National exams

National exams for the Diploma in Journalism are offered in Nov/Dec, April/May and July each year.

The next available National exams take place in April/May. Bookings are now closed for April exams. The bookings remain open for May exams and will close on 11 April 2023. Please ensure to book your exam(s) in good time, as the NCTJ are unable to accept late booking requests.

Eligibility: National exams are open to external candidates only (e.g. distance learners, candidates on non-accredited courses, industry candidates, and those who are no longer on course with a centre and need to re-sit an exam). Candidates studying on a journalism course at an NCTJ-accredited centre are not able to enter National exams while still on course. Your centre will deliver your exams.

You must ensure you are ready for, and able to sit, the scheduled exam before booking. All exam fees are payable at the point of booking. In the event of a cancellation or non-attendance, exams are non-refundable. Deferrals will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, in line with the NCTJ reasonable adjustments and special considerations policy.

If you have any queries regarding National exams, then please contact or call us on 01799 544 014

Editing Skills for Journalists workshop: For any external candidates who are completing the Editing Skills for Journalists exam in April, we will be running a workshop on 27 April 2pm – 4.30pm remotely via Zoom.

Video Journalism workshop: For any external candidates who are completing the Video Journalism exam in May, we will be running a workshop on 12 May 10am – 12pm remotely via Zoom.

Whilst it is not compulsory that you attend these workshops, this is a valuable opportunity to sit a practice exam under exam conditions, ensure that you are able to run the appropriate software and Zoom and be able to ask any questions you may have. If you would like to make a booking, please contact

National exam timetable:

Exam 2022 2022-23 2023 2023 Time
Essential Journalism 11 July 7 November 2022 17 April 10 July 10:00 – 12:00
Essential Media Law 13 July 9 November 2022 19 April 12 July 09:30 – 12:00
Media Law Court Reporting 13 July 9 November 2022 19 April 12 July 14:30 – 16:00
Public Affairs 15 July 11 November 2022 21 April 14 July 14:00 – 15:45
Sports Journalism 6 December 2022 16 May 10:00 – 14:00
Editing Skills for Journalists 8 December 2022 18 May 14:00 – 16:30
Business of Magazines 20 January 2023 26 May 14:00 – 15:45
Videojournalism for Digital Platforms 9 December 2022 26 May 10:00 – 12:00
Broadcast Regulation 22 May 14:00 – 15:00
Business and Finance 11 November 2022 21 April 10:00 – 12:30
Newspaper Magazine Regulation Test
(for the essential journalism
ethics and regulation module)
11 July 7 November 2022 17 April 10 July 13:00 – 13:30
Intro to PR for Journalists 31 January 2023 25 April 14:00 – 16:00
PR and Communications for Journalists 26 January 2023 27 April Part 1: 09:30 – 12:00
Part 2: 13:00 – 14:30
Journalism for a digital audience 13 January 2023 25 May 10:00 – 11:30
Data journalism 13 January 2023 25 May 13:00 – 14:15
Practical magazine journalism 23 May 10:00 – 16:00
Radio news 24 May 10:00 – 11:30

Book now.

Booking opening/closing dates

Exam sittings Bookings open (1pm) Bookings close (5pm)
November 2022 1 September 2022 3 October 2022
December 2022 1 September 2022 1 November 2022
January 2023 1 September 2022 9 December 2022
April 2023 30 January 2023 13 March 2023
May 2023 30 January 2023 11 April 2023
July 2023 24 May 2023 5 June 2023

Deferred exams

If you have had a previous exam deferred, you can book using our deferral form.

Further information

The NCTJ offers candidates the option to sit National exams at an academic centre, in-office if your company has suitable facilities available, or remotely at home.

When a booking has been processed, we will confirm your exam entry via email. Approximately two weeks prior to the exam date, reporting instructions and a timetable will be sent to you via email confirming the exam details. Results are issued by email within six weeks of the exam date.

Sitting exams overseas

Candidates not studying/based in the UK may enquire about sitting National exams remotely or in-centre at a British Council venue. Overseas candidates wishing to sit exams in-centre should approach the British Council offices in that country regarding their ability to host the exam.

If the British Council is able to host the exam, please send contact details to 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 overseas locations.

The following exams cannot be sat in-centre overseas due to software requirements and the technical support needed:

  • Broadcast radio news
  • Broadcast TV news
  • Editing skills for journalists
  • Shorthand
  • Videojournalism for digital platforms

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