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Better trained graduates with the PPA certificate from UEL

by on 13 Sep, 2011

Graduates better trained in the ways of magazine journalism are coming onto the market soon.  Selected students from the University of East London will take the Professional Publishers Association  Professional Certificate in Journalism.  Those who pass will be able to put the certificate on the desk as well as their degree in journalism for potential employers.

There is, rightly, always a concern about the quality of a journalism degree.  The graduates may know their connotes from their denotes and their modernism from their postmodernism. But do they know their its from their it’s and their good from bad magazine writing?

Covering the field

The selected undergraduates will cover the field of magazine journalism in the certificate’s modules:

1. Understanding your audience;
2. Media law and ethics;
3. Gathering information ;
4. Writing and producing content for print and online;
5. Sub-editing and proof reading; and
6. Design awareness.

The certificate will go some way to improving the “employability” of its graduates.  This is a key objective of all universities today.

On the other hand universities should not be turned into the factory for employment.  They are a place of learning and research, not just for training.  UEL was a polytechnic before gaining university status in 1992.  It is under severe pressure with the increase in student fees and the axing of higher education budgets.  But UEL has set its fees at £9,000 – the most they can be under government rules.  This is a sign of its confidence in its offerings.

I am currently also working at UEL and am glad we have this to offer.   We teachers of journalism at UEL  intend to blend this certificate with the other side of the university experience: making students think about their roles and the subjects they cover more than with an eye to employment.

Blending training and PPE

As a colleague at UEL says: we are blending training for employment with the mix of politics, philosophy and economics on which the longer established universities focus.

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