Media Department hosts Honours Information Evening
UKZN’s Discipline of Media and Cultural Studies recently hosted its annual Honours information evening at the Jack Heath Gallery in the Centre for Visual Arts to provide final year undergraduate students with information about the honours degree programme.
Academic Leader of Research in the School of Arts, Dr Nicola Jones, explained that a media degree provided the foundation to embark on careers in journalism, communication and film while an honours degree gave graduates the all-important edge in a competitive job market.
‘Students do not just go out with the theoretical knowledge and the ability to do some research; they go out into the world with a whole lot of practical skills,’ said Jones.
Former UKZN honours students shared their experiences with the academics and students in attendance and highlighted how the degree had contributed to their current careers.
A journalist at The Witness and a graduate last year, Mr Amil Umraw, highlighted the degree was one of the reasons why he was chosen for an internship at the newspaper. ‘Out there you aren’t just competing with the people in your class but you are competing with an entire country of hungry graduates. An honours qualification gives you an added edge,’ said Umraw.
Marketing Assistant at St Charles College and also 2014 graduate, Ms Claire Keyworth, said an honours degree provided the essential skills needed for her job. ‘There is foundational knowledge which I gained from my undergraduate degree, but it’s that practical in-depth knowledge that I gained in honours, that has made the big difference in my job this year,’ said Keyworth.
Layout editor at Media24 and a 2013 graduate, Ms Tayla Holtz, said honours had helped her build a portfolio of work, and that she was especially grateful to have been taught Adobe In design and Photoshop which is vital to her job.
‘Interviewers want to see everything that you have done - they want to see your creativity in your posters and flyers and in what you have written,’ said Holtz. ‘With an honours, you get that practical experience.’
The Department also used the evening to unveil its new name, African Journalism and Mass Media Studies, which emphasises the convergence journalism curriculum to be implemented in stages from next year.
The event ended on a positive note with the Dean of Research in the College of Humanities, Professor Henriette Hay-Swemmer, encouraging students to pursue further post-graduate studies. ‘I think our country desperately needs a new generation of people in this Discipline. You will contribute to nation building and reconciliation through the work you will be doing,’ said Hay-Swemmer.