Our North West Media Centre has become a real hub for developing talent and showcasing the great things that students within our Department of Media get up to.
The close-knit and interdisciplinary nature of the Department adds to a real, creative community here at Chester. And with a host of national accolades for recent graduates, our Media courses have been truly instrumental in shaping talent within the creative industries.
If you are an aspiring media professional, read on for a taste of what our students have been getting up to this year.
And if you’ve applied for a place at Chester, why not come and see the University for yourself? An Applicant Day is the perfect opportunity to come and spend time with staff and students from our Department of Media courses at Chester and Warrington, experience our facilities and get a feel for life at the University.
Showcasing student talent
Current students have been making a name for themselves with national awards, including three nominations and one win in the Jerusalem broadcasting awards; a silver in the Student Radio Awards; and second place in the BBC Worldwide Showcase format-pitching competition.
We’ve also held our own annual student radio awards, student photography exhibitions and regular music events. In November 2014, the Media Department also hosted a special event sponsored by the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association in which a dozen speakers examined the future of local newspapers.
Our biggest student event is the annual Media Showcase, an end-of-year celebration of work by Department of Media students. Check out last year’s brochure for a taste of what you could get up to as a student of Advertising, Digital Photography, Film Studies, Journalism, Media Studies, Music, Radio Production, Sports Journalism or Television Production at Chester. The year was rounded off by a sparkling graduation ceremony at Chester Cathedral with guest speaker broadcasting legend Esther Rantzen.
Gaining real-world experience
In addition to our innovative Work Based Learning module in the second year of study, students within the Department of Media regularly participate in professional media work managed by our in-house media production office. Recent clients have included Cheshire Police, Adoption Matters, The National Autistic Society and Warrington Wolves Rugby League Football Club.
Visiting industry hotspots
Over the past year, our students have enjoyed study trips across the region and overseas. In 2014, students visited Brussels, where they saw inside the European Parliament, the European Commission, NATO headquarters and the Reuters news agency. In 2015, a trip to Berlin included visits to two newspaper offices, a TV station, a radio station, the German Parliament and Foreign Office, and Berlin’s Olympic stadium.
Learning from media professionals
Our teaching staff have extensive professional backgrounds in the media, having worked for national and regional newspapers and magazines, as well as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. We also continue to engage in extensive academic research. Recent publications by members of our department include Understanding Fandom by Mark Duffett, and The End of Journalism Version 2.0 and Interactivity 2 by Alec Charles. Meanwhile, research by Advertising lecturer Chris Hart was used by Chancellor George Osborne to introduce an exemption to the tax on classic cars in his 2014 budget.
Engaging with industry guests
Over the past year we’ve hosted visits from a wide range of media industry speakers, including:
- TV producers Mike Spencer, Sarah Murch, Cat Lewis, Ged Clarke and (Chester graduate) Sonny Kang
- International Commercial Advertising Photographer of the Year Tim Wallace
- BBC Radio 5Live Commissioning Editor (and Chester graduate) Richard Maddock
- The Sun journalist Bill Coles and Daily Mirror sports reporter David Maddock
- Sports journalist (and Chester graduate) Dave Powell
- Scottish Football Association’s Craig Jones
- BBC World Service’s Paul Rasmussen
- BAFTA-nominated composer Christopher Mann
- Veteran journalist and broadcaster Larry Neild
- Digital marketing expert (and Chester graduate) Colin Telford
- Music producers Russell Cottier, Danny Hevingham and Steve Oates
- Professional photographer (and Chester graduate) Helen Hann
- Sports media expert Garry Whannel
- Newspaper expert Ildiko Kaposi
- Filmmaker Asta Philpott
- Journalist (and Chester graduate) Aisha Singleton
- War journalism expert Piers Robinson
- Advertising industry professionals Brian Minards, Tim Sharp and (Chester graduate) Ali Vermilio
- Online and news editor of Kerrang! magazine (and Chester graduate) John Longbottom
- Music writer Simon Poole
- Former England footballer Rob Jones
- Music professionals across the world at our recent international conference on popular music fandom
Forthcoming speaker events include the annual international conference of the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group in November 2015.
Generating graduate success
These opportunities to extend your skills and networks will all play a vital role in enhancing your employability and kick-starting your career in the creative industries. Recent instances of Chester alumni making their mark on the sector include:
- Two nominations for graduates in the O2 Media Awards
- A TV graduate win in the Royal Television Society Awards
- A Radio Production graduate wins an IRN News Award and a music production graduate named in Music Week’s annual list of top young music executives