Monday 15 February 2016

Jenn Stowell, Multimedia Journalism graduate

The employment prospects of students at the University of Northampton have been given a boost after a prestigious industry body extended its accreditation of the BA Multimedia Journalism degree course.

The Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) accredited the University’s Multimedia Journalism BA (Hons) course in spring 2015, confirming it is relevant and responsive to the demands of the broadcast industry. Following a successful review, the BJTC has now extended the accreditation for a further three years.

In addition to studying an industry-approved degree, the accreditation means students will be offered the opportunity to apply for a BBC placement scheme which prioritises BJTC students’ applications ahead of standard applications. Kate Williams, Subject Leader in Journalism and Media at the University, said: “I am delighted we’ve received the full three years’ accreditation from the BJTC.

“We are proud of the connections our degree has with industry. We are frequently visited by high-profile journalists to ensure our students are receiving excellent advice in contemporary journalism practice.”

Final-year undergraduate, Jenn Stowell, pictured, has benefited from the course’s close links with industry, after she secured a work placement with the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).

She said: “BFBS don’t advertise work placements, as they rarely take on people for work experience. But thanks to the contacts our academics have with the organisation, I was able to secure a placement.

“I spent the time shadowing reporters who were out covering stories, including one about the RAF Benevolent Fund at the Churchill War Rooms, where I got to meet from Second World War veterans.

“I also helped to cover the Inter Services Golf Championship, for a full 12 hours in the sunshine – it was like nothing I’d done before – and wrote articles for the website.

“Throughout my time with the BFBS I was able to see how a news organisation works on a day to day basis, and it reinforced that I had made the right choice when choosing my career.

“Without doing placements I would not have the insight into the world of journalism that I have. Getting experience is a key part of succeeding in most jobs; the more you do the more appealing you are to employers when you’re applying for jobs.”

Jenn added: “My course is fun and interesting – there are new challenges each week, just like in the professional world. Doing as much work experience as we do enhances the things we are taught by our lecturers and therefore will help us when we get jobs. If people want a hands-on insight into journalism then I think my course is very good at doing that.”

The Multimedia Journalism BA (Hons) degree combines multi-disciplinary training in radio, TV, newspaper, magazine and online journalism, with academic study, and aims to provide students with professional skills in journalism suited to a world where communication technologies play an increasingly central role.

The BJTC works in partnership with all the main employers in the UK broadcast industry: the BBC, ITV, ITN, Associated Press, Sky News, Channel 4 News, National Union of Journalists, Creative Skillset, Reuters and The Radio Centre.

Its primary responsibility is to accredit UK journalism courses within Higher Education. Council members are all experienced employers and trainers who participate in forum meetings to discuss the development of training programmes, to improve the skills and knowledge across the broadcast journalism industry.

Its accreditation standards are based on direct and practical experience and all accredited courses are very much valued by teachers and students, employers and employees, as they are relevant and responsive to the operational demands of the broadcast industry.​

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