Despite the unbundling of the Mass Communication as a stand-alone degree, the National Universities Commission (NUC) says it will allow some schools to retain the programme for a while.
NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who made this known to newsmen in Abuja, explained that some universities that do not have the competencies to run the new departments will be allowed to temporarily continue with the department of Mass Communication as a degree programme.
In his words: “We have almost concluded the unbundling of Mass Communication. At the end of first quarter (of 2020), Mass Communication will not be existing as a stand-alone degree programme because it is too wide.
“We are unbundling the programme into seven different programmes (which will award) Bachelors Degrees in Public Relations, Marketing Communications, Media studies, Film studies, Cinematography or photography, Strategic Communication, and so many others.
“This is in line with trends all over the world. We will retain the Mass Communication for those universities that have not yet developed the full competencies in the areas.”
Recall that professors, professionals and practitioners of communication in Nigeria had presented new communication curricula to National Universities Commission (NUC) seeking the unbundling of mass communication into seven departments. The NUC had approved the Curriculum which resulted in the emergence of seven degree-awarding programmes and the phasing out of the single BSc/BA Degree Programme in Mass Communication currently offered in different Faculties in different universities.
The seven new Programmes/Departments, to be domiciled in a Faculty / School / College of Communication and Media Studies are: Journalism & Media Studies, Public Relations, Advertising, Broadcasting, Film & Multi-Media Studies, Development Communication Studies, Information & Media Studies. Every other degree mentioned by the NUC Executive Secretary will be awarded by these departments originally recommended by a team of professors, professionals and practitioners of communication in Nigeria.
Here are the seven new degree programmes replacing Mass Communication. If you have someone interested in enrolling into any mass communication related discipline just take a look at these seven new degrees and prepare the person effectively for any of them.
Journalism & Media Studies
This is one of the most popular degrees in mass communication schools across the world. It is more all-encompassing than many other degrees. This is why it is among the most sought-after degrees by candidates who wish to gain broad knowledge of activities and emerging trends in journalism and media world.
This degree course is aimed at students who wish to study Journalism and Media. Media studies programmes take an integrated approach and a broader look at media in all its forms. It is all-inclusive programme which equips candidates with relevant knowledge in print and broadcast journalism, digital journalism, media practice, public relations, and the history, development and ethics of journalism. The primary focus of this course is on balancing practical and academic aspects.
Journalism and Media studies education explores all forms of media, from print to film to digital communications. The programme focuses on mass communication and its effects on the public.
Media studies degree programmes are usually interdisciplinary in nature. It explores all media forms and their impact on society. Many schools have specific media studies departments while others may offer the programmes through their journalism or mass communications departments. However, the recommendation by Nigerian professors and professionals is to have a degree on Journalism and Media Studies, not to have two separate degree courses.
Journalism and Media degree equips you with a range of interests including advertising, media law and regulation, privacy, digital journalism, broadcast journalism, professional writing, comics, visual culture, live television and media events, gaming and virtual worlds, and hypertexts, film and video, multimedia, global media systems, virtual landscapes, social networks, interactive television, media and representation, cult TV, computer games and documentary.
Bachelor’s degree programme in Journalism and Media Studies is aimed at students interested in the broad range of media, and media theories, the ways in which the media were shaped and the impact they have on culture and society. Some programs may offer a focus, such as film studies or mass communication, but most take a broad approach to cover all areas, including film, television, print and digital communication. The course topics you would find in this programme would include journalism, History of media, Legal issues in communications, Ethics and journalism, Critical approaches to media, Visual culture, New media, among others.
Graduates of a media studies bachelor’s degree programmes are prepared for both traditional and non-traditional media careers. That is why this programme is very lucrative and well-sought-after. Some graduates find work as news journalists, film editors and communication specialists. Other job titles might include Public relations specialist, Advertising account manager, Marketing analyst, Newsroom coordinator, Broadcast journalist, Photojournalist, and a range of other exciting career options. This is definitely a course you would like to study in any Nigerian institution.
Public relations is one of the most sought-after programmes in media and communication training schools in Nigeria across the world. Many Nigerian graduates want to major in public relations primarily due to the exciting, prestigious and lucrative nature of this discipline. Even graduates without a background in communication can major in public relations with basic training in this discipline. People who have written and verbal communications skills needed to be spokespeople for various organizations, have skills for coordinating special events and fundraising campaigns, who have knowledge of how to run a political campaigns, and basic social media management skills, excel as public relations executives within and outside Nigeria. The field of public relations is rapidly evolving.
The basic focus of this course is to develop the skills needed to help people and organizations strategically connect with each other. The programme trains candidates to become public relations professionals capable of adapting to the new ways people consume content, communicate, and connect. The core courses will emphasize, among others, promotions, publicity, community affairs, internal relations, writing, and special events planning, principles of public relations, public relations techniques, campaign and event planning, media relations, interface between social media and public relations, and international public relations. This is among the courses relevant in a dynamic and evolving society.
Advertising is another very popular discipline which most people want to venture into. A degree in this field is a ticket to lucrative, creative career path in Nigeria and other parts of the world. While you don’t necessarily need a degree to get into this field, a successful career in advertising usually begins with a comprehensive undergraduate education. This is a broad field, comprised of creative and business professionals who share one main goal: to motivate customers to buy products or services. The primary focus of this course is to equip candidates with requisite skills with which they can successfully motivate customers to buy products or services. The programme explores methods for learning what customers want and how to develop advertising campaigns that reach and persuade those populations.
Advertising degree programme would provide a foundation in the creative, management, interpersonal and analytical skills required to work in a dynamic and sophisticated corporate world. Coursework focuses on critical thinking, effective communication, writing, editing, and visualizing ideas and incorporates elements of social science research, statistics, multicultural studies, and visual design. It will include areas in business, consumer behaviour and media combined with classes in copywriting and photography which prepares students to develop effective ad campaigns while employed at agencies around the country. Other focus areas are advertising strategies, effective advertising sales, media planning, copywriting and visual design of ads, retail advertising, ethics and law in advertising.