MP4006 - Journalism and Design

What will I learn on this module?

In Journalism and Design you will be taught the essential principles of design and animation that are key to conveying information succinctly in a digital environment. This module will enable you to combine good journalism, which is well researched, and concisely written–focusing on only the most important information—with an attractive, attention grabbing and informative end product. That end product will be designed according to essential conceptual principles, demonstrating your knowledge of the needs of the audience and an ability to communicate with them in a visually engaging way. This approach will allow you to develop your skills in research, interviewing and writing and apply them to produce a portfolio of work in appropriately designed formats. You will also learn about how to interrogate data to produce stories and/or infographics. You will source your own stories, conduct research in developing those stories, and then translate those stories into appropriate outputs. In doing so, you will develop your ability to use online design software. More broadly, this process will enable you to develop your production and storytelling skills, laying a foundation for subsequent modules and your future career.

How will I learn on this module?

TThis 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 considering the importance of design within the journalistic environment will be supplemented by workshops during which they students address and discuss issues and develop skills in appropriate software in order to take part in practice-based tasks. These tasks will mean students formatively work towards the module’s summative assessment portfolio. 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 to direct you 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 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 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 and Understanding:
• Demonstrate foundational knowledge of technical production skills (such as the production of animated graphics) that are used in professional settings.

• Intellectual/Professional Skills and Abilities:
Demonstrate the ability to originate stories, conduct journalistic research, and translate that research into appropriate outputs.
• Evidence competency in using online design software to produce appropriate outputs (such as animated graphics)
• Display your developing editorial skills by selecting and producing appropriate stories, conducting relevant research, and presenting your research in a variety of forms.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be formatively assessed by the tutor during workshop sessions which will address all MLOs. They also present their work to gain peer assessment.
The module will be summatively assessed with the production of a portfolio of work (100% of final mark) consisting of two stories consisting of one static infographic or similar visual element and one interactive/animated graphic. Animated graphics should last between 45 seconds and one minute.

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Module abstract

Journalism is developing at break-neck speed in the 21st Century with design being an increasingly important aspect, particularly via interactive online reporting. This module aims to introduce students to the principles of graphic design and animation so they combine good journalism with a good-looking product. Students develop skills in industry standard and state of the art design software to produce a portfolio of work in appropriately designed formats. The module ensures students develop skill sets which are key to working in modern newsrooms and will be invaluable in terms of future employability.

Course info

UCAS Code PP35

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

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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