So, you know what to expect when studying Macquarie University Media and Communications. Now, what?
Knowing about the pros and cons of studying the degree is a great step toward deciding whether the degree is right for you! In this article, we’ve asked Sara, a Bachelor of Media and Communications graduate, to tell us all about what she thinks of her study experience — both the good and the not-so-good.
Let’s dive in!
Why should you study a Media degree at Macquarie University?
“Studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications at Macquarie University provides the most rewarding opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the media and communications industry,” Sara first tells us.
The Media and Communications industry is a thriving industry with exciting new possibilities, especially in online and other technological contexts.
It follows that a Bachelor of Media and Communications at Macquarie Uni is a popular degree. The course allows students to specialise in their various media interests, rather than ending up with one general set of skills; all the while, each unit is supported by an enthusiastic set of teaching staff who are industry professionals!
Top 3 Pros of a Media and Communications degree
#1: Flexibility of majors and minors
“You have the ability to choose from a range of subjects to major in and minors that suit your interests from other fields (even other degrees),” Sara says.
In addition to the five specialisation options (Interactive Design, Journalism and Non-Fiction Writing, Online Media, Podcasting and Radio, Public Relations and Social Media, and Screen Practice and Production), there is 80 CP of electives in which students choose any Undergraduate unit and even complete a minor in a certain area. For example, choosing a Politics or English Literature unit can expand a student’s disciplinary knowledge of critical analyses and theoretical frameworks.
Through this flexibility, Media and Communications students can deepen their skillset as a contemporary media practitioner. They can also use knowledge from elective units to diversify or leverage their career opportunities.
#2: Hands-on experience in good facilities
There are a number of practical units in each specialisation, where students have an assessed creative project to complete. During these units, Sara says that “[students] gain hands-on experience using some of the best media equipment in Australia.”
Ranking 13th in Australia for Communication and Media, Macquarie University has industry-standard workstations and equipped theatre venues on campus for students’ use.
Sara tells us that “[students] get to learn from some of the best leaders in the industry who have worked behind the scenes of corporate companies (Network 10 etc)”. Through this, students can receive industry tips on top of acquiring theoretical knowledge.
Most of the specialisation classes also have workshopping aspects where students discuss their projects while giving and receiving constructive criticism on each other’s creative works; workshopping mimics the professional settings that they will be working in in the future. It is often considered a fun and productive class experience!
#3: Opportunity to gain work experience through an internship
“In your final year, you have the opportunity to complete an internship with PACE International,” Sara tells us. “[This gives] you even more hands-on experience into the workplace so that you are equipped with all the knowledge and resources to help you with employment post-graduation.”
As the capstone unit of the course, the unit Media Internship is both a stepping stone to the student’s career and an opportunity to build their resume.
Top 3 Cons of a Media and Communications degree
#1: Large cohort
“There are quite a lot of students who choose to study this degree, so it can be difficult to make connections with your lecturers and tutors,” says Sara.
Forming a good connection with lecturers and tutors can improve a student’s motivation in class; this is not just from feeling confident in class, but as they can provide extra advice and even notify them of career opportunities. As a large cohort size dilutes the teacher’s time and energy on every student, it can be harder to gain this relationship.
However, flicking through an email or waiting at the end of class to ask questions can definitely ensure that you get the most out of their teaching!
#2: Frequency of hand-in assignments
“There are lots of hand in assignments,” Sara says. “So it can be difficult to manage at times.”
Having many hand-in assignments can be counter-productive to a student’s learning as they are constantly divided in attention and may not be able to commit to their longer, heavier-weighted projects as well. Time management and starting student’s assignments earlier is a key way to help this situation.
#3: Focus on group work
Lastly, Sara tells us that there is a heavy focus on group work.
While this is not inherently bad, group-work can be stressful as people have different time commitments and different grade expectations for their academic goals. We’ve all heard the sticky situations when one teammate gets the lion’s share of the work or when people get dealt with unresponsive teammates.
Forming a good line of communication and establishing grade expectations is something you should do at the start of any group assessment. If that does not work, talking with the tutor and sorting the situation out is always an available option.
“Making the most use of my tutors and lecturers if I was struggling with managing my assignments” is one of Sara’s regret about this degree. As highlighted before, there is a large cohort size in this course, but students are nevertheless encouraged to use their voice and ask the questions that they have.
Sara adds, “I wish I attended more info sessions about media careers and got more involved in student groups.”
While not mandatory, info sessions and student groups are great for forming future career connections — it can be the one thing that lands a student’s dream job in media!
What do you wish you had known before starting Macquarie University Media and Communications?
“You can do a double major!” Sara shares.
If you have interests in two different specialisations and cannot choose one, you can use your elective units to complete a second specialisation in a Bachelor of Media and Communications!
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“What makes this degree at Macquarie the most different to other universities is that you aren’t boxed into studying one field of media,” Sara says.
Discipline and unit flexibility can be seen as one of the best things about a Bachelor of Media and Communications at Macquarie University.
What inspired you to choose Macquarie University Media and Communications?
“I’ve always been fascinated with the media industry — how news can rapidly spread across platforms, how people can make a living by using social media etc. As someone who is consumed by the media everyday, I knew I wanted to study it,” Sara says.
Macquarie University was a clear choice for Sara.
“It was only natural that I chose to do it at Macquarie University — given their subject flexibility (I could learn across a range of fields). They have some of the best media facilities and equipment that are really useful in gaining hands-on experience,” she continues.
What are the possible career paths?
Bachelor of Media and Communications graduates enter the workforce with a broad set of career options. Depending on their major, they may follow different career paths including:
Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.