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What Skills Can I Learn with a Degree in Communications?

Journalists at an event
6 min

Interested in pursuing a degree in communications? Aoife is at the halfway point in her BA in Communications and Media Production. Here she takes stock on the journey so far.

By embarking on a degree in communications, a range of opportunities will become available to you. A communications degree equips learners with the skills to work not only in journalism and media, but also in many other industries such as design, business, politics and law. Many of the skills acquired throughout a communications degree are transferable, making you attractive to prospective employers from various disciplines.

So, if like me, you are interested in communications, these are just some of the skills I have learned so far…

Content Creation

In a world where high-quality content is amongst the most important aspects of any business strategy, those who can create this across a variety of mediums are highly sought after. A communications degree teaches these skills across a multitude of channels.

Since I have started studying at Griffith College, I have developed my photography skills and learned how to use the Adobe Creative Suite to enhance and alter these images. I have studied the art of directing, filming, and editing video content, and embodied a sound engineer's skillset through modules in radio production. 

Modules in the basics of photography, videography and radio are all undertaken in your first year at Griffith, and you then have the option to pursue some of these further in 2nd and 3rd year. The content creation skills that I learned in my first year alone have opened up many doors, allowing me the opportunity to create promotional material for businesses. 

Creativity

At Griffith College, learners are encouraged to be creative. Sourcing news stories or planning photoshoots all rely heavily on one's creativity.

I really enjoy modules on radio as you get the opportunity to be as creative as possible, by producing radio documentaries and researching content for radio shows. I found that by Griffith giving me license to be creative with various assignments, I now have a clearer understanding of what career path I want to pursue once I finish at Griffith. 

Research

From my studies so far, one takeaway stands out – when it comes to working in media, you are only as good as your research! At Griffith, the faculty work hard at developing confidence in your research capabilities. I have learned how to quickly obtain and compile information from several sources; such as conducting interviews regularly, which is an excellent primary source when engaging in research.

In my first year at Griffith College, my class conducted a content analysis on newspaper coverage of issues leading up to the 2020 General Election. Before this, I did not think I would enjoy researching as much as I did, but I am now planning to do another content analysis for my dissertation!

Design

Another great aspect of the course is having the opportunity to develop your design skills.

From your first year on the programme, you will study how to plan the layout for a newspaper and magazine, and design various promotional print works for events and businesses using industry-standard software. You will enhance your knowledge of important design theories in visual communications through topics on typography and colours. You will also be introduced to the world of graphic design through the creation of logos and graphics. Similarly, skills are acquired in developing and maintaining a website that can showcase a portfolio of your work. 

In the second year of the BA in Communications and Media Production course, the class works collaboratively to create and design an entire magazine based on the Dublin 8 area. This is an incredible opportunity and a great addition to any portfolio. 

Teamwork

Through working on group projects, learners will have developed the skills required to work collaboratively. Teamwork acts as an opportunity for the student to become an ambassador for their own ideas. As well as equipping them with the capability of assisting others with an idea and content formation. 

By being able to work as a team, groups can work together to get good grades and have great fun. My favourite assignment that I worked on as part of a team was when we got to present and host our own news show. People got extremely creative with presenting and costumes.

Critical Thinking

Students will become active participants in the learning process by associating previously acquired knowledge with newfound theories and ideas. By actively engaging with the coursework, you will question the reasons behind specific ideas and evaluate and identify alternative arguments.

By being encouraged to think critically over the course of my degree, I have begun to understand the reasons behind some of my beliefs and choices. Through class debates, I have learnt to open my eyes and try to understand an alternative perspective, which is hugely important for anyone wanting to get into journalism!

Communication

Early on, you will be taught how to approach strangers for an interview and how to prepare for tough questions during a press conference. You will also gain the confidence to present your ideas to a wider audience confidently and professionally. Every aspect of your communication skills will only become enhanced with a communications degree. 

During the Thinking, Writing & Presenting module in my first year, I gained confidence in my communication skills by giving press conferences to the other students. I had to prepare for all types of questions and communicate the responses as though I was giving a real press conference. 

I hope that my brief overview gave you a quick snapshot of what life is like as a Communication Student at Griffith College. The bottom line really is that the course is what you make it. The faculty are always on hand to give advice and are always putting the student first, making sure we have the most up to date skills for the industry. With freedom of creativity being at the centre of the degree, you really do get to tailor the course to where you want to go with it and start shaping your future career.

So, are you ready to get started?

Originally from East Clare, Aoife is a freelance journalist, content creator and marketer passionate about education, travel and adventure. She is also a Communications and Media Production student at Griffith College Dublin.

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