To our Comm students: Bachelor of Communication Hogwarts style

I love the Harry Potter books and one day I realised that our Bachelor of Communication degree’s majors slot fairly neatly into the four Hogwarts houses: journalism is Gryffindor, PR is Slytherin, Media Production is Hufflepuff and Media Studies is Ravenclaw.

I had a chat with Susan Kerrigan, Prue Robson and Chloe Killen (one of our RHD students) about it and we started tossing the idea around as a bit of fun. We’ve come up with the following, based on the Sorting Hat’s song in Philosopher’s Stone:

Journalism: GRYFFINDOR

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart.

Journalists are the ones who go off and become foreign correspondents and place themselves in dangerous situations. Severus Snape says that Griffindors have brawn not brains but that’s a bit harsh. If you think about the occupational mythologies of journalism, there are clear parallels with Gryffindor. The journalist as “larrikin”, for example, parallels the rule breaking throughout the Potter books by Harry, Ron and Hermione but also James, Sirius, Lupin and Peter Pettigrew.

Public Relations: SLYTHERIN

Or perhaps in Slytherin,
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means,
To achieve their ends.

It was always going to be tricky to say any major is Slytherin because there are some horrible things said about them all through the HP books. But, reading the Sorting Hat’s description in HP and the Philosopher’s Stone, the last two lines could be describing PR practitioners. Or at least the perception of PR practitioners. And Prue agreed (she actually said, “I’ll pay that”).

Media Production: HUFFLEPUFF

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil

Susan reckons this description perfectly describes Media Production students. They are loyal to each other and work hard. We initially thought Media Production students might be Slytherins. They love production and usually don’t like theory subjects. In other words, they are production “purebloods”. But Susan disagreed and we decided that Production majors are Hufflepuffs.

Media Studies: RAVENCLAW

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind.

Students who do media studies majors typically do well in their courses, aren’t afraid to speak up in class and are unhappy with anything less than a HD. They’re the students who always email to check on requirements and make appointments to discuss assignments. When the students are learning how to Disapparate in HP and the Half Blood Prince, the Ravenclaws are jostling to get to the front of the class. Sounds like media studies students to us.

We haven’t quite figured out yet what to do with students who are doing a double major or a double degree but our experience with teaching these different majors has led us to believe that there are definite parallels with the HP books. And the more we talked about it the more hysterically funny and true it became.

What do you think?

Main collaborators

Janet Fulton (Journalism and Media Studies major)
Susan Kerrigan (Media Production Major)
Prue Robson (PR major)
Chloe Killen (Journalism major)

And P.S. We wouldn’t be surprised if Media Studies students are the ones who engage with the question 😉

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

Oh, you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can top them all.
There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a steady mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a Thinking Cap!

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. London: Bloomsbury, 1997, p. 88.

3 Comments


  1. Does that make the four of you McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick and Sprout?

    Reply

    1. Haha. Don’t know how that will fly.

      Reply

  2. I?m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come
    across a blog that?s equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail
    on the head. The problem is an issue that too few
    men and women are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I came across this in my hunt
    for something relating to this.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *