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Sheffield centre awarded top marks for journalism

The University of Sheffield is the best place to study journalism with the most satisfied students, according to new research.

The 2009 Times Good University Guide places the South Yorkshire institute overall top of a list of 86 centres offering journalism, media and communications courses.

The list also gives the university a student satisfaction ranking of 90pc based on the latest National Students Survey – again the highest in The Times’ table.

University of Huddersfield students gave an 86pc satisfaction ranking while York St John University received 83pc – yet they finished in 31st and 60th place in the table for the overall quality of their media and journalism courses.

The best centres for the prospects of media graduates are Queen Mary, University of London, with 91pc and Keele University, Staffordshire, with 80pc of students going on to find employment within the industry.

Professor Peter Cole, director of journalism at the University of Sheffield, said: “It means a great deal to us and the students to get this external recognition from the most-respected of league tables.

“This includes media studies courses as well as vocational courses like our own and we still came top of the pile.

“It’s a tribute to our staff and students alike. We’ve long thought of ourselves as the best but now it comes from outside, it’s official.”

The National Student Survey has been running annually since 2005 and questions mostly final year undergraduates. It aims to aid prospective students when they make choices of where and what to apply for in further education.

It is conducted across all publicly-funded higher education institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and some in Scotland as well as some privately-funded centres.

The survey asks 22 questions about students’ experiences in their final undergraduate year in areas such as assessment, teaching and feedback.

Cardiff University was one of those centres which featured among the highest ranked in the UK for journalism courses.

Its BA Journalism degree achieved a 91pc satisfaction score, up 2pc on last year, while its Media Studies course received a 90pc satisfaction rating.

Head of School Professor Justin Lewis said: “We are delighted with these results. It’s particularly pleasing to remain highly placed. They reflect the high quality of teaching on the degree.”

  • The Good University guide can be found on The Times website while features courses listings using results from the latest National Students Survey.
  • Comments

    Tor Clark (19/11/2008 19:18:19)
    Many congratulations to the team at Sheffield for topping this table – it’s good to see colleagues in Journalism education being recognised for their work.
    Now that we ARE bringing Journalism to the fore as an academic discipline, wouldn’t it be even better if we could get the list-makers to do a separate league table for Journalism institutions rather than lumping us in with Communication and Media for these purposes?
    Best wishes to colleagues old and new.

    Alan (20/11/2008 13:50:05)
    I agree with Tor Clark. Hold the Front Page is confused (neither York St John nor Keele offer journalism; they don’t prepare students for jobs in journalism) and some students get confused, too.
    Surely it’s not beyond the HTFP team to separate the institutions that offer journalism from those that don’t. And even then, does a department score highly because of its journalism, or because of high research ratings for media, cultural and communications studies?

    maria o flaherty (01/12/2008 21:45:51)
    i am looking for journalism courses in the UK. apart from Cambridge and Oxford(no courses) i have know idea what are the best courses

    Soph (03/12/2008 20:19:21)
    Hi Maria, actually the best thing to do is arguably not to do a journalism degree at all. Do another discipline like English then an NCTJ post-grad diploma. Very highly respected in the industry and even better if you get your NCE to become fully-qualified.Or a full-time NCTJ course from the outset.

    Paul Kersey (10/12/2008 14:31:51)
    Sheffield College’s NCTJ course is better at preparing you to work as a journalist.