I came to the University of Sheffield in 2016 with the dreams and hopes of studying journalism. I had previous experience in magazine journalism and I had dabbled with editing news videos, but to me – this was the chance to truly become a professional.
Now, I pay £9,000 a year to study and I really believe in getting my money’s worth. I’ve heard too many ‘horror’ stories of students paying thousands just to read – students graduating and not being able to say what they’ve learnt. I was even advised to not expect to get much out of it.
Journalism at University of Sheffield
However, my experience of studying Journalism at Sheffield has been the complete opposite. I chose Sheffield because of its excellent reputation – it was in the top five in the league tables for journalism and it was accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).Now it’s number one!
I have had excellent teaching from the tutors in my department – I cannot stand just being talked at and it has been so fulfilling to learn every part of the craft. My aim is to be a professional before even stepping into the workplace permanently. One of my favourite, but most challenging modules, is journalism skills.
— Sheffield Journalism (@sheffjournalism) December 5, 2018
In my first year, this module threw me into the deep end – I was given my own area in Sheffield, from which I had to find my own stories. I thought to myself, “I have never done this before and I am expected to carry it out to a professional standard?” I thought they were crazy and expected too much. However, it was a great learning curve and made me realise that being a journalist is not just a smooth story-telling experience – if you want people to take you seriously, you must be serious from the start.
From my first year I have had news days – eight hour working days during which we must produce live news, on the required platform, all day. What I love the most about my course is that you will experience different positions – I have been a general print reporter, to a news editor, to a radio news reporter. I have learnt skills such as coding, mobile journalism, scripting and voicing for radio, editing, filming.
However, I have also attained valuable knowledge in the areas of ethics, media law, court reporting and public administration. I am fully equipped to work in most, if not every area of journalism. I think a lot of people desire to go into media because of the notion of ‘glamour’ but if there is any university course that teaches you the ground work of journalism – it is Sheffield’s. The NCTJ accreditation is vital – I not only have excellent knowledge, but I’m employable as well.
My department is extremely helpful in assisting us to find good placement opportunities. We are always notified of upcoming placements, employment opportunities and other events that will benefit our careers. My course shapes me to think long-term and sets me up for success in many different areas – transferable skills such as communication, managing my time and multi- tasking, which is needed in all jobs.
Furthermore, above everything else, I have valued the support that my department gives. Before university, I was told it would be purely independent. However,the tutors on my course havemanaged to develop us immensely for independence, whilst still lending a helping hand. They are super friendly, have an excellent knowledge of their different fields, and give up their time to assist you. They challenge you and push you to be the best journalist rather than a student. I would not have chosen to study journalism anywhere else.
Written by current Sheffield University under grad, Courtney Carr