London Graduate Journalism Program

Students enrolled in the BU Graduate Program in Journalism have the opportunity to complete their third semester of studies in London during the Fall Term. The 15-week program allows students to combine coursework with an internship and take advantage of the extensive resources available through the London campus.

Program Curriculum

The program offers two tracks:

  • International and Security Affairs Concentration
  • Reporting and Reviewing the Arts Concentration

The first five weeks are spent taking a core class and a directed study. In the last eight weeks, students work full time in their internships and take a third course relating to their track, for a total of 16 Boston University credits.

For further information visit the Boston University Department of Journalism website. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Courses

During the first five weeks, both tracks take the following two courses:

COM JO 701: Reporting British Politics and Culture

This course will offer journalism graduate students an intensive study of the reporting of British Politics and Culture. Though concentrating primarily on the British scene, the study will be pursued in a broad European context, and there will be some consideration of how comparable themes are handled in United States media. As well as a solid basis of theory, there will be a strong practical aspect to the course. Students will be encouraged to relate class activities to their future plans as prospective professional journalists. There will be three strands to the course. An overview of the interplay between British politics and culture, with stress on print and electronic journalistic coverage in such areas as parliamentary proceedings, trends in health and welfare, education, foreign policy, and mass entertainment. An assessment, using models drawn from print and electronic media, of the extent to which British politics and culture are being impacted by political and cultural developments in Continental Europe. The third strand will be a study, using models drawn from print and electronic media, of the impact upon British politics and culture of American cultural values and –not least—political power and influence. Macleod (4)

COM JO 954: Directed Study

Students complete a substantial journalistic assignment that should include independent fieldwork of 5,000 to 6,000 words with the guidance of Aleks Sierz (Arts) or David McNeil (International). Students agree the title of their directed study in advance of the start of the program and over the first five weeks of the semester have three scheduled tutorials with their faculty member to monitor the progress of the directed study.

Requirements for Directed Study, per concentration:

  • Alex Sierz Requirements: Directed Study for Graduates: The students will be asked to present a portfolio comprising one PR piece (300-400 words), one review (400-500 words), one profile (1000-1500 words) and one feature (1500-2000), each of which will be on contemporary British theater. These must be based on finding out information for themselves and on securing and conducting interviews with key players and original research in London.
  • David McNeil Requirements: Directed Study for Graduates: Students will prepare a substantial assignment of between 5,000 and 6,000 words on the recent development of the European Union with special reference to the effect on Europe’s trading and military relations with the rest of the world and in particular, the United States. This feature article would involve much original reporting, incorporating the views of leading policy makers, historians, and political scientists.

Required Courses by Track

During the last eight weeks of the program, students take the appropriate electives for their concentrations, listed below, and the corresponding internship course.

A. International & Security Affairs Concentration
COM JO 708: The Foreign Correspondent: Reporting from Europe

This course brings the theories and concepts of news reporting to a very practical and hands-on level. Students analyze radio, television, and newspaper reports and then fine-tune their writing skills through class assignments. Throughout the course guest lecturers with first-hand experience of international reporting offer practical advice about succeeding in the field. The course offers an introduction to the structure and institutions of the international media. It also focuses on major issues and how they are covered. There is a particular emphasis on the skills involved in reporting conflict, including the delicate relationship between reporter and soldier and the arguments over how much of the reality of war should be shown on television and in newspapers. Students will also examine the evolution of war reporting. You will be introduced to London news sources, the techniques of reporting in the electronic media, and the practical aspects of working as a foreign correspondent. McNeil (4) Syllabus

COM JO 737: Graduate Internship

Students are pre-placed in their placements following initial interviews conducted on BU campus during April. Students work four days a week for eight weeks in journalism work placements. This course is examined by a Graduate Placement Portfolio, which is graded by Alexander Macleod, the core class lecturer. In summary, students are expected to produce a Placement Portfolio of a total length of 40 pages comprising three sections: daily entries, field research, and an analytical conclusion. This accounts for 100% of the internship grade.

B. Reporting & Reviewing the Arts
COM JO 710: Modern British Drama: A Critic’s Perspective

This course provides a thorough introduction to post-war British theater along with key information about British theater today. Particular attention is given to recent drama history; milestone play texts from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953) to Sarah Kane’s Blasted (1995) and the way they relate to their wider social and cultural contexts. Practical information about how to write theater reviews, plus six theater visits, will enhance the ability of students to discuss modern British drama in an informed and balanced manner. The ultimate aim is to increase awareness of British theater and develop practical skills that will enable you to address the question of whether a new play is any good. Sierz (4) Syllabus

COM JO 737: Graduate Internship

Students are pre-placed in their placements following initial interviews conducted on BU campus during April. Students work four days a week for eight weeks in journalism work placements. This course is examined by a Graduate Placement Portfolio, which is graded by Alexander Macleod, the core class lecturer. In summary students are expected to produce a Placement Portfolio of a total length of 40 pages comprising three sections: daily entries, field research, and an analytical conclusion. This accounts for 100% of the internship grade.

Program Details

Requirements
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: early September to mid December

Please note that this program is only offered during the fall semester.

Cost
Credits
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
Housing
Application Deadlines
  • Fall Semester: March 15 

Program Faculty & Staff

All Boston University London programs are administered in coordination with our Boston and London offices. In Boston a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in London. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In London the staff comprises a resident director as well as administrative, academic, and housing personnel.