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Senior media figures join new University advisory panel

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SENIOR figures from the creative industries in Scotland have been recruited to help advise the communications, media and culture division at the University of Stirling.

Former national newspaper editors, top TV executives, film-makers and leading PR professionals have all joined a new subject advisory panel. The group will meet for the first time next month (May) and will help shape future course content at the University.

The panel are:

  • Atholl Duncan, former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, currently executive director of ICAS;
  • Margot Wilson,  former editor of Scotland on Sunday, executive editor of the Edinburgh Arts Journal and currently co-ordinating the expansion of The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts in Scotland;
  • Mark Cousins, film director, producer and festival organiser (and Stirling alumnus);
  • Mark Rickards, senior producer of radio documentaries and features at the BBC, mainly Radio 3 and 4;
  • Mandy Haeburn-Little, PR practitioner, former head of public affairs at Standard Life, currently based at Stirling’s Business Crime Centre;
  • Bruce Waddell, former editor of the Daily Record and the Scottish Sun, now in PR with BIG Partnership;
  • John Archer, creative leader of Hopscotch films with considerable experience in film and television production, setting up successful new ventures and spotting and developing new talent; was also head of music and arts at BBC Scotland and the founding chief executive of Scottish Screen;
  • Jeremy Hewitt, creative director, Speakeasy Productions, Perth - a leading and award-winning UK producer of corporate audio-visual material; and
  • Colin Cameron, former head of production for Scotland and controller, Network Development, BBC Nations & Regions. He has worked in the media for over thirty years as a journalist, programme maker and team leader.

Dr. Adrian Hadland, the director of journalism at the University, said: “We’re thrilled to have recruited such a distinguished advisory panel. They represent some of the key leaders in the creative industries in Scotland – and we appreciate their commitment to Stirling.

“The communications, media and culture division at the University is highly regarded, but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. The panel will play a key role in ensuring we continue to deliver the right graduates, with the right skills, to take on jobs in today’s competitive media environment.”

Dr Hadland said the University had already started the process of refreshing course content for its BA in journalism studies, as a result of feedback from employers and students. New hi-tech modules will also be rolled out for first year students this September (for instance, using mobile phones to create video content).

The University is also exploring the idea of installing an industry-standard television studio  – and potentially launching a Master of Arts (MA) in international multi-platform journalism in 2015.

“We need to keep up with the times,” said Dr. Hadland. “We’ve been having discussions with both BBC Scotland and STV about creating a fully-fledged TV studio. However considerable investment would be needed to create this, from both the University and private donors."



The University’s Communications, Media and Culture division (previously known as Film, Media & Journalism) rapidly developed into a major centre for research and learning after its foundation in 1978. Its research arm, the Stirling Media Research Institute, is internationally renowned, attracting many doctoral students, visiting scholars, and practitioners, from across the world. The Department consistently draws high ratings for its teaching at all levels.

Many graduates are successful practitioners, entrepreneurs and executives in the media and communications industries, and active in numerous other occupations. They regularly return to share their professional experience with current students. The Department’s strong relationships with screen industries, public relations and journalism professionals are among its core strengths, along with its high-profile activities within international research communities.

The wide choice of options in taught graduate and undergraduate programmes, and in doctoral research, includes theoretical study in the field of media and culture, as well as vocational work on the media, communications and journalism industries. Undergraduates may choose to include radio, television, print and online journalism practice modules in their programmes of study.


The University has been named:

  • Top in Scotland and UK top ten for media and communications (Guardian University Guide 2011)
  • Top in Scotland for communication and media (Complete University Guide 2011)
  • Rated UK top ten for student satisfaction in both Journalism and Media Studies in the last National Student Survey;
  • Top in Scotland in communication, cultural and media studies as rated by the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise (70 per cent of our research in highest categories ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’);

Overseas recognition includes Business Communication School of the Year (International) 2009, awarded by the Public Relations Council of India. To find out more, visit

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