Journalism studies at a Bachelor’s level (B.A.)
The Bachelor of Journalism degree is divided into eighteen units which are to be studied over eight semesters. Modules include studies in journalism, a one-year traineeship (Volontariat) and complementary subjects offered within other degree programmes. Furthermore, students also work within the institute's training newsroom. The training newsroom is an important component of the journalism programme in Dortmund. Here, students work for the institute’s own publications while learning about editorial workflows, teamwork and practical journalistic expertise.
After four semesters students complete a 12-month traineeship within a media company, after which students return to the institute for two semesters during which time they complete their Bachelor thesis. Students will need to complete a total of 240 credit points during their studies. Graduating students obtain a "Bachelor of Arts."
The main aim of the programme is to educate students so they are qualified as journalists to report on current events. The programme covers reporting for newspapers, news agencies, broadcast, and online and intends to convey a mixture of both theory and practical elements:
- Basics in journalism production for print and electronic media;
- The capability to understand complicated issues and make such issues accessible to an audience in journalistic form;
- Communicative and social competencies;
- Knowledge of societal contexts with the ability to report competently and critically on current events across diverse fields and from varying perspectives;
- Reflective capabilities and ethical competency to be able to review and contextualise events journalistically and to develop a critical attitude towards one’s own actions as a journalist.
The Bachelor programme is divided into two disciplines: the main subject journalism and a complementary subject to enable students to specialise in a chosen field - including culture, social or economic sciences. Interdisciplinary collaboration is an indispensable element of the journalism course. Students undertaking the bachelor programme can therefore choose between the following additional subjects:
- English studies
- German philology
- Music science
- Sports science
- Political science (Ruhr University Bochum and University Duisburg-Essen)
- History (Ruhr University Bochum)
- Law (Ruhr University Bochum)
- Theology (Ruhr University Bochum)
- Catholic Theology
- French (Ruhr University Bochum)
Career opportunities for graduates
To date, around 1,000 graduates have successfully completed the journalism programme in Dortmund. A graduate survey indicated almost 40 percent of past students’ work within the broadcast media sector, around 30 percent for daily newspapers, about 10 percent in press offices, with the remainder employed at news agencies, magazines and elsewhere within the media sector. The trend towards freelancing has substantially increased over the past few years, not least because of the declining job market. Nonetheless, the Dortmund model of journalism education has held up exceptionally well in the job market. The integration of a traineeship into the course, a wide-ranging tertiary journalism education, participation in specific projects and the incorporation of a second scientific subject lead to a high acceptance of Dortmund journalism graduates.