Core Module Information
Module title: Public Affairs

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: JAC07121
Module leader: Simon Pia
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Media and Humanities


Description of module content:

In this module you will learn about the reporting requirements in the UK for covering elections, political events and meetings, sourcing stories and quotes from government departments and non-governmental organisations such as charities and lobby groups. You will also learn about a journalist’s view of the political process, tiers of government and devolved governments, and about the social, economic and political factors, which both create and frame the news. You will study newsgathering for issue-based social policy and human rights stories, as well as the challenges of working on an international story. The role of the journalist in the parliamentary lobbying system will be looked at. You will deconstruct examples of best practice in campaigning and investigative journalism, to understand the construction of a story. The interplay of the roles of the reporter as messenger, informant, interpreter, gatekeeper, investigator and campaigner will be looked at in each aspect of public affairs. You will visit the Scottish parliament, which will help scope the journalism practices of reporting social, economic and political stories and identify key journalists and reporting trends in each of these areas.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Develop insight into application of policy knowledge to source original and newsworthy ideas
LO2: Summarise journalistic constraints during an election.
LO3: Describe social, economic and political newsgathering
LO4: Explore the political process and tiers of government in the UK
LO5: Examine examples of best practice in campaigning journalism.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Simon Pia
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This weekly class will combine 1 hour of lectures with one hour of tutorials and workshops (covering LO 1-5). This module will engage students in reporting activities (LO 1-5). Students will analyse a range of topics relevant to a wide audience and will gain experience in political and public affair reporting (LO 1-5). As a practice based module the main learning method is experiential learning.

Formative Assessment:
You will undertake both formative and summative assessments. Formative assessment will be provided in class through feedback from the tutor and regular peer review. This formative feedback will inform your first summative assessment.

Summative Assessment:
Your first summative assessment of 1500 words will require you to demonstrate policy and political newsgathering and knowledge (LO 1, 3,4). The second summative assessment, an essay also totalling 1500 words, will allow you to demonstrate a critical understanding of the issues surrounding public affairs for journalists. (LO 2-5)

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 12
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 176
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Project - Written 60 1-5 13 HOURS= 00.00, WORDS= 2000
Essay 40 1-5 10 HOURS= 00.00, WORDS= 1500
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader