National exams

National examination dates are offered in April/May, July and November/December each year. These dates are open to anyone wishing to sit an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism exam. They are the exam dates for distance learners, trainees and those who are no longer on course and need to re-sit an exam.

Candidates should apply direct to the NCTJ by completing the application form on the left hand side by the stated deadline. Applications received after this date may not be accepted. Candidates must ensure that they are ready for, and are able to sit the scheduled exam before submitting an application. All exam fees are payable on application and are non-refundable.

** Candidates taking up an approved deferral of an examination MUST book the required exam(s) as above and forward the approval document to the NCTJ on application.

The national exam dates for 2020 - 21 are as follows.

Exam 2020-2021 2021 2021 Time
Essential Journalism 09 November 2020 26 April 12 July 10:00 - 12:00
Essential Media Law 11 November 2020 28 April 14 July 09:30 - 12:00
Media Law Court Reporting 11 November 2020 28 April 14 July 14:30 - 16:00
Public Affairs 13 November 2020 23 April 16 July 14:00 - 15:45
Sports Journalism 08 December 2020 18 May   10:00 - 14:00
Production Journalism 10 December 2020 20 May   14:00 - 16:30
Business of Magazines 14 January 2021 13 May   14:00 - 15:45
Videojournalism 11 December 2020 14 May   10:00 - 12:00
Broadcast Regulation   10 May   14:00 - 15:00
Business and Finance 13 November 2020 23 April   10:00 - 12:30
Newspaper Magazine Regulation Test
(for the essential journalism
ethics and regulation module)
9 & 11 November 2020 19 & 21 April 12 & 14 July 13:00 - 13:30
Intro to PR for Journalists 1 December 2020 27 April   14:00 - 16:00
PR and Communications for Journalists 3 December 2020 29 April   Part 1: 09:30 - 12:00
Part 2: 13:00 - 14:30
Journalism for a digital audience 2 December 2020 6 May   14:00 - 16:00
Data journalism   6 May   14:00 - 16:00

The NCTJ will allocate candidates to the centre where they will sit the exams. A local/preferred centre cannot be guaranteed due to availability/demand. Candidates must be prepared to travel to sit exams.

Book an exam

Confirmation

When an exam application is received, the NCTJ will confirm your entry by email.

Approximately two weeks prior to an exam date, reporting instructions and a timetable will be sent to you by email confirming your centre and exam details.

Results are issued by email within six weeks of the exams.

Newspaper Magazine Regulation Test:

A - 10/10

B - 9/10

C - 8/10

D - 7/10

E - 6/10

All other modules:

A - 70% +

B - 60 - 69%

C - 50 - 59%

D - 40 - 49%

E - 30 - 39%

Sitting exams abroad

Those not studying/based in the UK may enquire about sitting certain exams at a British Council abroad. Candidates wishing to sit Diploma in Journalism exams abroad should approach the British Council offices in that country regarding their ability to host NCTJ exams.

If the British Council is able to host the applicable exams please send contact details to [email protected] to finalise the arrangements.

Exams are scheduled to be held at UK time and may not be altered. The NCTJ will confirm examination times for locations abroad.

The following exams cannot be sat abroad due to software requirements and the technical support needed:

  • Production Journalism
  • Broadcast Radio News
  • Broadcast TV News
  • Videojournalism
  • Shorthand