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NCTJ Journalism – News & Magazine (1 year)

Please note that all courses are subject to a minimum number in order to run

About the course

This one-year course, regarded by many editors as the gold standard in training, helps to open doors into the industry. The course is intensive and the pressure to meet deadlines is real. You need to be committed but there will be plenty of fun on the way. You will meet lots of like-minded people who could be good contacts in the future. The course offers pathways in news and magazine journalism and modules comprises: news reporting, public affairs, press law, shorthand, video journalism, online, and production. Final assessment is conducted via examination and portfolio to help prepare you for the pressures of a newsroom, where you will be asked to draw on knowledge of press law and public affairs and be able to produce concise and accurate stories to meet deadlines.

Entry requirements

Applicants sit a written entrance examination in English, general knowledge and news writing (the NCTJ Stage 1 test). Successful applicants will be made firm offers or conditional offers in anticipation of their having obtained the required educational qualifications before the start of the programme and preferably, work experience. You may be eligible for a bursary from the Journalism Diversity Fund. The Fund helps people from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds who lack the financial means to support themselves on an NCTJ-accredited course.

How much does it cost?

Full cost £4170. If you're aged 19+ you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.
Contact Us or call 01279 868100 to get the most up-to-date info on fees and the financial support that may be available.

Awarding Body


Why study?

The National Council for the Training of Journalists is Britain’s leading journalism industry trainer and editors regard the NCTJ diploma as a bench-mark of quality. The Journalism Centre at Harlow College is Britain's oldest journalism school and is recognised as a leader in training by the industry. Staff have worked in many areas of journalism and retain strong links with the industry. Alumni include Piers Morgan, Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge, former Editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger and former This Morning presenter Richard Madeley.

Where will this course take me?

Once you have completed the programme, you can seek employment as an editorial assistant or copywriter at either one of several local or national magazine publications. Alternatively, you can seek employment with one of the many local or regional newspapers in the area. Once there you are likely to enter into an 18-month training programme, at the end of which you can sit the NCTJ National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ). You will then have the full qualifications to become a senior reporter.

Core modules

  • Essential Journalism
  • Essential Journalism e-portfolio
  • Essential Journalism Ethics and Regulations
  • Essential Media Law and Regulations

Optional modules

  • Practical Magazine Journalism
  • Public Affairs for Journalists
  • Media Law Court Reporting
  • Video Journalism for Digital Platforms
  • Editing Skills for Journalists
  • Shorthand for Journalists

Those wishing to progress to the NCTJ Level 6 National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) must achieve Gold Standard*.

How will I be assessed?

This is mainly an exam-based programme with a written exam in journalism, plus a portfolio of news stories, an exam in public affairs and two in press law. The first set of exams will be held just over halfway through the programme, the second set will take place towards the end of the course. You will be required to write stories to deadlines in order to prepare for the exams and for work as a journalist.

Work will be assessed through self-analysis and discussion with your tutor and peer group, as well as being individually marked by lecturers. In order to achieve your Diploma, you will be required to pass all modules at grades A - E. In order to receive the NCTJ Gold Standard you must achieve a grade C or above in every subject and pass your 100wpm shorthand exam.

Passing Grade: A - E grade + 60wpm Shorthand

*Gold Standard: A - C grade + 100wpm Shorthand

NQJ Entry Requirements: A - C grade + 100wpm Shorthand

Will I have to provide anything?

For journalism classes you will need a pen, reporter’s notebook and a pen drive.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Call 01279 868100 and talk to an Admissions Adviser
Ask Us a question about this course