Diploma in Journalism

The Diploma in Journalism is the NCTJ's industry entry-level qualification. As well as being delivered on accredited courses at universities, colleges and training centres, and via apprenticeships, the diploma is also available to study by distance learning. If you would like any further information about this qualification, please visit our dedicated diploma by distance learning page on the NCTJ website. Diploma modules can be purchased via the NCTJ web store. Once the NCTJ has processed your order, you can access the content via your Journalism Skills Academy My Dashboard area.

If you have any questions about our distance learning programmes, or if you are experiencing any technical problems accessing your materials, please contact skillsacademy@nctj.com.

Available courses

Announcements and support forum

A welcome pack and support forum can be found here. Any qualification announcements will also be posted here.

Essential journalism

The essential journalism module is designed to equip you with the journalism skills and knowledge required to become a competent journalist working in today’s digital newsrooms across all media sectors.

Essential journalism ethics and regulation

Journalists are expected to work to high ethical standards. This module does not seek to engage in a debate around moral philosophy. It is intended to bring forward ethical issues faced by journalists in their day-to-day work and how they might be resolved.

Essential media law and regulation (England and Wales)

All journalists must know the legal and regulatory boundaries of what they can and cannot report. This includes both the Editors’ Code of Practice and Ofcom Broadcasting Code. The module covers all the media law essentials as well as an introduction to court reporting.

Essential media law and regulation (Scotland)

All journalists must know the legal and regulatory boundaries of what they can and cannot report. This includes both the Editors’ Code of Practice and Ofcom Broadcasting Code. The module covers all the media law essentials as well as an introduction to court reporting.

Essential journalism e-portfolio

The essential journalism e-portfolio is an assessment that demonstrates your ability to cover a range of content across different platforms.

Broadcast regulation

The broadcast regulation module is compulsory for candidates studying TV journalism or radio journalism. The learning material will prepare you to sit an assessment that tests your ability to explain and apply the principles of broadcast regulation as set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Broadcast journalism: Radio

This module will equip you with the essential skills to work as a journalist in a radio newsroom. You will learn how to research, write and produce high-quality reports for radio.

Broadcast journalism: TV

This module will equip you with the essential skills to work as a journalist in a TV newsroom. You will learn how to research, write and produce high-quality reports for TV.

Business and finance journalism

This module will equip you with sufficient understanding of both domestic and international politics and economics to be able to report on a wide range of issues relating to business and finance, and to do so with the ability to humanise complex subjects, making them accessible to a general audience…

Data journalism

This module will provide knowledge of how to find data, analyse that data in the most efficient way to find great stories, how to visualise the information found and go on to develop the data into content which will appeal to readers and viewers.

Editing skills for journalists

This module builds on the introduction to editing in the essential journalism syllabus. Journalists are publishing stories without the luxury of copy being checked, and are expected to ‘get it right first time’. Editing skills are valuable and transferable - the module would also suit worki…

Journalism for a digital audience

This module builds on the introduction to the subject in the essential journalism module. It is about learning the knowledge and skills to operate as an audience-focused digital journalist in a multimedia newsroom including understanding and using website CMS systems and how to develop brands.

Media law court reporting

This module builds on an introduction to court reporting in the essential media law and regulation (one of the mandatory modules) syllabus. It covers court reporting restrictions, regulatory and ethical considerations. It is an important option for those who wish to focus on hard news for any platfo…

Practical magazine journalism

This module will provide you with the opportunity to learn and practise feature writing skills on multiple platforms for the magazine industry. Key to the proficiency of a magazine journalist is the ability to generate fresh, original ideas that are relevant to the targeted audience and in a variety…

PR and communications for journalists

This module will enable you to understand the objectives, strategies and tactics employed by PR staff with whom you will come into contact as a journalist. It can also prepare you to work at a junior level in public relations.

Public affairs for journalists (England and Wales)

All professional journalists should have a broad understanding of how government works at a local and national level, how they link together, where news stories come from and how to develop such stories. This module covers the following key areas: controlling power; holding government to account; co…

Public affairs for journalists (Northern Ireland)

All professional journalists should have a broad understanding of how government works at a local and national level, how they link together, where news stories come from and how to develop such stories. This module covers the following key areas: controlling power; holding government to account; co…

Public affairs for journalists (Scotland)

All professional journalists should have a broad understanding of how government works at a local and national level, how they link together, where news stories come from and how to develop such stories. This module covers the following key areas: controlling power; holding government to account; co…

Shorthand for journalists

Teeline shorthand is the most popular shorthand system in the UK and uses the same principle as all other shorthand methods by assigning a unique outline to each word. This helps journalists take down accurate notes quickly.