Advanced Certificate in Journalism for the Digital Age

Level 6 QQI Award


One Year


The second year Journalism Programme is designed to build on all those skills you learn at Level 5 and ensure you are ready for a career in the Media or to progress to the second year of a Third Level Degree in Journalism or Media. You will hone your interview skills, be given intensive training in writing and researching, learn the much-respected skill of Journalistic Shorthand, and acquire new skills in Radio Broadcasting. You will learn how to get noticed by designing your own blog and using social media to your advantage. This course has a strong record in progression: every student who graduated in 2017 and 2018 were offered an advanced entry place to the second year of the Journalism Degree at DIT.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Level 5 QQI Award in Journalism or equivalent
  • Degree Graduates
  • Applications are welcome from learners with relevant experience in this area

Course Modules

  • Editing and Sub-Editing
  • Feature Writing
  • News Writing
  • Media Ethics and Legal Framework
  • Media Industry Awareness
  • Radio News Broadcasting
  • Journalistic Research Skills
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Communications
  • Shorthand (Optional)
Module Information

Module Information

Advanced Certificate in Journalism for the Digital Age

QQI Level 6 Award: Media Production (6M5130)

Course Content: (Module Names and Codes)


Media Ethics and Legal Framework (6N5453)

Working within today’s media industry involves negotiating your way around ethical questions and legal constraints. Is it right to publish photos taken at a family funeral? Should you run with a story when you don’t have proof that it’s true? What can you say and not say when reporting a murder trial from the Central Criminal Court? Learn about the laws that apply to journalists, broadcasters and all those who publish on social media. Discuss how developments in technology have radically changed the climate in which the media operates. Your classes will be a combination of discussion, audio visual experience and group work.

Assessments: 60% Project on One Media Organisation (60%)  Examination-Theory (40%).


Journalistic Research Skills (6N5450)

When it comes to doing the research for a story, the only way is the ethical way. That means reading only the official documents and ignoring anything that cannot be proven. It means only speaking to the people who matter in a story; people on all sides of the argument though – that’s called balance and it’s your job to write a balanced story. There are codes of ethics that have to be followed and there are laws that have to be obeyed. You cannot blindly accept information without asking the right questions, especially when it comes to statistics. Journalistic Research Skills will show you how to research a topic ethically, legally, fairly and responsibly.

Assessments: Project (60%)  Examination-Theory (40%).


Editing and Sub-Editing (6N18624)

What does a newspaper editor do? What does a sub-editor do? You will learn this by finding one to interview. There is no point in studying journalism if you do not understand the importance of keeping up with the news - national and international. You cannot have an opinion unless you are informed, and you will get a chance to test your opinion by writing leader editorial and opinion pieces (after you learn the difference between them!) You will learn the conventions for putting a newspaper together and then produce your own using InDesign. You will learn the conventions for putting a news website / blog together and then produce your own.

Assessments: Portfolio/Collection of Work (100%) including a Blog, Newspaper and Demonstration of Skills.


Feature Writing (6N5805)

Researching and writing a lengthy feature article can be a ‘head wrecker’ if you are not very strict with yourself. That means being very sure about the news angle you have chosen to investigate in your article. That, in turn, means limiting your research to this angle and leaving everything else aside. But of course, doing the research is only the beginning when it comes to Feature Writing. Now you have to produce a well-crafted story that is fit for publication. In Feature Writing you will learn the skills you will need to do this.

Assessments: Portfolio/Collection of Work (100%) including a News Feature, Profile Feature and Specialist Feature.


Radio News Broadcasting (6N5454)

Gain the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to understand and carry out news production within a radio news broadcasting setting, taking into account ethics, legislation and best practice. Learn about the skills to produce radio news scripts to deadline for a variety of station types and audiences and an understanding of effective script reading. Time will be spent writing scripts, presenting bulletins in the studio and engaging in discussion on current news events.

Assessments: Two Assignments (60%)  Examination (40%).


Media Industry Awareness (6N5505)

The media plays a critical role in shaping our opinions through the way a story is presented. From a producer’s editorial decisions to the political and commercial considerations that inform how and why a media organisation may print or broadcast a story, there is a complex and often hidden world of intent behind many media presentations.

Assessments: Portfolio/Collection of Work (Essays and Presentation) (60%) Examination (40%)


Personal and Professional Development (6N1949)

If you are to present and promote yourself to the media industry you will have to understand what areas in which you excel and where your opportunities for improvement lie. In class you will have the chance to take stock and to evaluate your personal and professional goals. Through humorous workshops, lively group discussions and practical exercises we will shine a light on the following techniques: Stress Management, Conflict Management, Managing Change, Decision Making, Goal Setting, Delegation and Team Working.

Assessments: Portfolio/Collection of Work (including Research and Practical Exercises) (50%) Skills Demonstration (Workshop Participation) (50%).


News Writing (6N18620)

The traditional skill of writing a crisp, concise and accurate news article has transcended the era of digital media production and is as critical now as it has ever been. This module is designed to reflect professional journalistic demands, and you will be expected to produce a series of regular news articles to strict deadlines and for a variety of audiences. You will also be expected to pitch your work to professional editors for consideration. In addition to writing for print, this course will also introduce you to the changing digital landscape in news production and you will produce a series of work in print and audio for publication across a range of new media platforms.

Assessments: Portfolio/Collection of Work (70%) Skills Demonstration (30%).


Communications (6N1950)

Level 6 Communications builds on the knowledge and skills gained in level 5 Communications. The learner is facilitated to gain the knowledge and skills to exercise personal autonomy in communicating verbally and nonverbally. There is an emphasis on understanding the requirements of the workplace and using excellent communication skills to maximise participation in personal and vocational life.

Assessment:  Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%) Skills Demonstration (50%).


Shorthand (optional)

Shorthand is a system through which words are translated to symbols. Journalists use shorthand because they report from situations where a lot of information or quotes must be recorded on the spot, with no scope for asking your source to slow down! The skill of shorthand is an invaluable skill to have if you are ever reporting on a court case, a council meeting, or any situation where it is not allowed or not realistic to digitally record. You will learn Teeline shorthand from scratch.  By the end of the year you will be able to write Teeline at a speed of 50 words per minute.


  • Level 6 QQI Award Media Production (6M5130)

Progression Opportunities

Graduates on this course progress to the second year of Media Degress at DIT and IADT through the Advanced Entry scheme with almost 100% of graduates receiving Advanced Entry places in 2017 and 2018.

Progression Examples

BA in Media Studies (MH109)

National University of Ireland Maynooth

BA in Journalism and Visual Media (GC450) -

Advanced entry into 2nd Year

Griffith College Dublin

BA in Journalism (DT582) -

Advanced entry into 2nd Year

Dublin Institute of Technology

Career Paths

Graduates have progressed on to work in the print and digital media as freelance or staffing journalists, writing or editing content. Graduates also work in press offices and as print, design and layout assistants.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly

Judy Williams

2016 Graduate, currently studying for BA in Journalism in DCU.
"I really enjoyed this course and gained a lot of skills to start me on the road for a career in Journalism. I found the modules to be varied and hands-on and designed to…

Read More

Judy Williams

2016 Graduate, currently studying for BA in Journalism in DCU.
"I really enjoyed this course and gained a lot of skills to start me on the road for a career in Journalism. I found the modules to be varied and hands-on and designed to introduce you to different aspects of print and radio journalism. The teachers were encouraging and helpful, and a lot of them had experience of working in the industry."

Course Coordinator

Adrian Smyth

Adrian Smyth

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly