How much does the course cost?
Fees for 2015-16 are £7,500. In addition, there are some small charges levied on international students by the Chinese Ministry of Education.
Can I get funding for the course?
There is no scholarship programme specifically for this course but there are a number of options that may help. If you are a UK student you might be able to apply for a career development loan. There is also extensive information on grants and scholarships on the University of Bolton site. For specific questions on funding, you can email the University funding specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t have a journalism degree, can I still take the course?
When selecting students we are looking for people who will engage fully with the teaching programme and demonstrate the necessary skills to complete the set assignments. You will not be excluded if you have not studied journalism as long as you have relevant skills for the course. If you have graduated with a BA/BSc in a related subject within the past two years we would expect you to have achieved what in the UK is known as a first class or upper second class degree. Mature students coming back into education with professional or teaching experience and/or having traveled extensively will be considered on the strength of their portfolio and written work. Prospective applicants are welcomed to contact programme leader Sharron Lovell prior to application for further guidance.
What is the teaching schedule, how often do I need to attend?
The course starts in September and is one-year in duration full time. The first term starts with fully structured in-class teaching weeks. During the second and third terms, there are still a number of in-class sessions and workshops – but practical guided independent assignment weeks increase. This allows students to follow self-directed stories. All teaching weeks require a 40-hour per week time commitment. During the in-class teaching periods, students are expected to be in the classroom two days a week with an additional 3 days used for reading, assignments and online teaching. The year is divided into three terms:
- In the first term, through workshops, seminars and short assignments students develop core multimedia skills needed to deliver short-form journalism stories on digital platforms. We cover technical proficiency without losing sight of fundamental news gathering skills.
- In the second term, students undertake two long-form stories. They first research and develop multimedia journalism feature ideas, considering audience engagement and impact, ethics, risk assessment, as well as logistics before in depth reporting. At the same time, students develop written proposals for the projects that can be used for professional pitches and grant applications.
In the third term, aided by course staff, students individually develop one of their second term projects into a 15-week major assignment that is accompanied by a 5,000 word dissertation that reflects critically on the production and distribution of their story. We place value on channeling students in the directions they choose. This facilitates them to fine tune skills and produce a professional-grade journalism project or story that should serve as a portfolio to launch or elevate their chosen career path.
There are also two 12-day compulsory intensive teaching / workshop sessions (one in December and one in March). Please contact the course leader for a detailed schedule.
- In class teaching is supported throughout the programme by a VLE, or virtual learning environment.
What is a virtual learning environment?
A VLE is web-based teaching system that allows students to study through a password protected website. Students are able to receive and post assignments, pick up feedback, communicate with their tutor and fellow students, use online resources, listen to recordings of lectures, participate in online seminars and much more. The course uses a VLE to support the main teaching programme and to allow students who have other work commitments to study away from the teaching base.
How much time will I need to spend on the course?
All students will be required to be in touch with their tutor every week. Students will need to spend around 40 hours a week on the course. Students working as multimedia journalists may be able to incorporate some of their daily work into the practical assignments.
What equipment do I need to take the course?
All students must have either a video-enabled DSLR camera or separate (prosumer or above) video and stills camera, a sound recorder, a range of lenses between 28mm and 200mm (35mm equivalent), a good tripod and a few other small accessories. You will also need a laptop computer, software and hard disk storage capable of working with multimedia projects. Please contact the course leader for a detailed gear guide.
How much does it cost to live in China?
The main cost advantage of studying in China is living expenses. Generally speaking, accommodation and food is about a half the cost of the UK. You can also eat well in the student canteens and campus restaurants for around £3-5 a day. Most international students choose to rent a flat that, if shared, costs around 2500RMB – 4000RMB a month pp. For people visiting for shorter periods, the university can book a local hotel room at a discounted rate. These start at around £20 a night (£10 if shared with another student).
What kind of stories can I work on in China?
China is in rapid transformation, old traditions, landscapes and architecture are fast disappearing while millions are moving from the countryside to the cities. The country is continuously in the international news agenda. Students cover daily news but the focus is on long-term stories. Click here to see some recent long-form stories made in China by students.
Can I get a part-time job in China?
It is not legal to work on a student visa though some students find legitimate full-time employment (normally as language teachers) and study in their spare time. This is not recommended as it leaves students with virtually no free time but it is possible.
What are the campus and teaching facilities like?
The MA International Multimedia Journalism course has its own teaching room on the BFSU east campus. The room has it’s own small library, digital projector, as well as a wireless internet network. On campus, there is also a canteen, a large gym, swimming pool and playing fields. The campus is located in the North West Beijing University district. There are good bus and subway links to the rest of the city. You can see a map locating BFSU here.
What equipment do I need?
All students must have a basic multimedia equipment set-up, including camera, lens, laptop, and some audio gear. Excluding laptop this set-up costs around £1000 GBP. You can see our ‘Recommended Multimedia Equipment List’ for guidance. Tutors are also on hand to help you make decisions for your budget.
Can I get around without Chinese?
It is important to make an effort when you first come to China to learn some basic vocabulary. English is widely spoken in China but to get into the more remote areas it is useful to be able to buy tickets and ask directions. Often non-Chinese students link up with local students to work on projects. Getting around Beijing is easy using the subway, buses and taxis which are affordable. Students are advised to take the same precautions in regard to personal safety that they would in their own countries, but generally speaking Beijing is a safe city in which to live.