Journalism and writing


Journalists work in broadcasting (television and radio), print (newspapers and magazines) and online. With the continuing growth of digital media there is considerable overlap between these media. Increasingly journalists need to be skilled in producing not only for their chosen medium but also for associated online media e.g. writing for blogs, producing video podcasts and generating content for social media platforms.

Journalism is a highly competitive area of work to get into and the majority of new entrants will have a postgraduate journalism qualification, usually accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) or the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). There are a few direct entry schemes, for example, with the BBC and ITV.


There are many different types of writing from prose (fiction, non-fiction), poetry, writing for the screen, stage and radio, writing for websites and science writing. Formal qualifications tend not to be required as the ability to come up with ideas for a given audience, combined with a talent for writing, is what counts. However, short courses and postgraduate courses can be a helpful way to develop writing skills, receive support and encouragement and gain useful contacts and experience.

Scientific and technical writers need to be able to understand complex concepts, and many have come from a career in science or journalism. For postgraduate courses, see the Prospects Website and for short courses see the National Career Service. The University of Manchester's centre for new writing offers postgraduate courses for creative and contemporary writing.

Getting in and getting experience

Work experience is critical and opportunities may be advertised or, in many cases, secured through speculative approaches and personal contacts made through developing connections.

Resources and advice

  • Join Media Club Exclusively for Manchester students and graduates. Attend the regular events with industry professionals from a range of media careers sectors and receive vacancies and industry advice.
  • BBC Writersroom Script writing.