Journalism degree applications up 1.4 per cent following 20 per cent dip in 2012

Applications for undergraduate journalism courses have risen by 1.4 per cent following a near 20 per cent dip last year.

According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), applications for general undergraduate degrees rose by 3.5 per cent this year after a decline of just less than 7.5 per cent for courses starting in autumn 2012.

As of the 15 January UCAS deadline, 14,820 applications had been made for journalism degrees – down by more than 3,000 since 2011.

Despite the general interest in journalism courses dropping by 18 per cent in two years, NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said she believes accredited courses may be “bucking the trend”.

“With the rise in tuition fees students are becoming more discerning and NCTJ-accreditation and qualifications are more important than ever,” she said.

In November, speaking at the Society of Editors conference, she described it as a “scandal” that young people were being encouraged to apply for non-accredited courses.

She said at the time: “It is a disgrace to see so many young people completing expensive courses and passing bogus qualifications that just don’t provide them with the vocational skills they need to get jobs or qualifications that editors have any faith in.”

Prior to the 19.4 per cent drop in applications for journalism courses last year, recorded in January 2012, applications had risen by more than 40 per cent in two years – from 12,923 in 2009 to 18,129 in 2011, prior to tuition fee rises.

Applications for undergraduate journalism courses did rise to training 15,877 by August 2012 (from 14,609 in January) and are likely to rise again this year.

These are the statistics for the number of applications onto undergraduate journalism courses by January deadlines:

2009 – 12,923 (+13.4 per cent)

2010 – 16,205 (+25.4 per cent)

2011 – 18,129 (+11.9 per cent)

2012 – 14,609 (-19.4 per cent)

2013 – 14,820 (+1.4 per cent)

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