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. 

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

Achievement of the qualification attracts a UCAS tariff of 48 points.

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 achieve the diploma, candidates will complete and pass four mandatory subjects: essential journalism; essential journalism e-portfolio; essential media law and regulation; and essential journalism ethics and regulation (gaining 47 credits), plus at least four of the elective options (gaining 35 credits). To pass, candidates must achieve grades A-E in all modules; and/or a minimum 60 words per minute shorthand (if studied). A minimum of 82 credits is required to complete the qualification.

To gain the industry ‘gold standard’ Diploma in Journalism, recognised by employers, candidates must achieve A-C grades in every subject taken including the mandatory modules and pass 100 words per minute shorthand earning a minimum 82 credits.

Candidates may also gain a ‘gold standard’ diploma without shorthand as long as they gain A-C grades in all subjects taken including all mandatory modules earning a minimum 82 credits.

All subjects are assessed by exam except for the e-portfolio (there are also coursework assessments for some elective options).

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