So, as you probably know, for the past three years I’ve been studying journalism at the University of Gloucestershire. However when it comes to telling people this, half the time, they either don’t know what journalism means or they don’t understand what I’ve been studying for the past three years. So, it’s about time I dedicated a blog post to my journalism degree for my confused friends, or for anyone who’s considering pursuing a journalism degree in the near future.
What is journalism?
Journalism can be anything from magazine and newspaper writing, right through to broadcasting news on the radio or television. A journalism degree opens doors to a range of careers where your creative writing, research and communication skills are invaluable and put to good use.
What modules do you study?
The two core subjects I studied in my first year were ‘Media Law’ and ‘News gathering for Journalists’. You’re eased into the degree by learning about the do’s and dont’s of reporting and how to find stories, where to look for news and subsequently how to creatively tell your story. Even though my first year didn’t count towards my final grade, it was the best decision to go to (pretty much) all of my lectures; it really helped build my knowledge, skills and expertise.
My second year was all about applying what I’d learnt in my first year and it was a lot more independent. I started to really enjoy my degree as the modules were better suited to me compared to my first year where I struggled to find my niche. Some of my favourite modules I undertook were: Politics for Journalists, Making Magazines and News Practice.
Now, in my third year, it’s even more independent than my second. Writing my dissertation which I decided to base on the media’s representation of the Royal family really did consume most of my first semester. ‘News days’ have also played a big part of my third year where we mimic a real life news room, and play the role of editors, producers and reporters to create radio and TV bulletins.
Advice to those looking to study journalism…
- Start a blog, set up professional social media accounts, network and showcase your skills now! Start making connections and contacts – it’ll be a huge help down the line.
- The more work experience you do the better. I know I’ve already spoken about the importance of work experience which you can read here, but it was literally one of the best things I’ve done throughout my three years at university. It helped me so much in terms of the direction I want to take after university.
- Go that extra mile wherever and whenever you can, it really does get noticed.
Has your degree set you up well for a career?
Yes and no. Yes because I’ve developed a range of skills in many different areas of journalism which means I have the option of working in a variety of fields. However, no because journalism is a competitive industry and it’s still hard to break into even with a degree. But, do I regret my choice of degree? Not in the slightest.
Take a look at the video below which explains a little bit more about the journalism course at the University of Gloucestershire.
So now if anyone asks “what do you mean a journalism degree?” I can point them to this post! I hope its been helpful if you’re looking to study journalism in the future, and if you have any other questions feel free to write them in the comments below or tweet me @sophiejourno.