The BBC and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have come together to give people a life-changing opportunity to enter the world of broadcast journalism.
The two organisations have created a one-year foundation course that will act as a gateway to study at what is one of the UK’s leading journalism schools.
The BBC joining forces with UCLan is a unique move and will provide a fantastic opportunity to learn how to be a journalist.
Way In will help students to discover new skills and find out just what it means to be a broadcast journalist, programme maker and web producer of the future from the people who do it today. The foundation course will teach the basics of journalism, where to find a good story, how to tell it and how to put together programme material for broadcast and online.
The foundation programme will be run jointly from BBC Lancashire’s base in Blackburn and UCLan’s Preston campus.
Students will have their own base at the BBC in Blackburn and will also be allocated a mentor from a member of BBC staff. The time they spend inside the BBC will give them a chance to see how the BBC’s broadcast and online journalists do their job.
The course is aimed at people who would not normally consider a career in journalism because they feel such a job is out of their reach. No specific qualifications or special knowledge are needed – just enthusiasm, commitment and passion. Those who pass the foundation course will gain entry onto the University’s flagship journalism degree course.
Managing Editor of BBC Radio Lancashire, John Clayton, said: “This is the first course of its kind in the country to be run jointly by the BBC and a university. It provides a fantastic opportunity to those people who have always dreamed of becoming a broadcast journalist but felt they didn’t have the qualifications or experience necessary.
“The course is open for people aged 18 plus but we also want to hear from people who thought their college days were long gone. In our experience mature applicants often make excellent students because of their life experience.”
Head of the Journalism Department at UCLan, Mike Ward, said: “We are delighted to be working so closely with the BBC on the development of this exciting new course.
“Our students today are tomorrow’s journalists, working in an increasingly multi-cultural and complex society. We need to encourage entry onto our journalism degree from a diverse range of applicants and this will eventually feed through to UK newsrooms, where thousands of our graduates are currently employed.
“This course is aimed at those who never thought a career as a journalist was within their grasp. The message it sends out is ‘it can be’.”
BBC Radio Lancashire, in conjunction with UCLan, is hosting two open days at its drop-in centre, Darwen Street, Blackburn, on 16 August and 23 August between 10am-2pm for people who would like to find out more.