How To Become A Journalist In UK

Displaying traits of inquisitiveness or being a conversationalist doesn’t mean you will do well as a journalist.

There are requirements for becoming a journalist, especially in the UK.

They are part of what you will find in this article to help you build a promising career.

Journalists in the UK choose their preferences and stay glued to ensuring they don’t lose the taste of being in that profession as they move deeper.

Kindly navigate through the table of contents to have an overview.

What Is Journalism?

Journalism is a career involving the collation of information about a specific event and relaying the findings to a broad audience through either print, digital, or broadcast media.

There are different forms a journalist can report the information. They are features, investigative reports, columns, reviews, and news.

While the feature and investigative report articles are longer and more detailed, the news columns and reviews are shorter and address a particular topic with few details.

Why Become a Journalist in the UK?

There are many reasons one would choose to become a journalist, especially if you have a flair for writing and meeting people.

Journalism in the UK borders on the core skills needed to equip you for a career in print and online.

Apart from the fact that journalism gives you a placement in almost all firms connected with spoken and written words, you will find some other reasons below.

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Developed Skills

At the time of practicing as a journalist, there are skills you gain that stay with you for as long as you remain in the profession and even after you move over to something else.

They are as follows

  • Teamwork and self-management
  • Ability to meet up with deadlines
  • Interviewing skills
  • Superb written and oral communication skills
  • IT and technical skills (audio and video).


Becoming a journalist means you have dedicated much of your life to travel.

Some situations require you to make short local or international trips to cover events and bring back reports.

That is why a career in journalism is one of the best career choices for someone who doesn’t enjoy being attached to a particular environment for so long.

What Are The Features Of A Journalist?

Because journalism involves the discovery of events regardless of what it is and the prompt delivery of reports to the audience who may need them, there must be specific attributes journalists are known for.

Let’s see some of them in the list below.

  • Critical thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Accuracy
  • Thinking well on their feet
  • They enjoy establishing networks and talking to people
  • Possessing an esthetic eye
  • Like being updated about current happenings.

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Types Of Journalism

There are different specializations in journalism that a journalist can choose from and perform in.

They are:

Investigative Journalism

This involves in-depth research on a topic to uncover evidence and deliver results to a larger audience through a comprehensive report.

There are different tactics by which information about investigative journalism can be gathered.

This type of journalism could either be broadcast or print media.

Watch Dog Journalism

The intent following this branch of journalism is to keep guard against any illegal activity in a society.

Although there is a similarity between this and the former in that both are intended to uncover wrongdoings, this helps maintain that societal powers are held accountable for their actions.

Broadcast Journalism

This involves narrating a report with a related video playing in the background.

It could be weather, traffic, news, sports, and entertainment reports.

Political Journalism

The political journalist covers different areas of political activity ranging from the political processes to talking about the elected officials and how much they have achieved.

Here, the public will be fed information about the political ongoings.

Sports Journalism

The sports journalist focuses mainly on subjects of athletic news and sporting events.

It can either be printed or broadcast media.

Also, commentating during a sporting event is a form of sports journalism.

Step-by-Step Guide On How To Become A Journalist In the UK

For a fresh graduate interested in storytelling who wants to hone her writing skills, below are the easy steps to becoming a journalist in the UK.

Obtain Your Bachelor’s Degree

Kick-starting your career in journalism has to do with going for a bachelor’s degree in journalism, mass communication, or any other related field.

These significant areas will give you a broader or better perspective from which you can better understand journalism.

At the end of your baccalaureate degree, you can either choose to attend a school of journalism further or apply for an entry-level job where you gain advanced knowledge of journalism.

Develop Your Writing Skills

In the UK, performing exceptionally as a journalist requires that you write extensively through a wide range of topics.

You can achieve this in either of the two ways listed below

  • Writing as a freelancer or
  • Developing your voice in a blog as a writer

This enhances your professional growth.

Initiate Relationships With Reporters

In a communication-related field where meeting with distinct personalities is unavoidable, reach out to reporters and establish a relationship with them.

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Undergo An Internship With A Media Organisation

This is the most critical step in your journey to becoming a journalist in the UK.

What internship opens you up to the reality of what it looks like to be a journalist?

Your duties as an intern will include fact-checking stories and helping you with the final editing before the publication takes place.

Apply For A Job

This is where you get to apply all you learned throughout your days as an undergraduate, intern, and days at the school of journalism.

Also, it prepares you for further career advancement and more significant opportunities.

Other Journalism Entry Requirements

Journalists in the UK find it easier to gain placements across private and public sectors.

They can feature as sub-editors, reporters, proofreaders, copywriters, web editors, Public relations personnel, etc.

So, other requirements may include: an A-level provision in English language or literature, 32-34 points in your baccalaureate requirement, and the IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 or not lower than 6.0.

Where Can I Study Journalism in the UK?

To find the schools that offer the best journalism courses in the UK, we have used the Guardian University Guide ranking to bring you the top ten universities.

You can visit any of these schools for valuable study time and for better results.

  • Oxford Brookes University
  • The University of Strathclyde 
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Cardiff University
  • Staffordshire University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • The University of Lincoln
  • Coventry University
  • UWE Bristol
  • Northumbria University

How do I Become a Journalist without a Degree in the UK?

There are five ways to become a journalist without undertaking a media-related degree course.

  • Get involved in student media.
  • Get some social media management experience.
  • Undergo a master’s course.
  • Get a post-graduate qualification that is not a master’s.
  • Apply for media-related jobs.

How Much Does a Journalist Earn in the UK?

According to the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), the average earning for a newspaper journalist is about £27,500.

Depending on whether you are starting as a trainee reporter, your salary could range from £12,000 – £15,000.

Also, journalists with up to five years of experience earn about £25,000 – £30,000.

PayScale posits that the average salary for journalists in the UK is £24,271.

Additionally, due to the intensity of journalism jobs in the UK, BLS says that jobs for reporters will decline by 12% between 2018-2028, employment for editors will decrease by 3%, and jobs for photographers will decrease by 6%.

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So, garner as much experience as possible in this field to have the edge over others.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Journalist in the UK?

The tuition you spend while acquiring a journalism program varies but ranges between £19,00 to $20,000.

Tips On How To Become a Journalist in the UK

To build a long-lasting career in journalism, you should follow these tips.

  • Carry out a personal review of your career goals and carefully choose which career path is best for you. For instance, your desire to become an editor will lead you to follow a course in journalism editing. So, it applies to other forms of journalism.
  • Before your expertise on a particular job is confirmed, you must meet the basic requirements to keep you on the job. For most journalism jobs in the UK, you may at least have a bachelor’s degree, but for higher levels, a master’s degree or some level of experience will be required.
  • Since journalism reports are carried out through print, online, or broadcast channels, you may have to choose which media you prefer most.
  • Specialize in any area of journalism which suits you best.
  • Finally, ensure you conduct thorough research on the school’s admission requirements and the cost of tuition in the school where you want to get your degree in journalism.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a journalist earn in the UK?

The average salary for a journalist in the UK is about £27,500.

Which schools offer Journalism courses in the UK?

These schools where you can get an education in journalism in the UK are:
Oxford Brookes University
The University of Strathclyde 
The University of Sheffield
Cardiff University
Staffordshire University
Nottingham Trent University
The University of Lincoln
Coventry University
UWE Bristol
Northumbria University

What are the essential skills a journalist should possess?

The essential skills a journalist should possess are Critical thinking,
Curiosity, Accuracy, Thinking well on their feet, etc.


If you follow this easy guide on becoming a journalist in the UK, you are close to making a wholesome career in journalism.

Best wishes!!


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