The Royal Television Society (RTS) – Britain’s leading forum for television and related media, and an educational charity whose purpose is to promote the art and science of television – has launched its Undergraduate Bursary schemes for 2018, once again investing over £75,000 to support UK students from lower income backgrounds.
The RTS is offering 20 bursaries to students studying accredited Television Production and Broadcast Journalism degree courses. A further five technology bursaries, aimed at encouraging some of the most talented students to consider a career in television, are available to students studying Computing and Engineering.
In addition, RTS bursary applicants studying on Broadcast Journalism Courses will automatically be considered for the Steve Hewlett Scholarship, which was set up in 2017 in memory of the celebrated broadcaster.
The RTS bursaries are aimed at students in less affluent circumstances with the goal of helping to widen participation and skills in media and its related industries.
Bursary recipients will receive £1,000 per year of their studies, as well as free membership of both the RTS and affiliate membership of The Hospital Club – a private members club for those in the creative industries – while studying and one year’s free membership of the RTS post-graduation. They will also have access to mentoring from RTS members as well as partners including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.
Theresa Wise, RTS CEO, says: “As an educational charity, the Royal Television Society is committed to helping young people from diverse and low income backgrounds, particularly those who display a real passion to work in TV, to realise their potential and get a foothold on the careers ladder. We are keen to hear from students wishing to pursue careers in all areas of the television industry – from researcher and producer to camera operators, sound recordists and script-writers to news reporters and potential directors.”
She continued: “In the four years since we launched the bursary programme we have had the honour of supporting over 100 talented and ambitious students. Our first cohort have now graduated and we are delighted to see them beginning their careers in the industry.”
Graeme Thompson, Chair of the RTS Education Committee and Pro Vice Chancellor at University of Sunderland, adds: “The scheme gives students a real advantage in the jobs market. It offers them unparalleled access to industry leaders and employers, which means they gain a great contacts book and invaluable insights into the industry by the time they graduate. We currently have almost 60 students on the production bursary scheme and we are looking forward to our second cohort graduating in the summer.”
Simon Pitts, Chair of the RTS Technology Bursaries and Managing Director, Online, Pay TV, Interactive and Technology, ITV, says: “Competition to recruit highly skilled graduates in the fields of computer sciences and engineering is strong and many students are unaware of the career opportunities that television has to offer young technologists. Our Technology Bursary programme provides a unique opportunity for them to learn more about the world of television whilst studying – with some of the top companies in the industry offering placements and support to recipients to encourage them to consider a career in TV.”
Kyle Shiels, RTS production bursary recipient and graduate of the University of Leeds Broadcast Journalism B.A. Hons course commented:
“The Bursary is easily one of the best choices I’ve ever made. From the dinners and masterclasses to mentoring and event access, it gave me access to a world into which I never would have had a look-in otherwise.”
The RTS Undergraduate Bursary Programme launched in 2014, with its first cohort of students graduating in 2017. To date, all of the graduates of the bursary programme who have looked for work have successfully found jobs and begun careers in the TV industry.
For details of the accredited courses eligible for the scheme, bursary guidance notes or to submit your application visit: https://rts.org.uk/education-training/rts-bursaries. The deadline for submitting applications is 30 June 2018.
Note:About the Steve Hewlett Scholarship
The Royal Television Society and The Media Society have come together with a number of British broadcasters and media organisations to launch the Steve Hewlett scholarship for young journalists to celebrate the life of Steve Hewlett.
Steve, who died on February 20th 2017, inspired the nation with his candid accounts of his fight against cancer, charted through his columns in The Observer and interviews with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio Four’s PM.
The Fund supports a scholarship initiative run by the RTS and The Media Society which will be presented each year to one recipient from a lower income family studying an undergraduate broadcast journalism course in the UK. The recipient will be chosen by a panel including Steve’s widow Rachel.
The Scholarship recognises Steve’s ongoing commitment to improving access for all to careers in the media and improving social mobility.
Each Hewlett Scholarship recipient will receive £2000 per year for three years to fund their living expenses, as well as membership of the RTS and affiliate Hospital Club membership while studying. They will also receive mentoring from industry professionals to help them make the strongest possible start to their career.
Steve was a vehement campaigner for improving access to the media industry for those with geographically diverse and low-income backgrounds to benefit both the media industries and the public more generally.
The scholarship will be funded on a long-term basis as part of the RTS’ annual Undergraduate Bursary scheme. The Media Society is leading a major fund-raising appeal to grow the Bursary funds. This Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund will be used for Steve Hewlett Scholarship recipients as well as other activities, which support Steve’s legacy.
Organisations backing the initiative and committing to support the Fund include: BBC Radio Four, Brunel University, Channel 4, Google UK, ITN, ITV, Sky News, The London Press Club, Women in Journalism; and individuals including: Trevor Phillips OBE, Roger Bolton, Peter Taylor OBE, Fiona Chesterton, Alex Graham and the former CEO of News and Regions at ITV and now Chair of the Disasters Emergency Committee Clive Jones CBE, who chairs the appeal.
About The Royal Television Society:
From glamorous award ceremonies to lively debates, the RTS embraces all aspects of television, and is open to anyone with an interest in the medium.
As an educational charity, we encourage and celebrate work in television and its related fields, from finding out how the nation’s favourite shows are made in our Anatomy of a Hit series, to celebrating burgeoning talent at our annual Student Awards.
The industry’s most talented individuals give us an insight into the work that goes into making cutting edge contemporary TV. From Government ministers and CEO’s to workshops with great runners, our events look at every part of the business.
Our annual Television Journalism, Programme, Craft and Design and Student Awards, celebrate achievements across the broadcasting industry.
Education is key to what the RTS does. Each year, we offer Television Production and Technology bursaries to help those from less affluent backgrounds get a foothold in the industry and Masterclass sessions bring together students, academics and industry heads.
RTS Futures, which is aimed at those in their first two years of employment, organises an exciting roster of discussion, training and social occasions. Recent events have included workshops on learning to format shows and how to survive as a freelancer, and expert panels explaining how to be the best researcher and how to make it on-screen.
Each year global television leaders gather to discuss what the future holds for television at our London Conference or the RTS Cambridge Convention.
Alongside our engaged community of over 4,500 full members, the Society is supported by Britain and the world’s biggest broadcasters, producers and consultants, including Principle Patrons BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky.
Originally founded as the Television Society in 1927, the Society was granted its Royal title in 1966 and HRH The Prince of Wales became Patron of the RTS in 1997.
Today, 14 regional and national groups curate lively events and awards around the UK and Ireland, from Glasgow to Galway.