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57194 Journalism Major Project

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Journalism
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 24 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04106 Master of Arts Journalism OR 24 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04321 Master of Advanced Journalism
Anti-requisite(s): 57186 Journalism Major Project 2


In this capstone subject, students conduct an in-depth investigation to produce an innovative and significant work of journalism or a scholarly journalism studies investigation. Students demonstrate their advanced application of key skills and knowledge. Advised by a journalist mentor from UTS or industry, students pitch their project concept for approval, conduct their original research, pilot interviews and drafting elements, reflect on progress in workshops, finalise their approach, and produce, edit and submit the completed project. Final projects are pitched to a panel of media professionals.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Plan and execute an original, significant work of journalism or journalism studies in a professional, ethical and culturally sensitive manner
b. Tailor narrative and research approaches to diverse communities
c. Select research to inform high quality journalism or journalism studies
d. Analyse current journalism and research to contextualise their work and inform reflective practice
e. Reflect on practical, theoretical, ethical and professional aspects of their work

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Possess an advanced understanding of the professional skills and techniques in a range of contexts appropriate to contemporary journalism practice (1.1)
  • Apply a high level of initiative to create content using multiple techniques and within industry accepted frameworks of accountability (1.2)
  • Reflect critically on the theory and professional practice of contemporary journalism (2.2)
  • Plan and execute a substantial research-based project, demonstrating advanced communication and technical research skills (2.3)
  • Ability to apply professional skills responsibly and respectfully in multiple cultural and ethno-centric contexts (3.1)
  • Understand how journalism practice can advance story-telling, understanding and cohesion within and across Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities (4.1)
  • Develop and maintain collaborative networks, contacts and linkages within industry bodies and across disciplines, while ensuring ethical practice and social responsibility at all times (5.1)
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in engagement to enable effective communication with multiple stakeholders, using traditional and emerging techniques (6.1)
  • Harness multiple channels of communication, understanding the power and limitations of each as a tool to spread information and engage specific audiences and communities. (6.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject provides a capstone experience in which students build on and apply the key skills and knowledge developed in previous subjects to undertake a significant piece of original journalism or a scholarly work of journalism studies. The key learning strategy will be a cycle of planning, action, evaluation, reflection and action as students design, develop, and conduct their projects guided by their tutors, peers and mentors in a newsroom-style environment.

Students who elect to produce a major work of journalism will collaborate with students, staff and mentors to research and produce their major work of journalism exploring a variety of media. They will identify story lines, communities, evidence and sources and conduct independent research, interviews and production. Students who choose to produce a scholarly work of journalism studies are expected to work with a journalism studies mentor from UTS, researching and writing up an investigation of an aspect of journalism production, news or reception. The action-research workshops will be supplemented by web tutorials, mentoring, guest lectures, seminars, and masterclasses.

Students will receive early formative feedback as they pitch their project concepts to their project advisors and mentors. Students are expected to manage their own journalism projects by developing timelines, self-monitoring progress, and devoting adequate time to their project.

Content (topics)

The Journalism Major Project is a journalistic investigation in which students elect EITHER to use advanced research, reporting and narrative skills and deploy journalism approaches developed in previous UTS Journalism subjects to produce a portfolio of journalism OR to draw on their Journalism Studies knowledge and experience to design, research, and report an original scholarly investigation of an aspect of journalism practice, regulation, ethics or law.

Key concepts will be the integration of theory and practice, reflective practice; critical appraisal; professional development; ethics; cultural sensitivity, the public interest; and, professionalism. Key topics will include: using reflective practice to practise journalism at an advanced level; applying knowledge of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance Journalism Code of Ethics to ensure students' journalism practice is professional and ethical; developing advanced journalism research techniques to underpin journalistic or journalism studies inquiry; using advanced research techniques and critical appraisal to select sources and narrative techniques appropriate to students' chosen project and relevant communities. Students will learn how to integrate theory and practice to research and report advanced journalism or journalism studies projects which are research inspired and contribute to journalism in the public interest.

Additional professional development concepts will be explored such as: making the most of journalism mentors, developing journalistic online presence, webpage development, improving journalism research and critical appraisal skills, and reflective practice in journalism.


Assessment task 1: Advanced Journalism Project Proposal


a, b and d

Weight: 10%

500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Newsworthiness of topic 20 a 6.2
Suitability of proposed journalism innovation 10 d 1.2
Depth of explanation of significance for diverse audiences 20 b 3.1
Originality of topic 20 a 2.2
Feasibility of proposal 10 a 2.3
Relevance and diversity of proposed talent & sources 20 a 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Professional journalism reflection & industry pitch


b, c, d and e

Weight: 30%

1000 words and five-minute pitch to industry

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of reflection on the role of a journalist 15 d, e 2.2
Sensitivity of reflection on journalism's relationship with Indigenous communities 10 b, e 4.1
Relevance of discussions on journalism's role in a multicultural society 10 b, e 3.1
Relevance of research approaches 20 c, d 2.3
Depth of reflection on ethical, social and legal issues arising from the project 12 e 5.1
Creativity of pitch to industry 33 e 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Advanced Journalism Project


a, b, c and d

Weight: 60%

5000 words or the audiovisual equivalent of 5000 words: 12-15 minutes of television or video, 20 to 30 minutes of audio/radio journalism.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Originality of ideas 20 a, c 1.2
Strength of evidence of professionalism of practice 10 a 5.1
Relevance of journalism or research to Indigenous and non-indigenous communities 10 b 4.1
Relevance of journalism or research to multicultural communities 10 b 3.1
Relevance to chosen audience 10 b 6.1
Degree of media or research innovation 20 c, d 6.2
Effectiveness of project management 20 a 2.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at is essential in this subject. Classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential work-shopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. A roll will be taken at each class. Students who have more than two absences from class will be refused final assessment (see Rule 3.8).?

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for you to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.