The creative young minds making their voices heard

A Masters in radio production can thrust you straight into the front line of audio media. James Morrison tunes in

There can’t be many Masters courses that give you the chance to produce your own comedy or collaborate with Phill Jupitus on an online breakfast show.

But that’s what Mog McIntyre found himself doing after enrolling as a mature student on Bournemouth University’s MA in radio production.

At 27, having spent years marketing electrical goods, a stint on hospital radio was enough to convince McIntyre it was time to stop selling audio and learn to produce it. Barely 12 months later, his credits include a surreal sitcom featuring a cast of talking animals and a radio “comeback” spot for one of the most popular of BBC 6 Music’s original presenters.

“I got a buzz doing hospital radio, so I began researching courses. As soon as I saw the equipment and industry links they had at Bournemouth, and where previous graduates had found work, I realised this was the one,” he explains. “To be able to work with people as high profile as Phill is incredible. He’d been writing a book about breakfast radio and, as he hadn’t done much radio since leaving 6 Music three years ago, he wanted to do a breakfast slot again. So, for one week, he agreed to present a show on our course radio station, BIRSt [Bournemouth Internet Radio Station], and I produced it, which was the scariest experience. Working alongside him was like having a practical tutorial – I learnt so much.”

McIntyre quickly decided to use his MA experience to steer his incipient radio career towards entertainment. He followed this up with a placement at BBC Radio’s comedy unit, and has submitted a dissertation project consisting of a sitcom pilot starring an obsessive-compulsive warthog. But others have taken their Bournemouth training in very different directions.

Five years after graduating, Abbie Cunliffe, 30, has veered away from frontline production to become a commercial programmer for Global Radio, owner of the Heart and Galaxy networks. Cunliffe, who spends her days vetting scripts and brainstorming programme ideas, recalls: “In our third term, we were encouraged to go on placements, and I ended up working four days a week for talkSport. Because the course is so hands-on, you feel equipped to deal with things in real life. One day at talkSport, I was given 10 minutes to produce a script about the Michael Jackson trial. After taking a deep breath, I thought: ‘I can actually do this’.”

So, as it prepares to send its 10th batch of graduates out on to the airwaves, what does this £6,000 Masters course offer that others don’t? To its founder, the veteran BBC producer, Professor Sean Street, the formula for success is staying one step ahead of developments in a rapidly evolving industry. To this end, the course boasts an advisory board comprising key professionals, including Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, and holds regular sessions at which students take turns to pitch their programme concepts to commissioning editors and officials from the industry regulator, Ofcom. Then there is BIRSt, which, after 10 years as the MA’s online answer to Radio 4, has just obtained its first licence to play music.

“For a course like this to work, students must be involved in hands-on production from day one, which means running their own radio station. Right at the start, my feeling was that ours needed to be web-based, because of the direction things were starting to go,” says Street. “But 10 years ago, the idea of internet radio stations was pretty unusual. We were also trying something new by making our content available ‘on demand’ – again, that was clearly going to happen, but we did it long before BBC iPlayer.”

A decade on, and Bournemouth is still ahead of the curve. This year’s output has included everything from a 30-minute interactive crime drama with five alternative endings to a return to micro-level community broadcasting reminiscent of the home-grown “pirate” radio of old.

Lecturer Jo Tyler, whose industry credits include spells at BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, and 6 Music, where she helped launch Jupitus’s breakfast show, explains: “With the consolidation going on in commercial networks and the editorial changes at the BBC, independent community stations are emerging to provide the kind of local coverage others aren’t. We’re developing close links with those in our area, and some of our students are already going out to work for them.”

For more information on the MA in radio production, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/courses/MARPRF

Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
VIDEO
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Arts & Entertainment
The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot
TV The second episode of the hit series featured a surprise for viewers
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Special Needs Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: The school, the child…….We are proud t...

Secondary Teaching Assistant

£60 - £70 per day: AER Teachers: THE SCHOOL: This outstanding Secondary School...

Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Key Stage 1 and 2 Teacher Le...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: The school, the child......We are prou...

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?