NCTJ Diploma in Digital Features Journalism

Build your digital storytelling skills and craft compelling long-form stories

Keen to really get under the skin of a story? Train with the experts at PA Media Academy and develop a portfolio of features and long-form writing. On our NCTJ Diploma in Digital Features Journalism you’ll build your skills and understanding of how to deliver insightful interviews, revealing profiles, and stories that get people talking.

You’ll spend one day each week honing your features skills: learning from experts about how to shape brilliant ideas, pitch and get commissioned, structure your copy, write with flair and authority, and make compelling video content. You’ll work with editors with deep digital knowledge and commissioning editors at national publications, and learn from writers in staff and freelance positions.

For the rest of the week, you’ll focus on building core journalism skills – learning how to be a fair and ethical reporter who lands great stories, understanding how to get the most from digital platforms, and gaining essential digital video skills. You’ll study media law and ethics modules so that editors know they can trust you to work safely and with integrity, and build your knowledge of public affairs and politics so you can hold power to account.  You’ll also be working towards attaining 100 words-a-minute in shorthand so that you never need to worry about having missed a quote or a story.

Who the course is for

If you’re looking for space to develop your writing beyond news reporting, choosing a digital features route gives you opportunity to try new techniques and produce longer, more involved journalism. We’d love to hear from you if:

You read and consume media in all forms and want to develop your storytelling abilities
You are committed to building a career in journalism and prepared to work hard
You are ambitious and impatient to get your career started
You want to learn from experts with huge industry experience

Apply now
Feature writer training - woman writes at a laptop


  • 19-week programme of study at our central London HQ
  • Next course begins 2 September 2024



  • Fees are £5,563 for the 19-week course
  • Fees can be paid by instalments
  • If eligible, you might consider applying to the Journalism Diversity Fund

NCTJ Diploma modules

  • Practical Magazine Journalism – build your writing, editing and idea development skills along with an advanced understanding of digital storytelling
  • Essential Journalism – the basics of how to get the story and develop strong writing skills. No matter the role you’re aiming for, you’ll need to show these skills to get the job
  • Ethics – understand the code that guides journalists and discuss real-life issues
  • Essential Media Law and Court Reporting – this is essential for any journalist. The toolbox no journalist can be without, and every editor wants to know you have
  • Journalism for a Digital Audience – understand how digital publishing organisations work and how to write brilliant stories across all digital platforms
  • Public Affairs – understand how power works and how you can challenge it
  • Shorthand – develop the skills to write 100 words a minute

Your portfolio

Our training is hands-on and includes news days and live exercises where you’ll be tasked with interviewing people, attending a press conference, and covering a breaking news event.

Additionally, you’ll build a signficant portfolio of features and longform journalism through practical assignments and live magazine days where you’ll work to a brief and deadline.

Journalism careers

We have excellent links with newsrooms, magazines and broadcasters and understand what hiring editors are looking for. During your course you’ll meet journalists who are doing your dream job – and can tell you how to get it. We can also offer support and advice to those choosing freelance careers. After the course you’ll be able to join our alumni network and build connections with other PA Training graduates.

Multimedia training

You’ll receive video and audio training as part of your course – including extra training if you choose to study digital features – and will also build a strong portfolio of stories so you have a range of work to show editors when it comes to finding a job.

Contact us

Learning outcomes

  • Use different formats and approaches to write compelling features
  • Develop the skills of good storytelling and sourcing
  • Understand the code that guides journalists
  • Acquire essential media law and court reporting knowledge
  • Learn how to create excellent digital content
  • Build your shorthand speed to 100 words a minute
Apply now

What our students say

View all testimonials

The training scenarios are as real to life as you could possibly get. They took considerable time to research our current plans and issues and used these to design a series of true to life radio and TV interviews. The team is outstanding, and their expertise and knowledge has been invaluable. Book them – you’ll be glad you did.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group
, Communications Manager

The methods and techniques you learn (and apply) on a daily basis through teaching, coursework and eventually exams crop up again and again in both job applications and jobs themselves – the course content is directly relevant to the realities of the industry. 

James Saunders
, Digital News Reporter
, GB News

I really could not recommend Press Association enough to anyone who is looking to jump into the fascinating world of journalism. The course equips you with all the necessary skills you need to enter the industry and the wide range of topics covered leaves it hard for you to ever feel bored.

Holly Bishop
, Digital Reporter
, GB News

I was able to count on excellent teachers and professionals who helped me push my limits and achieve my goals. I was impressed by the quality of the course and the motivation teachers put into it. It was a great experience and I would definitely do it again!

Laure Poncet
, Research Officer
, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

The teaching I received was second to none and despite having no experience whatsoever in journalism, the tutors made sure there was a friendly environment where I felt welcome to ask any questions I needed. I was able to finish the course and go into a job working for The Sun.

Olivia Allhusen
, Junior Journalist
, The Sun

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

Contact us

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

"*" indicates required fields

By submitting this application form you confirm your acceptance that the information you have provided will be used during the recruitment procedure. Once the recruitment procedure is completed, the data will be stored for one year and then destroyed. If you are the successful candidate, relevant information may be taken from this form and used as part of your personnel record.
If you would like to receive regular updates from PA Media Academy, please tick here: