Journalism Apprenticeships

If you’re a great public speaker, immensely organised and have a thirst for knowledge, read our guide on journalism apprenticeships and rocket launch your career at the speed of light.

Journalism Apprenticeships

Have a flair for writing? Love investigating stories and finding out everything you possibly can about a person or topic? If so, you’ll love a career in journalism.

Journalists write, edit, research and present stories for newspapers, magazines, television and other media outlets. They report on all sorts of things from politics and sport to culture, science and business. 

There are loads of areas within journalism. You could become a BBC reporter and travel to different locations, filming clips or interviewing witnesses for news features. Or work in the arts, reviewing plays, gigs, films, video games and exhibitions.

Fancy a stint on daytime TV? Take up a role as a news anchor, where you’ll provide live coverage on all the day’s major events. You’ll prepare bulletins, pitch to editors and gather sources to support unique content. 

If you’re a great public speaker, immensely organised and have a thirst for knowledge, read our guide on journalism apprenticeships and rocket launch your career at the speed of light.

Can you do an apprenticeship in journalism?

Of course! Journalism apprenticeships teach you the tricks of the trade and give you insight into how an industry works. They’re just as good as a traditional university degree, with the added bonus of preparing you for office life.

Apprenticeships are structured programmes that allow you to combine work and study. You’ll gain on-the-job training while studying towards certified qualifications like a Bachelor’s degree. 

Oh - and you’ll earn a wage too. 

As a journalist apprentice, your responsibilities include:

  • Researching, writing or broadcasting news stories across a variety of platforms

  • Attending editorial meetings and pitching ideas

  • Creating a database of local contacts (assuming a public relations role).

Search for journalism apprenticeships →

Fancy working in a busy newsroom alongside leading journalists? And having your stories published across multiple platforms worldwide? Watch this video to find out more about Journalism Apprenticeships at the BBC.

How do I break into journalism with no experience?

Journalism is fiercely competitive with lots of people wanting to work in this sector. As of August 2022, the number of journalism roles advertised had increased to 79% - with the figure set to rise again in the coming years.

So if you want to stand out, you’ll have to go the extra mile. Here’s a few steps you can take to make your application glow and steal the show like Lizzo’s fluffy pink gown did at the Brits. 

Create a portfolio

It’s quite common for prospective employers to ask for examples of written work. And though you’re not expected to have tons of experience early on in your career, including a link to your portfolio in your application will ensure you mean serious business. 

Wondering what platform to use for your work? Here are a few popular ones.

  • WordPress

  • Journo Portfolio

  • Muck Rack

  • Squarespace.

Write for your school newsletter

You know those newsletters you get each term? Featuring tons of student success stories (like Lewis who won first place in his class bake off competition)? Imagine writing for one. And seeing your name in print. 

If you’re serious about becoming a journalist, it’s good to start young - as early as possible in fact. So write that column. Join a writing club. 

Pitch your ideas to a local publication

Whether you’re experienced or just starting out, pitching to local publications is a great way to get your name out there. You’ll get feedback and guidance too - which will massively improve your craft and do wonders for your career.

If you’re into politics and foreign affairs, try Redaction Politics. They’re always on the lookout for fresh voices for interviews, news features and opinion articles. 

Or maybe you prefer working in the entertainment industry and writing about pop culture. If so, send your pitch to HuffPost or The Indiependent. Just make sure you read their guidelines first to ensure you’ve understood everything before submitting.

Best Student Employers

Finding that perfect apprenticeship role can feel tough, especially when there are so many brilliant schemes to choose from.  Luckily, you have our Best Student Employers table to help you out.

Here you’ll find the 100 best companies to work for based on honest reviews that students like you have written. So if you want to join a company with amazing employee initiatives, great perks and opportunities for career progression, make sure to check it out.

How do I get a BBC journalism apprenticeship?

Many people aspire to work for the BBC. And rightly so. Not only is it prestigious, it’s home to some of the UK’s biggest journalists - Lyse Doucet, Clive Myrie and James Reynolds to name a few. So rest assured that you’ll be learning from the very best if you bag a role there.

Luckily, the BBC offers journalism apprenticeships to help you take those first steps in your career. 

There are two journalism apprenticeships you can apply for at the BBC:

Journalism Fast Track Apprenticeship

The Journalism Fast Track Apprenticeship is perfect if you’re a school leaver wanting to break into the industry without going to university. You’ll work at BBC News, BBC Studios and in the sports teams to deliver timely content for TV, online and radio.

One moment you’ll be sourcing contributors, the next writing briefs for your team and rushing off to different locations to film video clips that’ll feature in the day’s news bulletins! 

Want to rub shoulders with some famous faces? Travel? And experience an industry where no two days are ever the same? Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity. 

Hear what one apprentice had to say about their journalism apprenticeship at the BBC.

"“My team is great - they are very supportive and lovely to chat to. We have daily meetings which means I always feel included and understand what is going on. I really enjoy my programme, the workload is just right.” " Journalism Apprentice, BBC

Skills needed: 

  • A passion for current affairs

  • An imaginative mind - the ability to find new ways to tell stories

  • A love of writing and creating content on multiple platforms, including social channels.


  • 18 years old or over

  • GCSEs at grades 9 - 4 (A - C) - in Maths and English

  • Right to work in the UK.


  • 2 years

Perks / Benefits:

  • £19,500 a year salary

  • Flexible 35-hour working week

  • 25 days of annual leave + bank holidays

  • Pension scheme

  • Dental, healthcare and gym discounts.

Once you’ve completed your programme, you’ll get an industry recognised qualification in Journalism, a National Council for the Training of Journalists Diploma (NCTJ) AND a permanent role at the BBC as their new journalism researcher.

Any ideas how you’d celebrate? Why - throwing a massive house party with all your friends (dogs and cats included) of course.

Journalism Advanced Apprenticeship

If you have an NCTJ Diploma or completed the Fast Track Apprenticeship and want to further your training in Journalism, the Journalism Advanced Apprenticeship is the one for you. 

This apprenticeship lets you develop your journalistic skills and have a greater say in news stories and broadcasts. You’ll be doing tons more writing, preparing and presenting material on air and creating schedules for each news item.

You’ll also get to put your directorial skills into full swing and advise film crews on what to shoot.

How’s that for some heavy responsibility?

"“I can now edit radio packages, interview, film effectively and have a good knowledge of what shots are necessary. I’m capable of making a video from start to finish and uploading it. I also have a good deal of presenting experience too.” " Digital Journalism Apprentice, BBC


  • Have a good eye for a story

  • Be an excellent communicator

  • Solve problems efficiently 

  • Be digitally literate

  • Have an unbiased viewpoint when presenting material.


  • 18 years old or over

  • GCSEs at grades 9 - 4 (A - C) - in Maths and English

  • Right to work in the UK.


  • 2 years

Perks / Benefits:

  • £23,842 a year salary

  • Flexible 35-hour working week

  • Professional mentoring led by industry experts

  • 25 days of annual leave + bank holidays

  • Pension scheme

  • Dental, healthcare and gym discounts.

Upon successful completion of this scheme, you’ll be awarded an NQJ (National Qualification in Journalism) and get a permanent role as a journalist at the BBC. Wowza.

Search for an advanced apprenticeship →

Want to find out more about what it’s really like to do a digital media apprenticeship? Have a read of over 40,000 student-written reviews.

Browse digital media apprenticeship reviews

Is journalism a high-stress job?

Journalism is a fast paced industry involving long hours and tight deadlines. Your workload depends on your role and seniority, but all journalists experience stress at some point in their careers.

Not only are you pressed for time to get the latest stories in. If you’re a reporter, you could be covering some pretty tough topics: from bullying to assault, and terrorism to missing person cases. So you’ll need to have a strong stomach and not let things get to you.

Burnout is real. And journalism is one of those careers that requires you to be on your toes. That’s why it’s important to look after your well-being and have a good support system around you to help you get through the more difficult moments.

That said - if this is what you really want to do, go for it!

You’ve got this.  And we’re right here supporting you.

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