Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Bachelor of Journalism: Program Details

In the four-year Bachelor of Journalism program, students complete 60 credits, with 12 credits required in each of the first and second years, and 18 credits required in each of the third and fourth years.

  Required courses Elective courses
Year 1 and 2 8 (24 credits) 12 (36) credits
Year 3 and 4 12 (36 credits) 8 (24 credits)
Years 1–4 totals 20 (60 credits) 20 (60 credits)

Total credits for degree = 120

Years 1 and 2 program and course description

In first and second year courses, the program emphasizes composition skills and media /communication literacy. The curriculum emphasizes the basics of reporting, writing and storytelling in different media formats and an introduction to the theoretical and historical foundations of journalism. First and second year courses will be offered every year.

Years 3 and 4 program and course description

The emphasis in the senior years enables students to develop expertise in multi-media and multi-format journalism. Students will also have more opportunity to concentrate on developing expertise in specific reporting subjects or beats, reinforced by additional course work in other disciplines. Upper-level journalism courses will rotate every two years to offer more choice. Two senior core courses (JOUR 3700: Media Law and Media Ethics, and JOUR 3520: Research Methods) and some writing-intensive and production courses will be offered every year. Journalism students will be advised to complete a senior project course (JOUR 4750). The Beat Reporting course (JOUR 3230) is a shell course, covering the basics of beat reporting while enabling students to specialize in subjects of their choice.

Recommendations for elective courses

Both journalism courses and electives are selected in consultation with the program chair. Students should use their electives to develop a particular specialty, or help fill in gaps in their general knowledge. For instance, students seeking to enhance their writing skills may develop a concentration in courses offered through the English Department. Similarly, the Departments of Philosophy, History, Geography, Sociology, and Political Science offer a number of 3000 and 4000 level courses that would enable students to enhance their knowledge of Canadian history, politics, and social structure. These requirements reflect the value that TRU places on a broadly-based education in the Humanities, the Sciences and Social Sciences, and Business. In addition to the list of recommended Communication and New Media courses noted in the chart below, we recommend that students in the Bachelor of Journalism program select a wide range of courses, in particular those with depth in Canadian content, and several writing-intensive courses.

Program structure and course schedule

The boxes that follow detail the journalism courses and their distribution over the four-year period of the degree program. Students entering the program at the third year have different program requirements as explained in a separate box. The Bachelor of Journalism with a Concentration in Public Relations has different program requirements.

Year 1 and 2
Eight required courses (24 credits)
CMNS 1160 Introduction to Communications
CMNS 2160 Mass Comm. and Popular Culture
JOUR 2200 Introduction to Reporting Skills
JOUR 2210 Introduction to News Photography and Videography
CMNS 2290 Professional and Business Writing
JOUR 2060 Introduction to Multimedia
JOUR 2020 Media Theory and History
VISA 1500 Introduction to Visual Culture
Year 1 and 2
Recommended electives (total of 36 credits)
CMNS 1290 Introduction to Technical Writing
ENGL 1100 or ENGL 1110 or equivalent
CMNS 2200 Technology and Communication
CMNS 2180 Social Networks and Internet Memes
CMNS 2170 Interpersonal Communication