Media: it’s not a “mickey mouse” diploma | Students

Compulsory industry placements, late-night editing, 14 hours of class per week, and endless study tasks and assignments — not the workload typically associated with a media studies degree. But that’s the reality for today’s media student.

As a media studies student, I struggled with the stigma attached to media and communications degrees. Media studies is often considered a “mickey mouse” subject and a media student is seen as the equivalent of a couch potato degree. But I don’t think many people really know what media studies are all about, or what it’s like to study them in college.

Professor James Curran, Director of Goldsmith’s Media Research Center and author of Defending Media Studies, says: “I think if people knew how demanding media studies are and how much they require the ability to write very well, a skill that most people don’t have. t have but makes a lot of media students very employable, they would think differently. »

According to Office of National Statistics 2013 Reportmedia degree holders have the second highest employment rate United Kingdom. So how is it that the subject is still so ridiculed, and why have ministers already protested to have it removed from the national curriculum when it brings so much to the economy?

The media is a powerful entity that plays an important role in society. Professor Philip Thickett, director of Birmingham City University’s School of Media, said: “It gives people a voice or the ability to really change people’s opinions or lives and I think that’s incredibly powerful. . That’s why the media is important.”

Media Studies is not about watching movies and reading newspapers, but about actively engaging in media practice, theory, and production. It is about working within the industry and requires skills such as good project management and critical thinking.

Many argued that the course was not academic, but in my course, I found the complexity of social and cultural theory to be enough to leave you perplexed. The fact that certain aspects of media are also taught in some of the major universities, including Harvard and Stanford at the postgraduate level, demonstrates why it is worthy of a degree. As Professor Curran notes, ‘only Britain has a problem with this’.

Thickett says: “The course is very challenging: we want students to be intellectually challenged and to understand and deal with the pressures they will encounter when taking on media jobs. It’s maybe one of the unspoken skills in that it’s of course and it’s no different than what people face in the industry.”

Media studies may be considered a “soft” subject, but it is a cutthroat industry and we are taught to work in it. As Thickett says, “You don’t live in a ‘mickey mouse’ world and media studies is certainly not a ‘mickey mouse’ degree.”

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