University prepares for football journalism course

The first ever BA (Hons) degree course in the UK specialising solely in football journalism is set to be offered later this year by the University of Derby.

Online media outlet Hold the Front Page revealed that the course would commence in September

Modules will include photojournalism and reportage, broadcast journalism, football business, marketing and PR, and sports science and coaching for reporters.

The course has been developed after discussions with football clubs and media companies, including the BBC.

The university is aiming for 50 per cent of students on the course to be female, with statistics suggesting that fewer than ten per cent of sports journalists are women.

Students will have the use of three radio studios, a television studio, video editing suites, Mac suites and a newsroom using the latest software.

Course leader Keith Perch (pictured) the former editor of the Derby TelegraphLeicester Mercury and South Wales Echo, said: “Interest in our national game is so intense that it is regularly propelled from the back to the front pages of our newspapers, has led to an explosion of specialist football websites and has seen football clubs become global brands taking control of their own narrative. This new degree reflects the public’s growing appetite for round-the-clock football news and comes at a time when clubs themselves are seeking well-qualified media professionals who can help them build their audiences and communicate directly with fans.”

As part of the course, students will gain practical work experience within the football industry or “relevant media organisations”.

Among those to welcome the course are ITV and BBC sports reporter Jacqui Oatley, who praised the university’s commitment to taking on female students.

She posted on Twitter: “Good to see (the university) trying to redress the gender imbalance in football journalism. Aiming for 50 per cent female intake.”