What subjects are needed to study journalism? This is a very common question, to which there isn’t a right or wrong answer.
Indeed, ‘journalism’ is a very broad term – therefore it is apt that there are no specific A-levels required if you want to become a journalist.
We believe a good journalist needs to know a little about lot, rather than a lot about little – that’s why staying up to date with current affairs is the most important thing you can do.
Whats subjects are needed to study journalism?
There are of course some A-levels that will be helpful – including English literature, creative writing, media studies, politics, languages, economics and history.
Studying languages is great because it will allow you to take your journalism qualification all over the world.
Our News Associates alumni stretches across the globe, from Laurence Dollimore editing the Olive Press in Spain to Associated Press Italian sports correspondent Daniella Matar working in Milan and Anatoly Kurmanaev writing for The Wall Street Journal in Venezuela.
You may be thinking, ‘Why would I need to study economics if I want to become a journalist?’ Well, from the MPs expenses scandal to funding for the Olympics – some of the biggest stories of the front and back pages require an understanding of economics.
And journalism is the first draft of history so you can’t go wrong if you choose to study history!
It’s great if you already know that you want to be a physics reporter for The New Scientist or an investigative reporter at Reuters. But we believe that trainee journalists should generalise before they specialise.
Getting journalism work experience is key
There are, however, some things you should be doing if you want to study journalism at university.
If you are interested in broadcast journalism then you need to be good at public speaking, so joining a debate club or entering a speech writing competition is a good idea.
You should also be doing everything you can to build your journalism portfolio, so make sure you contribute to your student newspaper or any newsletters your school sends out.
Starting a blog is another great way to showcase your work – we recommend trying to find your niche, posting regularly and sharing on social media.
You should also be trying to fit in work experience where possible – school holidays, evenings and weekends – local newspapers and hospital radio are great places to start.
Extracurricular activities look good on your UCAS personal statement, so make sure you take advantage of every opportunity offered.
In journalism job interviews you are often asked about when you have shown leadership or when you have worked well in a group, so it is good to build up these experiences – a good example of this is being on the yearbook committee.
So when it comes to journalism degree requirements, here at The School of Journalism we don’t request specific A-levels, but a jam-packed personal statement showing your passion for journalism is essential.
So the big question isn’t ‘What subjects are needed to study journalism?’ but, ‘How are you preparing to study journalism at university?’ Share your thoughts below.
Featured image courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr, with thanks