Seven year success story of our part-time course

Our latest NCTJ Diploma part-time course has just finished so this is an appropriate time to look back at its success since it was first launched in 2015.

More than 150 trainees have been on the seven courses, including the current one, being trained every Tuesday evening and Saturday from September to July by our industry-leading tutors.

For me, one of the most rewarding parts of being a tutor is following the progress of our trainees after each course finishes and the various career paths they take. The quality of the jobs that the trainees have secured and the awards they have won are also testimony to the high regard in which the course is held throughout the industry.

For the part-time trainees the course can be summed up as a long-distance race with the 38 weeks of tuition scheduled to fit in with a work-training balance.

The course is now far more focused on digital journalism, in line with the way the industry has moved and the many new online career opportunities available. We have introduced the Journalism for a Digital Audience and Practical Magazine Journalism modules and these sit alongside Essential Journalism, Editing Skills, Law and Public Affairs.

There is also the chance to train to become a sports journalist with the course giving trainees the opportunity to develop all the skills sports media are looking for.

From watching fledgling trainees in the first few weeks agonising over writing the perfect intro that nails the story, to completing the course and graduating with the NCTJ Diploma to help further their careers, it’s what makes tutoring at PA so rewarding.

So here is a snapshot of some of the jobs that trainees have gone onto since completing the course:

  • Rachael Davis – Entertainments Feature Writer PA Media
  • Lucy Bacon- Lead producer of the Shelagh Fogarty programme on LBC
  • Harriet Clugston – Data and investigations editor NationalWorld
  • Miranda Slade – Podcast Producer and Writer BBC
  • Lucy Skoulding – Content Editor My London
  • Ethan Ennals – Mail on Sunday Health Reporter
  • Katie Harris – Senior Reporter Express Online
  • Sean Delaney – Chief Reporter Kent Messenger
  • Aina Khan – Reporter Guardian
  • Habiba Cullen-Jafar – Reporter at Law.Com


“PA Training’s part-time NCTJ set me up for my career in journalism. Being able to study part-time meant that I could gain some valuable work experience alongside my training, boosting my CV so I could jump straight into a reporter job after completing the course. I felt prepared for my first job in journalism, from having a firm grasp of media law to knowing how to structure a news story, so I could hit the ground running in local news. Within 2 years of finishing the course, I’ve completed my senior journalism exams and landed a specialist role as an Entertainment Features Writer at PA – it certainly took a lot of hard work and determination, but doing my diploma with PA Training taught me how to succeed in this competitive industry and gave me the tools to land my dream job.” Rachael Davis – Entertainments Feature Writer PA Media

The list is endless as are the many awards won by trainees, and it’s worth mentioning that only last month Maddy Mussen was the gold winner in the Culture, Entertainment and Lifestyle Category in the 30 to Watch Young Journalists awards. Maddy was on last year’s course where she secured a position with the MyLondon website and is now working for JOE.

And the support does not end when the course finishes, we continue to help trainees in finding a job and they can join our alumni network to build connections with other PA Training graduates.

The part-time course is delivered remotely on Tuesday evenings and on Saturdays in our Queen Street office in Central London, and the 2022-23 course starts on 13th September.

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