Digital Media Communications (Journalism)

Level 5 QQI Award Journalism 5M2464


This is a Full-time One Year course which runs from September to May (4 days each week) Monday to Thursday. Exact details of the timetable will be given out to students during the induction process prior to class commencement in September.


This course will allow its participants explore and influence the world of modern digital communications through media content production. Students will learn skills such as: digital photography, digital film recording and editing, radio and podcast production and an understanding of the interconnectivity of modern digital media communications .

Students will also be guided in the traditional foundation techniques used for effective researching and writing for both journalism and higher level academic studies.

Graduates of this course are prepared for progression to a wide range of higher level 7 and level 8 courses as well as for employment.


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Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent
  • A Full Level 4 QQI Award (or equivalent)
  • For mature applicants (aged 21 or over) - appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English require level B1 competency on the CEFR language framework. Applicants may be required to undergo English language testing to establish their language competency.

Course Modules

  • Media Analysis
  • Research Skills for Journalism
  • Writing Skills for Journalism
  • Technical Skills for Journalism
  • Radio Programme Production
  • Film Production
  • Digital Photography
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
Module Information

Module Information

Journalism for New Media

Level 5 QQI Award: Journalism (5M2464)

Course Content: (Module Names and Codes)


Media Analysis (5N1298)

If you have ever wondered why some stories dominate the headlines and other go under the radar, Media Analysis will help you to understand what makes a story newsworthy.  This component considers who owns and controls the media, who frames the message, and asks the question; how savvy are the audience? Are the audience easily manipulated, or can they identify media bias? You will also learn about current media legislation, and reflect on the legal, ethical and moral responsibilities of media practitioners. This module aims to make us better and more effective producers and users of media content.

Assessment: Project (60%), Examination – Theory (40%).

Research Skills for Journalism (5N2443)

The basis of good journalism is thorough, careful research. If you need to find out more about a story, you will need to know who to ask and what to ask them. As part of this subject you will learn how to make contacts, ask the right questions and conduct an interview from start to finish. You will learn about developing a ‘nose’ for a good story and you will gain an understanding of how the analysis of raw data such as crime statistics can form a great article. Classes will be a blend of discussion, active research and group work.

Assessment: Assignments (60%), Project (40%).

Writing Skills for Journalism (5N2435)

The traditional skills of good, careful writing that can engage an audience and get a story across is vital for any journalist. Learners will spend classes writing news, opinion, features and reviews and also learn how to structure their writing, use good quotes and tailor their articles to different audiences, such as mainstream, alternative and tabloid. Learners will compose articles from start to finish and will benefit from consistent feedback. Learners will also spend time reading articles by great (and not great) journalists and will learn from their techniques and their mistakes.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (70%), Assignment (30%).

Technical Skills for Journalism (5N2463)

An article may be well researched and skilfully written but to be a great article it has to be perfectly edited. Learn how to restructure work so that it is sharp and focused. Write great headlines and captions and pick the perfect photos to accompany all articles. Learn how to recognise good design and to understand how online and print publications appeal to an audience through the use of design and layout. Classes will be spent editing articles for style and grammar, searching online picture libraries and applying design theory to practice.

Assessment: Assignments (60%), Project (40%). 

Radio Programme Production 5N1379

Radio Programme Production: Working individually and in teams, you will produce a range of items for radio and podcasting formats including jingles, scripted voice recordings, studio interviews and group discussions. Instruction in audio production methods, from script consultations to studio operational skills, is delivered both one-to-one and in small groups. All assignment items are recorded in fully digital industry-standard audio recording studios. 

Note: for the duration of the course, students will have free licenced access to Adobe Audition recording and editing software to use in the college or at home.

Assessment: Assignment (30%); Portfolio / Collection of Work (50%); Theory Exam (20%).


Film Production (5N0637)

Explore the process of developing and producing a film production from concept to final film clip. Learn how to script, prepare, plan, use professional digital cameras and edit your footage using industry standard software (Adobe Premiere Pro ). This component will provide the learner with a portfolio piece that they have written, directed, operated camera and edited.

Assessment:  Project (40%), Assignment (60%).

Digital Photography (5N1270)

Using industry-standard software, learn the skills of digital photography ad image production for use online and in print documents. This programme module aims to facilitate the learner to acquire a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of digital photographic production. Learners will develop practical, critical and creative skills in the production of digital photographic images.

Assessment: Project (30%)  Collection of Work (40%), Learner Record (30%).

Communications (5N0690)

Gain the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to communicate verbally and non-verbally in standard everyday tasks and work-related situations, operating independently and under general supervision.

Assessment:  Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Skills Demonstration (50%).

Work Experience (5N1356)

You will prepare for work placement in a relevant vocational area through an evaluation of your skills set, the development of a CV, and an understanding of current workplace legislation. An integral part of this component is developing the skills required for a successful job search; therefore, is it your responsibility to secure your placement. On completion of your Work Placement of at least 10 days (or 60 hours), you will reflect, review and consider your future career options.

Assessment:  Portfolio/Collection of Work (60%), Skills Demonstration (40%).


  • Level 5 QQI Award Journalism (5M2464)

Special Features

This course is supported by FIT, which offers students the opportunity to acquire essential skills to gain employment. Students are given training in job interview techniques and CV preparation.

Free full suite of Adobe Creative Cloud Software for all students on this course for one year to facilitate portfolio and assessment work. Training in Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition and Adobe Lightroom within course subjects.

All DFEi students are provided with an M365 account, which gives them access to the tools and resources needed to deliver assessment work while attending their course. M365 Apps include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, outlook and OneDrive.

Graduates of this course will have a portfolio of Text, Video and Radio/Podcast material.

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Work Experience is mandatory for all of our full-time Level 5 courses. Students are required to source their own work placement but will be assisted in this by the work experience teacher.  The work placement is usually for a period of 10 days or a minimum of 60 hours.  Students usually find the work experience element of the course to be invaluable and should bear in mind that a successful work placement can sometimes lead to further opportunities.

Additional Information


Assessment techniques will be used to assess the knowledge and skills that students will have achieved on successful completion of modules:

  • Student Record
  • Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination (Written)
  • Project
  • Skills Demonstration

All assignments are submitted electronically.  Therefore all students need access to a device such as a computer/laptop.

A full major award is granted on passing the relevant eight components.  On successful completion of each component, you will be awarded a pass, a merit or a distinction grade. See for more details


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Progression Opportunities

DFEi: Graduates may progress to the Level 6 QQI Advanced Certificate in Television and Digital Film at DFEi.

Elsewhere: Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to year one of a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities using their full QQI Level 5 major award. Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students' responsibility to consult with the relevant HEI for information on the admissions process and any specific entry requirements. Students may also refer to the individual HEI prospectus or may also refer to the QQI FET section of the CAO website.

Examples of CAO progression opportunities are listed below.

This course has a strong record of progression with graduates going on to study Media at DCU, TU Dublin and IADT. 

Progression Examples

BA New Media Studies (DL837)

BA English and Media Studies (DL849)

BA Film - National Film School (DL843)

BA Television - National Film School (DL844)

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology -

BA Arts (MH101)

BA Media Studies (MH109)

Bachelor of Social Science (MH107)

Maynooth University -

BA Arts (DN520)

BA Humanities (DN530)

BA Social Policy and Sociology (DN750)

BSc Criminology with Psychology (DN620)

BSc Psychology (DN720)

University College Dublin -

BA Journalism (TU985) 

BA Film and Broadcasting (TU983) 

BA Creative Digital Media (TU981) 

BA Media Production and Digital Arts (TU982) 

Technological University Dublin -

BA Communication Studies (DC131)

BA Journalism (DC132)

Dublin City University -

BA Arts (CK101)

BA Government and Political Science (CK122)

University College Cork -

Bachelor of Law (TR004)

Trinity College Dublin -

BA Arts (Journalism) (GY119)

BA Arts (GY101)

BA Arts (English and Creative Writing) (GY111)

BA Arts with Human Rights (GY113)

BSc Social Science (GY123)

Galway University -

Career Paths

Graduates usually choose to advance to further studies, while others have gained employment as freelance or staff journalists, writing or editing content for online and print publications. They may also pursue careers as content creators for website and social media clients, communications offficers, podcast, radio and other broadcast media.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly

Alex Doyle

Class of 2020
Now studying Journalism in DCU

I quickly realised after just weeks of starting in Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute (DFEi) that this was the perfect place for me; the balance between theory and practical learning was…

Read More

Alex Doyle

Class of 2020
Now studying Journalism in DCU

I quickly realised after just weeks of starting in Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute (DFEi) that this was the perfect place for me; the balance between theory and practical learning was just right. I appreciated the political component of the course as it opened me up to different areas of journalism. But what I loved most was the continuous assessment approach. There were end of year exams which would account for a certain percentage of your overall grade. But apart from that, the rest of the year consisted of assignments and projects. Other modules on the course included writing, technical and research skills for journalism.

In February of this year while I was still working towards completing my level 6 course, RTÉ News offered me the chance to work on their Election 2020 coverage. I had been recommended by the brilliant entertainment team. I was delighted, nervous and excited to be back in the newsroom. As a 21-year-old student, it was a big deal for me to be covering an election at my age and at such an early point in my career. I don’t believe I’d have been afforded this opportunity without the help of Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute.

From the get-go when I landed in a PLC course I’ve been championing them ever since to whoever will listen to me. They are brilliant and open up a lot of avenues and possibilities for those who   them – but only if you put the work in.

This is an extract taken from the Irish Graduate Blog. Read the full post. 

Course Coordinator

Laura Fryday

Laura Fryday

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly