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City University MA-is there a point?

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    Hi

    I have an offer for City MA TV journo and was wondering if people could offer any advice on this.

    Its going to be expensive, put me in a huge amount of debt etc and wont be able to get a job at the same time consuming because its so full time. It has amazing networking potential and opportunities: thee different placements at different companies and lots of media law and ethics etc.

    But is there any point? I also have a job offer on a grad scheme also in London. I dont want to spend a year doing an MA course when i already have a job offer. It isnt in the media field, but in the civil service which looks really interesting. However, I know my heart lies in working in production.

    How much will the City course help get in that. Put it bluntly, if I work hard, am I going to get a job? Its meant to be teh best in the country but there were people there who applied because they werent sure what else to do. It demotivates me a bit!

    Any advice, WELCOME! Thanks
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    Honestly, I don't know how much it will help. I don't think you should let other people applying because they don't know what to do with themselves put you off of it. If your heart lies in production then pursue it. I left a secure publishing job where I made a proper wage to get back into journalism only because I love it. I may live a bit less comfortably at the moment and will have to work a bit harder to get where I want to be, but I'm happier every day because I'm not pre-occupied thinking about the job I'd rather be doing. And anytime I question whether or not I've made the right decision, I just remember that I've chosen the job I want to have and not simply fallen into something.

    Personally, I may choose City because I think that having a Journalism MA from there may be more advantageous than from other unis. I'm still trying to find that out as act, but from what I've read on this site, most people seem to think that a degree coming from there looks better others.

    I say do it. And this is coming from someone else who will have a mountain of debt as well. You only live once. Follow your heart.
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    I am weighing up City as well. It is definately a good idea to do a course which gives access to London because of the work attachments. It is also important to have a BJTC accreditation as well. BUT I think that the BJTC qualification is the same at any university, basically. It may have a slightly better reputation at City than elsewhere, but BJTC is BJTC.

    There are a lot of options for BJTC courses in the London area - LCC is also in the centre (and is also very expensive, so I can't see the point of going there as opposed to City). Goldsmith's is also central. I am looking at the ones outside the centre such as Brunel, Winchester, Kingston and Westminster (which is out in Harrow, way up near Watford in reality). They are BJTC or NCTJ and are near enough to do work attachments in London and when you take accommodation into account they are much cheaper - some are about half the price.

    So the question is whether or not it is worth paying double and carrying all that debt just to get a work attachment place and a BJTC qualification from City than it is for getting the same thing another college. City has a lot of students on its books as well, all looking for attachments and internships so they will be competing with each other. At a smaller place with lower overheads then I reckon the number of attachments and the quality of those attachments would be better. I even considered going entirely outside of London - Bournemouth in the south or Sheffield in the north because although you couldn't access London from there, there are regional BBC centres and regional newspapers, etc, and although they are smaller there would be less competition. But after thinking about it I want to stay in London.

    What I don't know about City is that they have a lot of 'old school tie' and the success stories they are often Oxbridge or private school and also the sons and daughters of people on the Times or at the BBC already. So the premium at City seems as usual to try and buy your way into the establishment. At the other places I reckon everyone gets a fairer chance.

    With undergraduate I did economics at LSE, and it makes a massive difference that I did it there than at almost any other university. I don't want to seem big headed but an economics degree from LSE is a totally different thing from an economics degree from let's say London Metropolitan. But a BJTC is a BJTC wherever you do it, because all the colleges with BJTC accreditation have the same basic standards and have the same internship with the BBC and other news organisations (newspapers as well as broadcasters). You can get all this on the BJTC website, which is worth looking at. It is more similar to A-levels. You might have if you have an A* in your subject from an unfashionable comprehensive, that's as good as an A* from Eaton or anywhere else. It is like that with the BJTC - relatively unimportant where you do it.

    Its a big decision. I worked out all the costs of the various places and tabulated them in another post. But my headline point is why pay double for a BJTC from City when you could get the same thing and probably have more access to work attachments at a smaller place with lower costs outside London.

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Updated: May 6, 2012
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