With a state of the art studio used by the BBC, students on the TV production course at the University of Bedfordshire couldn’t be better resourced for a career in broadcasting. And if their coursework is anything to go by, their own names will soon be featuring on the credits on the small screen – like their alumni predecessors before them.
Award Winning Students
Two student alumni won in their category of student documentary in the Learning on Screen Awards 2017 and others are now at work in the industry, with some working on productions like Big Brother and X Factor as the same time as studying.
“We involve industry professionals and run masterclasses taught by people working on Eastenders, Emmerdale and other well-known programmes,” explains Kathryn Wolfe, Course Leader of the Television Production BA Hons. at the Luton campus.
“Every year we organise a networking event in London where our students have an opportunity to meet media professionals and do some informal networking. This helps them enormously in terms of gaining work and professional contacts, as well as raising the profile of the course.”
With a previous career in TV and directing credits on Crimewatch UK and Breakfast Time, Kathryn is only too aware of just how important those industry links are.
She says: “We have forged chains of employability that strengthen every year and these help our students to go on to gain success in the industry.”
TV as Inspiration
The University’s ERA licence is instrumental in this success. Without it, staff and students would be unable to view the very programmes they take inspiration from, or use them in teaching and learning.
Students work on a range of productions from the inception of an idea to the final transmission. A recent project was ‘Dance Daze’, a live show filmed in front of a studio audience and streamed. Inspired by the likes of ‘Strictly’ and involving students from other courses like Media Performance and Media Make-Up not only was this a vehicle for cross-curricular collaboration but it was a tremendously popular production in its own right and showcased student talent.
The course is extremely well resourced and one studio is used by the BBC for its Sunday Politics Show. Students can sign out equipment and are encouraged to do this, so that they can practise on an individual or small group basis on their own projects.
The University also has its 24-hour Radio LAB which operates as a FM community station as well as providing learning opportunities for students. This is open to other educational establishments such as Luton Sixth Form College, where students from the BTEC radio and also TV and film courses used it as a means of getting some on-air experience.