08/12/2009

UU's Journalism MA Tops UK

NI Journalism students are 'top of the class' according to the industry's training body.

The University of Ulster's MA Journalism course is officially the UK's best performing postgraduate journalism programme.

The accolade came from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) as the Coleraine course topped the country in the body's seven national professional exams this year.

There are over 80 NCTJ accredited journalism courses in the UK.

The award was presented at BBC Scotland on 3 December, in front of editors and journalism course directors from across the UK at the journalism skills conference.

Accepting the award, MA Course Director, Maggie Swarbrick said: "I am delighted that the hard work of staff and students has proven that so much can be achieved in a year-long course.

"University of Ulster has set a standard for others to follow."
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Colm Murphy, Subject Leader in Media, Film and Journalism at Ulster said it is an outstanding achievement: "We have proved that University of Ulster students can lead the country in performance in professional exams while also pursuing academic excellence and pioneering multimedia journalism – something which other courses do not do."

The course last year became the first postgraduate course to be accredited by both the NCTJ for print journalism and the Broadcast Journalism Training Council for multi-platform journalism. The NCTJ represents BBC, Sky News and the Guardian and more.

Now in its 12th year, the MA Journalism degree at Ulster's Coleraine campus is attracting students from around the globe.

This year's intake includes a Fulbright scholar from America, one of the most prestigious scholarships available in the world.

The NCTJ exams at which University of Ulster led the country were in online news writing, media law, court reporting, public affairs for Northern Ireland, national and international public affairs, shorthand to 100 words a minute and the production of a portfolio of written, TV, radio and online work.

In addition to the exams, students also must write a 7,000 word dissertation, make a mini-documentary and undertake a professional six week placement.

The course is also part of the Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy, one of only 22 academies of excellence in the UK.

The academy aims to nurture the next generation of media talent.

(GK/BMcc)

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