Meet our Masters students :Vanessa Taaffe -MSc Journalism


Hear from Vanessa on how her MSc Journalism degree at Edinburgh Napier University helped her land a reporter role with STV News.

What were you doing before your Masters?

I took a year between doing my Masters and my Undergraduate degree. I worked in New York, and then I worked back in Ireland for a while. I always had Edinburgh in mind, and then when I was looking at where I wanted to study and what was available; I found Edinburgh Napier. The course just looked great and it offered everything I was looking for.

Having been at a couple of different radio stations and television news programmes, the one thing I always heard back was that the more practical experience you have the better. That was a factor in why I wanted to do a course that offered that.

What did you enjoy most about your Masters?

I had a great time with friends doing a course I really enjoyed, and at a university that kind of had everything that I was looking for.

The course itself was very practical, very hands on, and the lecturers all had industry experience as well, which you could tell. I think that lends a course real credibility, when you have lecturers that have been in the industry.

Edinburgh Napier also gave me a lot of good contacts who are some of my best friends, but also part of my network because a lot of them work in other industries. Their roles in various fields might not necessarily be journalism, but they know someone who can help me.

What opportunities did a Masters open for you?

I got my job at STV at the very start of my first trimester, so I was working and doing the Masters at the same time. One of our lecturers at Edinburgh Napier flagged the job, and we were doing the television module at the time. He said, “This job is going, you should apply.”, and I knew I had nothing to lose, so I might as well apply.

My lecturer gave me a lot of help with the application. He even gave me a bit of coaching beforehand and guided me in the right direction.

That’s where I think having lecturers and people who are still dabbling in the industry as well as lecturers is really helpful. Again, they are contacts that you go back to.

Any advice for anyone thinking of doing a Masters?

I would say definitely go and do it. I think if you really have a very strong sense of what you want to do, I would say that you will learn all the skills that you need, like a very, very solid foundation of skills that you need to then go on to have a career in that industry.


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