"What they are learning are the fundamentals, plus valuable industry insights. When they come here, year after year, they all slot in quickly and happily."
Cathy Relf, The Grocer
BECOMING A JOURNALISTS - FAQs
What is the NCTJ and what do they do?
The National Council for the Training of Journalists was set up by the newspaper industry more than 50 years ago to set the standards for journalism training. Most editors and journalists have got NCTJ qualifications and most jobs in journalism call for NCTJ qualifications.
How do I become a journalist?
You will need to convince an editor that you have got what it takes.
And what does it take?
It takes the ability to find and write good stories both in print and online. The best way to convince an editor you can do that is to have a qualification from the NCTJ, which proves you can, and a portfolio of published work, which shows you can.
What is a sub-editor?
Sub-editors play a crucial role in every newspaper, magazine and publishing house. Their role is to ensure articles are grammatically and factually correct.
They cut stories to fit the page, write headings and generally make the stories as presentable as possible before sending them to print.
Sub-editors need a keen eye for detail, a cool head when the pressure is on, excellent command of English and a thorough understanding of media law.
Editors are constantly on the look-out for qualified subs with all of the above skills. This is why the NCTJ accredits this specific course.
Can I work in magazines and online as well as newspapers?
Yes! At least half our graduates work in magazines, in print and online. We also offer an extra optional free course in "Business of Magazines" which really helps people get jobs. You'll be qualified to get a job wherever good writing skills are required:
- Marketing agencies
It's a multi-media course which teaches you how to find and write stories, shoot and edit video and write online and in print.
How much can I expect to earn as a journalist?
This depends on where you work.
Typical starting salaries for careers in journalism on a weekly newspaper are £16,000, on a daily regional they are about £18,000. The money goes up when you become senior or an editor.
And if you reach the top in TV and radio you could earn £millions.
No! You can train with us with 2 A Levels or equivalent. It will save you thousands of pounds worth of debt and get you a job years ahead of your peers. We work hard and play hard at Brighton Journalist Works and Brighton is a great place to be a student while learning the practical skills of journalism.Ben Leo came to us after A Levels and is now a reporter on The Argus. He says: “"The cost of going to University after my A-levels really put me off as I didn't fancy studying hard just to get into debt. Instead I enrolled for the fast-track course with Journalist Works and learnt everything I needed to know in an intensive but high-calibre 14-week course.
"I was a little apprehensive before starting the course as I questioned whether I would be able to keep up with my fellow University-educated students. I soon discovered it didn't really matter if I had been to University or not as most employers I spoke to valued an NCTJ education more than a degree.
"After the course, I put the skills I'd acquired at Journalist Works to the test during a work experience stint at The Argus. A few weeks after my placement the News Editor at the time called me up, told me he'd liked my work and offered me a job. I remember he joked "they taught you well upstairs" and I gladly accepted the job.
"Studying for the NCTJ at Journalist Works not only saved me a thousands of pounds in tuition fees, but also a hard slog at University too."
Will I definitely get a job and become a journalist at the end of the course?
If you pass your exams and are prepared to be flexible, editors will want you. At the end of the course you have your qualifications plus a portfolio of work.
You'll also have good work experience under your belt and that should get you to interview stage. The rest is up to you!
I already have a journalism/media degree. Do I still need to do have an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism to become a journalist?
Many degrees and qualifications do not equip you with specific skills required for employment. The fast-track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism does.
I am working part-time and I would like to study part-time for the fast-track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, one module at a time, is that possible?
You are able to study with us on a part-time basis, just contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 01273 540350 to talk through the options. From September 2013 you can learn while you earn, study with us on Monday evenings and Saturdays plus two full-time weeks. Simply apply for the Diploma in Journalism course on our website and we will invite you for interview and to sit the NCTJ Aptitude Test in the normal way.
I am already a working journalist but would now like to learn sub-editing; do you offer a course for me?
Sign up for one of our sub-editing course. You can learn part-time or full-time. The courses lead to the NCTJ sub-editing exam and will teach you how to lay out pages with QuarkXpress and write headlines.
For more details, click here to learn about our unique sub-editing Course
I don't live in Brighton, can you help me find accommodation?
Yes! Many of our students come from far afield but have no problems finding somewhere to live. As there are two universities and lots of colleges in Brighton, there are plenty of student houses and spare rooms are advertised on local websites. We have a list of landladies happy to help and we can put you in touch with fellow course members from out of town who might want to share with you
Who should consider our Fast-Track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism?
- Anyone who loves words
- Graduates who want to get a foot on the first rung on the ladder to a career as a journalist
- Sixth formers considering their options
- Career changers
- People already working in newspaper offices who would like to switch to an editorial role
- Editors and contributors to newsletters, other publications or websites
- Everyone who would like to hone their writing skills and earn a living from them
The course will build your writing confidence, improve your style and tighten up your grammar as well as equip you with all the necessary practical skills to work as a multi-media journalist in today's fast paced media industry.
Does the Fast-track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism cover online journalism?
Yes. In response to the changing demands of the job market, we now include the latest techniques of web-based journalism. This includes sourcing stories online, blogging, user-generated content, linking and tagging. We also teach how to shoot and edit video.
What qualifications do I need for the fast-track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism course?
It depends. Demonstrate to us that you have a good command of English, that you are genuine about your desire to get a job in this demanding and competitive industry and that you are prepared to work hard on the course. You will usually need a minimum of two A levels, and most students have degrees, but we also attract gap-year students or mature applicants without formal qualifications, sometimes a degree in the university of life can mean you are up to speed to start the course.
Can I talk to someone or come and have a look round before I make my decision?
Yes, of course. Please email your questions email@example.com or give us a ring on 01273 540350. You can then book a time to come and meet us at Argus House, Brighton.
What happens after I apply?
Once you have filled in our application form and hit the “apply now” button you will be invited to come to meet us and take an aptitude test. You have not committed yourself to anything – the idea is for us to meet so we can both decide whether taking our course is the best next step for you. The test takes an hour and a half and consists of a passage full of errors in spelling and punctuation to correct and some material to re-write in to a news story. We don't expect you to be perfect already; otherwise you wouldn't need to come on the course, just to show an aptitude for journalism. If you can’t get to Brighton then we can arrange a telephone interview and a test by email.
Are there any other costs in addition to course fees to consider?
No! Your fees include VAT and exam fees. You may like to buy a couple of course books, which should come to no more than £60.
Can I afford it?
This is an investment in your future - there are not many courses where you walk in unqualified and leave in just 14 weeks fully prepared to get a job in journalism.
There are some opportunities for financial support with course fees: Contact Journalist Works directly for details of the installment plan.
The Journalism Diversity Fund provides grants for trainee journalists from diverse backgrounds. They want to support single parents, people with disabilities or anyone who cannot afford to do the course any other way. One of our students has applied successfully and had his whole course fees paid. Check it out on www.journalismdiversityfund.co.uk or call the NCTJ on 01799 544014.
If you pay within a month of an offer of a place on the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism course you get a 10% discount-bringing the price down to £3,550.
If you are claiming benefit or are a lone parent you can find out about the possibility of support with fees from your local Job Centre.
What do I do if my question is not here?
Feel free to telephone or email us.Our phone number is 01273 540350. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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