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Studying Journalism abroad: Q&A with London Met (UK)

Read our Q&A with a London Met professor to find out about studying Journalism abroad in the UK...

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Why should you study journalism abroad? Benjamin Falk, Senior Lecturer in journalism at London Metropolitan University spoke to us about the qualities journalism students should have; the relevant experience they can gain in the UK while studying; and the career paths which previous London Met Journalism graduates have gone onto...


How have you seen the journalism field change since you have been in the field? Where do you see it going in the future?

‘Obviously there's been quite a big change since I started, in that there has been an explosion in online. That means that journalists moving forward will need to be far more multi-skilled, I think. They'll need to be able to use cameras, edit video, understand how to utilise social. But these are skills which can be learned, it's not impossible. It's just more craft, like writing itself. Ultimately, journalism hasn't changed. I read somewhere - and I agree - that journalism is basically the same, it's just the delivery system which has altered. That's what the Web is, a delivery system. You still need the core skills as before.’


What can a journalism student expect to cover as part of their course? What are some of the differences between an undergraduate and postgraduate journalism course?

'On our course, you will do a bit of everything. So you're learning how to write news, write features, be a better interviewer, how to shoot, edit, work in a TV and radio studio, make live broadcasts and work in teams. In terms of the difference between UG and PG, there's not much difference essentially, other than it's done to a higher level and you are expected to be more adept from the start. Ultimately, we're aware that a university course should be about transferable skills as much as anything else. So you can take what you learn on our course and hopefully apply it to whatever career you choose, even if it's not journalism.’


What kinds of skills do you look for in prospective journalism students?

‘Curiosity; someone who enjoys reading and talking about the news and the media; someone who can write accurately; and personality. Really, a desire to learn and improve themselves. Not everyone is fully-formed by the time they get to university - I certainly wasn't - so you will change and improve through the course and we are there to help you do that.’


Senior Journalism lecturer Ben Falk, London Metropolitan University
Ben Falk, Senior Journalism Lecturer at London Metropolitan University


What opportunities are there to gain work experience and network with professionals?

‘Lots. We have real-life journalists coming in to talk almost every week. Our teachers are freelance journalists. We have what we call enhancement weeks which are dedicated to offering students opportunities to meet and interact with professionals, as well as visit City Hall; watch Prime Minister's Questions being edited; take a tour of the Press Association and loads more. We have a Work Placement module where you are expected to spend it working in a real-life office. I have taken students to Brussels to visit the European Parliament. And our tutors are available any time to help make introductions to internship programs.’


Can you tell us about some of the career paths your journalism graduates gone in? 

‘Wow - lots. We have people working in straight news, financial journalism, one of our students visits Africa quite often and reports from there, as well as taking photos herself. We have people at Talksport, working in publishing, in event management and in PR. One female graduate runs an award-winning baking blog. Oh - and we have TV editors, television journalists and loads more. In other words, they've taken what they learned and been able to apply it in multiple arenas, often in journalism/communications, but not always. Whatever they do, we're proud of every single one of them.’



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About Author

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Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.

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