NCTJ Level 3 Diploma in Journalism

The NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism is the qualification that editors look for when recruiting a trainee journalist.

You can study the diploma by attending one of our accredited centre-based courses or by distance learning. For centre-based courses, please contact the course provider directly for further information including fees, start dates and entry requirements. 

The course will equip you with the knowledge and skills for professional entry level journalism.

The qualification has four under-pinning values:

  • to focus on the vital skills of finding and telling stories accurately and to deadline
  • to reflect that most journalists work in a multimedia environment and that digital and
  • ‘traditional’ skills should be fully integrated and embedded in training and assessments
  • to ensure the core essential skills are covered and assessed to a national standard, but with flexibility to specialise

To gain the diploma, candidates will complete four mandatory subjects: essential journalism (or reporting); essential journalism e-portfolio; essential media law and regulation; and essential journalism ethics and regulation plus at least three of the elective options achieving grades A-E in all modules plus a minimum 60 words per minute shorthand (if studied).

All subjects are assessed by exam (except for the e-portfolio) and candidates will sit either a newspaper and magazine regulation test or a broadcast regulation exam (if studying broadcast journalism) for the essential journalism ethics and regulation module.

To gain the industry ‘gold standard’ Diploma in Journalism, candidates must achieve a minimum A-C grade in every subject and pass 100 words per minute shorthand.

Candidates may also gain a ‘gold standard’ diploma without shorthand as long as they gain A-C grades in all subjects.

The structure and content of the Diploma in Journalism can be downloaded below.