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Journalism NCTJ Diploma Level 3 (Fast Track) at Highbury College

Course description

This programme is for students wishing to enter the world of journalism, either as a general reporter or specialising in newspaper, magazine or broadcast journalism. You will gain all the skills and knowledge to help you get a job in journalism. This is the industry-recognised route into journalism.

The success rate of students from this programme into jobs in journalism is always over 90% and often 100%. Hundreds of newspapers recruit from our programmes and Highbury old boys and girls now hold senior positions in newspapers, radio and television in the UK and around the world.

You will be taught by industry professionals in our radio, TV and print newsrooms.

Course content

The programme has five mandatory units which all students take, plus two specialist options depending on the pathway you wish to follow.

The mandatory units are:

  • Reporting
  • Essential Public Affairs
  • Essential Media Law
  • Multimedia Portfolio
  • Shorthand.

Specialist option units are:

  • Media Law Court Reporting (essential for newspaper route)
  • Video Journalism for Online
  • Sub Editing
  • Business of Magazines (essential for magazine route)
  • Broadcast Journalism (essential for broadcast route)

You will also complete a minimum of two weeks' work attachment as part of the programme.

Entry requirements

You will need a minimum of two GCSE A Level passes at C or above and two GCSE passes at C or above. One must be English.

Other qualifications and/or relevant industrial experience may also be considered. You will also need to have completed a minimum of two weeks' work experience in a journalism environment within the past six months.

You will need to demonstrate a good awareness of popular current affairs, excellent English language skills and the potential to write for newspapers.


Assessment is by a mixture of exams set by the NCTJ and continuous assessment portfolio work.


Future opportunities

Students normally leave Highbury College for a trainee post, and after that the sky is the limit. It would normally take you between three and five years to work your way up to a national newspaper.

Political correspondents John Pienaar and Mark Austin are just two former Highbury students who have reached the top of their profession. Thousands of others enjoy successful careers, working their way up to editor or specialist posts such as sports reporters or financial correspondents.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Highbury College directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2016
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