A-Level results day 2023: Are you hoping to study journalism?

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

Do not be disheartened. Here’s what you need to know: there are still plenty of opportunities available to you to train to be a journalist and to achieve the industry-standard NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, such as:

  • NCTJ-accredited BA journalism courses with spaces available through clearing
  • Fast-track courses
  • Academic-year courses
  • Distance learning
  • Journalism apprenticeships

All these training opportunities lead to the diploma – a level 5 qualification well recognised and respected in the industry which will equip you with fundamental and cutting-edge skills needed to work effectively as a journalist in all sectors of the media.

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.

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

They are:

Bournemouth University BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism and BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism
Glasgow Caledonian University BA Multimedia Journalism
News Associates London (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 Sport 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

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

Find out more about these NCTJ-accredited courses here and click here to apply via UCAS clearing.

Hear from those who are studying on NCTJ-accredited courses and have experienced UCAS clearing.

What other training routes are available to me?

If you decide that a journalism degree is no longer the right fit for you, 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.

Fast-track courses

Fast-track courses

Why not look at fast-track courses if you want to swiftly embark on a rewarding career? The following centres all run accredited fast-track courses starting at different times of the year and allow students to condense their studies into a fast-paced course without compromising on quality:

  • City of Liverpool College
  • Glasgow Clyde College
  • Harlow College
  • News Associates London
  • News Associates Manchester
  • PA Training

Part-time courses

Part-time courses

Perhaps you would rather study part-time to give you the flexibility for other commitments? There are part-time courses at:

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

Academic year courses

Academic year courses

If you are seeking to learn practical knowledge and specialised journalism skills in the space of an academic year, check out the courses at:

  • City of Portsmouth College (28 weeks long)
  • Darlington College
  • News Associates London
  • News Associates Manchester
  • North West Regional College
  • Sheffield College
People working at computers


People working at computers


The NCTJ jobs board promotes jobs, internships and apprenticeships with journalism employers across the UK. As a journalism apprentice, you can study for a NCTJ journalism qualification at the same time as working. These opportunities are posted as they become available throughout the year.


Distance learning


Distance learning

If you’d prefer the flexibility to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home, the diploma can be studied by distance learning via the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy.

This is perfect for those unable to study at a centre or would like the flexibility to study around their own commitments. Modules can be purchased individually as you work through the course and includes tutor support time.

The NCTJ also accredits a part-time 18-month virtual programme, delivered by News Associates.

Joanne Forbes, chief executive

“A-Level results day can be an incredibly stressful time for students, particularly if they haven’t got the results they hoped for – be that higher or lower”

Joanne added: “If that is you, we want to help you make an informed choice about where to turn next – whether that’s finding a space on an accredited course through UCAS clearing or finding a different route to study journalism.

“We want to help inform students about why studying for the Diploma in Journalism will put them a cut above the rest and to explain all the choices available to them so they can pick the right journalism training route for them.

“By choosing the right path, students can use this change of direction on A-Level results day as an opportunity towards a successful and rewarding career in journalism.”

Look after your wellbeing

A-Level results day can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and it’s crucial to take care of your wellbeing during this stressful time.

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 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.

Remember that A-Level results day is just one step in your journey, and there are many opportunities to achieve your goals. Take the time to evaluate your options, make informed decisions and focus on your well-being throughout the process.

Keep in touch

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