High School graduates explore Uni Media Courses

Most universities around Australia are holding open days to pitch their courses to high school graduates who will soon receive uni placement offers.

A number of universities have teamed up with community radio stations to offer their communications and journalism students a direct connection with broadcasters in addition to their academic work.

The University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University work closely with community station 2SER in their Communications and Journalism faculties.

radioinfo sat in on a course briefing at UTS, where Head of the Communications School Mark Evans (pictured above) told prospective students the university has upgraded its communications degree. It used to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree with a communications specialisation, but has now upgraded it to a named degree and is offering a Bachelor of Communications qualification.

The new degree has been significantly upgraded after consultation with industry, and also now includes opportunities for international study. Students are encouraged to gain practical work during their study with traditional broadcasters such as the ABC and 2SER, plus new media industry companies such as Buzzfeed.

Evans told students that the new course aims to equip studetns with a range of skills so that they will be job ready when they complete their studies:

“Employers told us that they want a range of traditional and new media skills and they want multi-skilled graduates who can adapt to the fast changing media environment… there are still opportunities for the right people in media, but the structure of jobs is changing… new media companies such as Buzzfeed [globally] employ more people than the ABC, graduates need to be ready for many types of employment.

“The new UTS Bachelor of Communication is a practice-oriented degree featuring career focused majors and industry internships. Students develop expertise through 2 Majors, core subjects, elective choices and combined options, enabling them to graduate with a multi-skill set giving greater employment options, a competitive edge, and making them more adaptable to todays rapidly changing media industry,”  he said in his presentation.

2SER has studios on the Macquarie University and UTS campuses, and students from the journalism, media and communications faculties of both universities have the opportunity to integrate what they are learning in course work with practical broadcast shifts for news, current affairs, programming and production. 

At Macquarie University, the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies is run from a custom-designed building with professional studio spaces, industry-standard digital workstations for all production areas, a specially equipped theatre for screenings, and digital production tools. The flexible degree structure allows students to explore a range of units from across the University, combining students’ other interests with media theory and practice.

(Picture: David Mitchell, Technical Manager and Ben Nash, Technical Officer in front of Macquarie’s Neve Custom Series 75 mixing console)


Adrien Renzo, former program leader of the media, music, communication and cultural studies majors, told radioinfo:
“Making material is just one element of what students need to learn, they also need know how to fit into the big picture. Knowing how the industry works is essential to being successful.
“In today’s ever changing media space it’s essential to know what allegedly ‘unbreakable’ industry rules are being reshaped by emerging leaders. That’s why Macquarie’s Bachelor of Media capstone units include contact with industry professionals, people who are in the trenches of the media industry and who can give advice on the latest developments.”

Adrien’s number one tip for students is to be proactive and learn to adapt on the fly, “employers want people who can troubleshoot problems as they happen, not stare at a screen wondering what to do”

In Bathurst, Charles Sturt University offers a range of communications and journalism courses, with practical activities linked with community station 2MCE and Ron Camplin’s commercial station 2BS.

CSU has a three year degree course specifically targeted to commecial radio, which offers internships at 2BS. The Bachelor of Communication (Commercial Radio) is designed for students who want to start a career in promotional and communication roles within the commercial radio industry. It prepares the future sales representatives, promotions managers and copywriters of the industry. The emphasis of the course is on radio as a marketing medium, and was developed in association with the commercial radio industry.


Ross Larsen (pictured above), the Manager 2MCE FM & NRN told radioinfo that CSU’s media and journalism courses also have close links with the campus radio station 2MCE, where students broadcast both music and talk shows during the semester.

CSU Journalism students are rostered on to write, report and read local news in a specially built newsroom, which uses industry standard news software such as Newsboss and the Reuters wire service.

Students also work on the community radio sectors National Radio News (NRN) service, which sends 14 national news bulletings daily to nearly a hundred community radio stations around Australia. Several CSU graduates are now employed as paid editors of the NRN service, which is supervised by an experienced News Editor. Larsen says the pressure of hourly deadlines “really sorts out” those with the potential to be professional journalists. Most students who get experience with the NRN newsroom end up being snapped up in professional newsroom when they graduate.


In Armidale, the University of New England is linked with community station 2UNE (Tune FM), where students produce five news bulletins per day as part of their journalism course work. Students also present a range of programs. The station is a training ground for media and communications students, who form the station’s volunteer workforce. It operates to improve their potential employment skills in media.
UNE offers a Bachelor of Media and Communications which provides “up-to-date knowledge of the rapidly changing field of media and communications.” It includes film studies,  television studies; news media; children’s media; advertising; digital and social media; screen adaptations; creative and professional writing; and publishing and editing.

A range of other specialist institutions, such as AFTRS, Radio Training Institute, Sydney Institute of TAFE Petersham, South Australia’s Australian Radio School, WAAPA (Edith Cowan University),  Leederville TAFE Perth also link with local stations and also stream student broadcasts throughout their courses. You can read coverage of their activities in other radioinfo reports.

In Adelaide, it is not known what the ongoing relationship will be between the University of Adelaide and Radio Adelaide (5UV) after a review of the university’s priorities last year began an uncertain time for the Adelaide community station. radioinfo will keep you up to date on that situation when more information is known, probably by the end of this month.



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