Study Journalism in Malaysia

Everything you need to know about Journalism course in Malaysia
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journalism course in malaysia 2020

Categorised under the field of Mass Communication and Media, journalism is considered as one of the popular majors taken by students in Malaysia.

With the rising popularity, many best universities in Malaysia now offer journalism courses with diverse specialisations.

What Journalism is all about?

Journalism is basically an activity of producing and distributing reports about an event and is usually carried out by journalists.

Journalistic concepts and principles in each country differ in policy; in some countries, the media are controlled by the government, and in other countries, the media are private property. What makes this department interesting is not how it is produced or distributed.

What makes journalism different from other majors is that journalism graduates will carry along the journalistic principles upon graduation to apply in their career.

What characteristics make you fit for this course?

After deciding to choose journalism as your desired major, you also need to know what important characteristics are needed to study this course. Some of these characteristics play major parts of the journalistic principle.

Here are some important characteristics you need to have to be a journalism student:

1. Honesty
Honesty is the most important characteristic a journalist should have. As a journalist, you must hold fast to honesty because spreading lies through journalism is going to do injustice to the media.

2. Neutral
In exploring and producing news based on an event, you must be able to find a middle ground; do not support anyone or any party because you need to inform the incident or occurrence without taking sides.  

3. Strong determination
Studying journalism is not just a theory. You would also be required to study sensitive issues/news involved that could be challenging. You must have the determination to prioritize your responsibilities as a journalist.

4. Having an open mind
Having the characteristics of being open-minded is very suitable for this course. In looking at an issue/event, you must be able to put aside your "one-fit-all" stigma because there may be other factors that influence the issue/event.

Why should you study Journalism?

Let's look at the following reasons why you should totally consider pursuing Journalism:

1. Work on your English writing skills
Most of the journalism courses in Malaysian universities are taught in English. By majoring in journalism, you will be able to improve and polish your writing skills. It will be an added point if you want to be better in writing. Since journalism has different writing styles, you will also be introduced to a different set of writing techniques that are useful.

2. The broader scope of the world perspective
As we know, moving to the environment where we live and study will help open our eyes so that our perspective becomes wider. This will certainly have a positive impact on you when you are accustomed to seeing any issues with a broad perspective.

3. Having the opportunity to understand media law in Malaysia
Journalism, of course, is closely related to law. That way, studying journalism in Malaysia also means that you have to study the laws of journalism in Malaysia which will be slightly different from the laws of journalism in other countries.

What kind of subjects are taught in Journalism course?

Are you sure you have a strong determination to pursue your studies in journalism? Don't worry if you have no idea what the course is about, we will help you to find out a general overview of the subjects that you will learn.

Below are some of the courses structured by University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) that will generally be studied for 4 years majoring in journalism:

Year 1

  • Desktop Publishing 
  • English for Mass Communication 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Introduction to Advertising 
  • Introduction to Mass Communication 
  • Introduction to Political Science 
  • Introduction to Video Production & Editing 
  • Journalism Studies 
  • Multimedia Journalism 
  • National Language/Other Languages 
  • News Reporting and Writing 
  • Photojournalism 
  • Sun Zi's Art of War and Business Strategies 

Year 2

  • Advanced News Reporting and Writing 
  • Broadcast Journalism 
  • Business Journalism 
  • Co-curriculum 
  • Communication Research Methods 
  • Communication Theories 
  • Digital Communication Technology 
  • Feature Writing 
  • Introduction to Sociology 

Year 3

  • Elective I 
  • Final Year Project I 
  • Final Year Project II 
  • Industrial Training 
  • Media Law and Ethics 
  • Media Management 
  • Politics and The Media

Other universities may offer different courses. The above course is a course that is devoted to the Journalism major, which is more focused on tenacity in writing, speaking, and communicating.

How long will the programme take?

The duration of studies will depend on the university where the course that is taken. 

Course Level

Course Length

Diploma Courses

1-2 years

Undergraduate Courses

3-4 years

Master Courses 

1-2 years

What are the entry requirements?

Your eligibility depends not only on the institution but also on the current stage of your educational journey that you are in. Are you fresh out of secondary school? Or have you finished a Bachelor’s degree programme, and want to further your education in the field? Here is a brief overview of the typical entry requirements you need to meet per level of study:

Foundation

  • 5 credits including English in SPM or equivalent

Diploma

  • 3 to 5 credits including English in SPM or equivalent, or
  • At least 1 Principal Pass in STPM or equivalent, or
  • Certificate in relevant field

Bachelor’s degree

  • 5 credits in SPM or equivalent, and
  • Minimum CGPA of 2.00 or 2 Principal Passes in STPM or equivalent, or
  • Foundation or Diploma in related field (usually with minimum CGPA of 2.00)

Master’s degree

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in relevant field
  • Working experience may be required if the Bachelor’s degree is not an Honours degree
  • Some institutions may ask for a portfolio of your work (especially if you want to specialize in an area like visual communication)

Doctorate

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in related field, or
  • First Class Honours Bachelor’s degree with excellent CGPA of at least 3.70 (for direct Bachelor to PhD students)

How much are the tuition fees for Journalism course in Malaysia?

Here are the estimated fees of studying Journalism in Malaysia:

Study level

Estimated Fees (per year)

Foundation

< RM15,000

Diploma

RM20,000 - RM50,000

Bachelor’s Degree

RM50,000 - RM100,000

What are the job prospects for Journalism graduates?

A journalism graduate can work anywhere, such as newspaper offices, magazines, TV station publications, radio and many more.

In his assignment, journalists need to attend various events and meetings, conduct interviews, consult with experts or consultants. The following are selected career paths that can be taken from journalism majors:

  • Broadcaster journalist
  • Journalist magazine
  • Press Editor
  • Editor
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Reporter

The below table showcases the different types of jobs within Music studies and the expected salary in Malaysia according to PayScale:

Occupation Estimated Salary
Journalist RM40,200 per year
Content Writer RM33,400 per year
Copywriter RM39,000 per year
Editor RM50,400 per year
Content Manager RM40,000 per year

Best Universities in Malaysia that Offer Journalism Programmes

Now, after you understand all the information above, below are the universities in Malaysia that offer journalism course:

  1. Taylor’s University
  2. UCSI University
  3. Universiti Malaya (UM)
  4. Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC)
  5. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
  6. Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
  7. Curtin University, Malaysia
  8. Han Chiang College
  9. Monash University Malaysia
  10. Xiamen University Malaysia
  11. Quest International University Perak (QIUP)

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