NCTJ Level 5 National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ)

The NCTJ Level 5 National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) is the NCTJ’s professional senior qualification that examines all-round competence in a range of essential journalism skills.

To be eligible to sit the NQJ, candidates must:

  • be registered with the NCTJ - please visit the Registrations page for more information
  • have achieved a grade C or above in all the Diploma in Journalism exams (which must include media law court reporting and public affairs) plus achieved 100 words per minute shorthand
  • have undertaken a period of 18 months’ full-time employment on a newspaper or news agency (Johnston Press trainees are required to undertake 24 months)
  • ensure that results in public affairs, essential media law and regulation and media law court reporting exams are not more than five years old

To register, candidates should complete the online registration form. Once registered, candidates are sent a letter with a proposed NQJ date (this is the earliest date for sitting) and they are also given access to their e-logbook.

Registered candidates will need to complete an enrolment form to sit the NQJ exams. Please see the exam date page for upcoming NQJ dates and information on enrolment opening and closing dates.

The NCTJ offers NQJ refresher courses, which feature useful hints and tips for the exam day itself and practical experience, with feedback, on all sections of the qualification. For more information on NQJ refresher workshops, please visit the other training course section.

Level 6 National Qualification in Journalism

The NCTJ Level 6 National Qualification in Journalism is a new qualification that has been developed following a review of the NQJ and will eventually replace the current level 5 qualification. Transition arrangements will be made and published here shortly. All candidates currently registered for the existing NQJ will have the opportunity to complete the qualification. New registrations will continue to be enrolled for the level 5 NQJ until the transition arrangements are in place.