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Why this course?
This highly work-focused course offers an exciting combination of theoretical and practical study and training. It is fully accredited by the industry's training body, the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and offers a high quality professional course with emphasis on attention to your strengths and weaknesses - an approach which gives our graduates a tremendous advantage in this hugely competitive job market. Sometimes the hardest part of the job is getting into the industry in the first place! Industry training places are few and far between so the most reliable way is to do an NCTJ accredited course - which leads to a qualification recognised throughout this country as well as abroad.
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Our cohorts have a 100% success rate (Source: DLHE 2008/09) in obtaining journalism jobs very quickly after graduation. Many, in fact, have a choice of several job offers before the end of the course.
Most have gone on to become reporters for local newspapers. Others have gone into national newspapers and news agencies, magazine journalism, television and radio journalism (including Channel 4 and BBC) and public relations - including working with the Labour Party, DMU and several police and council press offices. There are a number of editors, deputy editors and news editors among our alumni, and former students have scooped an array of prestigious awards.
You will follow the NCTJ syllabus, and take NCTJ exams in law, public affairs, journalism and shorthand and if you choose one of the specialist pathways you will also take a module in magazine journalism, sports reporting or sub-editing and design.
Emphasis is on practical research, investigation and writing exercises and you will be expected to spend some of the Christmas and Easter vacations with a local newspaper. You are also offered training in, and encouraged to become conversant with new technologies and media.
In addition to undertaking NCTJ exams, you will be expected to engage with the academic issues surrounding the world of the journalist, plus the commercial concerns relevant to all industries. Issues in Contemporary Journalism runs through both semesters and covers a range of subject matter from marketing techniques to ethics. You will have the opportunity to follow your own academic interests in a wide range of journalism-related topics for your dissertation.
A PG Dip/MA is recognised internationally and, as well as opening doors to subject-specific careers, gives those who have achieved it all the advantages of obtaining a postgraduate degree. Many newspapers now require prospective junior reporters to have passed the NCTJ's preliminary exams before starting work. As well as helping candidates get jobs, those who gain appropriate employment and register with the NCTJ are able to take the National Certificate after a further 18 months - the route to becoming a fully qualified senior journalist.
The course is rigorous and runs on a full-time basis from the end of September to the beginning of June for the PG Dip. It comprises eight modules through each semester. You are also expected to undertake a substantial amount of journalistic work on your own initiative away from the university - especially in the second semester. You should view this as a full-time course and exercises can take place between 9am-9pm Monday to Friday although occasionally weekend or later working may be required.
The course is committed to small student cohorts and individual attention for each student as well as good quality facilities. That means our students do well in tough external exams and gain skills which help them get that all important step on the first rung of the journalistic ladder.
There are two key strands of assessment. One is the NCTJ exams, for which there is substantial preparation, including mock exams. The other is assessment for the PG Dip, which includes a large element of continuous assessment as well as traditional essays, seminar presentations and projects. In the second semester you will produce a weekly 'newspaper'.
If you choose the MA option you will undertake additional work in research methods and submit a final dissertation at the end of September.
The journalism staff have substantial experience both in the industry and in passing that expertise on to aspiring journalists. Most staff also still practice in the areas they teach; they include:
* Ali Haynes LLB MBA DipM is Principal Lecturer in Journalism and the Course Leader. Ali is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has over 20 years' experience in the industry. She has won many reporting, design and editing awards, and also has extensive experience of PR, specialising in campaigning organisations
* John Dilley has wide-ranging experience in the media industry, with expertise in consumer magazines, radio and the b2b sector. He has worked predominantly in the regional press where he was a weekly editor for Emap. He also helped establish the group's award-winning journalism training centre. He is now Director of the newly-established Leicester Centre for Journalism
* Ian Scott, former Deputy Editor of the Nottingham Evening Post, has substantial experience on both local and national newspapers. He is also a member of the Guild of Editors.
Typically, you will be a graduate who has, during your time at university, demonstrated a commitment to a career in publications, perhaps through involvement with a student magazine or work experience in the media. You should have:
* A good (2:2 or above) Honours degree, or equivalent
* Evidence of commitment to a career in journalism
* Knowledge and awareness of current affairs
* A minimum of one week's work experience in a professional newsroom.
Exceptionally, and where you meet the minimum entry standards of the NCTJ, applications will be accepted from non-graduates. It is anticipated this would apply to mature entrants with acceptable and relevant work experience. If you do not meet the criteria in other ways you should contact the Course Leader for advice. You will be required to complete a written application which will form the basis for selection for interview. At the interview stage you will be asked to take NCTJ tests in the use of language and current affairs. Those who complete the tests successfully will progress to panel interviews.
For progression to the MA, you must complete a satisfactory research proposal.
You are normally required to take an English Proficiency Test.
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