I studied History at undergrad and after an initial plan to take a year out working and return to do a European History Masters, I did a bit of a U-turn and went for Media and Public Relations instead.
So with me you get two subject area low-downs for the price of one…
BA (Hons) History:
- Overview: A traditionally ‘academic’ subject, you get what you’d expect from university- lectures, reading, research, essays, exams. If you’re a lover of knowledge and theoretical approaches then the work doesn’t seem so bad.
- Structure: Few contact hours but there’s more reading. Plus you get so much choice in the types of History you want to learn and write about, especially by third year.
- Skills: Transferable skills for any career path (research, writing, critical thinking, presenting). All employees love this stuff.
- Assignments: More ‘traditional’ assignments, often longer essays, presentations and exams.
Media and PR MA:
- Overview: Although there is the academic side covered with the Media modules, the PR and Journalism modules I’ve chosen have allowed for a less theory based and more creative approach. You can even take film modules.
- Structure: More contact hours, although you’re still expected to do a fair amount of independent study.
- Skills: Some ‘transferable skills’ (like writing and we have to work in teams a lot) but you also get skills for a specific career path – we even got to practice being grilled by journalists in a mock press conference.
- Assignments: Fewer exams, and more variation… For a journalism module I had to write news articles for print and radio, and produce a written profile feature to go along with audio of the interview put together with a slideshow of photos. And for PR modules I’ve had to create PR plans, Crisis Plans and evaluate other real-life PR and Social Corporate Responsibility campaigns.
So, there you have it. A quick overview of the two subjects I’ve studied at Newcastle Uni. Honestly, I enjoy both equally but they are very different in terms of style of learning and I know I’ve developed skills in each that I wouldn’t have got from the other.
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