Universities and schools

The history of journalism studies in Spain dates back to 1926, the year in which the newspaper El Debate opened the first school for journalists. During the almost one hundred years that have passed since then, the study of Communication in general, and Journalism in particular, has experienced constant development and consolidation (Salaverría & Barrera, 2009). Today 40 Spanish universities offer degrees in one or other of the disciplines of communication, as well as related postgraduate programmes.

In Spain, according to the report of Datos y cifras del sistema universitario español. Curso 2015/2016 (Data and figures of the Spanish university system. Course 2015/2016 - MECD, 2016b), there was a forecast of more than 1.3 million undergraduate university students (more than one million of them in public universities). In Social Sciences (where Communication studies are included) and Legal Sciences, more than 600,000, being the most numerous area. According to the Ministry of Education 21,076 studied in the academic year 2015-2016 in the area of Journalism and Communication (MECD, 2016c).

Of the 40 faculties offering Communication Studies in Spain, most offer degrees in Journalism, Audiovisual Communication and Advertising and Public Relations. Since about a decade ago, double degrees have been added (with History, Philosophy, Philology, Law or Business Management among others). In recent years, Marketing has also been added to Communication Studies (at the Pontifical University of Salamanca and the University of Navarra, for example). These studies, based on the process of convergence with the European Higher Education Area, have curricula consisting of a total of 240 ECTS credits structured in four academic years.

The offer of master’s degrees in Communication in Spain is wide and diverse. There are 1,291 master’s students in the area of Journalism and Communication, within the 90,000 in the area of Social and Legal Sciences (MECD, 2016a).

Practical experience in companies is considered and recognised as a key element in the practical-experimental training of the degrees. That is why efforts to obtain a large and recognised group of companies with which to sign an internship agreement have become a priority for the faculties.