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FAQs

How much does the course cost?

Fees for 2019-20 are £7,500. In addition, there are some small charges levied on international students by the Chinese Ministry of Education. All students must either own or purchase 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 funding for the course?

There is an annual scholarship for this course for international students. Typically the scholarship is announced in February and applications close in May each year. There are a number of other options that may help. If you are a European student your home country may be able to offer you some funding. If you are a UK student you might be able to apply for a career development loan. There is extensive information on grants and scholarships on the UK.Gov site. For specific questions on funding, you can email the University funding specialists at studentfunding@bolton.ac.uk

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. We typically require a 2:1 undergraduate honors degree or international equivalent. We will, however, also consider your application on an individual basis if you have lower or lack the formal academic qualifications but do have relevant professional experience in a relevant subject such as visual media; print journalism; coding and UX design for storytelling. Mature students coming back into education with professional or teaching experience will also 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 a series of 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 newsgathering 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 10-day compulsory intensive teaching/workshop sessions (Usually in December and March). Please contact the course leader for a detailed schedule.

  • In-class contact teaching is supported throughout the programme by a VLE or virtual learning environment.

What is a virtual learning environment?


A VLE is a 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 capacity for 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 £5-8 a day. Most international students choose to rent a flat that, if shared, costs around 3500RMB – 4,500RMB a month pp. There are also dormitories available and prices range from 35-85RMB per day. See here for more information on living costs.

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 featured in the international news agenda. Students cover some 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?

New regulations mean that part-time work and internships off campus may be authorized. You should contact your university or employer after you have settled in China to see what can be arranged.

What are the campus and teaching facilities like?


The MA International Multimedia Journalism course has its own teaching room on the BFSU campus. The room has its 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.