As soon as you start the course, you are a Journalist

Portrait of Amelia Oates
Amelia Oates
Undergraduate student
BA Journalism Studies
Second year BA Journalism student Amelia shares what she thinks about the course, and her future plans.
Portrait of Amelia Oates

What I love about the Journalism Course at the University of Sheffield is how interactive and challenging it is. As soon as you start the course you are a journalist, working in a patch to find the best stories and learn the tricks of the trade on the job. Within a few weeks we were being sent out to interview members of the public and write up our own stories. The first semester allows you to develop the skills you need as a journalist within the classroom to then go and put them to practice in the second semester news days. Although it can be daunting at times, the lecturers’ support and guidance is amazing and has meant I’ve been able to push myself outside of my comfort zone whilst also having access to help if and when I need it.

I enjoyed the structure of first year because we all had an 120-credit module, meaning that the whole course was together for the whole year. This allowed me to form some great friendships in lectures and in seminars and allowed me to build the foundations of my degree before getting the choice of optional modules in second year. One of my favourite aspects of the degree in my first year was the opportunity to make a video piece on an event of our choice. I chose the World Heritage Day celebrations where I travelled to Durham Cathedral, interviewed the organiser of the event and spoke to members of the public. It was a fun project and I felt very proud with the work that I had achieved by the end!

In my second-year things have definitely got more challenging, but with that new level of difficulty comes a new element of independence. I recently wrote an article surrounding the ‘safety’ of vaping, giving me the opportunity to interview experts in their field and create a video-piece to accompany my work. This was completely self-led meaning that it could go in any direction that I
chose. I have thoroughly enjoyed using the media store’s extensive range of high-tech equipment and the industry standard editing software. Learning these skills now is something which I know will greatly benefit me in the future when I go into the working world.

Although it can be daunting at times, the lecturers' support and guidance is amazing and has meant I've been able to push myself outside of my comfort zone whilst also having access to help if and when I need it.

Amelia Oates

BA Journalism

At this very moment, I don’t know what I'll do when I graduate! If I don’t take a gap-year after university I would love to get a graduate job in broadcasting or magazines, and if not that field, then possibly PR or marketing. The possibilities are endless. This degree has been invaluable when it comes to acquiring skills which I will need in the working world. These include knowing how to use camera and radio equipment, how to effectively use editing software, communication skills with interviewing and contacting people, writing skills when writing pieces for newspaper and magazine, time management skills (we’re always on the go) and most importantly how to promote myself.

I have always loved to write, so that was one of the pulling factors for me when choosing to take this course. I loved the idea of working in the broadcasting industry, whether that be radio or TV, and the course at Sheffield allowed me to work in both of those fields throughout my degree. Overall, I knew I didn’t just want to sit in a lecture theatre and write lots of essays, and the journalism course at Sheffield couldn’t be more different. Yes, we learn the foundations of journalism such as media law and the Editors’ Code of Practice in lectures, but once you’ve learnt the theory, you’re sent out to be journalists. Every day is different and at university that’s really exciting.

If you are interested in Journalism, I would say, first and foremost, do your research. Journalism is not practicing being a news anchor of a radio presenter, there is so much more to the industry than being the face of it. If the course sounds like something you’d enjoy, and you have a desire to work in the media field then go for it! The degree is a really good mixture of theory and practical. You get to do things like record in an industry-standard radio booth or sit in Sheffield Crown Court for the Media Law module as well as learning the theory in a lecture theatre. The course is so much more than studying. I have really enjoyed the course so far and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested.

Sheffield is a lovely place to study because it’s a great mix of an urban and rural area. With both the city centre and the peak district to enjoy, I love the ability to head into the city centre for a shopping trip or something to eat one day and then planning a long walk in the gorgeous Peak District the next. The city is really friendly and it’s in a perfect location if you want to travel to other neighbouring cities such as Manchester or Nottingham. It’s got a great student feel and its one of the most affordable cities to live in as a student on a budget!

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