies, and is based on a topic of your choice.
If you have visual creative ability, you can use it to produce journalism through photography, publication design and data journalism.
What Will I Study?
While content of the course may change over time, these modules are indicative of what you will be studying in each year.
- Journalism in Society
- Journalism History
- Introduction to Newswriting and Reporting
- Radio Journalism
- Digital Media Skills
- Critical Thinking and Independent Learning
- Ethics and Regulation
- Journalism Studies
- Reporting and Mobile Journalism
- Introduction to Politics and Public Affairs
- Case Studies in Investigative Journalism
- News Design
- Feature Writing
- Media Law
- Networked News
- Advanced Reporting
- Crime, Policing and the Media
- Video Journalism
- Data Journalism
- Cultural Journalism
- Journalism Portfolio
- Video Storytelling
- News Editing
- Media, Sport and Society
- Press and Public Relations
- Perspective on Political and Financial Journalism
- Uaneen Module (DCU’s Leadership and Engagement Module )
- Climate Change and the Media
- Peace and Conflict Journalism
- Journalism Opportunities and Innovation
- Research for Journalists
- INTRA placement
For more information on the course structure click here
Fees and Funding
How To Apply
- Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
- If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.
Apply through the CAO by 1st February.
Advice for Mature-Student Applicants (PDF 51K)
*Mature applicants are asked to submit directly to the CAO, along with their other paper documentation, a hard copy of an article of c. 750 words of their own composition, written for a specific publication [published or unpublished]. If the article has been published, state when and in which publication. If the article is unpublished, indicate the newspaper or periodical for which you think your submission would be best suited.
Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 6th November to 1st July.
Life On Campus
The award-winning campus student newspaper, radio and TV stations compliment the skills taught within the programme and offer hands-on, creative outlets for students to apply what they have learned in their lectures.
Since its foundation in 1985, the Media Production Society (MPS) has established itself as a cornerstone of DCU society life; operating as a creative and social outlet to a broad variety of students within the university. It gives members a chance to gain practical experience in their chosen field of media and collaborate with other, like-minded creatives on the society’s blog, on DCUtv and DCUfm.
At DCU, our students can expect a unique campus experience. We are known for our excellent teaching and learning facilities, our active clubs and societies, and our great social and sporting facilities. All this makes DCU an exciting place to be.
DCU has three academic campuses; Glasnevin, St. Patrick’s and All Hallows (both in Drumcondra), all close to Dublin City centre.
They can be reached by public transport, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, with our Drumcondra campuses a ten minute walk from Drumcondra Train Station. Glasnevin is a 20 minute walk from St Patrick’s and All Hallows. They are also linked by Dublin Bus.
Each campus has a library (O’Reilly, Cregan and Woodlock Hall), study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. There are sports facilities on Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s, and there is a dedicated sports campus, St Claire’s, located near Glasnevin on the Ballymun Road.
DCU’s 19,000 students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses.
These include modern learning theatres, research centres, a new media and TV studio, radio/podcast studios, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of Languages, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Biotechnology, as well as a Sports Performance centre and a training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.
We continue to improve and update our facilities. For example, construction of a new world-class STEM facility is underway on the Glasnevin campus. With capacity for an extra 3,000 STEM students, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science and health, computing and engineering disciplines.
Studying in DCU isn’t just about course work. The university is rich in student life and activities.
There are more than 140 clubs and societies for students in DCU, with ‘Clubs & Socs’ days taking place on both the Glasnevin and Drumcondra campuses at the start of the academic year. They span everything from rugby to rock climbing, anime to jazz.
For many students, sport is an important part of the DCU experience. DCU’s Sports Complex boasts a 25 metre swimming pool, fitness centre gym, all-weather pitches and squash courts, as well as soccer, GAA and rugby pitches. DCU Dóchas Éireann, the university’s GAA club, is the largest third level Gaelic Games club in the country. Meanwhile, DCU Athletics has been Ireland’s highest achieving university club for many years. And DCU has dozens of other clubs to get involved in, from Archery to Weightlifting.
The Glasnevin campus is home to our purpose built, state-of-the-art student centre, The U, which serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body. Here, you will find the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub. Also located on our Glasnevin campus is The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.
On our St Patrick’s campus, we have the Java Student Hub, a vibrant, warm and welcoming space where students can meet for coffee, play music, use the projector to watch events, or just relax. The walls of the Java Hub were designed based on the cultural history of St Patrick’s Campus, including the special references to the notable sporting history and history of the arts.
We have a number of academic, professional and social supports for students.
Student Advice Centre - Offers a wide range of supports and services to students and advice
The Writing Centre - drop-in writing workshops for students through the academic year
Maths Learning Centre - provides maths support for students of all ability levels with maths modules
Student Learning - facilitate the transition from passive to active learning for students at DCU, by teaching study skills, nurturing critical thinking and building student confidence.
Careers work with students to help them on their professional journey into graduate employment.
Our student support team offers a comprehensive support programme, helping students make that all important transition into university life and focusing on building confidence and skills which are key to success at third level.
Can I work as a sport or current affairs journalist after journalism (DC132) in DCU?
Journalism is taught as a set of skills and knowledge needed to identify, research and report on important topics in modern society, as well as cultural issues. Many of our students go on to specialise, and choose careers in sports, political or current affairs journalism. But to arrive there via the journalism route, you will need to first know the basics of journalism. This is why our BA in Journalism degree builds on a foundation of core skills and competencies in the first two years, and then allows the students to choose from a number of optional modules such as Peace and Conflict Journalism, Data Journalism or Financial Reporting so they can specialise when they go into the workplace.
I enjoy English and writing, should I study journalism?
While strong written skills are a core part of the degree and what is expected, you should study journalism if you are interested in the world around you and you want to report on what is happening. You will be expected to conduct a variety of tasks throughout the three years that go beyond just writing, and the most important thing is that you are interesting in communicating stories clearly and accurately, you have a curiosity to explore current events and trends, and you have good enthusiasm and initiative for becoming a journalist, rather than just a writer.
What if I only want to get involved in a particular type of journalism, like sport, politics or arts?
Most core principles of journalism are important no matter what particular topics you are interested in, such as good structure, verifying material before publication, finding reliable and diverse sources, and building up interview skills. While we offer some specialist modules, many of the practical subjects will allow you to tailor your assignments to focus on the topics that really interest you. We would also always encourage students to come in with an open mind about all subjects, and not focus only on one area.
Is DCU all one campus?
DCU is a multi campus university - the Glasnevin, St Patrick's and All Hallows campuses. The St Patrick's campus is where the Education courses are taught and some of the subjects from the BA Joint Honours degree. There is a 20-25 minute walk between the campuses but there are buses and bikes available to go between them also.
If I'm studying on the St Patrick's campus, can I use the library and sports centre on the Glasnevin campus?
Yes, all facilities such as sports and accommodation are open for all DCU students to avail of.
Are there libraries in DCU and if they have wifi and work stations?
We have a brand new state of the art four floor library on our St. Patrick's Campus which complements the existing library on the Glasnevin campus. There is free wifi, work stations as well as desktop computers.
Does DCU provide accommodation?
DCU does have on-campus accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and you can find out more and apply via the Accommodation Office webpage.