NCTJ Diploma

If you want to be a journalist, there are two things that will help – a portfolio of great stories and an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism. Train with the PA Media Academy and our high standards will help you impress with both.

If you’re looking to take your first steps as a journalist, this is the qualification that will impress future editors and help you land a great job. Accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the media industry’s professional body, the Level 5 Diploma in Journalism is a highly-practical course that gives you the essential skills for being a journalist.

On our 19-week fast-track course in multimedia journalism you’ll build reporting, digital and video skills, and study media law and ethics. You’ll learn how to make notes in shorthand so you can always be first to a story, and will have the opportunity to specialise in news, sports or digital features journalism.

Our people get jobs with organisations such as The Athletic, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The BBC, LBC, The Independent, City AM, The Telegraph, the FT, Politico and the PA Media newsroom. So if you’re committed, talented and keen to be working as a journalist in less than five months, then this could be the course for you.

Alternatively, if full-time study doesn’t fit with your work or life situation right now, you can apply for our year-long part-time Diploma course. Join us for training on Saturdays and Tuesday evenings, and bag the essential skills you need to succeed as a journalist over a longer time-frame.

You’ll acquire reporting, editing, digital and video skills and gain a thorough understanding of media law and ethics. If you study on our part-time NCTJ Diploma, you’ll also spend time developing writing skills thanks to a focus on digital features and longform writing.

All our trainers are expert journalists, with many still working for leading newsrooms, broadcasters and digital publishers. Because of our unique connection with the UK and Ireland’s national news agency, you’ll also gain invaluable insights into what it’s really like to work as a journalist, what hiring editors are looking for and how your career could progress.

Why train with PA Media Academy?

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  • Newsroom connected with national and international reach
  • More than 50 years’ experience training journalists and PRs
  • All courses are expert-led by working media professionals
  • Trainers have a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives
  • Small class sizes allow for practical, interactive exercises
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training by journalists, for journalists

You’ll be taught by senior journalists who will not only give you the skills and knowledge you need to do well in your exams, but also to thrive in a media organisation and build your career.

We know what editors value, so our courses are intensely practical and you’ll gain hands-on experience through live news days, trips to the courts, interviewing and breaking news exercises. You might even play a supporting role in the PA Media newsroom during elections and big events.

You’ll receive the feedback, encouragement and guidance you need to get your career off to a flying start.

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What our students say

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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

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 small class sizes nurture a comfortable environment where everyone supports and learns from each other. The staff helped me hone in on my writing skills and develop the confidence to feel comfortable on camera.

Camilla Foster
, Reporter
, Newsquest

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

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

Contact us

Do you wish to train on one of our specialist courses? Start by filling in the application form – we’ll ask you for some important information such as your education and employment history.

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

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