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New degree launched for working journalists in bid to retain local press talent

Paul FosterA new degree aimed at working journalists has been launched with the aim of helping the local news industry to attract and retain talent.

The University of Portsmouth has become the first higher education provider to develop a Master’s apprenticeship in Journalism, which it says will train the “newsroom leaders of tomorrow”.

The course aims to turn journalists into senior editorial managers with a mix of practical skills, professional application and critical thinking.

At the end of the programme, participants will aim to pass three qualifications – the National Qualification in Journalism, a Master’s in journalism and an NCTJ Level 7 senior journalist apprenticeship.

The senior journalist apprenticeship is aimed at people who have already gained the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism, as well as those who have no previous journalistic training such as graduates who studied subjects other than journalism.

Course participants will not necessarily be required to hold a Bachelor’s degree in order to take the Master’s if they have enough journalistic experience and are judged to have the ability to work at Level 7.

Portsmouth journalism lecturer Paul Foster, pictured, said: “We think offering a Master’s degree alongside an apprenticeship will be an extremely attractive proposition, not just for new recruits but also existing journalists in newsrooms.”

The centre’s NCTJ-accredited journalism department will run the senior journalist Master’s degree apprenticeship from January 2022.

The programme will be delivered online one day a week for two years, offering flexibility for both the employer and apprentice.

Paul added: “Achieving three qualifications in one programme presents an amazing opportunity for apprentices.

“They will receive expert support, training and guidance as they complete the apprenticeship and earn credits towards a Master’s degree.

“We believe this apprenticeship can be a great way for employers to attract – and retain – talent.”