Online journalism course becomes first to be awarded NCTJ accreditation

The University of Portsmouth has become the first training provider to have an online-only journalism course accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

The NCTJ board has given its approval for the full-time and part-time distance learning MA Journalism, which will go live for the first time this September.

The new course increases opportunities to get into the industry with students able to study from home, anywhere in the world, as they complete their Master’s and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

It’s the second NCTJ-accredited course at the University of Portsmouth, which already has a highly successful undergraduate programme. Many of the existing team will be teaching on the MA.

Course leader Paul Foster said: “We are delighted the NCTJ has awarded accreditation to our new course.

“Learning online isn’t for everyone but we feel it could be an attractive option for many who cannot afford – or simply don’t want – to move away from home. It can even be a great opportunity for those who are looking to change career but need to continue to work.

“Whatever the reason, the course adds yet another route to become an NCTJ qualified journalist.”

Students will be taught via live, timetabled lessons as well as news days, online tasks, practical demonstrations and mini-courses embedded on the university’s learning platform, Moodle.

Paul added: “It’s essentially like any other Master’s course but instead of in-person, it’s delivered online. All students need is a working computer, a wifi connection and a device to shoot video.”

Paul said the MA students will be able to meet up on campus for activities every three months, while those living close to the university will be able to use the campus facilities on a daily basis. All students can access the latest software via the university’s appsanywhere system.

As with other Master’s courses, students can also apply for a grant from the Journalism Diversity Fund to help fund their course.

Emma Robinson, accreditation manager at the NCTJ, said: “Awarding accreditation for the University of Portsmouth’s online-only MA Journalism programme is a first for the NCTJ.

“We are delighted to work with one of our flagship centres on this pilot scheme to ensure students are adequately supported throughout the course to work towards their NCTJ Diploma in Journalism qualification. 

“The NCTJ is looking forward to working closely alongside the University of Portsmouth to ensure our stringent accreditation standards are met on this purely online course.”

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