What’s it like to do a Journalism degree?

Journalism student Amy

Amy is a third year Journalism student and a Widening Participation ambassador at City.

Photographing an Extinction Rebellion protest, interviewing a recipient of an OBE and talking to neuroscientists about autism are just three of the many things studying journalism has enabled me to do.

Journalism is great for transferable skills

Extinction rebellion protest

The communication, organisational and interpersonal skills you gain from the course are what many employers look for. Not to mention the fun and flexibility in writing, filming, recording and researching topics you find interesting.

Throughout the course so far, I have been given the opportunity to get stuck into intersectional and diverse stories that often get overlooked in journalism and having the freedom to do so is one of the many attractive things about this course.

What the modules cover

During first year, we covered a broad amount of subjects, which was useful to give a foundation of what journalism is really about. I loved the variety of learning about politics and current affairs in one class and setting up our own live TV show in another.

Two of the modules that ran throughout both terms of the first year and the majority of second year have been Reporting &Writing and Audio & Video Journalism. In Reporting & Writing, I learnt how to adapt writing styles to be appropriate for the target publisher, from news writing to features and everything in between.

This module was one of the most similar to the working world; being set briefs and arranging interviews ourselves, all working towards a tight deadline.

If you’re anything like me and leave things to the last minute, you will be left frantically ringing strangers convincing them to agree to an interview. Then, spending nights transcribing and writing up the finished piece in the Guardian style, which is not as simple as it sounds – there’s a whole guide book!

As hectic as that may seem, the nature of the module builds upon time management skills and enables many enlightening conversations with interesting people. The skills you learn from this module will prepare you for many jobs in journalism and elsewhere!

One of my favourite modules is Audio & Video, as it allows me to experiment with cameras and editing software such as Burli and the Adobe Creative Cloud, giving a taste of the industry. During this module, expect to get very bored of hearing your own voice, cringe at seeing your face and laughing with coursemates as live shows go wrong but learning from each mistake along the way.

Both of these modules together give an idea of what different careers are available within the journalism field and create opportunities to experiment, learn and build upon skills. All the projects that I have done for these modules have helped me build a portfolio that employers have been impressed by.

What to do if you’re thinking of studying Journalism

There are so many diverse modules on this course which allow you to broaden your skills and find your niche. If you are thinking of studying journalism, I’d recommend reading as many articles and watching as much of the news as possible. Get a feel for what articles and writing styles you like, see how the main broadcasters present the news in different ways and find what interests you.

I’d also recommend blogging, vlogging or starting up podcasts, whatever appeals to you. See if there are any summer internships available or volunteer for a charity assisting within their media and communications team. Any experience is better than no experience, although you don’t need any prior knowledge to do well on the course, it does help!

Finally, look for scholarships and bursaries that either the university or outside sources may offer. There are many out there but here are two I have personally benefitted from:

Ultimately, the best advice I can give is to find what you enjoy, make friends who can also be your contacts in the field after university and don’t be afraid to try something new!

Read about fellow student Sam’s experience as a Journalism student here.

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