A new journalism Masters programme in Sports Journalism officially launched in University of Limerick on February 25th.
RTÉ sports presenter Jacqui Hurley and sports editor for the Irish Examiner Tony Keen, and former Munster and Ireland rugby player Keith Wood will feature as lecturers for the programme, which gets underway in September.
The university already offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. This specific programme will offer both practical and academic modules, including sports writing, broadcasting and communications, as well as the sociology of sport.
Speaking to The College View, course leader Fergal Quinn said that this course contains all the “nuts and bolts” necessary for people looking to branch into the industry.
“There is a high balance of practical and academic which allows people to see all aspects of sports journalism. It is such a rewarding career, and it never really feels like work.
“Many journalism programmes throughout the country offer sports modules, but not as focused as this one. Sport is such a massive part of the media that we consume every day. It’s actually surprising that the course doesn’t exist already,” he said.
The programme is directed towards people from all backgrounds, including retired players and avid sports fans wanting to work in the industry.
“This idea came from talking to other journalists and sports people in the industry. We were discussing the talent of young writers coming up, along with the future of sports journalism. From talking to other professionals and pursuing my own interest, I could see a niche in the market for a course like this.’, said Quinn.
The Sports Journalism module for final year journalism student was removed from the syllabus last year. First-year journalism student, Conor McKenna thinks the Masters’ degree is a great initiative.
“It really is a fantastic idea, especially for someone like myself, who wants to work in sports journalism. The lecturers for the course are experts in the industry so that itself is fairly impressive.”
McKenna added, “It’s too early right now to decide if I would apply, but it is definitely something to think about after graduation.’”
Applications for the programme are now open. More information is available on www.ul.ie.
Image Credit: Alison Clair