FAQ for Part-Time Students

It’s different studying part-time – we’ve a decade’s experience in delivering the NCTJ syllabus to those combining work with study. 

Here’s some frequenly asked questions specific to part-time study.

How much time will I need off for exams?
 
Over the course there are six exams set by the NCTJ which are held on weekdays, though you might want a couple of attempts at shorthand. We’ll punctuate exams throughout the course and give you lots of time in advance of an exam. We’ll also work with you if it’s not possible to make it.
 
How does my work placement work on the part-time course?
 
Building up an impressive portfolio of work is vital while you’re studying with us, but we try to be as flexible as possible in how you undertake your work experience. The course will break for a fortnight to allow structured time for placements – and we’ll work with you to help find one that suits you. However, we also appreciate some of you are already working in the media and might be building up your portfolio every day, therefore using the break to further help your work/life balance. There’s also the option to contribute in the evenings and at weekends to our sister publications SWLondoner and Mancunian Matters – especially valuable if you’re juggling holiday allowance. We appreciate that every trainee’s circumstances are different on the part-time course, and we will work with you to create a bespoke solution for work placements and building your portfolio.
 
What about visits and speakers during the week?
 
There are some organised events, such as court visits and public affairs trips, and speakers which happen during the week. We’ll give you lots of advance notice and as many options as we can, and appreciate that you won’t always be able to make them.
 
What about finding a job – am I at a disadvantage studying part-time?
 
Not at all. We frequently speak to employers who say they’re always impressed when a candidate has completed their NCTJ diploma part-time – it illustrates hard word and commitment.
 
Can I pay in instalments?
 
Yes. Once you’ve paid your deposit – which confirms your place on the course – many trainees pay a smaller amount each month to spread the remaining fees while you’re studying. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss organising a payment plan.
 
Will there be lots of homework?
 
Other than your home-study weeks there will be daily shorthand to complete in your own time. Unfortunately you won’t pass just through attending lessons – even doing a bit every day on your lunch break will help. Our flexible approach means we can arm you with passages to practise in your own time. You’ll also be working on your portfolio – but that shouldn’t feel like homework! For all other subjects, work will be completed in lessons, unless you’re revising ahead of an exam.

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