Newspaper Journalism

Pay is pretty low on most local papers, but some still offer training while you’re on the job with NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) qualification courses and examination. The NCTJ is the UK’s biggest and longest established accreditation body for professional journalism. The Chartered Institute of Journalists was an important supporter at its inception.

In recent years the NCTJ has partnered with Press Gazette to produce a training guide for aspiring journalists.

NCTJ Qualifications- an overview

Certificate in Foundation Journalism

The NCTJ Certificate in Foundation Journalism provides an introduction to journalism. It may be used as a stepping stone for candidates wanting to go on to a career in journalism or by those wishing to improve their journalistic skills for a specific purpose.

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Junior journalist apprenticeship

The level 3 junior journalist apprenticeship is a training scheme which provides a direct route into the industry. Apprentice junior journalists gain skills and experience working in a news environment as well as off-the-job training at college to work towards gaining the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism qualification.

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Diploma in Journalism

The NCTJ Diploma in Journalism equips trainee journalists with the knowledge and skills for professional entry level journalism. This qualification encompasses the skills required of journalists working across all media sectors.

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National Qualification in Journalism

The National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) is the industry’s professional qualification that trainee journalists with at least 18 months employment can take to achieve senior status as a journalist. Employers who support the programme register trainees with the NCTJ and an online logbook is completed providing evidence of training and experience before taking the exams.

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As the industry has become more graduate orientated, the NCTJ, like the PPA, mainly accredits university centres and programmes being offered at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  But it still also accredits a thriving sector of courses provided in colleges such as Darlington, North West Regional, Fife, Highbury, City of Liverpool, Sheffield, and Harlow, and non-university journalism training providers such as News Associates, The Press Association, and Brighton Journalist Works.

You can find out about NCTJ courses closest to you.