The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Francesca Carpenter

Francesca Carpenter

Francesca graduated with a BA in Sociology in 2007.

Choosing Newcastle

When I think of Newcastle University and my three years there I feel nostalgic and happy – they were some of the best times I have ever had – it is such a special city, with so much to offer.

Studying sociology at the University was a decision I made as I thought it would be an interesting subject and extremely useful for a career in the media – which it has proved to be.

Studying at Newcastle

My favourite aspects were actually social anthropology – and surprisingly my dissertation! Choosing a subject was daunting but exciting and it was great to get so involved on one subject and really get to grips with it. I did mine on authenticity and tourism which was a fascinating subject to delve into.

Professor Peter Phillimore's lectures were engaging, succinct and easy to understand without being patronising. Peter’s knowledge of the subjects he lectured on were particularly impressive and his use of video and documentary clips to tell the story and illustrate the points from the lecture were carefully selected. For a while I thought about becoming a social anthropologist listening to his stories of India and reading various fascinating extracts from ethnographies he has recommended on the reading list.

Career profile

I work for British Forces News as a producer and reporter on their daily weeknight TV news programme. Before this I was a producer and reporter for ITV Anglia news.

I have always wanted to be a journalist but was keen to do a degree other than media and thought sociology and anthropology would be an excellent grounding for this.

After I graduated from Newcastle I worked in Jamaica as a print journalist on their national paper ‘The Gleaner’. I then decided that I wanted to work in broadcast journalism rather than print – and these days an MA is essential in broadcast journalism as it is so technical and people don’t have time to train you - so I studied for an MA in Multimedia Broadcast Journalism.

No day is the same as a journalist – I thrive on breaking news, being able to react quickly to stories as they break and watch them develop and unfold. The atmosphere in the newsroom is fast paced and going out on the road can be stressful but extremely rewarding.