Become a Journalist

Train with PA Media / PA Training

Frequently Asked Questions

Our next fast-track NCTJ Diploma course begins on 5th September 2022 and it will finish on 1st February 2023.

Our next part-time NCTJ Diploma course begins in 13th September 2022 and finishes 30th June 2023.

You will need to apply using our application form. We will then take some time to review your application. We only take on a limited number of trainees so we really have to ensure that the course is right for you.

If you are successful with your application you will be invited for an online interview with the Diploma Course Leader, Sean Howe. He’ll also ask you to complete a written test so we can assess your skills in writing a story, and a news quiz so we can understand if you keep up with current affairs. 

We will let you know if you’ve been successful within a week. If your interview and tests are good but we don’t have any places left on the course you are applying for, we may only be able to offer you a place on our waiting list. For this reason, we suggest you apply as early as possible. 

We ask you to pay a £500 deposit to reserve your place on the course.

Many of our trainees are graduates, but you do not need a degree (in journalism or in any other subject) to study on this course, so long as you pass your entrance tests and interview.

We are looking for people who are committed to becoming journalists and can demonstrate that, e.g. through work experience or student journalism. You must have a minimum of 2 A levels.

Course fees are £5,298. This figure is the same whether you choose to study on the full-track or part-time course, and includes exam costs (except resits) and one specialist module.

NCTJ Diploma courses qualify for funding under the Journalism Diversity Fund. Click here for full details of that scheme. Or you may be eligible for our Future of Journalism Fellowship Awards.

Our Future of Journalism Fellowship Awards will help aspiring journalists from under-represented backgrounds launch their careers. The Awards are generously supported a high-profile journalist determined that newsrooms should better reflect the people they serve.

Applications for this year’s awards are closed.

These fellowships are generously sponsored by a journalist looking to encourage journalists of the future who come from under-represented backgrounds. There is a limit to this sponsorship.

Job opportunities at the end of our courses are excellent. The huge majority of people who have successfully completed our courses over the past 20 years have jobs as journalists. It is a track record that other courses would struggle to match. 

You can read here what past graduates are doing now.

You’ll achieve exactly the same NCTJ qualification, only the hours you train are different. 

Places are limited on our specialist modules, so you may wish to reserve your place on the specialist module when you accept your place on the course. But we understand that plans change once you’ve started studying, and we’ll always try and accommodate your preference if it changes in the first five weeks, or if you need some help deciding which specialism might work best for you.

Our courses cannot be studied remotely. There may be some workshops that are designed to be remote, e.g. Tuesday evenings for the part-time course, or occasional workshops where remote training is more sensible in terms of the work being tackled, or if guest speakers cannot join us in person. You should not plan to join the course remotely, and must be able to attend the training centre for the vast majority of workshops. 

We have made this decision because the course is intense and practical, and from experience we know that trainees achieve stronger results if they attend in person.

If you would like to check the accessibility of our venue, please contact us.

We are based on the 3rd Floor of 61 Queen Street, London, EC1R 4AE. The centre is just round the corner from Cannon Street and Bank Stations, and a short walk from London Bridge.

Lots of our fast-track trainees have jobs during weekends and evenings, but you must keep your core training hours of 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, free for learning. You will also have additional work to complete outside of training hours: you might have a story you really want to follow up; a feature you’re refining; law to revise or shorthand to practice. So don’t overcommit.

We don’t advise it. This is an intense 18-week course, and catching up when you get back from holiday will be tricky. We do try to make sure you get a long weekend off during the course and there will be a two-week break at Christmas, but otherwise wait till after your exams to go on holiday!

If you complete the course and are still looking for a job at the end, you can count on our continued backing and support to help you secure it. We often speak directly to employers and our new alumni network will also help you hear of openings. Keep in touch!

Mayor's Question Time, October 2021
Mayor's Question Time, October 2021