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London centre named best journalism course in UK

The coveted honour of being named the best journalism course in the UK has gone to London-based training provider News Associates.

Awards for the best-performing National Council for the Training of Journalists accredited courses for 2009/10 were handed out at its Journalism Skills Conference in Cardiff last night.

News Associates’ newspaper journalism foundation course was named best-performing commercial fast-track course with 71pc of its students achieving C grade passes in all the NCTJ core exams plus 100 wpm shorthand.

It meant it was also the best performing course overall, ahead of Notttingham Trent University which scored a double accolade by being named best centre for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Nottingham Trent saw 63pc of its MA students achieving C grade passes in all the NCTJ core exams plus 100 wpm shorthand and 56pc of its undergraduates achieving this gold standard.

Last year’s top-performing centre, the University of Ulster did not figure in this year’s prizes.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “All our accredited course providers should be congratulated on achieving the high standards the industry looks for.

“It is no mean feat to achieve accreditation and to make the public commitment to providing all the NCTJ requires. We know how demanding and exacting that standard is and the public scrutiny it involves.”

Darlington College topped the table for fast-track courses at FE colleges with 31pc of students meeting the standard.

And Sheffield College’s Norton Centre was the best-performing academic year FE course, where 29pc of students made the grade in their preliminary exams.

The award for the best NCTJ magazine course was given to Harlow College, which beat the five other accredited magazine courses to the top spot.

Detailed exam results for all 68 NCTJ accredited courses will be published on the organisation’s website later this month.


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  • December 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I graduated from one of these courses a few years ago and, as far as I can work out, very few of my classmates ever made it into reporting. Somebody should ask whether there is a moral issue about charging these fresh-faced graduates thousands of pounds to enter an industry where there are very few jobs and, if current trends continue, even fewer in future. Further, what happens when these trainees pass their NCEs after two years on the breadline? What about becoming a specialist senior reporter? No pay rise there. What about becoming a sub-editor? No prospects there. I guess what I’m saying is these training centres are selling hundreds of kids a career that, in most cases, doesn’t exist.

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  • December 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    This story is misleading and inaccurate. The NCTJ has not announced the top journalism providers. It has announced the top NCTJ journalism providers – a big difference. The headline as it stands ignores the dozens of excellent non-NCTJ colleges, universities and training centres who provide top journalism courses and top journalists. Similarly, the intro names News Associate as the top journalism course. It may be the top NCTJ course, but again it’s misleading to say otherwise. And the same applies to Harlow College’s magazine course award – most magazine courses in the UK are accredited by the PTC. Back to basics, perhaps, for the journo who wrote this original story?!

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  • December 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Sad to say NCTJ-accredited newspaper journalism courses offer only limited poorly-paid career prospects. Magazine journalism courses, accredited by the PTC, on the other hand offer a bright career. PMA has run fast-track magazine journalism postgrad courses for over 22 years. And we have a 95% success rate on average of getting our postgrads into proper well-paid journalism jobs within a few weeks of graduating. Now there’s a measure of success!

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