Senior Journalist Apprenticeship: Level 7 programme

Ready to progress to the next level? Gain the skills you need to become a newsroom leader of the future

Apprenticeships transform newsrooms and can help build healthy news organisations at all levels. The Level 7 Senior Journalist programme builds on the skills, behaviours and knowledge that journalists will have acquired through the Level 5 NCTJ Diploma in Journalism or Level 5 Journalist apprenticeship programmes and is ideal for journalists looking to make the most of their experience and progress in the newsroom.

The apprenticeship focuses on building digital, storytelling, editing, management and leadership skills. It is particularly suitable for journalists looking to move from general reporter to specialist roles, or from reporter and writer roles into desk editor jobs. We work hand-in-hand with the news industry to deliver apprentice training that is relevant, engaging, and ensures all apprentices achieve the high standards that PA Media is known for.

The curriculum includes workshops on audience and insights, data journalism, social and verification, advanced media law, interviewing skills, podcasting and video.

The Senior Journalist apprenticeship includes the NCTJ’s National Qualification in Journalism as a mandatory qualification. This involves taking a Practical Journalism Skills exam (in various specialisms), taking a Media Law and Ethics in Practice exam, and submitting a portfolio of work completed on the job. Training is weekly over a period of up to 18 months, at which point apprentices work on a substantial published piece that showcases the knowledge, skills and behaviour they’ve built, and helps launch the next stage of their career.

Our apprentices regularly win awards at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence and Senior Journalist apprentices are often promoted during the course of their training.

We are committed to working in partnership with employers, and work with teams of all sizes to help navigate the administrative, recruitment and onboarding elements of apprenticeships. We are happy to promote vacancies on the government’s Find An Apprentice website and also to assist with checking candidates’ eligibility for a levy-funded apprenticeship programme.

PA Media Academy is pleased to provide complementary training for apprentices’ line managers to enhance their understanding of how apprenticeships work and they can best support their apprentice’s development. We also run regular safeguarding briefings for managers.

Course Modules

What apprentices learn

  1. All L7 Senior Journalist apprentices complete the NCTJ National Qualification in Journalism
  2. Highly-practical training takes place one day a week and makes a positive impact from day one
  3. Expert journalist trainers are leading practitioners in their specialisms
  4. Leadership training focuses on people management
  5. Apprentices, line managers and tutors meet every three months to discuss progress

Information for employers

  1. We work with employers based throughout the UK – training can be remote
  2. We do not run regular “open” cohorts of L7 apprentices
  3. We require groups of 12 apprentices to run a bespoke cohort – we can facilitate collaboration between newsrooms on this
  4. We can support you through the apprentice process if you’re new to it
  5. Our apprentices go on to achieve awards and promotions – they are truly inspiring

Information for apprentices

  1. Apprenticeships are a brilliant way to take your career to the next level
  2. You need to be working in a newsroom to complete the L7 Senior Journalist apprenticeship
  3. You cannot apply for an apprenticeship with the PA Media Academy directly
  4. Instead, talk to your employer and see if they might support you
  5. If you are in a content or communications role, other apprenticeships may be more appropriate

Apprenticeship FAQs

Do employers pay for training?

If your organisation pays the Apprenticeship Levy, then you do not need to contribute to training costs for your apprentices in England. If your organisation does not pay the levy, then you will need to contribute 5% of the training costs for your apprentices in England

Can I train apprentices based outside England?

Yes, we are happy to work with you on this. You will not however be able to fund them through the Apprentice Levy

How can I apply for an apprenticeship?

PA Media does recruit apprentices who work for the PA Media agency newsroom. You’ll find any vacancies here.

But the PA Media Academy is not involved in any apprentice recruitment. We are the training provider, not the employer.

Are you inspected by Ofsted?

Yes, we were last inspected in September 2023 and awarded ‘Good’ in all areas. You can read the report here, or search under our legal name, The Press Association Ltd

What our students say

View all testimonials

What a great session we had on Communicating with Impact. Bridgid shared practical techniques to enhance and develop our communications skills so we can present and speak publicly or to senior stakeholders with confidence and impact.  I speak for my whole team in highly recommending Bridgid Nzekwu if you are after effective and fun communication training.

, Group Legal Director, Corporate Commercial & Compliance

The lifelike interview settings and tasks that PA Media Training deal in replicate perfectly the real-world feel of a tough media interview and help the delegates come out of the day feeling much more confident that they can play an active role in representing their organisation.

Transport for London
, Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs

Not only did I develop the necessary toolkit to become a journalist, but I also did so in an environment that fosters a real sense of community and personal career support.

Erin Waks
, Trainee Sub-Editor
, Daily Mail

It’s a great place to make connections – networking with teachers, guest speakers and fellow students can be key to gaining advice or even job opportunities during and after the course. 

James Saunders
, Digital News Reporter
, GB News 

I made amazing friends, amazing memories and now it has led me to an amazing job which I never would have gotten without my time at Press Association.  

Holly Bishop
, Digital Reporter
, GB News

The staff truly go above and beyond, providing detailed feedback, a wealth of knowledge and many career opportunities. I’d recommend the course to any budding journalist. You’ll have fun, too!  

Erin Waks
, Trainee Sub-Editor
, Daily Mail

Contact us

For more information , simply fill out the form and a member of our team will be in touch.

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