Best A levels to take for a career in journalism

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    To both of you Eleri26 & SuperHuman98 research on-line first; what I said is just what I came across when for a period I wanted to be a journalist. It was quite a while back now.


    Please don't take my word for it; it was mainly just a general comment of what I've heard or researched on-line, but and I don't want to be accountable for hindering your chances.


    (Original post by Eleri26)
    Thanks for the reply, how do I gain experience? I live in North Wales so there isn't as many opportunities around here. Plus, what degree would be best if I wanted to go into news journalism? In which I reported daily events eg. Would re, history or sociology be the kind of degree to go for?
    When you get to uni, join clubs/societies or set up your own news channel on YouTube I guess. You could set up your own blog. Or just go around reporting on local events, to build up a port folio.

    I can't answer your second or third question.
    I've researched more the foreign correspondent side of journalism; not the presenter.

    To clarify, are you wanting to be a foreign correspondent; the person who goes into war zones and sends video feeds back etc.? Or are you wanting to be the presenter in the newsroom? I thought you must have meant a presenter.

    Perhaps search on-line for placements like for the BBC, or check the criteria to meet them.
    Do some extensive research on-line, email institutions like the BBC or ITV or any news broadcaster, and ask what they look for perhaps.

    (Original post by SuperHuman98)
    This part doesn't matter too much right? Im thinking something that you enjoy +gives you writing skills. Since I am thinking about doing History although I want to go into journalism about video games (and of course other stuff to beef up my CV)
    That seems like a good plan.
    That's fine; I was simply meaning that I've heard that you can acquire the skills of a journalism degree by other means, or by experience.
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    (Original post by Eleri26)
    I've just completed my GCSE's and I am hoping to continue my education at my local sixth form. I'm hoping to have a career in journalism, although the tv industry (not acting) would be my preferred option, however i'm trying to be realistic.

    I'm considering:
    Sociology or media (same column)
    English or history (same column)
    and Re
    or maybe law?
    Or, I could do English and History instead of sociology and media but i'm scared the work load would be too much for me to handle. Also, I'm only intending to take three as I also have to do Welsh Bac as I live in North Wales.

    Anyway, any advice on what a levels to take would be a big help. Thanks in advance!

    Hi Eleri26,

    I am a recent graduate from London Metropolitan University and I studied for a BA in journalism. It is true that you can work in journalism without a journalism degree, however, a degree in journalism is a huge help in the industry. Here at LMU, I was taught by some fantastic lecturers who are all wonderful journalists. Some here write for The Guardian, for NME, some are producers at the BBC, some produce radio news like 5Live and so on.

    I enjoyed the past three years so much and I have gained so much experience because of it. Not only are you taught how to write news stories for both news and features in either print or online, you are taught skills that increase your chances of working in the industry. You are taught how to use nearly the entire Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Premier Pro, Audition), shorthand, camera skills, editing skills, radio production, presenting, investigative journalism skills and so much more. Here, we were taught and given the opportunity to build our own magazines from scratch, both online and in print. We produced, directed, wrote and presented our own television shows and radio shows. We learnt how to use all the equipment to put together a great radio/TV piece and had voice training to help us sound wonderful on camera or radio.

    Skills like these are essential for a journalist because, and we have been told this for three years by professionals, your editor will want to know that you have transferable skills so you can report on absolutely anything with any equipment, be it pen or camera.

    Here at London Met, you get to specialise in your second year and third year. I chose to do campaign journalism and arts journalism, but others chose science, data, fashion or others. In third year, when you do your dissertation (the topic you decide) you get placed with a lecturer who has contacts and experience in that area. I did my dissertation on anxiety and my advisor was a lecturer who had contacts in the health industry and who has freelanced and been employed by health magazines in the past.

    A journalism degree will really make you stand out because papers, magazines, TV. radio, know how much goes into a journalism degree. I have attached the video of our soon to be journalism graduates and what they have to say about studying journalism at university. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiK1EkJoRaE

    The graduates, my friends from the course, have got great jobs. One directed and produced his own documentary and it's just been shown on TV! One is a journalist for a mortgage and insurance magazine, another travels the UK interviewing bands, a friend gets to go to all film premieres and interviews actors/actresses, I have gone into content marketing and freelancing, another is in PR, one of the magazines that was made in third year has been given funding to be put on the shelves! So much can come from it. You can go into so much!

    As for what you should do beforehand, media is a great idea to get you used to camera work because it can be daunting on a journalism degree when you meet a big camera for the first time. Anything creative always helps! Other than that, pick something you are passionate about! Passion always helps journalism. I chose geography at A-levels because I absolutely adore traveling, nature, how the world ticks and I have shown that in my degree. I am also passionate about mental health, which has made my writing so much better. Do something you are passionate about and a journalism degree will come much easier.

    I recommend you start a blog and just write about what you love. If a university then asks you for a portfolio, you have a range of things to send them. A portfolio is always great! I also recommend getting any experience that you can because it goes a long way! Write for a school paper or try to freelance.

    If you have any questions, we are always here to offer advice or answer any questions you may have.

    Molly
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    I would suggest three from English Literature, Politics, Economics and maybe a language.
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    (Original post by London Metropolitan University)
    Hi Eleri26,

    I am a recent graduate from London Metropolitan University and I studied for a BA in journalism. It is true that you can work in journalism without a journalism degree, however, a degree in journalism is a huge help in the industry. Here at LMU, I was taught by some fantastic lecturers who are all wonderful journalists. Some here write for The Guardian, for NME, some are producers at the BBC, some produce radio news like 5Live and so on.

    I enjoyed the past three years so much and I have gained so much experience because of it. Not only are you taught how to write news stories for both news and features in either print or online, you are taught skills that increase your chances of working in the industry. You are taught how to use nearly the entire Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Premier Pro, Audition), shorthand, camera skills, editing skills, radio production, presenting, investigative journalism skills and so much more. Here, we were taught and given the opportunity to build our own magazines from scratch, both online and in print. We produced, directed, wrote and presented our own television shows and radio shows. We learnt how to use all the equipment to put together a great radio/TV piece and had voice training to help us sound wonderful on camera or radio.

    Skills like these are essential for a journalist because, and we have been told this for three years by professionals, your editor will want to know that you have transferable skills so you can report on absolutely anything with any equipment, be it pen or camera.

    Here at London Met, you get to specialise in your second year and third year. I chose to do campaign journalism and arts journalism, but others chose science, data, fashion or others. In third year, when you do your dissertation (the topic you decide) you get placed with a lecturer who has contacts and experience in that area. I did my dissertation on anxiety and my advisor was a lecturer who had contacts in the health industry and who has freelanced and been employed by health magazines in the past.

    A journalism degree will really make you stand out because papers, magazines, TV. radio, know how much goes into a journalism degree. I have attached the video of our soon to be journalism graduates and what they have to say about studying journalism at university. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiK1EkJoRaE

    The graduates, my friends from the course, have got great jobs. One directed and produced his own documentary and it's just been shown on TV! One is a journalist for a mortgage and insurance magazine, another travels the UK interviewing bands, a friend gets to go to all film premieres and interviews actors/actresses, I have gone into content marketing and freelancing, another is in PR, one of the magazines that was made in third year has been given funding to be put on the shelves! So much can come from it. You can go into so much!

    As for what you should do beforehand, media is a great idea to get you used to camera work because it can be daunting on a journalism degree when you meet a big camera for the first time. Anything creative always helps! Other than that, pick something you are passionate about! Passion always helps journalism. I chose geography at A-levels because I absolutely adore traveling, nature, how the world ticks and I have shown that in my degree. I am also passionate about mental health, which has made my writing so much better. Do something you are passionate about and a journalism degree will come much easier.

    I recommend you start a blog and just write about what you love. If a university then asks you for a portfolio, you have a range of things to send them. A portfolio is always great! I also recommend getting any experience that you can because it goes a long way! Write for a school paper or try to freelance.

    If you have any questions, we are always here to offer advice or answer any questions you may have.

    Molly
    Thanks for the help, do u mind me asking what undergraduate and a levels you studied?
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    (Original post by Edminzodo)
    I would suggest three from English Literature, Politics, Economics and maybe a language.

    No schools or colleges around me teach politics or economics and I'm awful at maths and languages. I've done a GCSEs in German
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    (Original post by Eleri26)
    No schools or colleges around me teach politics or economics and I'm awful at maths and languages. I've done a GCSEs in German
    Economics A-Level has minimal maths in it, but I understand.

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    (Original post by Eleri26)
    Thanks for the help, do u mind me asking what undergraduate and a levels you studied?
    Hi Eleri26,

    For my AS & A-levels I took English language, geography, and classical civilisation. I also did short courses in mental health first aid, sign language and sports leadership outside of school, but these are not necessary. I do recommend an English course, lit or lang. Not only is English language/lit a fun thing to study at A-level, it does prepare you for your first year in journalism as you learn a lot of terminology that tends to come in handy and it helps you find your voice and style of writing.

    A language is also great! It looks great on a CV when applying for journalism related jobs because you can work in a different country, write in a different language and so forth. Taking a language would be very helpful, especially to a degree like journalism. A lot of students on the course here are taking languages as extras while at university or studying it outside of university because of how helpful it can be. I am currently learning German.

    Molly
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    I also want to journalism as a career and I'm doing my A-levels next year. I have chosen english literature, psychology and biology. I am thinking of changing biology to sociology just because sociology would be a lot more useful I think. Hopefully these subjects would help for journalism!
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    (Original post by London Metropolitan University)
    Hi Eleri26,

    For my AS & A-levels I took English language, geography, and classical civilisation. I also did short courses in mental health first aid, sign language and sports leadership outside of school, but these are not necessary. I do recommend an English course, lit or lang. Not only is English language/lit a fun thing to study at A-level, it does prepare you for your first year in journalism as you learn a lot of terminology that tends to come in handy and it helps you find your voice and style of writing.

    A language is also great! It looks great on a CV when applying for journalism related jobs because you can work in a different country, write in a different language and so forth. Taking a language would be very helpful, especially to a degree like journalism. A lot of students on the course here are taking languages as extras while at university or studying it outside of university because of how helpful it can be. I am currently learning German.

    Molly
    Thanks for the help, but I'm ruling a language out because I've done a German GCSE and HATED it it was so hard. I'm estimated a b for writing and a d for speaking. Also, I've had to do reading and listening in foundation so I have a c at best and I doubt I've passed
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    (Original post by zxynab1505)
    I also want to journalism as a career and I'm doing my A-levels next year. I have chosen english literature, psychology and biology. I am thinking of changing biology to sociology just because sociology would be a lot more useful I think. Hopefully these subjects would help for journalism!
    I've heard sociology and psychology together can be a little confusing but I'm not sure. I want to do sociology but unfortunately it's in the same column as media so I'm considering psychology bird I'm awful at maths and science so idk. If you're good at biology you should give it a try as you could always go down the scientific journalism route, plus science looks good for any course
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    English. Probably Lit maybe language.
    Politics is probably pretty useful for it
    History??
    It doesnt matter a huge amount.
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    Hey,

    Before I started the journalism course I studied English Lit, Film Studies, and ICT at A-Level. I found that the ICT and English Lit were helpful in preparing me for my course, whilst the film aspect allowed me to explore the area I wanted to go into.

    I would suggest completing an English course, as it really does benefit you. But make sure you are doing subjects you enjoy also.

    Best,
    Joey
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    (Original post by Eleri26)
    I've just completed my GCSE's and I am hoping to continue my education at my local sixth form. I'm hoping to have a career in journalism, although the tv industry (not acting) would be my preferred option, however i'm trying to be realistic.

    I'm considering:
    Sociology or media (same column)
    English or history (same column)
    and Re
    or maybe law?
    Or, I could do English and History instead of sociology and media but i'm scared the work load would be too much for me to handle. Also, I'm only intending to take three as I also have to do Welsh Bac as I live in North Wales.

    Anyway, any advice on what a levels to take would be a big help. Thanks in advance!
    I would say definitely say English and Media and then just chose a 3rd subject that you really enjoy. Most universities/employers wont care about the specific A levels you've taken, as long as you have good grades in them.
    As someone who has finished their A levels this year, the biggest bit of advice I could give you is choose subjects you enjoy! I promise you if you do not like them, you will not survive the 2 years, as harsh as that sounds.
    Good luck
 
 
 
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