Having come to Staffordshire University through clearing, I can now honestly say that I’m so glad I did. I study an NCTJ accredited BA (Hons) Journalism degree, which is three years long.
Although Staffs wasn’t my first or second choice of University, it was the one of the only Universities that offered me a place through clearing, and what made that choice so easy was that the head of Print Journalism, remembered who I was.
I didn’t originally choose Staffs because it was so far away from my home, and other Universities which were NCTJ accredited were much closer.
To get anywhere within Journalism you will need NCTJ’s (National Council for the Training of Journalists). There is also a broadcast version of the NCTJ, the BCTJ and the Broadcast Journalism degree at Staffordshire is also accredited! In order to keep their NCTJ accreditation all universities have to undergo a review every two years from the NCTJ.
The NCTJ set out external exams, in Media Law, Public Affairs, Court Reporting and many more. Staffs set these exams within the framework of your degree, and if you pass them all first time you wont have to pay a penny to sit them.
In my opinion what sets Staffs out from the rest is that within your first year you are put out in Stoke and let loose to sink your teeth into some journalism. The staff treat you as actual journalists, and you start to off with modules in Law, Shorthand, Journalism in Practice and British Media. It is hoped that by the end of first year you will have got two NCTJ passes, in Media Law and 100wpm Shorthand, but its not a big deal if you haven’t there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
We also have StaffsLive which is our own online news site which current students get their stories published on. StaffsLive allows us to see how short deadlines are and how fast copy gets turned around. It functions as an actual news site, focusing on all genres news in Staffordshire. We are encouraged to write reviews of local bands, report on events and report on the courts and to submit them to StaffsLive.
In the second year you have three core modules, Journalism in Practice 2, Reporting Courts and Councils (which includes a Public Affairs exam) and Magazine Writing and Business or Production Journalism. You get to pick one module of your choice in second year and this is where you can begin to decide what area of journalism you want to specify in; sports, PR, music, celebrities etc.
The second year contains three NCTJ exams, Public Affairs, Reporting and Writing and either Magazine Business or Production Journalism dependent on your choice.
I am just about to finish my second year and go into my third, and I’m really excited for the final year project that we have to do, which can be on any topic of our choosing. We have a StaffsLive module and our final NCTJ qualification to submit; the portfolio. We also get to choose one final module to study in either the first or second semester!
I hope that this has helped anyone wanting to know more about the Journalism degree at Staffordshire, if you want to know any more about the specifics of the course feel free to click here.