Representatives A-D

Nadya Ahmed

PGDip Newspaper Journalism
Nottingham Trent University


“I chose to embark on the PGDip in Newspaper Journalism as I have always had an interest in the media and writing. My first two initial placements at The Times newspaper and Zest Magazine encouraged me to pursue this. Though the course is extremely intense I am finding the fact that I am learning new things everyday as well as achieving bylines and experiences are enough to make it worthwhile.

"I hope one day to be a sub-editor/features editor at a national newspaper although I have seen some new changes in my writing which may see me want to go more into the arts and culture side of newspapers. Being a journalist seemed more like a lifestyle choice than an occupation to me which is what attracted me to it initially, the fact that I can be writing about new things, being in new places and meeting new people spontaneously and without planning while enjoying writing about it all is exciting.”

Chris Allen

BA Hons Journalism
Staffordshire University


“I chose the course because someone from the University came to my sixth form for a talk and he happened to be a journalism graduate, he sold the course and I did some research and found out Staffs was one of the top journalism centres in the country, came up for a couple of visits and was convinced.

“I'm in my final year of the course and very much enjoying it, the newsdays module in particular, although stressful is very beneficial as it enables you to go and cover stories as a proper journalist. I'm passionate about news and sport and would ideally like to write features for a national newspaper, in the short term I'm looking for work either in local papers or a magazine.

“I want to be a journalist because of the crucial role journalism plays in our society. By spreading truth and uncovering lies, the press act as a check and balance on the powers that be, and I want to become a part of that.”

Gema Bate

NCTJ Diploma in Newspaper Journalism
City of Wolverhampton College


"After completing my degree in English, I felt ill-equipped to be able to deal with the business of journalism despite my inclusion as the editor at the university newspaper and the work experience and freelance writing I took on during my final year as a student.

“The NCTJ has given the opportunity to be viewed professionally by newspapers and other media, but has also provided me with the knowledge of how to conduct myself more professionally than just working on gut and enthusiasm alone. The course itself is extremely intense but I know that every day the work builds up, I am gathering the pieces to approach my dream job more prepared than any other course or previous courses and work experience has offered me.

“Ideally the dream is to go into music journalism or to approach the news side, if music is a far off reach, on the editorial team. I never understood why journalism was for me, you see loads of reporters in movies, however you never seem to know one in real life, so the idea was foreign to me when I first approached it, but every time someone read my writing I got a rush that I was able to impart that thought or news on someone.”

Stuart Baxter

HND Practical Journalism
Adam Smith College


“After leaving school I began training to become a financial advisor, but after a few years I decided that I wanted a change of pace. After working with a Mixed Martial Arts website for a few months as a reporter I decided to enrol on a journalism course, and the rest is history.
“Since joining my course I have worked with various publications including the Beano and The Sunday Mail. At the moment I work as a reporter for The Smith Chronicle a magazine published by the students of Adam Smith College. When I graduate I want to travel the world and make documentaries uncovering the reality of the way people live in other countries.”

Tui Benjamin

NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism
News Associates, Manchester


“I chose News Associates because of their sterling reputation for providing hands-on training. I wanted to be a reporter who was learning the trade, not a student, and so I chose a fast-track course in a newsroom environment. Sleep deprivation and last-minute exam cramming aside, they must have done something right because I left with passes in six modules and a predicted pass in the seventh, bagged 100wpm shorthand after 11 weeks and landed a trainee reporter job less than a fortnight after finishing.

“In the future I hope to still be idealistic and inquisitive about the future of the press and to be still doing the things I strive to do as a journalist: represent the marginal and voiceless, hold higher powers to account and engage readers with interesting, witty writing.”

Emma Billingham

BA Hons Journalism
De Montfort University


“I chose the course for its variety of content, the experience of all the academic staff, and the advantage of having NCTJ accreditation. 

“I hope to go into fashion magazine journalism. I love the newness of it all and the excitement of not knowing what you'll be doing one day to the next.”

Marian Borges

MA Journalism
Kingston University


“Originally from Canberra, Australia, I have been living in the UK for nearly six years. While working behind the scenes as a television operator at the World Service during the Arab Spring, I decided I wanted to become a newspaper journalist. Offering both the MA and NCTJ accreditation made Kingston University the obvious choice for me. The course at Kingston is extremely intensive so it helps that we are a small tight knit group. I am particularly enjoying law and public affairs. In five to ten years I see myself working as a political correspondent on a national newspaper either in the UK or in Australia.”

Nathan Briant

MA Print Journalism
University of Sheffield

Peter Brown

BA Journalism and the News Industry
University of Kent


“The course at the University of Kent has proven to be a good introduction into the world of journalism, helping me to develop my skills to become the well-rounded journalist that I am today. Whilst my main interests lie in international reporting – specifically in the Middle East – I aim to start in local journalism, already doing regular stints at the North Devon Journal.”

Joe Burnham

Diploma in Magazine Journalism
Lambeth College

“I was editor-in-chief of York Vision student newspaper for 2009-2010, and since then I’ve been freelancing for a number of online and offline clients including Time Out and USA Today. I’ve been a full-time staff writer for a York-based events magazine, a freelance news researcher for Delayed Gratification Magazine and I’m currently finishing work on my first full-length novel.

“I chose the magazine journalism course because I believe that it’s important to have a theoretical and academic appreciation of journalism alongside the experience you gain from doing it on the job. I chose to study magazines particularly because it tends to place a wider emphasis on features and visual imagery – while design is obviously important within newspapers too, with magazines I believe you have a wider scope to be more creative and approach your content from a range of perspectives. 

“I’m enjoying the course immensely, and I’m looking forward to applying the lessons to real-world situations during my future assignments. I’m currently interested in writing about technology and society, and I believe journalism offers you a unique opportunity to follow and develop your own interests while drawing your readers’ attention to what you find most captivating.”

Jack Calvert

MSc Journalism
The Robert Gordon University


“I came to journalism through a love of sport. After writing my undergraduate dissertation on boxing as a complete amateur, I was advised to try my hand at sport reporting. From there, I started doing rugby match reports for local teams and articles about fitness and CrossFit.

“Studying at RGU immediately opened my eyes to the amount of work I needed to do to become employable. I have enjoyed venturing into broadcast journalism, which I had no experience of before.”

Simon Collins

Part-time Diploma in Multimedia Journalism
News Associates, London

“After Oxford where I read PPE then Theology I was briefly a copywriter in an outpost of the Saatchi and Saatchi empire.

“Subsequently I worked in marketing for two decades travelling the world as a kind of commercial anthropologist until some years ago I turned to teaching English Literature. Of course, what I should have done way back in the last century was go straight into journalism instead of only thinking about it.

“Now, in my early 50's it's time for my ultimate career change. The aim is to earn a living from writing whether as a local reporter, or arts correspondent perhaps. The ideal job would be to work for a national writing a column or articles in the manner of Will Self with a dash of Jon Ronson. Individualistic, thoughtful, knowledgeable, ironic commentary on unusual current social and cultural phenomena.”

Beren Cross

Fast-track Newspaper Journalism
The Sheffield College


“I chose the course at Norton College because of its location and value for money. As a Lincolnshire resident, I wanted a course which was within commutable distance and gave me the qualification I needed for the lowest sum. As a fast-track course, it has the benefit of rapid results, but the pressure of an intense period of study. It has been demanding, especially covering the entire Public Affairs syllabus in four months.

“In the long-term my dream is to become a sports journalist, reporting from around the world. In the shorter-term a position on a national newspaper's trainee scheme would be perfect.

“I pursued journalism because of my love of sport. I had a head for statistics and names, which I wanted to use effectively. Over time, my reasons have evolved and I now love nothing more than the buzz of a breaking story just one hour from deadline. It's a unique experience.”

Patrick Daly

Multimedia Journalism Foundation Course
Press Association, London


“After completing my theology degree I decided to get a bit of experience in different areas of work before coming back to what I had long thought I wanted to do – journalism. I spoke to a few people in the industry about where to start and they all recommended getting an NCTJ accredited course under my belt. I chose to study with PA because it promised more than just exams with ‘on the job’ experience a key focus.

“I’ve now completed my NCTJ diploma and am a trainee reporter with Plymouth’s daily paper, The Herald. I’m only a few weeks in but I already feel vindicated in my decision to become a journalist. It’s varied, it’s fun, I get to talk to some great people and write about subjects that matter to our readers.”

Yasmine Djadoudi

MA Multimedia Journalism
University of Sussex

“I chose to do the Multimedia Journalism course at Sussex University because it was so broad. This was perfect for me, as I am undecided on what type of journalism I'd like to get into in the future. I'd never been to Brighton before, but I'd heard so many great things about the sea side town and so ultimately, this is why I chose to study at Sussex University.

“So far, I've really enjoyed my course because it is theory based as well as practice based, which means the course contains lots of variety. In the future, I would love to be working for E! News Entertainment or writing about celebrity culture, as it is something which has  fascinated me ever since I took a Celebrity Culture module as part of my English and Drama degree in my third year at Queen Mary University.”

Matthew Durrant

Fast Track Diploma in Magazine Journalism
Harlow College


“I chose the course because of Harlow College's reputation for journalism, and because I liked it from the opening day. Having just finished the course I've found it really helpful in gaining an insight into what's needed of a journalist and giving me the skills to be a good one.

“In the future I hope to be a staff writer at a technology, gaming or science magazine. Journalism, particularly magazine features, interests me because I enjoy crafting stories and telling people something about the world they might not have known!”