A Tour Around the Department of Journalism Studies
Hi, I'm Laura! I've just graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA in Journalism Studies. The three years I've spent in Sheffield were definitely some of the best ones in my life. I've met so many amazing people and have learned so much about journalism and the UK. I wanted to make this post so future journalism students can get to know a little bit more about the department before they come!
To start with, did you know that Sheffield is the #1 university in the UK for journalism? It is! In both The Guardian and The Times university league tables.
The department offers PhD, Masters and BA Journalism Studies degrees. The BA lasts for three years and alongside your university degree, you're also studying for a professional accreditation from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). What you learn in class is combined with what you need to know for the NCTJ qualification, so, don't worry, it won't feel like you're studying for two degrees!
Speaking of studying, one of the key things that you'll learn is shorthand. Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing. Basically it gives you the ability to record in writing what someone is saying in a normal speaking speed (usually 100 words per minute). It's important for journalists because with shorthand they don't need to rely on recording devices, they just need pen and paper. It's essential for court reporting because in court cases you're not allowed to make use of any electronic recording devices, so, if you're in court and you see someone scribbling on a note pad very quickly, chances are they are journalists using shorthand.
You start your shorthand classes in first year and in the beginning it will seem very, very hard, but, if you keep a consistent study routine of shorthand, trust me, you'll get there!
Some classes will be spread out in different buildings on campus, however, you'll spend most of your time in the journalism building. It has amazing facilities, in particular, the four multimedia newsrooms. Those are designed for both large and small group work, which will be important during newsdays where you're going to work as a news team, gathering news about Sheffield and publishing them online.
There is also a production suite with a multi-camera HD TV studio and gallery, voiceover booths and radio studio. So, if you're interested in broadcast, they got you covered!
And finally, on the ground floor, there's the fabulous common room, with loads of computers, sofas, seminar rooms, and a printer.
I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of the journalism building and that you're looking forward to your time in Sheffield! I know I did!