Lessons to be learned by journalism students

The courses and training section of this website, detailing hundreds of vocational and academic journalism and sports journalism courses, is undergoing a thorough overhaul and update, with considerable added detail.

Here, the section editor HENRY MILWARD offers a guide to the information available

“It seems that the curmudgeons were right,” the Telegraph View noted last week, “when it comes to university places, more has meant worse – or, at least, lower standards.”

This is one of the many challenges which await the latest cohort of university applicants, particularly for those sifting through the ever-expanding array of journalism-related courses which lay before them.

At last count, there were 728 journalism – combined or single honours – courses offered at 89 UK universities, and 39 undergraduate programmes specialising in the journalism of sport.

The minefield is no less cluttered for soon-to-be graduates, with a host of short courses and postgraduate diplomas on offer.

While the Sports Journalists’ Association attempts to provide a little direction to prospective students in our careers advice section (click here and with latest news here), our updated list of courses now also offers at least a leg-up.

The undergraduate list here includes a wider selection of course combinations – with journalism, it would appear, compatible with just about any other academic discipline. Alongside each entry is a web link to the institution, contact details, and, where available, entry requirements.

Postgraduate courses are also included in the listing.

Through the Other training courses tab,  non-university options are listed, including development programmes with the BBC and the Press Association.

Above and beyond these options for further study, the work experience section of the site details the opportunities which are available for school leavers and graduates alike. In these economically stricken times, there are evermore unpaid “internships” being offered by publishing businesses, some of which are more useful to the intern than others – our advice continues to be to approach an unpaid “work opportunity” with some caution.

Of course, with the greater variety of courses on offer, there arises a number of inherent pitfalls. With more sand, the gold will be harder to find. Indeed there may not be any gold at all. Beyond the near-exhaustive lists reproduced on this site lie myriad further options, journalistic or otherwise, for further study.

If you head a media studies-related course, or you know someone that does, then you need to take a look at the SJA website’s training section and ensure that your institution’s listing is up to date.