The NCTJ Awards for Excellence are awarded annually to the best journalism students completing NCTJ-accredited courses and journalists/photographers with less than two years' experience on the job.

Prizes are awarded annually for media law, public affairs, shorthand, sports journalism and videojournalism for online. 

There are seven different awards for candidates of the reporters National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ). Four are presented after each exam cycle (three a year), and there are also three annual awards, given out at the end of the academic year.

There are two awards for candidates of the photographers and photojournalist’s National Certificate Examination (NCE).  The awards are presented annually after the November NCE.