Top performing NCTJ accredited courses announced at the Journalism Skills Conference

The six top performing NCTJ accredited courses 2008/9 received public recognition at the evening dinner of the Journalism Skills Conference hosted at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquarters.

Newspaper journalism courses in five categories received awards for the highest percentage of students achieving C grade passes or better in all the NCTJ core exams plus 100 wpm shorthand.

Together these exams make up the preliminary Certificate in Journalism, widely regarded by recruiting editors as the essential qualification for aspiring journalists to get their first job in a multimedia newsroom.

The postgraduate results table was topped by the MA in Newspaper Journalism at the University of Ulster with 69 per cent of students gaining the preliminary Certificate in Journalism. This was also the best result of the 68 courses accredited by the NCTJ.

Joanne Butcher, NCTJ chief executive, said: “The University of Ulster’s course was the best performing course overall last year, with students achieving a pass rate of 69 per cent.

“It is a course that proves it is possible to deliver print, online and broadcast training effectively and to a high standard to all students, so many congratulations to Maggie Swarbrick and her team at Coleraine.”

Joanne added: “As we recently celebrated shorthand week, I’d like to pay tribute to the results achieved by students on NCTJ accredited courses at Cardiff University and Press Association Training. 93 per cent of students on these fantastic courses achieved at least 100wpm.”

Darlington College topped the table for the accredited fast-track courses at FE colleges with 34 per cent of students in 2008/9 meeting the industry standard and gaining the preliminary Certificate in Journalism.

Press Association Training’s Newcastle-based newspaper journalism foundation course was the best performing commercial fast-track course with 67 per cent of students in 2008/9 gaining the gold standard qualification.

Students on the 2006/9 BA (hons) Journalism course at Bournemouth University were top of the NCTJ accredited undergraduate courses, with 19 per cent of students graduating with the preliminary certificate.

Harlow College topped the table for accredited academic year FE courses with 27 per cent of students in 2008/9 meeting the industry standard.

Also announced was the top performing NCTJ magazine course. The fast-track course delivered at City College Brighton and Hove was the best performer out of the six magazine courses accredited by the NCTJ.

Detailed exam results for all 68 NCTJ accredited courses will be published on the NCTJ website later this month.