University gains double accreditation for media courses

GLASGOW Caledonian University is celebrating becoming the first university in Scotland to have its journalism programmes doubly accredited – by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC).

Its postgraduate MA Multimedia Journalism is one of just two masters programmes in the UK accredited by both organisations – the other is at the University of Ulster.

The double accreditation also applies to the university’s undergraduate BA Journalism course.

It joins just five first-degree programmes in the UK – the others are at Bournemouth, Sheffield, Kent and Cumbria – where all students follow the same common curriculum and are ready at graduation to work in print, radio, TV and online journalism to industry standards.

Says Ken Garner, senior lecturer in journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University: “New journalists need to be able to write and produce their stories in all media from the start, and we created our courses to give all our students all these skills.

“Winning accreditation from the NCTJ and now the BJTC as well shows that it can be done, and our students really can be multi-media capable from day one.”

He added: “Broadcasters like their new staff to have shorthand if possible, and newspapers want reporters who can also shoot and edit video and present podcasts. It’s only courses such as ours that can aim to ensure all our graduates have all these skills.”

Caledonian’s new MA Multimedia Journalism is still only in its first year.

Recently, it opened a three-camera HD digital TV news studio, and appointed Claire Dean, formerly of STV, as lecturer in broadcast and online journalism.

The university has also launched a customised MA in International Business Journalism, exclusively for international students, which will provide the world’s local English-language media with much-needed trained business reporters.

The programme will admit its first students in September and is led by Nick Bevens, former business editor of The Scotsman, who has joined the university as lecturer in business and international journalism.

Bevens will also lead a practical business journalism optional class open to UK students as part of the MA Multimedia Journalism.