MP4016 - Writing for Digital

What will I learn on this module?

The purpose of the module Writing for Digital is to learn the basics of how to identify stories, source information, interview and write journalism for a range of publications including newspapers and online. As such you will learn to become an independent journalist, developing a sense of what is news and the best means to tell a story across a variety of media. You will also be taught how to write clearly and concisely, which is the heart of good journalism and online digital communication more broadly. You will be taught how to identify and write for your intended audience (rather than for yourself), and how to avoid the use of meaningless jargon and generic content. You will also be taught the importance of social media—where brevity is essential—in the digital age. These skills are fundamental for any career in communications, including public relations, journalism, advertising, social media management, and so forth. They will also provide a bedrock for your future employability by helping you to understand how to communicate about yourself and your interests in a professional manner.

How will I learn on this module?

This module offers a varied teaching and learning strategy. You will learn via a variety of mechanisms. These include lectures, seminars, online activities (where appropriate) and independent learning. Lectures will provide the contextual and practical information you need to understand the module’s themes and approaches. The lecturer will provide examples that will demonstrate how to apply relevant practical techniques, and to stimulate your engagement with the course material. Seminars will be used to help you develop writing, interview, research and decision-making skills. These will also guide your learning strategies and offer the opportunity to develop issues you have learned independently. You will take part in group conferences for your assignments. This will give you the chance to develop ideas in an industry style environment. You will be expected to assess peers’ work, pitch ideas, agree a brief and file copy on time. Guidance with the preparation of assessed work, and feedback and feed-forward during writing. During your independent working time, it is also expected that you will apply the ideas raised in the lectures and workshops to your own practice. Where appropriate, additional materials will be supplied on the eLearning Portal, or you will be directed towards additional materials. These independent activities will facilitate your development as you progress through the module, laying a foundation for your assessed work.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be directed to a range of relevant texts, both books and journals and will also draw upon the professional experience of the lecturer. You are also supported in a variety of manners: the module tutor is available to discuss issues both during and outside scheduled teaching. Tutors can discuss issues during pre-determined Office Hours each week, and also via email. Additionally, information, teaching materials and other support is available through the Electronic Learning Portal system.
You will be supported by the module lead; they will introduce the module at the start of the semester and offer advice and guidance throughout. Your learning is mapped out via documentation on Blackboard Ultra, the Northumbria University online electronic learning portal; this is accessible online on and off campus. The e-Learning Portal will include guidance notes and key dates to help you organise and plan your time. It will also include teaching materials, announcements and updates, and detailed information on assessment. You will have a university email that we contact you through. We support your learning by providing on-going feedback (Formative and Summative) through the range of teaching and learning approaches offered. We ask you to electronically submit your work electronically, and we will supply feedback via Turnitin. You will be able to compare your feedback across modules so that you can assess your development as you progress through the programme. Formative assessment is offered throughout the module, and summative assignments will receive written feedback within 20 working days of assignment submission. Every tutor has set weekly feedback and tutorial drop in hours, wherein you can seek advice on your academic progress. Where appropriate you may also be directed to engage with our Skills Plus or other resources offered through the University Student Support Services such as Dyslexia Support. Guidance tutorials also provide opportunities for students to discuss, in confidence, their academic progress on the programme.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To understand the requirements of writing for different formats and audiences.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. To write in a range of journalism styles and formats in particular for social media and online journalism but also, where appropriate, print.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3. To gain skills in writing clean crisp copy for news stories.
4. To understand the appropriate application of style as a technique.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be given formative feedback during workshops
For their summative assessment students will produce four pieces of work consisting of:

1. A 400-word online news story. The story will include relevant links to other online and social media rich content where appropriate. LO 1-4
2. To live blog an event that lasts at least an hour minutes. The live blog must include at least 20 entries that conform to the style outlined in class by the tutor. LO 1-4
Both assessments will include supporting social media activity from a professionally presented social media account.





Module abstract

Writing is at the heart of good journalism and this module instructs students on how to produce this highly stylized form of English. Using contemporary references and examples students learn how to write news, reviews, features and online articles with impact, balance and professionalism; a range of skills which are invaluable across a range of career paths.. In addition students are given tuition in making contacts and interview technique. Assessment is via a portfolio of work which includes a range of self-generated, original journalism.

Course info

UCAS Code P3N1

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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