It was the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) fantastic links with the media industry and established record of producing successful graduates which took Matthew north from Cornwall to Preston to study BA (Hons) Journalism.
“The course was also accredited by the likes of the BJTC which was appealing to me, backed up with some top facilities that other universities didn’t offer,” he says.
Matthew immersed himself in the UCLan experience: taking part in the cricket club, making use of the University’s student media facilities for extracurricular projects and enjoying his course.
Mathew tells us more: “Highlights of my time at university were definitely the real-life scenarios we were put under to prep us for real life. The lecturers were the right balance of helpful and challenging to get the most out of me.”
Students studying Journalism at UCLan undertake placements at some of the most well-established media organisations, including the BBC and ITV. Matthew landed a placement at the International Business Times in the video department, and was subsequently offered freelance work. The same year Matthew was offered a BJTC placement at the BBC’s flagship news programme: Newsnight.
“Due to the work that I had put in before my academic studies had finished, I was lucky to be offered a position before I even graduated. This meant moving from Preston to Greater Manchester as soon as my exams had finished.”
The education and industry experience that Matthew had at UCLan resulted in him being offered a position at UNILAD just after his final exams, before he even graduated. UNILAD is among Britain’s biggest internet media companies, providing news and entertainment, with, as of writing, 35 million followers on Facebook and 3 billion monthly video views.
Matthew’s role is Tech Video and Social Editor. He describes his roles and responsibilities as “creating, sourcing and editing social media posts and video content for the largest technology brand in the world, UNILAD Tech. My work reaches over 80 million people a week on Facebook plus other social platforms. This content is aimed at informing and entertaining people across the world.”
“The digital journalism and social media modules gave me the right preparation to come to my workplace with original ideas. Also the facilities at the University were free to be used by students. I learnt how to use Premier Pro, Photoshop and many more skills alongside other editing software on my course. It can also be said that I may not be where I am now without the expertise to help complete my degree.”
As for any final advice on studying at UCLan, Matthew says it’s about “making the most of contacts inside the university or outside of studies, these people might be your future audience or employees. I would also recommend building a skillset that covers more than your aspired job role.
“Finally, make sure that you go and enjoy yourself at university! Good attendance, extra-curricular activities relevant to the course and making the most of the university experience will help to stand you in good stead.”