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University of South Wales scraps journalism course

06 Feb 2024 3 minute read
University of South Wales, Cardiff Campus. Photo by BigDom is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The University of South Wales will scrap its journalism undergraduate course at the end of the academic year after almost two decades.

The university said the decision was taken due to a decline in students studying journalism and media in the UK.

The BA Journalism degree was the only practical and BJTC accredited journalism undergraduate course in Wales’ capital.

It has produced an abundance of talented journalists including ITV’s Alexandra Spiceley, former Bro Radio presenter and now BBC Wales producer Dan Moffat, ITV Wales’ Dan Bevan and Sophia Franklin who prior to becoming a podcaster co-presented alongside Chris Evans for Virgin Radio.

Body blow

Nation.Cymru’s news editor, Emily Price also received her first class honours degree from the course.

She said: “This is a body blow for the journalism sector in Wales which is already under immense pressure. The course was far more hands on and practical than the other options at USW which was what attracted me to it when I looked at journalism degrees in Wales.

“The course proved to be a top quality conveyer belt producing many talented journalists who have gone on to enjoy successful careers.

“Prior to getting my degree, I was working as a waitress and applying for the BA Journalism course at USW was the best thing I ever did. I’ll be forever grateful to the hardworking lecturers who helped me achieve my dream.”

In September last year when it became apparent USW bosses were considering axing the course, Plaid Cymru MS Sioned Williams wrote a letter of concern to the university alongside Nation.Cymru’s CEO and several other Welsh news outlets.

Shortage

Nation.Cymru CEO Mark Mansfield wrote: “There is currently a severe shortage of journalists in Wales and in particular young, properly trained journalists.

“In the past we have advertised extensively for newly qualified journalists when vacancies have arisen and have been disappointed with the number and calibre of applicants.

“Our news editor has been able to achieve her dream of working as a journalist thanks to the teaching at USW.

“It would be a tragedy if that opportunity was denied to other aspiring journalists with the closure of the course.”

USW says it remains committed to the subject area.

A spokesperson said: “USW is committed to investing in the future of the creative industries in Wales. We are constantly evaluating and adapting our curriculum to ensure that our students have the best opportunities to develop their own skills and connections to enhance their future careers.

“The decision to close BA Journalism was not taken lightly. Unfortunately, we have not seen sufficient growth in student numbers to provide the rich student experience and culture we strive to achieve.

“This is partly because of a decline in the number of students studying Journalism and Media Studies in the UK, meaning there are not enough potential students, despite the excellence of our staff, students and partnerships.

“Our BA Media, Culture and Journalism, BA Sports Journalism and MA Visual Journalism courses all continue to recruit strongly in a competitive market and we remain committed to provision within this subject area.

“To be clear, the course will remain live for current undergraduate students for the duration of their course and their studies will not be affected.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

Surely Cymru needs its own corps of journalists for keeping our growing number of politicians’ feet to the fire and for furthering the cause of independence. Where will the staff of our future national news teams come from in a post Reach Cymru…Short-sighted and extremely depressing…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

How’s this for a conspiracy theory, less journalists holding their feet to the fire the more our self-serving, back scratching ‘elected representatives’ get away with. To be frank this is a town council running our country for their own benefit. It was ever thus locally but now it is national…two parties working hand in hand to the exclusion of all others including their own children…vote green not greed…

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
19 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Some of the best journalists never did a degree in journalism so not convinced that conspiracy theory works.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

I agree conspiracy theories never work until they do…

Just because you’re paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you…

Jeff
Jeff
19 days ago

What is the UK trend? In this age of anyone setting up blogs and you tube channels, the likes of Farage and Mogg getting a show on a “news station”, we need well trained journalists more than ever. We need journalists that will pull apart all the political classes at every level but importantly impartial. Looking at you BBC.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Spot on Jeff…So guilty, BBC News and current affairs, Moral Maze gave us Gove and the Vixen, who so messed with the soft tissue of the Radio 4 listener, enough to tip us into Brexit. Hislop and co did the same for Fat Shanks, made him popular. Too many of them to list here…

Jeff
Jeff
19 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

BBC is corrupted from the management top that affects lobby journo’s and head political reporters. This has been a plan long in the making and will need a top level clear out (top Tory donors get the job, who knew). Take for example the Truss car crash interviews onBBC local radio, the local radio hosts tore her a new one and she was not expecting that. The reach from the top wasn’t to that level and they had more stones and ability than the prime time Sunday AM slot. That talent is there, but we need more of it and… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Of course everyone should buy and read Private Eye but the law of unintended consequences applies…

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