National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ).

The National Qualification in Journalism is the NCTJ's industry senior-level qualification, now available to study by distance learning. If you would like any further information about this qualification, please visit our dedicated NQJ by distance learning page on the NCTJ website. Please note, eligibility criteria may apply.

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

The course programme is divided into seven sections, completed in order and beginning with the first section: National Qualification in Journalism Introduction before moving onto Gathering and writing the story and so on. Management is the final sectionThis programme will also explain each of the three final assessments including what is required to complete the e-logbook. It will provide you with the necessary advanced journalistic skills and knowledge to prepare you for the two online exams; Media Law and Ethics in Practice and the practical skills-based exam (Big News Story).

NQJ exams

Exams for distance learners are offered 3 times per year. Exam dates and booking information is published on the NCTJ website: NQJ exams.

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

This first section introduces the NQJ qualification and assessment.  It will also help you familiarise yourself with the structure of this course.  You should complete this section before attempting the others.

Average estimated time: 100 hours (includes on-the-job hours compiling your logbook)

This section looks at the foundations of all great journalism, research, development and writing.

Average estimated time: 15 hours
This is the first of two sections on Media Law and Ethics. You should complete this section before attempting part two.

Average estimated time: 30 hours
This section focuses on the skills needed to take photographs and create video content for print and online.

Average estimated time: 10 hours
This is our second section on Media Law and Ethics. You should not complete this section before tackling Media Law and Ethics 1.

Average estimated time: 10 hours
Data journalism skills are highly sought-after. This section considers what you need to know to report data in an accessible way that is accurate and fair.

Average estimated time: 20 hours
The NQJ should prepare you for your first steps in management. The unit explores key management behaviours and skills.

Average estimated time: 5 hours