Produced by Sarah Stacey
MA Radio Production
When I started my undergraduate degree in Multimedia, the idea of doing a Master’s in the future never occurred to me. My course was very broad and covered a range of different areas, from audio and video production to scriptwriting, photography to web design, and my time was spent learning about all of these and deciding which modules to take in my second year.
I’d been interested in radio since doing a work experience placement at a local station when I was 16, and when I arrived at university, one of the first decisions I made was to get involved in the student radio station. I spent three years presenting and producing live music shows each week, and I absolutely loved it. It quickly became my biggest passion. By the time I got to second year, having also decided that audio was my favourite aspect of my course, I knew that radio was the career path I wanted.
Me during my undergraduate days!
I started applying for summer work experience several months in advance, but things didn’t work out as planned. I must have contacted every single radio station in the east of Ireland, but they all seemed to be full, and therefore weren’t in a position to offer work experience to any more students for the foreseeable future. It was then that I realised how difficult it was going to be to find opportunities, and I started to think about doing a Master’s to gain more of that much-needed experience and increase my employability.
When searching for radio-based Master’s courses in Ireland, I only found two. They both combined radio with television production, which wasn’t what I wanted, so I extended my search to the UK. Bournemouth University’s MA in Radio Production was one of the first courses I found, and it stood out head and shoulders above the rest. I was impressed by its reputation within the industry, as a long-established course with many successful graduates. The fact that it offered the chance to manage a radio station (BIRSt.co.uk) was the deciding factor for me, as it seemed to be the perfect way to gain hands-on experience. From then on, I had my heart set on Bournemouth.
A few weeks after applying I was interviewed over Skype, which gave me the opportunity to speak to the course leader, ask questions and see the studios we would be working in. This convinced me even more that Bournemouth was the place for me.
Several months in, that feeling hasn’t changed. Coming here for postgraduate study was absolutely the right decision, and I believe that by doing this course I’ve given myself the best possible chance of achieving a career in radio production. I know that if I had chosen to stay in Ireland, I would probably still be struggling to find my way into such a competitive industry. I’m excited by how many more opportunities there are in the UK, and I’m hoping to stay here after my studies and pursue these.
By Sarah Stacey