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Postgraduate student profile: Mostafa Darwish, MA Journalism

Mostafa is a student on the MA Journalism programme and is originally from Eygpt. Mostafa describes his experience of the programme and his delight at recently winning Student journalist of the Year 2020 at the Student Media Awards (SMEDIAs).

Mostafa Darwish, Student, MA in Journalism at the University of Limerick

Can you take us through your own personal journey and why you decided to study the MA in Journalism at UL?

I started  working in the journalism field in 2011 predominantly in visual journalism covering stories that were particularly relevant to my generation and my home country of Eygpt. I wanted to improve my journalistic skills and I found that UL had a postgraduate journalism programme that suited my needs. The course contained modules focused on writing, research, radio and multimedia. I also researched the backgrounds of each of the lecturers on the programme and I found that their practical journalistic experience, as well as their academic research were second to none and that this programme and UL would be a place where I could learn from experienced top class journalists in a supportive academic setting.

How do you feel the course has benefitted you in your work as a journalist?

I’m taking the part time program over two years. I am already experienced in the journalism field but since I started this program I have learnt how to improve the structure of written stories, what the different elements of a good story mean and the difference between features, profiles, news and breaking news. The MA has also helped me to improve my script writing for multimedia pieces. I find the programme content accessible and easy to apply to my own work despite writing in a different language than my mother tongue.

What is unique about the programme?

The unique thing about the program is the communication between the course director, lecturers and students. From day one, the lecturers on the programme have been so supportive and are always quick to get back to me if I have any issues or questions. I have been through some stressful times during the course but the lecturers have always been there to support me.

When I started the programme, I couldn’t have imagined how much my writing would improve. This led me to getting my written class assignments published on international news outlets such as Euro News and Middle East Eye.

When I started the programme, I couldn’t have imagined how much my writing would improve. This led me to getting my written class assignments published on international news outlets such as Euro News and Middle East Eye.

Can you tell us about your own personal experience of the course and the benefits of doing the course?

I benefitted from acquiring new knowledge and improving my journalistic skills particularly in my writing and communication skills. I think I have developed a lot personally also whilst being in UL.

What has been your greatest achievement in your time at UL?

Winning Student Journalist of the year at the Student Media Awards (SMEDIA’s) has been one of the greatest achievements for me. I have to thank my course Director Fergal Quinn and the lecturers who supported me in improving my writing skills and for encouraging me to write and get my work published, which led me to becoming Student Journalist of the year.

I have to thank my course Director Fergal Quinn and the lecturers who supported me in improving my writing skills and for encouraging me to write and get my work published which led me to becoming Student Journalist of the year.

Would you recommend the MA to others?

Of Course, I feel very proud to be part of this course and have achieved a lot since starting the programme with the help of my lecturers and class mates.

What do you plan to do/have done post-graduation?

Even though I have not finished my MA, I am currently applying for jobs for when I graduate. I would like to work full time for one year and then come back to UL again to do a PhD.

If you would like to learn more about the MA Journalism at University of Limerick and to apply please click here.

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