My Life, Student Life

Third Year Decision Dissertation VS. Practical Project

 

Since I originally applied to university three years ago I have not been sure what I wanted to do in my future.

I spent some time playing around and testing different subjects but never was able to find a area that I felt confidence and passionate about.

The first time I applied for university I wasn’t entirely sure whether I could handle the pressure and the extent of work that we would have to do.

This was until I reapplied just over a year ago at De Montfort University when I started to study Creative Writing and Journalism as a joint honors degree.

Through the year I came across some challenges and difficulties regarding the extent of work that I have to complete for both subjects.

Despite this I plowed through and managed to complete all of the work two the highest standard that I could and I am proud of myself to be able to have done so. I have picked it up valuable life skills as well as practical skills in both areas that what I will be sure to use in the future.

Reaching the end of my first year was faced with a decision that had came way too soon and way too quickly for my liking.

We were expected to decide whether we wanted to specialise in Creative Writing or Journalism and which subject to complete a final project in.

Though from the first open day at De Montfort University we were warned of this conundrum, I had hardly given it a thought and cast it aside thinking that I had ages to make this decision.

I find it a difficult decision to make for a first year deciding what we would want to do two years from now in some way deciding our future.

However I understand why we had to make this decision at the end of our first year because in our second year we have to study the modules that would best prepare us for our end project that we would complete in the third year.

There is no point studying something in our second year that we knew we wouldn’t pursue in the third year.

The main project in creative writing would be a form of portfolio which would allow me to develop a piece of writing and project of my choice, fiction or non-fiction in which any genre I decide.

Using this portfolio we could create a collection of poems, create a sitcom, write a graphic novel script, develop a collection of short fiction pieces, or my personal favorite, develop a project in a form of a novel.

We as students would receive guidance and support by tutors and the other members of our learning group in order to form and develop the best project we could do and be able to create a sense of audience and purpose for our piece, but overall the project and end result would be up to us.

I have always been trying to write a novel, started a few, but never had accomplished it, I felt that through for skills I had learnt and acquired at in this year of university, I would be able to increase my chances of succeeding, in the areas I had otherwise.

Alongside this main portfolio project, we would complete a compulsory module named, ‘Professional Writing Skills’.

This module is designed to prepare me for when I leave university. It would allow me to develop the current knowledge that I have of all the aspects of the creative writing industry.

This module would allow me to attend guest lecturers from professionals such as writers, publishers, performers, agents, editors and development officers to give us inspiration and to help us possibly decide or at least have that step forward into our future career as a writer.

We as students, would receive training from a voice coach to help increase our confidence of the ability to read our work in public. This module encourages us to enter employment with transferable skills that we have learnt through the progression of the course.

As well as completing the portfolio and the compulsory module in creative writing I would be completing two modules in journalism. One of these modules is called ‘Reporting 3’ and this is a core module within the journalism subject, it will allow me to create a portfolio of my own work including material that I had published during any work experience placements that I completed during the course of the three years.

I could also include any publications that I did as part of Demon Media. A big part of the portfolio process  is a publication, produced with a group of fellow students which you will conceptualise, write and design, completely by myself.

The other module that I would complete the side the core module in journalism and creative writing would be a practical project, allowing me to specialise in a specific area.

I would have the choice of sports journalism, which would be focused on sports reporting and help me develop the necessary skills to be able to report on sports such as football.

I could study and module involving political communication and how it looks into politicians and how they communicate with the public through the use of the media. This would include looking into various Media professionals, putting particular emphasis on journalists.

Another possibility would be studying the arts and entertainment area of journalism, as this module would allow me to explore the theory and practice of reviewing the different areas of the world of arts and entertainment.

One of the other opportunities that I could do was magazine publishing. A chance to look at how magazines are created, developed, marketed and ran.

This would allow me to get an inside look into the world of magazine publishing. Then lastly and probably the most exciting to me would be broadcast journalism, the chance to participate in projects that allow you to join in as Demon TV and DemonFM.

On the other hand if I was to study journalism as my final project I would be completing a 10,000 word dissertation on a subject of my choice. This would include me examining literature surrounding my chosen subject as well as conducting my own original research to back up my project.

Alongside this main dissertation, I would complete the compulsory unit in the journalism area with ease to create my own portfolio of written articles inside and outside the university.

Alongside these two units I would also study a compulsory at unit creative writing, which would supply me with the skills are needed to have in the world a writer.

Currently this unit enables writers to write in the form of a children’s picture book, aimed at children aged between 11-14. In completing this unit we are to be aware of the demands and expectations of those publishing as those reading this style of book.

Originally, I came to De Montfort University in the hope to enhance my skills enough to become and writer and pursue the novel I have always wanted to write.

Therefore I found that my choice was easy. I would be choosing to go down the creative writing path in third year and write that hard hitting novel.

As well as completing the compulsory modules in third year, I felt that choosing this pathway would also benefit me in the journalism area as I would be able to complete a practical module which would enable me to enhance my skills, which I could take through into the world of work.

In my mind I automatically narrow down the choices of the practical units that I’d be studying depending on preference.

Straight away I eliminated sports journalism and political communications journalism as I didn’t have much interest or passion in either of these two areas. I did consider choosing the arts and entertainment area of journalism as I failed slightly intrigued by what this could involve.

However though the interest was there I don’t think I could see it through a whole year. This left me torn between broadcast journalism and magazine journalism.

Though I did consider this for a long time I decided that I was more interested in the written pieces that appear in a magazine and I would be somewhat restricted in the ability to be able to design a magazine, and I wanted to do this project completely independently.

In the end I was left with broadcast journalism, but I wasn’t disappointed in being left with this choice at all. I have been passionate and remain passionate about the world of broadcast journalism and being able to present my own radio show has strengthened of this resolve.

However as I progressed through the year my perspective on this changed slightly. Though I enjoyed creative writing very much and found it a great way to express myself, I enjoyed studying journalism and equal amounts and I seem to be getting the higher grades and results in journalism compared to creative writing.

This led me to consider completing a journalism dissertation, when considering this I thought back to my time at Southampton Solent University.

I started to remember that at the end of the year I completed, I had started to think about what subjects I would use for my dissertation at the end of my degree, so moving back to de Montfort University I considered the ideas that I considered then.

My attention was caught through the media and this got me thinking about how disability was represented in the media.

I could possibly right the ten thousand words easily and be able to research the subject thoroughly and apply crucial knowledge to the essay from the material I read but I could also apply my own knowledge and passion of this subject through the original research I conduct as part of this project.

I also felt that this piece would be a chance to voice my feelings and opinions about this subject.

Thinking it all through and taking everything into consideration, including the fact that my grades seemed to be higher in journalism and that I was passionate about journalism and was highly considering a career in journalism, I decided to take the path of journalism in my third year and concentrate on writing a journalism dissertation.

A part of me felt saddened by this decision I felt that completing a journalism dissertation and accompanying it with a portfolio of journalism work and publications would give me a higher chance at acquiring a job in the journalism industry.

As for my passion to be a writer, it is still there and will always be there and I will continue to work on my novel and other pieces alongside completing my dissertation, and the professional writing skills unit that is compulsory during our third year, including the chance to speak with guest lecturers such as writers and publishers would help me to be able to do so. Pleased by my decision, I submitted my choice.

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