The statistics show that both domestically and aggregately, the number of students undertaking media related subjects is falling.

However, those who do proceed with such a degree are finding jobs in industry.

At the University of Sussex there  are currently 805 undergraduates studying Media and Film studies, whilst the average number of students studying science based subjects is only 598 per subject.

Over the past four years there has been an increase in students choosing to study science subjects at Sussex as the number of those applying to study Media and Film has remained the same.

According to UCAS, there is almost a 50/50 split on applicants applying for science-based subjects and art-based subjects, with 4004 applicants in the UK applying for a science subject and 4455 applications applying for art based subjects.

There were only 393 applicants looking to study courses related to Mass Communications and Documentation. This group includes: information services, publicity studies, media studies, publishing and journalism.

The job prospects for media students are not as bad as public opinion seems to suggest.

According to the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and Graduate Prospects, the number of Media graduates in employment was at 64.5 percent in 2008, which was 5.5 percent more than the national average for graduates that year.

Media Studies is an arts based subject that comes under criticism from academics and educational officials.

For example, Chris Woodhead, the former chief inspector of schools, condemned it as “vacuous” and “quasi-academic”.
John Humphrys, the presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme, said: “Even more kids are doing it now and it is sillier than it ever was.  Where are they going to find jobs?”

Tomas Pospichal, a Media studies post-graduate student at Sussex talks of his experience as a Mass Communications student in the Czech Republic: “I did a two week internship with AMI Communications which is part of the Edellman group. Employers were interested in the field I was studying, as it was a new degree being offered in the Czech Republic.I performed well and they agreed to take me on part-time whilst I was doing my degree.

“Being well-read has acted as an advantage for me, and the course I was doing helped me in that aspect. The rate of employment in the Czech Republic for media studies is really good, most of my classmates are working straight after graduation or even before they graduate.”

Media figures have an ironic habit of downgrading the prestige of media studies and related degrees but evidence shows that although prospective interest in media degrees is not on the rise, work is available for successful graduates.

Categories: Features

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