I’ve been in my role as Digital Student Ambassador for quite some time now, and I realised this morning that I’m yet to actually write anything about what life is like on my course!
So I thought that this week, I would shed a little light onto what happens on the programme and what you can expect to be getting up to if you choose to take the course as I have.
First year on the Journalism degree is much like it is on any other course. It’s an introduction to uni life where you’re expected to adapt to different teaching methods, assessments and learn how to use various different pieces of equipment.
You study modules such as an introduction to public affairs, reporting reality, introduction to journalism and introduction to broadcast. All of these modules help to give you the fundamental grounding and knowledge that you will certainly need and draw upon in your following two years to develop and push yourself further.
I have to say that my personal highlight was the broadcasting module as it was something new and exciting, and learning how to use the radio studios and cameras to record TV pieces with was totally new to me. It’s still something I love doing even now in my final year.
The joy of my course is that it’s mainly assessed through coursework submissions, which removes the stress of having to revise for various exams, but it can also be a pain.
It usually falls so that a lot of deadlines are either on the same day or very close together, so there’s always a lot to do in order to make sure all of your work is submitted on time.
You learn a lot in first year and have you eyes opened as to how much you’re going to be learning about over the course of the degree: it’s not simply reading the news on camera and this is a good thing. The course is fascinating and never fails to bring up really interesting topics of conversation.
Second year is where you really start to work on your practical skills a lot more. After your introduction to all of the kit in the first year, second year is where you really start applying it.
Again, you have broadcasting modules but you also have news days in both TV and radio. These are when you go in to uni all day and put together a news bulletin that would be fit for national broadcasting. Everyone has to bring in a story for the day and you take on various different roles, from producer to director to presenter: there’s a role for everyone.
They’re very intense and full on days, and they tire you out physically and mentally, but they’re so much fun and they’re one of the highlights of my uni career as I mention here.
There is a step up in what’s expected of you and the workload intensifies but this is just part and parcel of any course.
You get to choose additional modules in second year, for example I chose work based learning. So I went out on two weeks of work experience as part of my degree and made some really good contacts through it, as well as gaining invaluable experience. There’s a law module to help keep you on top of your legal knowledge, as well as a reporting practices module where you get to research and write a news feature on a topic of your choice.
Third year is a further step up again.
The compulsory modules are two double modules in convergence portfolio and online and print production project.
For convergence, you have to make five news stories: one print, two radio and two TV, four of which you then have to reversion for the internet as well as writing an essay.
Print production involves writing a large feature article which you have to research and carry out interviews for yourself.
Online production involves making a story and then creating lots of additional multimedia pieces to add onto it, such as video, graphics, timelines and various other things.
You don’t have to do a dissertation, but you can choose the independent study module if you wish to.
You get two module choices in third year, and you can choose from cultures of the war on terror, sports journalism, independent study, media culture and more.
As you can tell from reading this, there’s so much that you cover during the course of the three years as a journalism student that by the time you have finished, you’re prepared to take on any job that comes your way.
And what’s more, you get helped along the way by lecturers who know the industry inside out and do everything that they can to help you to grow and fulfil your potential.
Hope this helps any prospective journalists get a bit more knowledge and insight into the course!