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Journalism degree course set to launch

A new Bachelor of Arts Journalism degree is being launched at Bell College in Hamilton in September.

The degree, which is run by the college’s School of Social Studies, will eventually replace the two-year HND Journalism course and will help students acquire skills in newspaper, magazine, broadcast and online journalism.

Students will learn a variety of expertise over the three-year full-time degree including news reporting, feature writing, newsgathering, 100wpm shorthand, interview techniques, sub-editing, and newspaper and magazine design.

Course director Margaret Hughes said: “The main difference between the HND course and the degree is that the degree has an extra year and contains more academic subjects.

“It still has a lot of practical elements and in designing the degree we looked at what we were doing well on the HND course and what we could add in.”

Margaret said the new course would include greater coverage of media ethics and philosophy, international relations, sociology and languages options.

The degree course is not yet NCTJ-accredited but students do have the option to sit NCTJ preliminary exams.

Margaret said: “The degree was only validated at the end of March but we would like to have NCTJ accreditation. It took an enormous amount of work to get the degree up and running and we would like to have one year before going through the accreditation process.”

• Bell College has also announced the winner of the first Isobel Connor Memorial Award.

Sandra Wells, who has just completed the HND Journalism course, was named the college’s most promising journalism student and was presented with the award which commemorates the life and work of former Hamilton Advertiser editor Isobel Connor.

Isobel, who also worked for the Wishaw Press, died in 2003 after a long battle with cancer. She spent ten years on the board of Supercounty, Lanarkshire’s Civic Pride Campaign, which created the award.

Margaret said: “Every Wednesday we have a news day where students produce an eight-page newspaper with real, local, live news. We decided to use that to make the decision for award.

“It was very close but we decided on Sandra because she embraced the whole idea and was very committed to finding stories from her local community.”

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