Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

BA in Journalism then BA in English OR MA- which is better? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,
    Now this is a bit of forward planning. I'm doing a Journalism degree in September (before anyone says anything I know a BA in English and MA in Journalism is more 'respected'). I really want to do a degree in English but am wondering whether a BA or MA is better. I want the versatility and not to leave University with such a specific degree. I do have a passion for English and journalism seems like the most sutiable career but its just about being more emplyable.

    NB: I am also aware of the financial aspects but this is going to happen either way!

    Thanks
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    Obviously a MA is better if you already have a BA. Not sure if you'd get accepted to one though.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Anyone else?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Magic Potion)
    Hi,
    Now this is a bit of forward planning. I'm doing a Journalism degree in September (before anyone says anything I know a BA in English and MA in Journalism is more 'respected'). I really want to do a degree in English but am wondering whether a BA or MA is better. I want the versatility and not to leave University with such a specific degree. I do have a passion for English and journalism seems like the most sutiable career but its just about being more emplyable.

    NB: I am also aware of the financial aspects but this is going to happen either way!

    Thanks
    Well, you're not gonna like what I say, because it completely contradicts what you're already doing. But anyway, I'm doing a BA in English Language & Literature, then, after saving up, doing an MA in Broadcast Journalism (Hope-hope-hope-hope-hopefully, assuming I get accepted somewhere).

    Personally I think that's a much better route... you spend 3 years doing a subject you love (For me, that's English), which gives you a decent amount of latitude in terms of prospects... then you hone your speciality down to Journalism at MA.

    But maybe you like Journalism better than English? I don't know... at least with alot of Journalism courses you get slipped into a bunch of work placements just because of your course. Us 'outsiders' have to fight our way into placements!!

    To be honest, I wish I'd really done something like Middle Eastern Studies, then honed it down with Journalism MA. Then I could've specialised and gone into foreign journalism much quicker with a speciality that's definately in-demand. English - Journalism is still a good route though.

    I'm not so sure about Journalism, then English...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (NotGivingRealName)
    Well, you're not gonna like what I say, because it completely contradicts what you're already doing
    .

    I think I've come to expect it, to be honest!

    Thanks for the post. You can still get into foreign journalism with an English degree, I don't think it should be a problem.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've forgotten how to quote properly, please excuse me!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Magic Potion)
    .

    I think I've come to expect it, to be honest!

    Thanks for the post. You can still get into foreign journalism with an English degree, I don't think it should be a problem.
    Thanks!

    If you're doing Journalism as undergraduate you should be fine really. All its really about is showing commitment with stuff that you've done voluntarily so just throw in as much work experience along with your own articles alongside your course.

    And plus, you won't have to shell out lots more cash for a postgraduate course.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    By the way, an MA in English can be done! Very good news!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    If you are serious about going into journalism, an MA in English is unnecessary. You are better off doing a BA journalism degree first. Graduate, get a few years of experience under your belt, then go back to do a more specialised postgrad degree, with a better concentration on a region (Middle East, Asia), or a discipline (Economics, Security).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    If you are serious about going into journalism, an MA in English is unnecessary. You are better off doing a BA journalism degree first. Graduate, get a few years of experience under your belt, then go back to do a more specialised postgrad degree, with a better concentration on a region (Middle East, Asia), or a discipline (Economics, Security).
    This is interesting. I'm thinking about going into arts journalism but focusing on theatre so I wanted to do an postgrad in Reinassance and Eighteenth Century Literature a) as I think I would enjoy it and English has always been my passion and b) because I think it would allow me to deepen my knowledge.

    A man featured in a Q and A regarding Journalism said that he had done a BA in Journalism and wanted to specialise in Enviromental Politics. So, I think, its good to know that a Journalism degree is not so restrictive as people claim it to be.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've been in the industry for a few years, and I would say people who have a journalism degree make up about 60 percent of the industry. The rest have various backgrounds from generic Arts degrees to Political Science, Economics etc. They are just as competent, if not more. Most of the tools of the trade you can learn quickly on the job anyway.

    What a journalism degree gives you is perhaps an edge in making those job connections early and making plenty of necessary mistakes before diving into the deep end.

    Good luck.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Oh and one more thing on some of the above comments on postgrad journalism. I don't think it's more "respected" at all, and I don't think people in the industry think so. Most of the top papers/broadcasters would rather hire someone with a generic undergrad degree with a few years of experience covering the city beat, than someone with an undergrad degree and an MA from a fancy top 10 uni but ZERO experience.

    Postgrad journalism is really a waste of money, in my opinion. You can learn pretty much the same things working for a small town daily, who will teach you this stuff for free, and pay you.

    My advice is again, do your degree (whatever it is, doesn't really matter), write for your local paper, your university paper, whatever publication will publish you, and build your clippings.

    Use those clippings to get your foot in the door. Then after a few years, go back to do a postgrad in a more specialised field that will help you with your career. I think that saves a lot of money and time.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Petit Noir- I think that your advice has been very helpful. Thanks. You know, I just think that I'm a bit put down by the fact that people slam media based degrees. Yes, to be honest, they are fairly new degrees and I think snobbery exists with them, particularly in regards to national newspapers.

    I've always been told that the generic essay- based subject and an MA in journalism is the best way to go because newspapers, like you to have that broad knowledge and then to hone in on the specialism. Doing an undergraduate journalism degree will allow me to get the experience which is vital for getting my 'foot in the door'.

    However, I want to ask, if I did go into theatre journalism, wouldn't an employer like me more for the fact that I would have knowledge of Shakespeare or plays from various periods of time ie. doing an English degree of some sort rather than a journalism degree? (which I don't think is that 'generic')

    NB I wouldn't just 'do' English as a degree. I do enjoy the subject immensely and applied to do it but all did not go to plan. You do get to specialise within a journalism degree but I guess if I wanted to write for a certain field of journalism I would have to get clued up myself. Your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I don't think I am in a position to comment on theatre or the arts in journalism specifically as I come from a strictly hard news background.

    I think you may be right in that a potential employers may see you as a more attractive candidate if you have more specialised knowledge on the area you are covering, eg Shakespeare etc in your words. But that is provided you have already been published or have some good work to show for.

    All things being equal, if I were to choose between a fresh grad in English with 0 clippings vs a journalism grad with clippings (and you will have clippings after studying for 3 years), the j-grad would get the job 9 times out of 10.

    Don't want to sound like a broken record, but most of the time it all comes down to your clips, ie what you have to show for, and how you can contribute. What employers want is someone who is dedicated, who can function independently, write intelligent pieces with the least amount of babysitting.

    That is my experience in hard news, I don't know if the arts are different, but you can at least take this as a general rule of thumb.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: July 27, 2009
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.