A-Level results day 2022: Are you hoping to study journalism?

Are you hoping to study journalism and your A-Level results aren’t what you were expecting?

Here’s what you need to know: There are plenty of opportunities available to you to train to be a journalist, including NCTJ-accredited courses with clearing places, fast-track courses, distance learning and the chance to earn while you learn on a journalism apprenticeship.

UCAS clearing is available for you if your grades are lower or different to expected, and your firm and insurance offers will no longer accept you, or you may have changed your mind about your original plans.

Here at the NCTJ, we have compiled a list of all our centres that still have places available on their courses through UCAS clearing.

All NCTJ-accredited courses lead to a Diploma in Journalism, which provides you with fundamental and cutting-edge skills needed to work effectively as journalists in all sectors of the media.

You may also decide that university isn’t the right path for you. In that case, there are also fast-track, part-time and academic year courses at colleges and independent training providers delivering the diploma qualification to suit all needs.

Or perhaps remote learning suits you best? The diploma can be studied by distance learning via the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy, which is perfect for those unable to study at a centre or would like the flexibility to study around their own commitments. The NCTJ also accredits a part-time 18-month virtual programme, delivered by News Associates.

Studying journalism whilst working in the industry is also a possibility through journalism apprenticeships and community news reporter roles. As a community reporter, you can join the newsroom without any previous journalism experience and report on under-served communities while also receiving diploma training.

Community news vacancies can be found here on the NCTJ’s jobs board.


A-Level results day can be one of the most emotional and stressful days in a student’s life, particularly if they haven’t got the results they were expecting – be that higher or lower.
Joanne Butcher, chief executive

Joanne added: “If that is you, we want to help you make an informed choice about where and how to study journalism, which journalism courses are right for you and why studying for the Diploma in Journalism will put you a cut above the rest.

“That’s why today we have a team available to help inform students about all the choices available to them to pursue their ambition of becoming a journalist.”

If you would like advice about journalism training or accredited courses available through clearing, please call our dedicated careers advice hotline on 01799 544944.


Research into the job destinations of NCTJ diploma students shows that employment rates are at an all-time high

  • 90%

    of those with the gold standard diploma are working six months after finishing their course.

Clearing spaces

NCTJ-accredited BA courses that currently have places available are:

  • Bournemouth University – BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism and BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism
  • Leeds Trinity University – BA Journalism
  • News Associates London and Manchester (in partnership with Plymouth Marjon University) – BA Journalism
  • Nottingham Trent University – BA Journalism
  • Oxford Brookes University – BA Media, Journalism and Publishing (accredited journalism pathway)
  • Teesside University – BA Journalism and BA Sports Journalism
  • University of Brighton – BA Journalism
  • University of Central Lancashire – BA Journalism
  • University of Essex – BA Multimedia Journalism
  • University of Gloucestershire – BA Journalism
  • University of Kent – BA Journalism
  • University of Lincoln – BA Journalism and BA Sports Journalism
  • University of Portsmouth – BA Journalism
  • University of Sunderland – BA Fashion Journalism, BA Journalism and BA Sports Journalism

Other ways to study journalism     

As well as BA courses, there are other ways to study journalism and achieve the Diploma in Journalism qualification.

Academic year courses at:

  • City of Portsmouth College (28 weeks long)
  • North West Regional College
  • Darlington College
  • City of Wolverhampton College
  • News Associates London
  • News Associates Manchester

Fast-track courses open to school leavers at:

  • City of Liverpool College
  • Glasgow Clyde College
  • PA Training

Part-time courses at:

  • PA Training
  • News Associates (remote)
  • News Associates London
  • News Associates Manchester

Find a course that’s right for you here.

Apprenticeships and community news reporter roles:

The NCTJ jobs board promotes jobs, internships and apprenticeships with journalism employers across the UK. You can study and work as a journalist at the same time as a journalism apprentice or a community news reporter. These opportunities are posted as they become available throughout the year.

"Don't be afraid to get in touch with the course director if that information is available online"

— Kafui Okpattah, investigative journalist and University of Essex graduate

Hear from those who have experienced UCAS clearing and journalism apprenticeships

Look after your well-being

A-Level results day can be a stressful time, particularly if your results aren’t what you were expecting.

The most important thing you can do at this time is to look after your well-being. If you are feeling overwhelmed or don’t know what your options are, we’re here to help support you. Please call 01799 544944.

If you need help with understanding the Clearing process, call UCAS on 0371 468 0468.

Don’t forget you can reach out to your university or college if you need help with your application. They will be able to tell you more about the support available, and ensure you have the help you need.

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive the NCTJ’s eJournalism newsletter. Sent once a month, it will keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in journalism training.