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SCM- Social Communications Media – An excellent course, the catch is – only for girls

Sophia Polytech’s SCM packs in everything you ever wanted to know about media – print, Electronic, Advertising, Films, PR) into a short 1 year. The basic requirement to apply to the course is a 3 year graduation with at least 50% marks in any discipline. Girls upto the age of 24 years (both married and unmarried) can apply for the course.

The admission procedure is based on an entrance test which can be taken only in Mumbai. Application forms are given out from early May. The dates are put up on the institute notice board by end April. Outstation candidates can apply by sending in a demand draft to the institute, details of which can be found out by calling up at 022 3630157/ 3631913.

You can even apply for the Sophia HOSTEL which is going to be tougher to get in than making it to the course. Be prepared for a grilling interview by the administrative board of nuns. Not to forget that you have to deal with them throughout the year where you will be the only department which will have late nights far beyond the deadlines the nuns can tolerate!

The entrance test is theory based and comprises usually of 5 sections based on journalism, radio, television, advertising and film. In each section relevant questions are asked based on personal ideas, views and awareness about the field.

SCM course
The course structure is made up of 8 papers which cover the different fields of media and is taken by professionals from the industry. It is affiliated with the Maharashtra Board of Technical Examinations.

Fundamental Concepts
This paper deals with the basic theoretical aspects of mass communication and the current issues in society by the head of the department Jeroo F. Mulla

Communication Research
This paper teaches the basic in various modes of communication research (qualitative and quantitative).

Journalism 1
In this paper one learns the basic ethics of journalism through topics of debate and concern like communalism, poverty, globalization, investigative journalism etc. This section of the paper is taken by well journalist and writer P. Sainath. The paper also includes the basics of press laws taken by practicing lawyer Rabindra Hazari.

Journalism 2
This paper deals with the practical part of journalism teaching us the basics of reporting, editing and sub editing besides discussing the current issues in news. This paper again is taken by two well known professionals from the industry. As a final product each batch takes out their annual magazine under the guidance of their professors.

As a part of this paper one learns to not only the technicalities of films and filming like editing, angles, camera etc. but also gets to watch some great films of all time and all over the world – from Griffith to Tarkovsky to Ray- you will see it all.

Each students learns to handle a manual camera and even appreciates the photography of great photographers like Cartier Bresson, Raghu Rai and the rest. One of the best things about this paper and the course (besides the Thursday afternoon film screenings) is the 10 day photography trip each batch is taken to. One gets to travel various parts of the country in a big jing-bang lot and happens to carry their cameras along to catch some moments of beauty or ugliness. Combining the learning experience in both film and photography each batch scripts, photographs and directs a 20 minute synchronized audio and video slide show.

Radio & Television
As part of this one learns the basic technicalities of handling the video camera with the aspects of composition, lighting, depth of field and a sense of direction. One also learns using the mixer and and recording for radio. The students make a 5 minute documentary video as their final project. The classes are taken by a permanent faculty of member of the polytechnic and others from the industry.

This module teaches the basics of both servicing and creative fields of advertising, complete with the thorough understanding of strategy building, writing briefs and finally creating an ad promoting a given product as a final project.

Corporate Communication
The paper teaches the basics of public relations and industrial journalism and as final project each batch creates a PR program. With these 8 modules replete with assignments and to complete in less than a year, SCM will take away your sleep from day 1 to the last day of your finals exams. T the board will change its rules every year and Jeroo’s temper can be unbearable at times but you pass out with the knowledge of how the industry works and a fighter to brave it out in the real world. You also make up your mind as to what u want to do what not. A course full of experiences.

Placement Prospects
The faculty places every student for a one month internship in the field of their choice. A large percentage of these students are retained in the respective agencies, production houses or newspapers, though it depends on your performance and the vacancies available. (this year finding a job has been tougher than usual).

JAM Says:
In comparison with the other courses in media, Sophia seems to be a more all encompassing module. Critics of SCM say that makes you are the jack of all trades and master of none. Also that fresh SCM grads are radical we-want-to-change-the-world by doing socially relevant stuff (ie making documentaries). Remember the name of the course IS “social” communications media. However year after year SCM graduates are snapped up by employers so we guess one lives and learns 🙂

Author’s Conclusion:
I for one enjoyed the course and would recommend it especially to those who seek a career in the media but don’t know what exactly to specialize in.

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