Journalism for New Media, TV and Radio: Pre-University

Level 5 QQI Award


This is a Full time one year course


This practical course gives students the skills, knowledge and confidence to start their career in the exciting world of Journalism for online, video, podcasting, TV, radio and print.

This course will explore the world of digital journalism which will include smartphone recording and editing, digital radio news production and the basics of journalism - such as researching, writing and legal procedures.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate
  • A Level 4 QQI Award
  • Mature applicants are welcome

Course Modules

  • Research Skills for Journalism
  • Writing Skills for Journalism
  • Technical Skills for Journalism
  • Media Analysis
  • Legal Practice and Procedures
  • Political Studies
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
  • Digital Movie Processing
  • Radio Programme Production
Module Information

Module Information

Journalism for the Digital Age

Level 5 QQI Award: Journalism (5M2464)

Course Content: (Module Names and Codes)


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%).  


Legal Practice and Procedures (5N1394)

As a journalist or broadcaster, you must be aware of how the law applies to your day to day work. You might find yourself in the Central Criminal Court reporting on a murder trial, or if you do not adhere to media law you might find yourself in court as a defendant!  Learn about the operation of the Irish court system, from the District to the Supreme courts. Find out about defamation and contempt of court; two laws essential for anyone working in today’s media. Learn about areas of law such as privacy which restrict what the media can tell its audience. Classes will comprise lectures, discussion, audio visual experiences and group work.

Assessment: Assignments (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).


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%).


Desktop Publishing (5N0785)

Using industry standard software, learn the skills of desktop publishing. Create and produce single page, double page and multi-page documents containing text and graphic images suitable for professional/commercial publication. All aspects from layout to printing including work flow, colour modes, file types and pre-print preparation are covered. Desktop Publishing is an integral component of modern Journalism. It is also used for preparing items for digital publication.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (70%), Examination - Theory (30%).


Political Studies (5N1837)

There is much interplay between the media and political worlds – the media provides a platform for politicians and political news and the political establishment recognises the media is an important channel of communication to the electorate. Journalists, therefore, need to be able to hold their own in mediating this critical area of everyday life, whether discussing stories of political interest in Ireland, Europe or further afield. Political Studies gives you the foundations upon which to build your knowledge of the political and to better equip you to practice in the media/political arena.

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


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 work place 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 own 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%).


Digital Movie Processing 5N1605

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to produce content using modern digital processing techniques and utilise key production methods in digital movie processing.

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

Radio Programme Production 5N1379

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to produce radio programmes and other radio broadcast materials to a standard suitable for a range of services at local, regional and national level.

Assessment: Assignment (30%), Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Examination - Theory (20%).


  • Level 5 QQI Award Journalism (5M2464)

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  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

Progression Opportunities

Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme to a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities.

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

Progression Examples

BA in English, Media and Cultural

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology(National Film School)

Bachelor of Arts

BA in Media Studies

National University of Ireland Maynooth

Bachelor of Arts

University College Dublin

BA in Journalism

TU Dublin - City Campus (formerly DIT)

BA in Media Studies

Dublin City 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.

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