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UK SPORTS JOURNALISM DEGREES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS – A DEFINITIVE GUIDE

INTRODUCTION 

There’s a sporting moment of greatness and there’s usually a thumbnail of commentary that accompanies it. The sentence or single word you quote to a friend is sure to play the whole scene in your head all over again. 

First introduced as a means of describing play by play to those who only had radios, it’s since evolved into a courtroom of experts who evaluate the game in a deep and meaningful way. It’s no longer there to just paint a picture but explain how the artist crafted it. Truly highlighting all the nooks and cranny’s that serve as the underlay of the sport. 

Now there’s press conferences, interviews, pundits with opinions and more which lead the build-up and post event portions of the main broadcast. There’re even subsidiaries of different channels with their own opinions and engaging ways of retrospectively commenting on the event. 

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN 

Over a 3-year period you’ll dive deep into 5 core areas which have been derived from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). These include: Public affairs, media law, reporting, shorthand and portfolio development. 

As well as this, you’ll be supplied with teachings in the way of digital and multimedia journalism, which are becoming more and more prevalent within the industry. Writing at a speed of a word every second, which is so important when it comes to live blogging a sporting event as there aren’t any replays. 

 All of the different mediums of journalism such as tabloid, social media and commentary will be taught as well as ways to engage with their different audiences.  

TOP 10 UK UNIVERSITIES FOR THIS COURSE 

  1. Swansea University 
  1. Bournemouth University 
  1. Liverpool John Moores University 
  1. University of Lincoln 
  1. Birmingham City University 
  1. University of the West of Scotland 
  1. University of Derby 
  1. University of Brighton 
  1. University of Huddersfield 
  1. Sheffield Hallam University 

AVERAGE COURSE FEES, ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION PROCEDURE  

 Average course fee Entry requirements Application procedure 
Undergraduate £9,000 for UK nationals.  Placement year cost additional £1,500.  £13,000 for international students. Outright with 112 UCAS points  GCSE English language at C or above  One level 3 qualification, specific will be listed on any university’s website  Register with UCAS   Enter your details  Select course choices  Write personal statement  Submit your application  
Postgraduate £9,000 UK students  Option for 1 full time year or 2 years part time.  £14,000 for international students  Honors degree at minimum 2.2 or an equivalent in any subject  International students who don’t speak English must provide IELTS results with a mark of 6.5 Complete application for each chosen university  Write a personal statement  Supply written references from two past tutors   Submit your application 

APPLICATION TIMELINE (2023) 

Undergraduate 

3rd May 2022: UCAS applications open. 

25th January 2023: Applications can start to be sent to UCAS by 6pm. 

30th June 2023: Applications sent by 6pm will start being sent to the chosen universities. 

21st September 2023: Final deadline.  

Postgraduate 

Whilst no broad timeline exists for postgraduate application, it’s best to apply up to 6 months in advance of the start date for your course. The earlier the better as they’re usually first come first served. Since most courses start in September it’s best to apply as early as March. 

POTENTIAL JOB ROLES 

  • Social media executive 
  • Press officer 
  • Radio host 
  • Reporter 
  • Club content producer 
  • Announcer 

RESEARCH TRENDS 

Is it a sports journalist’s responsibility to bring awareness to societies bigger pictures? It’s a big point amongst the public that really gets chins wagging. Should they stick to the sport, removing any politics or social agendas, or confront them to cast a spotlight on very real issues. 

I think that some are in a very privileged position. They have huge audiences that span the landscapes of social media and people listen to what they say. More to the point, they’re people and have opinions that should be expressed when dealing with sensitive topics. Promotion of gold standard values can only do the world good. 

There’s been a real shift in sport towards safety and social etiquette. Unfortunately, it usually takes harrowing stories to turn public or real blunders to drive any real change, but at least we learn. Unfortunately for Christian Eriksen, it took a collapse and subsequent cardiac arrest to change broadcasting ethics. 

As he lay on the pitch being resuscitated, as his on looking girlfriend confound to tears, the BBC shamefully kept the live cameras rolling. His teammates and fellow countrymen made a human shield around him to gift the privacy his tragic event deserved.  

CONCLUSION 

And that’s it for everything, writing, presenting and speaking when it comes to the world of sport. It’s a very broad course that focuses on all the different ways sport is prescribed to the viewer and the different audiences associated with them.  

For example, more elder people read the newspaper and want a more formal tone, whereas Twitter users are more likely going to be younger so you might see more informal text and a more in tune with modernity vibe.  

It’s a sector which magnifies sport through words and changes the way the audience sees the game and indeed those who play it. 


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