A politics-related topic may not seem the most obvious choice for a journalism course but understanding how government operates at local and national level will bail you out of many awkward situations as a working journalist.
Whether you are writing for local, regional or national newspapers, magazines or elsewhere, there’s every chance politics will worm its way into your job, whether you like it or not.
Attending council meetings, reporting on elections or dealing with the education or healthcare systems, you will be thankful to have Public Affairs under your belt.
Ten weeks will be spent examining how local government is run, swatting up on elections, education and finance along with key terms that will allow you to participate in conversations which previously sailed over your head.
Who can legally stand as a candidate in local elections?
What is the difference between foundation schools and academies?
What is a ring-fenced grant?
Believe it or not, you will be an expert on all this and plenty more after studying the local government topics.
The other instalment of the Public Affairs syllabus focuses on central government. There will be in-depth studies of the duties performed by the monarchy and the Prime Minister and of the make-up of the healthcare system, with more useful terminology to digest.
Prepare to be surprised by the length of the Queen’s list of roles.
With plenty of information to sift through, we look to spice things up for our trainees with PowerPoint slides and group presentations to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired.
It has proved a successful mix, with 90% of students typically passing each part of the Public Affairs exam.
While some arrive with a real interest in politics, others have rarely made it past the back pages of the papers prior to the course. This does not matter.
Extensive prior knowledge is not expected and there will be plenty of time to iron out problem topics, with the recommended textbook - Public Affairs for Journalists by James Morrison - proving a saving grace for many.
Ultimately, they may not be politicians in the making but all trainees leave with another important string to their bow.