Glasgow Caledonian University first to run journalism diploma course in Scotland

GLASGOW Caledonian University is the sole Scottish educational institution set to deliver a new journalism qualification, designed by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, from September this year.

This autumn’s intake of journalism students on Caledonian’s MA in Multimedia Journalism – one of two NCTJ-accredited courses taught by the institution – will be studying towards a Diploma in Journalism, which is replacing the current preliminary Certificate in Journalism.

However, the new qualification will not be rolled out on the University’s BA course or at Scotland’s other two NCTJ-accredited centres, Robert Gordon University and Cardonald College, until the following September.

Currently, 26 centres across the UK have opted to introduce the Diploma this year in what has been earmarked as a year of transition. Only from September next year will the qualification – aimed at training journalists in up-to-the-minute multimedia skills – be made compulsory.

Says Lyn Jones, NCTJ head of qualifications, in a statement issued by the NCTJ: “The next academic year will be a transition year for the new qualification with centres given the option to continue with the Certificate or start with the Diploma. Some universities will offer both qualifications side-by-side on their undergraduate degree courses.”

The Diploma in Journalism is made up of five core subjects to be taken by all students and trainees plus two specialist options.

The five core mandatory subjects are: Reporting, Multimedia Portfolio, Shorthand, Essential Public Affairs and Essential Media Law.

The specialist options are: Media Law Court Reporting, Video Journalism for Online, Sub-editing, Sports Journalism, Business of Magazines and Broadcast Journalism.

Says Ken Garner, leader of Caledonian’s MA Multimedia Journalism: “The new NCTJ Diploma is clearly a step in the right direction.

“Our course is also accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council, so offering either the new option in Video Journalism for Online, or Broadcast Journalism, is no problem for us and our students.

“But we will insist students take, as one of their two options, the Media Law Court Reporting exam, because we strongly believe that’s a traditional reporting skill that should not be abandoned.”