MCH8061 : Professional Sub-editing

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


-       To provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the purpose and practice of developing and maintaining a house style and of the ethical implications of the process.
-       To provide students with the ability to edit copy (material intended for publication) for a variety of print and new media publications to ensure its accuracy and to identify, attract and engage various audiences.
-       To develop an ability to write accurate, engaging, informative headlines and picture captions.
-       To develop a critical understanding of the purpose and practice of newspaper design and the ability to apply these principles in a manner appropriate to the content and style of publication for the target audience.

This module introduces students to the editorial production processes in print journalism and the new media sector, and develops skills which continue to be in demand within the industry. It will develop, primarily through workshop sessions, the skills of copy-editing, proof reading and clear, concise, accurate writing involved in preparation for publication, applying these to news, features, and other newspaper, magazine and website content. It encourages a critical awareness of the need for, and develops the creative skills necessary to produce, accurate and ethical copy, combined with functional and engaging design in the context of print publications. A critical awareness of key ethical and legal issues relating to the representation and inclusion of diverse groups will be integrated into every facet of the curriculum.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Working methods and developing house styles
•       Editing news, features and other content for newspaper, magazines and web sites
•       Writing headlines
•       Using photographs and art and writing captions
•       Legal and ethical aspects of sub-editing and the demands of transnational publication
•       The elements of newspaper and magazine design
•       Integrating design and content and the diverse traditions in different countries and cultures.
•       Principles of web design

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1158:00158:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures in the module will introduce and develop the concepts, problems and issues involved in the editorial production process and the identification of and engagement with particular and diverse audiences.
The workshops will provide students with the opportunity to develop the professional skills and creativity required to prepare material for publication and design and produce a publication.
Students will produce a portfolio of work which is intended to demonstrate their achievements in the context of professional study, and enhance their employability, or career.

The assessment strategy will be presented to the students as an opportunity for them to demonstrate their knowledge of the editorial production process and their ability to apply the range of skills required to effect that process.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M15News report
Written exercise2M15International briefs report
Written exercise2M15Feature piece
Design/Creative proj2A40Redesigning a newspaper or supplement
Report2A15Reflective report, 750 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Three sub-editing exercises: The student is given raw copy containing errors of fact, grammar and spelling and material raising ethical issues and be expected to edit it to a set length and to render it suitable for publication.
Exercise 1 is a substantial news report featuring several different sources of information.
Exercise 2 is a series of international reports to be edited into a series of ‘briefs’
Exercise 3 is a substantial feature on a controversial subject raising issues of fair and accurate representation.

Redesigning in a 4-page tabloid format a newspaper or newspaper supplement for a new audience.

A critically reflective report on the redesign and production of the newspaper. (750 words)

The assessment methods relate closely to key elements in the module’s outline of work (above). The assessments are designed to allow students to demonstrate their professional skills and creativity in preparing material for publication and designing and producing a publication.
The assessment methods allow students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts relating to the presentation of information accurately, ethically and in a manner likely to engage a particular audience.
It allows them to demonstrate their ability critically to evaluate material for publication and creatively to apply the key concepts to the editing and design process..
It will also provide them with a portfolio of work which will allow them to demonstrate their achievements to a prospective employer.

Reading Lists