NCTJ Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism

The NCTJ Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism provides an introduction to journalism. It may be used as a first step for candidates considering a career in journalism or by those wishing to develop their journalistic skills for a specific purpose.

The qualification is designed to give a wide variety of uses within the community; whether as a community reporter or contributor, blogger or those wishing to use journalism as a way to draw attention to specific community issues.

It can be offered through a range of providers: schools and colleges; evening classes and short courses. Achievement of the qualification attracts a UCAS tariff of 16 points which may be used towards accessing higher education degree courses.

To gain the Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism, students must complete five mandatory units:

  • Gathering information
  • How to tell a news story
  • Recording information
  • Legal and ethical considerations for journalists
  • Writing for digital media

The following 13 units are optional units:

  • How to use the English Language for journalism (level 2)
  • Using the English language for maximum effect in journalism (level 2)
  • Writing for a specific purpose
  • Feature writing
  • How society works
  • Using video to tell a story
  • Using audio to tell a story
  • Taking images suitable for publication
  • Finding and using data
  • Sports reporting
  • Writing reviews and comment articles
  • The history of news
  • Community radio newsgathering

To gain the full qualification, candidates must achieve a minimum of 25 credits; 14 from the mandatory units and a further 11 credits from the optional subjects. Please see the link to the chart below for more details.

For those wishing to go on to a career in journalism, study at foundation level is unlikely to lead directly to a job with a news organisation. However, successful study at foundation level is likely to give candidates a “head start” when it comes to studying for an apprenticeship and/or the Diploma in Journalism. 

Certificate in Foundation Journalism modules are available to study via distance learning. See our online shop for more details.