University College London (UCL) has launched a scholarship programme for postgraduate courses, including Audio Storytelling for Radio and Podcast, aimed at students with links to East London.
The programme will fund 10 scholarships in total, available in 2023/2034, with two set aside for final year UCL undergraduates. The funding will cover both the tuition fees for the selected MA, as well as a £15,000 allowance for living expenses.
UCL’s MA in Audio Storytelling for Radio and Podcast is a newly-launched degree which is practice-based and provides students with the skills to produce short and feature-length audio packages for podcasts, radio, and other audio platforms.
“This is a hugely exciting time to be part of the radio and podcast space and UCL wants to help shape its future,” said journalist and documentary maker Athar Ahmad, who will also lead the MA. “Individuals who might not otherwise have thought about a career within audio will have the opportunity to really get to grips with the art of storytelling, learning from leading factual storytellers while bringing their own experiences and distinct perspectives to the industry.”
To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be a resident in the UK or Ireland and eligible to pay the home fee rate for UK students. They must also have links to specific boroughs within East London: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, or Waltham Forest. These links include either having been a resident since 2018, or having completed GCSEs or A-Levels there.
The launch of the new scholarships coincides with the opening of UCL’s new campus in East London’s Stratford area, which aims to bring the university’s research and teaching to local communities.
The scholarship programme is also means-tested, and candidates must either be a current UCL undergraduate student in their final year who recieves the university’s Undergraduate Bursary, a final year student at another university with a total household income of £42,875 or less, or a graduate who is either unemployed or has a salary of less than £581.30 per week. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 29 June.
More universities are also providing educational opportunities for students interested in podcasting and audio storytelling as the industry continues to expand. In January 2023, City University announced the launch of the first-ever MA on podcasting in London, curated based on consultation from industry experts across Spotify, Acast, Sony, AudioUK, and the BBC.