Critical Thinking in Practice


  • Module code: IMJ7004
  • Module title: Critical Thinking in Practice
  • Module leader: Yan Cong
  • Module tutors: Yan Cong
  • Module level: HE7
  • Credit value: 20
  • Pre-requisite modulesIMJ7001 & IMJ7002

  • Module Duration: 1 Trimester

MODULE OUTLINE –This module is designed to develop and extend knowledge and understanding of critical discourse that underpins discipline-specific practice. It pays particular attention to critical appraisal and evaluation in order to develop critical thinking skills. It will raise awareness of, and put into practice, a critical approach, challenging assumptions and values thus leading to the formulation of your own conclusions and insights. You will extend research and writing skills. The module enables student-led inquiry based on aspects of your practice and facilitates a deeper understanding of the critical contexts and frameworks that underpin your discipline. The module also serves to deepen your awareness of the necessary relationship between context, issue, story and narrative.


  1. Critical thinking skills including description/analysis/interpretation and evaluation
  2. Identification of key theoretical texts within a literature review
  3. Student led presentations of key texts
  4. Application of theory to practice to prepare for pre-production, fieldwork and post production of Advanced Practice project.
  5. Development of critical approaches
  6. Creative thinking techniques
  7. Theory in context – appropriate discourse relevant to programme specific fields
  8. Development of written proposals including topic and research strategy
  9. Audience engagement strategies
  10. Evaluating practice and outputs via journaling and critique
  11. Challenging assumptions and values; formulating new insights and conclusions.


LO1. Develop a critical framework for the study of a contemporary issue in the area of multi-media journalism.

LO2. Synthesise and critically evaluate the complex relationship between context, issue, story and narrative.

LO3. Present insightful and valid conclusions and creative recommendations for further research and personal development.

LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGY – This module is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, both face-to-face and online. Students are required to read widely in preparation for seminar discussion, and to participate in seminar debates. You will be supported by the Virtual learning Environment. You will be expected to actively participate in online discussions and demonstrate independence in your research from recognised academic sources outside of taught sessions. Individual tutorials will allow for guidance and feedback on progression within the module.

Hours per module:

Scheduled in class sessions – 20 hours
Independent study – 180 hours
Total 200

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT STRATEGY – Tutor-led seminars, tutorials and in-class discussion and activities provide opportunities for continuous formative feedback. Alongside this you will receive feedback on drafts of your written portfolio.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT STRATEGY – The single summative assessment takes the form of a portfolio of written items (project forms).


Portfolio of written outcomes (project forms) = 100%



  • Final deadline for story/project A is 3rd March midnight Beijing Time 
  • Final deadline for story/project B is 18th May midnight Beijing Time
  • Project forms must be submitted in a reply to a dedicated email thread that students will receive 2-3 days prior to deadlines.

Draft deadlines

  • Project A Research Questions due: 13 January, 2019
  • Project A Research Proposal draft due: 17 February, 2019 (latest)
  • Project A Research Questions due: 7 April, 2019
  • Project B Research Proposal draft due: 28 April, 2019 (latest)


The work for this module is the theory project form which consists of the following sections:

  • Sources
  • Research Questions
  • Research Proposal
  • Diary

Those sections have to be completed for submission with the whole project form. Let me explain what is required for the Research Questions and the Research Proposal:

Research questions are the questions that drive your project. They are the questions you are seeking to answer through the visual story that you are proposing. They are not to be mistaken with interview questions. You will have somewhere between 3–5 research questions, with the first one being the most general and directed at the context of the story, working your way down to more specific questions.

For example, if you were doing a visual story on HIV-AIDS victims in a particular village who have suffered poor health care, your research questions might look like this:

1. What is the current status of the HIV-AIDS pandemic in China?

2. How has government — central, regional, local — responded to the pandemic?

3. When and how did people in village X contract HIV-AIDS?

4. Why did people in village X receive inadequate health care?

You will now see that when constructed properly along these lines, your Research Questions can provide the structure for your Research Proposal. The Proposal (1500 words each) is an integral part of the project form, and is to be written like an academic essay, along the lines you did for AdRes, which means it has to be properly structured and referenced using the author:date system. In the Proposal you deal with the context of your story, and the research data that will inform your understanding of the issues in your story. It does not contain any production or practice-related issues, which are dealt with in your Production Brief.


  • Your work must be original. Any plagiarism or patch-writing will be warned and panelized.
  • The research questions must be relevant to the specific angle of your practical project
  • The research questions are not interview questions for your subjects. Research questions should cover the context and background of your project, which can be answered through secondary research.
  • Information obtained through interviewing your subjects of the project should not go into your research proposal.
  • Your research should be as thorough as possible– it should be carried out in the same way you conducted the literature review in Term 1.
  • Your research proposal must be written as an academic essay with at least 5 references. You must include at least 3 English sources in your research unless you can establish that there’s no relevant research in English language.
  • Your research proposal must be clearly structured. Your arguments should be supported by facts, data, evidences you found through your research.
  • You should use Harvard style for referencing. Both in-text referencing and a reference list are required.
  • English and grammar must be excellent throughout the project form.



This page compiles guidance for your MA module Advanced Practice 2 – IMJ7004, including information regarding deadlines, assessment submission requirements, and grading. Please read carefully. You should also refer to The University of Bolton’s Student Policy Zone and the Programme Handbook

You need to pass both Term 1 modules to continue to Term 2. Assignments must be handed in on time and to requirements. Penalties for late assignments are below:

  • Up to 7 calendar days late = 10 marks subtracted but if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than the pass mark for the assignment. (50%)
  • More than 7 calendar days late = 1 mark will be awarded. This means you will have one final chance to resubmit work on a refer status (6 weeks after the original deadline). Work submitted on a refer status is capped at the lowest grade (50%).

If you have serious mitigating circumstances, which means you need to defer your submission up to (4 weeks after the original deadline). You must provide documentary evidence (e.g. medical certificate). Please see your tutor or refer to the program handbook for details of how to submit mitigation documentation. Please come and see your tutor four weeks before the due date with any problems you may be having. 


You will be assessed on: A portfolio that consists of two project forms