Meet the UCL Student Journalists

Back for its second year, the UCL Office of the Vice-President External Engagement (VPEE) has recruited its next cohort of Student Journalists.

Six UCL students have been recruited as our talented UCL journalists - a year-long position that provides journalism training with the opportunity to oversee content written by our student writers, grow their professional networks and build their writing portfolios.  

They will cover a range of hot topics to keep you in the know about what is happening across campus and to take a deep dive into high interest and often nuanced themes. UCL staff can also commission work from them. 

I am a final-year undergraduate student, from India, in the Politics and International Relations programme. I am thrilled to be joining the UCL Student Journalism Scheme, where I hope to interact, collaborate with and learn alongside the rest of my cohort. My passion for writing and journalism has evolved since school and continues to flourish during my university journey. This is further enhanced through my experiences at UCL as the Editor-in-chief of Pi Magazine and the International Relations Society Journal (Circum Mundum). Being part of such a vibrant community is a wonderful experience. Through this scheme, I hope to find more of this as I explore the world of journalism and further develop my skills.   

As a second-year student in the Creative Documentary MFA at UCL, my six-year journey in multimedia journalism reflects my passion for activism and social justice. Since 2021, my work has centered around reporting on the complexities of America’s criminal justice system, consistently collaborating with people and families impacted by its policies. While at UCL, I developed a profound interest in exploring the intersection of art, activism, and public health, documenting these critical intersections with a nuanced and insightful lens. Whether examining the emergence of VR in our classrooms, music as a form of physical therapy, the evolving dynamics between students and Artificial Intelligence, or profiling UCL’s distinguished alum artists, my focus remains on amplifying the voices that too often go unheard. Using everything from the written word and photography to films, podcasts, and the buzz of social media, I strive to bring clarity and depth to each narrative I am entrusted to tell.  

Embracing the role of student journalist at UCL fuels my passion for discovery and storytelling, providing a vibrant platform to delve into these subjects and bring to light their impact on our student community. Please reach out to me if you are interested in collaborating to tell your story on campus! 

I’m a postgraduate digital media student, cat mom and horror film fanatic. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, I became passionate about writing and journalism after interning at organisations like The Quint and working as an editorial assistant at Springtide, a youth-culture and lifestyle magazine. Professionally and academically, I lean towards writing about film, music, pop culture, gender, and identity. UCL’s lively ecosystem, within an even more vibrant London has no shortage of stories to tell. So, I’m excited to take on the role of student journalist explore the city and university I’ve come to love in greater depth! 

Hello! I’m Sarah and I’m a second-year English student from Manchester.  

I’m interested in the ways in which stories are constructed and presented. Journalists have the responsibility to tell the stories of others, and I hope to use my position to provide truthful accounts of matters important to university students. I am passionate about voicing lesser-known issues, as the first step to addressing the problems of students is making sure that they are given a voice.   

I am also someone who enjoys learning widely, and so I hope to broaden my knowledge both of journalism and of topics I may not have come across before. I am honoured and excited to develop my skills further during my training with the Student Journalism Scheme.  

Hi! I’m Giovanna, and I am currently navigating my first year as an undergraduate in the Experimental Linguistics program. My passion lies in amplifying the voices that often go unheard, as well as sowing the seeds of curiosity. As a Student Journalist, I hope to hone my outreach skills and contribute my part to the vibrant UCL community, sparking a ripple of positive change, however small it may be. 

I’m Defne, and I am a first-year undergraduate student studying Politics and International Relations. I was born and raised in Turkey. As a Student Journalist, I am excited to represent the voice of the international student community, helping everyone to effortlessly adapt to life in London. 

Given the nature of my degree, I am drawn to global affairs, politics, and social justice. However, I also have an interest in art, culture, and film. Within this scheme, I am particularly looking forward to delving into investigative journalism and exploring controversial issues that concern UCL students through a critical perspective. I am very excited to have this opportunity to contribute to the UCL community! 

The successful candidates secured their places on the journalist programme after a rigorous selection process, which saw over 100 applicants. Over the course of the year, the students will be trained in a range of skills essential for a career in the media or public relations.

Would you like to commission work?

Managed by VPEE, there are two groups of writers that you can commission written work from, the student journalists and the content writers’ pool. The student journalists write highly polished, long form, investigative articles. This can be anything from dissecting UCL events to investigating specific issues impacting students. The content writers write short form, ad hoc articles that can be commissioned directly from UCL staff.   

How to commission work from the student journalists

We have six journalists who may be available. Please keep in mind, they have their studies to prioritise and will be less available around certain dates eg reading week and the festive period.  

You must include subject, type of article, any deadlines, the intended audience, where it will be published and promoted, CTAs you may want included, if you need them to source images/ take photos and any other context the journalist may need. For example...  

Brief for a review of the first Disagreeing Well event in new public event series  

Event name:  Disagreeing Well in Higher Education

Time and date: 9 November 2023, 6:45pm-8pm  

Location: Darwin Lecture Theatre Darwin Building, Malet Place, London WC1E 7JEB and online live steam  

Criteria: To write this review of the event, we’d like you to attend the event in person to get a feel for the live vibe on the day which cannot be appreciated online (we have a seat reserved for you). If possible, please take images on the day. Speakers and event details:   

Your article:  
  • Can be either in the form and style of a theatre critic review piece of the event or be an opinion piece on any of the themes discussed or an interview with the SU speaker.  
  • It should be from your voice as a student.  
  • UCL can also provide you with useful signposting to other Disagreeing Well resources for your readers such as skills videos.  

Audiences and where your article will be published  

External audience:  Your article will be published on the campaign website for Disagreeing Well and quotes from it may be used to promote the future event series on social media, emails and other channels.     

Internal audience: Your article will also be published on UCL Staff News and Student News website   

Deadline: Your article should be submitted for approval by Friday 17 November, giving you approx. one week to write it.  

Recap - The Disagreeing Well campaign  

The ’Disagreeing Well’ campaign is being launched externally by University College London (UCL) this autumn with the aim of addressing universities’ continued role as a forum for open discourse in an increasingly polarised world. UK universities have increasingly become a focal point for political and media criticism - they have become the subject of debate rather than a forum for it. This includes around ’culture wars’ and ’cancel culture’ in particular. UCL therefore identified a need to demonstrate universities’ continued role as forums for open discourse to redress this balance and the campaign will help achieve that.  

The campaign launched internally in June and aims to better equip the university community and the public to disagree well through the ability to listen with an open mind and a willingness to genuinely consider alternative viewpoints. Campaign activity is focusing on the way people disagree rather than the issues on which they disagree.  

If you are commissioning the piece, we advise that you give enough time for one or two rounds of feedback. You will be responsible for proofing and fact checking the content written.   

The journalists are paid £13.53 per hour. To pay them, you must be set up on Unitemps so if you will be commissioning articles, please send the student communications inbox the following information. The journalist will then be able to submit a timesheet for approval.   

Hiring manager:   

the project.award.task.expenditure code:   

the department organisation code:   

Second time sheet approver:  

If you are not already on the MS Team ’Content Writers’ Pool 2023-24’, please contact the student communications inbox ( ) to let them know you would like to be added.

Once added, you can post your brief directly on the channel, ’Opportunities’.

An example post...  

The Library is looking for a contributor to write an article or other piece of content promoting Box of Broadcasts (or ’BoB’). This fantastic database contains over 3 million TV and radio broadcasts including films, series and documentaries as well as news reports. It’s an academic resource that can help you study for assignments or just unwind after a stressful day.  

The tone of the article needs to be careful how it describes BoB (due to licensing issues). For example, we couldn’t say it’s a replacement for Netflix or other subscription services. But we can still shout out about all the great content it contains. If you are interested in creating something, we are open to your ideas and suggestions.

The finished piece should be accessible to all students at UCL. If it’s an article it will be around 500’800 words long. The expected payment would be for 3 hours work.   

If you’re interested:  

Please pitch an outline of your ideas to me via email (insert email).  

The closing date for expressions of interest for the article is Monday 28 November.  

After reviewing the submissions, I will get in touch that week to confirm and commission.  

The deadline for the first draft would be Friday 9 December and final draft on Wednesday 14 December. It will be published on our website and shared on social media shortly in January.  

If you have any questions, please email me. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!  

The writers are paid £13.53 per hour. To pay them, you must be set up on Unitemps so if you will be commissioning articles, please send the student communications inbox the following information. The journalist will then be able to submit a timesheet for approval.   

Hiring manager:   

the project.award.task.expenditure code:   

the department organisation code:   

Second time sheet approver:  

If you have any questions, please contact Senior Communications Officer, Abbie Scrimgeour, 
  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000