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Occupational Certificate: Journalist Copy

Journalism has changed almost beyond recognition in the past 10 years, with changes accelerating as a result of the current global pandemic. Previously, newsrooms were busy but relatively ordered. Now, with the need to produce multimedia content and the 24-hour news cycle, the skills required are very different from what they were.

The top journalists, editors and trainers identified just what you will need to be a part of the next generation of award-winning journalists. This qualification is structured around these crucial skills.

1 year | NQF level 5 – QCTO qualification | Facilitated online and in person | 

Course overview

Many graduates seeking to be journalists join the workforce with few of the practical skills needed by newsrooms. And the skills have grown exponentially. Journalists who are not adequately prepared are prone to burn out and are not able to do the job or accurate and timely reporting. The skills that are lacking, are both technical and personal in nature.

In realisation of this, the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) developed a new occupational certificate for journalism. This means that the qualification was developed by those responsible for hiring journalists.

An occupational certificate is a different approach to education. It is not a piece of paper that indicates that you can pass exams, rather it is a combination of learning the knowledge and practical skills. This also means you acquire the work experience needed to immediately enter the job market.

Outcomes and goals:

Originate and pitch content ideas

Great journalism is all about ideas, this course will have you creating and pitching the best. You will learn how to:

  • Produce the best story ideas through using tools and source mining
  • Tailor story ideas for your organisation, resources and platform
  • Understand how story ideas fit with an organisation and will work on a platform (including social media, websites, print, video and audio)
  • Build your reputation by testing ideas against legal and ethical standards before publishing
  • Pitch your ideas like a pro to convince editors
  • Be flexible and change ideas based on feedback

Report by gathering information

But the best idea needs proper prep. Prep for a great story by learning to:

  • Turn your pitch or brief into an actionable plan to produce your story
  • Customise your story based on length/duration, placement, treatment, focus, angle, resources and deadlines.
  • Ask the right questions to guide your research
  • Sift through your research to make sure all the critical elements are there and none of the fluff, so your package can grip your audience from beginning to end
  • Prepare to nail those interviews, with solid techniques and flexibility

Create publishable content

Create amazing video, audible, written and social media content by learning to:

  • Create a great first draft or cut according to requirements
  • Make it even better with reviewing and editing
  • Nail that intro or framing content
  • Create absorbing content in telling your story, with all the necessary and additional elements
  • Get your content signed off for all platforms and see the results of your hard work

As part of the occupational certificate, you won’t only learn the theory. You will learn how to implement by practicing all your skills, including personal skills and develop a portfolio that demonstrates your work. Developing a portfolio and passing a final written exam are required to get your certificate.

Course details

Cost: R40 000

Application requirements: National Senior Certificate (NSC)

Learning type:

The certificate is a blended learning experience with both face-to-face and online sessions


Upon successful completion of this learning programme, you will receive a certificate authenticated and issued by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

Additional information:

  • NQF level 5
  • 120 credits
  • QCTO Qualification Number: 101872.

Application and admission process

  1. Click on the Apply button, complete the application form. You will need to upload your highest educational qualification, ID and CV and pay the non-refundable application fee of R100.
  2. Via email we will send you your Application Confirmation Letter, you will need to send us the required documentation.
  3. Upon review of your documentation, you will receive an Offer to Study letter. A R5000 non-refundable registration fee is due upon acceptance of the offer.
  4. Register and pay your registration fee.



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Greenacres Office Park,

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Contact us


+27(11) 888 0140

Paula Fray
Paula Fray
Paula Fray


Paula Fray

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