London modules

Year 2 in London - Business and Financial Journalism specialisation modules

Students specialising in ‘Business and Financial Journalism’ (60 ECTS) will take modules at City, University of London intended to bring together rigorous academic understanding and explanation of business and finance with the practical knowledge and experience that comes from being based in one of the key centres of global business, finance, and journalism.

All modules (but the Master Thesis) for year 2 are electives. Students will need to select 30 ECTS credits worth of these elective modules

Module 1 // Reporting Business // 7,5 ECTS

The world of business journalism; how business works nationally and globally, from SMEs to transnational corporations, and how it affects the broader economy. How to report and interpret corporate announcements, and critically examine the role of the journalists in the way business news is reported. 

Module Facts

Semester/term: Autumn
University:
City, University of London
Credits: 10 ECTS
Professors: Various

Learning Outcome

  • Provide an informed understanding of the requirements of coverage of business activities to a professional level
  • Knowledge on how to draw on your own experience, knowledge and ethical awareness in practical assignments
  • Provide an opportunity for critical reflection on practice


Typical Methods of Assessment

  • Trading statement news article – 200 words; 15%
  • Company results news article – 400 words; 30%
  • Commentary -350 words; 20%
  • Analysis or profile piece – 850 words; 35%

Module 2 // Fundamentals of Financial Journalism // 7,5 ECTS

The module will cover the fundamental elements of business, economic and financial reporting, seeking to understand the differences and similarities between these three areas.

It will explore the different techniques and formats to enable the business journalist to tell his story most effectively, including the use of figures and graphics and compelling case studies.

It will examine how to tailor stories to particular audiences, and identify some of the key issues that would be appropriate to different audiences.

It will examine the particular responsibilities of financial journalists, particularly in the context of financial crises or business scandals, and the ethical dilemmas they face.

Module Facts

Semester/term: Autumn
University:
 City, University of London
Credits: 10 ECTS
Professors: Various

Learning Outcome

  • Provide you with an informed understanding of the requirements of financial journalism and the different approaches to the coverage of business, economic and financial stories to a professional level
  • Provide you with insight into the key economic and financial issues that will help inform your day-to-day coverage
  • Draw on your own experience, knowledge and ethical awareness in practical assignments
  • Provide you with an opportunity for critical reflection on practice, including the special responsibilities of financial journalists in reporting on the economy and companies, and the different needs of different audiences for business news


Typical Methods of Assessment

  • 2 x 1000 word essays; 50%
  • Group assignment in class project; 50%

Module 3 // Introduction to Data Journalism // 7,5 ECTS

This module aims to train students to work effectively as a professional data journalist. By the end of the module you will be able to locate, manipulate, visualise and combine data from a range of sources and demonstrate effective skills using the web-based and other technologies involved.

Students will systemically understand the field of data journalism and have a critical awareness of the impact of data journalism on democracy. Students will be able to evaluate the scope for exploiting the data and technologies available, and demonstrate originality and complexity in doing so; and be able to communicate effectively on a digital newsdesk and work with web developers and technology providers. 

Module Facts

Semester/term: Autumn
University: 
City, University of London
Credits: 
10 ECTS
Professor: 
Tom Felle

Indicative topics for this module include:

  • Lectures and independent student examining current research and scholarship
  • Sourcing and interrogating data
  • Evaluating and organising data: cleaning data, linked data, and semantic web technologies
  • Preparing data visualisations and maps using data.odule Facts


Typical Methods of Assessment

  • You will produce a 1,000 word research brief demonstrating a critical understanding of data journalism and its role in democracy, examining current research and scholarship.
  • You will work independently to develop a digital portfolio of data stories demonstrating key skills acquired during the module.
  • The final digital portfolio will include your best three news articles including visualisations. It should be published digitally, with an indicative word count of 1,000 words. Your portfolio should also include a 500 word reflective blog-post style log on you own learning, discussing, inter alia, your learning journey during the module; problems you encountered and how you overcame them; and an assessment of your skill level and cogitative understanding

Module 4 // Advanced Data and Coding // 7,5 ECTS

There is a prerequisite requirement for this module. You must have completed 'Introduction to Data Journalism' in order to enrol on this module

Digital journalists increasingly need a complex skillset of developer knowledge, as well as a native understanding of application programming interfaces (APIs) and ‘scraping’ of online sources to be able to interrogate and investigate ‘big data’ in the public interest.

This module, which follows on from ‘Introduction to Data Journalism' aims to train you to work effectively a professional digital journalist. By the end of this module you will have an advanced knowledge of data journalism, including skills to investigate and interrogate ‘big data’; demonstrate developer skills in a range of coding languages; be able to interrogate application programme interfaces (APIs) and deploy scraping tools; critically evaluate data sets and complex investigations; and appreciate the accountability role of digital data reporting for civil society in advanced democracies.

Module Facts

Semester/term: Autumn
University: 
City, University of London
Credits: 
7,5 ECTS

Typical Methods of Assessment

  • Presentation and brief (500 words) 25% Project using digital skills (800 words) 75%

Module 5 // Journalism Inovation // 7,5 ECTS

In this module you will develop a creative, flexible, and innovative approach to journalism; bringing fresh thinking to a media organisation; creating dynamic content for a start-up media enterprise; or launching your own journalistic website or other product.

The skills, insights and experience you gain in this module will be invaluable as you enter an industry in turmoil. Especially at a time when jobs are difficult to obtain and to retain, the confidence of knowing you can think creatively, work collectively and land on your feet is a big asset in any work situation. In this class, you will learn to research, develop, refine and pitch an innovative journalistic idea that showcases your creativity, talents and market acuity.

Module Facts

Semester/term: Autumn
University: 
City, University of London
Credits: 
7,5 ECTS

Learning Outcome:

  • Synthesising information relating to the contemporary contexts and practices of journalism
  • Aligning your journalism knowledge and skills with emerging conditions
  • Researching innovative journalism ideas
  • Presenting ideas and responding to criticism


Typical Methods of Assessment

  • Group plan for proposed innovation or enterprise (3500 words) 60%
  • Group pitch 10%
  • Individual reflective essay (950-1050 words) 30%

Module 6 // Global Political Economy – Contemporary Approaches // 15 ECTS

This module will serve as a conceptual and theoretical introduction into the field of (global) political economy. It surveys the three main traditions of scholarship in political economy (mainstream, institutionalist and Marxist), and allows you to critically engage with different schools of thought on the evolution of capitalism, its economic and political forms, and its key issues.

The module is distinct in its focus on paradigmatic approaches to the study and the field of political economy and its contemporary orientation (20th century onwards).

Module Facts

Semester/term: Autumn
University: 
City, University of London
Credits: 
15 ECTS

Master Thesis // 30 ECTS

This thesis module provides you with an opportunity to complete a substantial piece of research-based work as a capstone to your degree programme. 

Semester/term: Spring
University:
 City, University of London
Credits: 30 ECTS

Learning Outcome 

  • To enable you to identify and research thoroughly a subject of your choice, on an original theme and which is worthy of sustained journalistic inquiry
  • To encourage you to communicate your findings in a journalistic way, appropriate to the medium and the target audience, to brief and to deadline
  • To encourage you to identify from this exercise an aspect of journalistic practice or the profession of journalism worthy of sustained research
  • To allow you to investigate, collect evidence, evaluate and critically analyse the journalistic/professional issues identified
  • To train you to communicate findings in a properly referenced in-depth academic essay


Typical Methods of Assessment

Introductory lectures, individual tutorials, research training, independent research, production of a piece of long form journalism and an academic essay (details below).

Academic essay: You should write a 6,000 essay which sets your own journalism in a wider context. Your essay should include a review of relevant academic literature, and demonstrate knowledge of the way the story or issue you have covered is currently being reported.

You should proffer evidence of a contextual basis for your argument, as well as discussing issues raised in a thematic way. Your essay should also reflect on ethical issues you encountered during the production of your journalism project, again contextualising the issues in the context of published research, as well as the implications of the ethical decisions you took. Your essay should also include a personal reflection on your own learning for your future journalism career.

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