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Introduction to Journalism

University of Strathclyde via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


This free online course is aimed at those curious about journalism and looking to gain a better understanding of what the subject entails. Run by a team of internationally-renowned scholars and journalism practitioners at the University of Strathclyde, it gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the professional world of reporters and editors.

The course contains six topics - what makes a good news story; writing news; writing features; opinion writing; politics and journalism; and investigative journalism - and explores these in relation to a case study running throughout the six weeks. Although the scenario is entirely fictitious, participants will engage in tasks and discussions that reflect real-life situations in journalism.

Each week contains a variety of learning activities that will introduce concepts, challenge assumptions, facilitate understanding and hone new skills. You’ll be encouraged to discuss your thoughts with peers and tutors, generate and edit small pieces of writing, and comment on others’ work.

Several esteemed journalists from around the world will feature each week, as they discuss key topics in relation to their own work. By enacting the role of a journalist in the context of an escalating story, the course adheres to Strathclyde’s ethos of “a place of useful learning.”

Two feature articles written by learners as part of this course have been republished on our blog: “Muddy Waters” by Sharon Walker documents flooding in Genoa; and “David” by Shawn Basheer is a pen portrait of a Sri Lankan refugee.

The course has no formal requirements – rather than prior journalistic knowledge or experience, we ask only for an inquisitive mind.

Taught by

Michael Higgins


3.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Insightful and engaging course, with good lecturers. It requires some effort but the balance between passive (listening and reading) and active (discussion and assignments ) seems good for an online course. I enjoyed it, unfortunately I didn't complete at the time due to the death of a friend and the aftermath of this event.
  • Leila Ahmouda

    Leila Ahmouda is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.

    I had a difficult time understanding how to use the discussion dialogue and it's meaning of journalism. It didn't give me any indication on the material since I didn't understand it.
  • Millie B.

    Millie B. completed this course.

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