Why study at News Associates?

There are lots of places where you can train to be a journalist, so why study with News Associates?

Well, we’re proud to be home to the UK’s number one NCTJ journalism course, but we do things differently. You’ll be treated like a journalist from day one, so expect it to be fast-paced and intensive.

We’re a young team, we’re really passionate and driven and we have high expectations. We don’t sit around and talk about the good old days on Fleet Street – we live and breathe the changes happening in the media right now. How Instagram can be used to find stories, how changes in technology impact the content we produce and how TikTok influences how we shoot video content.

No two courses are the same, because they shouldn’t be. We will work as hard for you as you work for us.

So what makes us different?

Our innovative approach to training

We won the Innovation of the Year award at the 2020 NCTJ Awards for Excellence and were commended for the way we adapted our teaching styles and exercises for remote learning, kept up morale for trainees and ran a series of free online workshops open to everyone.

An unrivalled job record

You will find our trainees making their mark on the front pages of our national and regional newspapers, presenting and reporting on the BBC and Sky News, working internationally for some of the most respected names in journalism from Reuters to the New York Times to CNN and the Wall Street Journal and producing cutting-edge multimedia features for VICE and The Huffington Post. They are news reporters and feature writers, foreign correspondents and sports journalists. See our list of recent trainee job destinations.

FAB FRAN: News Associates Manchester graduate Francesca Marshall is the night news editor at the Daily Telegraph

The best exam results in the country

In 2021, News Associates was officially the UK’s number one NCTJ journalism school for the seventh straight year. Our first-ever undergraduate cohort in Manchester in 2021 was crowned the number one course in the country with 100% of trainees achieving the highly sought-after gold-standard qualification, while our fast-track course in London also achieved the top results again – the ninth year in a row News Associates has delivered the best independent fast-track course.

And we’ve been the number one-ranked NCTJ course in London for 13 years.

News Associates grads and staff with their NCTJ awardsCONGRATS: (L-R) News Associates head of journalism London Graham Moody, Ella Jerman, Jen Tombs, News Associates editorial development manager Lucy Dyer and Cormac Connelly-Smith

In the 2019-20 academic year, 1,138 people enrolled to sit their Diploma in Journalism exams across 59 accredited courses at 35 approved centres, and 222 of them achieved gold standard (A-C grades in all modules and 100wpm shorthand, if taken) – of which 103 trained with us. Meaning 46% of all gold-standard journalists that year trained at News Associates.

WINNING TEAM 2018: (L-R) Head of journalism London Graham Moody, News Associates managing editor James Toney, head of journalism Manchester Andrew Greaves, NCTJ Student Journalist of the Year Jessica Cripps and News Associates deputy managing editor Graham Dudman

Award-winning trainees

It’s not just about being good in the classroom but being great in the newsroom – and our list of recent graduate awards underlines this approach, which is at the heart of our training. A spectacular six News Associates graduates won prizes at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2021 – Tomás Hill Lopez-Menchero (The Times) and Rachel Steinberg (Sportsbeat) won student and trainee sports journalist of the year, Sophia Hall (Classic FM) landed student scoop of the year, Carolina Herranz-Carr (ITV) and Charlie Jones (BBC) were joint winners of the trainee podcast journalist of the year award, and Jacklin Kwan won student data journalist of the year.

At the 2020 NCTJ Awards for Excellence, News Associates graduate Joshua Graham won Student Sports Journalist of the Year and alumnus Alex Diggins won Student Feature Writer of the Year. News Associates sports journalism graduate Jonathan Harding (Racing Post) won NCTJ Trainee Sports Journalist of the Year in 2019. News Associates alumnus Jessica Cripps (Kennedy News and Media) was crowned NCTJ Student News Journalist of the Year at the Awards for Excellence 2018. News Associates graduate Anna Schaverien (The New York Times) was named NCTJ Student Journalist of the Year at the annual NCTJ awards in 2017. It was the third straight year a News Associates graduate has won the prize, following Sara Oldfield’s (Fabulous magazine) win in 2016 and George Gigney’s (Boxing News) win in 2015. There were also wins for recent graduates Neil Athey (Lancashire Telegraph), Katie Falkingham (BBC) in 2017. Former News Associates trained winners of NCTJ Awards for Excellence in Journalism include: Leonie Chong Fong (Metro), Naomi Firsht (Jewish Chronicle), Jordan Bluer (Dover Express), Nemesha Balasundaram (Irish Post), Paul Berentzen (Blackpool Gazette), Jon Robinson (Lancashire Telegraph), Ellie Ross (The Sun), Lauren Potts (BBC), James Coldwell (Hull Daily Mail), Thomas Allnut (Press Association), Emily Koch (Bristol Evening Post), George Scott (Eurosport), David Jordan (The Times), Jessica Baldwin (Time Out), Josh Burrows (The Times), Hardeep Matharu (Epsom Guardian), David Churchill (London Evening Standard), Jennifer Morris (Surrey Advertiser) and Adam Knight (Hereford Times).

WINNER: Jess Cripps won NCTJ Student News Journalist of the Year 2018

A practical approach

Journalism can’t be taught from a textbook – you have to get out there and do it, make a few mistakes along the way and learn from them. We are part of one of the UK’s busiest press agencies, meaning we can draw on the skills and experiences of their editors, journalists and broadcast specialists. Work placement is fully-integrated into our programmes, with full-time trainees spending a day a week on external or internal placements. And we’re here to help and give advice so you take the most from this time.

LIGHTS, CAMERA…: Trainees in action

Trainee satisfaction

Journalism is a team sport and there is something rather special about being part of #TeamNA – we love staying in touch with graduates and hearing about their successes. One of the biggest reasons trainees join our programmes is because they’ve been recommended to us by journalists in the industry. Check out our most recent testimonials.

#TEAMNA: Our trainees always stick together


Every year we host a journalism conference packed with journalists from national newspapers and broadcasters and emerging digital platforms. In 2020 our audience of trainees and graduates were treated to inspirational talks from BBC journalist Christian Fraser and Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan. We also had panels covering broadcast journalism, working for a news agency and taking your first steps in the industry. In 2019 our lucky trainees and special guests heard from legendary columnist the Fleet Street Fox and were in awe listening to The Times chief reporter Sean O’Neill discuss his investigation exposing Oxfam’s cover-up of sexual exploitation by aid workers in Haiti. Panels also covered topics including data and digital journalism and taking your first steps in the industry. In 2018 our trainees and alumni heard from Sky News senior correspondent Ian Woods and The Guardian Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll alongside panellists including BBC News senior broadcast journalist Narinder Kalsi, Sky News political correspondent Lewis Goodall and many more. In 2017 BBC News anchor Maxine Mawhinney was our keynote speaker and we were in conversation with BBC sports editor Dan Roan. With other speakers and panellists discussing everything from investigative and political journalism to social media. See more here.

BREAKING INTO BROADCAST: (L-R) News Associates head of journalism Manchester Andrew Greaves with Sky Sports News head of journalism training Laurie Tucker, BBC News Intake senior journalist Narinder Kalsi and Sky News presenter Tom Macleod

Of course we would say all that wouldn’t we, and we teach our journalists to never always trust what they are told. We expect people that want to study with us to do their homework and ask us difficult questions – where you study is the most important first decision in your journalism careers.

Got a question about our journalism courses? Contact us on training@newsassociates.co.uk or 0203 026 3781.

Sign up for a free journalism workshop here.

Apply for our NCTJ-accredited journalism courses here.