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Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism with Online PR & E-Commerce Modules via Online Distance Learning

Enrolment date: 28 June 2024

Benefiting from over 30 years’ practical skills training experience, Fitzwilliam Institute’s Online Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism course features:

  • Comprehensive modules covering all aspects of Journalism: The Role of the Journalist, History, Role and Business of Print Media, News Writing Skills, Sourcing, Research, Feature Articles, Opinion Columns, Reviews, Newsroom structure, Ethics Law and Copywriting, Freelance Journalism, Online Journalism, Writing for the Web, Print and Design,. Broadcast Journalism, Radio, etc. In addition, modules in Social Media and Online PR are included in this course.
  • Interactive course expert support, advice and guidance from leading industry professionals. Always ready to help and answer any questions you might have throughout the course, all of Fitzwilliam Institute’s Journalism course experts are top industry professionals with many years of successful experience. Upon completion of this online Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism all of our students are industry-ready.
  • Real life Journalism briefs. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism empowers participants with practical and specific skills that can be applied in real world situations. You will gain exposure to invaluable toolkits and prepare real life Journalism briefs, enabling you to develop your work portfolio.
  • Flexible online learning. Fitzwilliam Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism course can be completed in your own time, from the comfort of your own home, to suit your lifestyle. You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for two calendar years. However, you can complete the course in as little as 1 year, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.
  • Journalism Jobs, Networking and Volunteer Opportunities. Benefiting from many years of industry experience, we are extremely well placed within the industry. Employers are always looking for Fitzwilliam Institute’s Journalism students and alumni. Our website features a comprehensive jobs and volunteer opportunities section.

The Role of The Journalist

An introduction to the newspaper office; The changing face of journalism; The work of the journalist explained; What is news; How news is changing; What makes a hard-hitting news story; Where news comes from; How to gather news and generate stories; Hard news and soft news explained; The difference between features and general interest articles;

History, Role and Business of Print Media

A short history of the newspaper industry; The business of newspapers; Newspaper structures & departments - production; circulation; promotions; advertising; accounts; Journalism and society; The media landscape; How the media works; How the business model of media works; How publications position themselves in the marketplace; The role of the circulation manager and building market share; Advertising; classified advertising; Going online;

News Writing Skills

News Values, Developing News Writing Skills, Interview Techniques

Exploring news values; Determining news worthiness; News writing skills; Different news for different audiences; The 5 W's and the inverted pyramid; KISS; Short simple sentences; Getting your introduction right; Ensure accuracy; Facts not opinions; Using quotes; Avoiding jargon; Structuring the story; Recapping past history; Conducting an interview; Telephone interviews; Email interviews; Press conferences;

Sourcing/Research - Developing your News Gathering Skills

Building your contacts book; The importance of contacts - how to cultivate and use them; Who makes a good contact book; Useful tips for running a contacts network; Tracking down stories and finding facts; Researching a story; On and off the record; Protecting and respecting your sources; Calls you should make; Stories to look for; Developing the story; Good sources for information and story ideas; Monitoring other media; The importance of current information; Who to speak to; How to use cuttings; Always check quotes; Using the internet;

Feature Articles, Opinion Columns, Reviews

What makes a good feature; Transforming research into copy; Structuring your feature; Doing it in the house style; Revise and improve; Writing opinion columns - The four categories of columns; How to write comment; Grab a topic; Gather facts; Get to the point; Structure; Writing Reviews - Theatre; Music; Book Television; Radio - The reviewer's role and responsibilities - what you should include in your review - attitude - How to review and write up for theatre; musicals; concerts; Reviewing books - a checklist of what to include in your review; Tips on reviewing CDs; Films and TV Eating out reviews - the pitfalls - key points to include - an example of a fact file; Car reviews;

Newsroom Structures

Newsroom Structures Explained

How the newsroom is organised; The chain of command; The roles of the news editor; deputy editor; associate editors; the news editor; chief sub-editor; sports editor; features editor and the picture editor examined; The daily editorial conference and its function - the news list; coordinating journalists and stories; assignments; placing stories; newspaper policy; Routine tasks; Copyflow - how a news item goes from an original idea to a printed story;

The Role of the Sub Editor

The importance of the sub-editor's job including responsibilities - being held to account; protecting the paper's reputation; Dealing with raw copy; Keeping it in the house style; Cutting to length; Best intro angle; to re-write on not to re-write; Constructing Headlines; Caption writing; Placement of a story; news/advertising ratio; The influence of advertising; Planning; The importance of timing; Design theory- layout; visual appeal and design definitions;

Ethics Law & Copyright

Journalism and Ethics

Ethical dilemmas for journalists; invasions of privacy; racism; reporting of terrorism; anti-sexism; anti-ageism; whistle-blowers; cheque book journalism; the political economy of the media; monopoly ownership; hyper-competition; moral panics; sexing up a story; dumbing down;

Law and the Journalist

What is libelous; defamation; Defence against libel; Justification for printing; What justifies fair comment; Malicious comment; Corrections; Clarifications; Offers of amends; Reporting criminal courts; Reporting civil courts; Employment tribunals; Inquests; Contempt of court;

Copyright and the Journalist

Intellectual property; Understanding copyright; The limitations of copyrighted material; How copyright protects the journalist;

Freelance Journalism

Freelance Journalism Explained

Qualities that are necessary to be a successful freelance journalist; The pros and cons of freelancing explained; Making contact and talking to editors; Breaking into the magazine market; The importance of knowing your market - Research - analysing the contents of newspapers and magazines; Article analysis; Tailoring your work to their requirements; Best categories for the freelance to tackle

Setting Up as a Freelance Journalist

Opportunities for the freelance journalist; Finding a regular supply of work; How to organise yourself - keeping records; cuttings file; joining the National Union of Journalists

Print and Design

How content dictates design; Design as a selling tool; Why the front page must attract the reader; Settling on a style for the publication; The main elements of print layout; Paper and size; Structure and look; Typefaces/Fonts; Structuring text; White Space; Colour; Pictures and Graphics; Headlines; Straplines; Tag lines; Sub-headings; By-lines; Captions; The production stages; Shaping the page; Do's and Don'ts of Print Design;

Broadcast Journalism

Learn the most important aspects of radio reporting; Writing for radio - news flashes; headlines; voicers; tasters ; Planning the news package; Identifying contributors; Techniques for presentation; Qualities of a good presenter; Techniques for successful interviewing; Technical side of interviewing; Types of interviews;


What makes radio journalism distinctive? Writing short reports and headlines; Writing different types of stories: News flashes; Headlines; Copy stories; Voicers; Tasters; Live reports; Script writing; and Presentation skills; Digital audio editing; Ethics of editing;


Writing for television; The News Package; scripting a television news bulletin; Fitting the narrative with the shots; Gathering News; Technicalities associated with news gathering; Tips for interviewing; Short features; Camera shots and editing; Presentation; The News Schedule; How a TV newsroom is organised; What to wear;

Crime Reporting

Why Newspapers Report Crime; Crime Story News Values; Trends in Communicating Crime; Personal Qualities of the Crime Reporter; Sources and Building Contacts; Finding the Human Stories behind Official Reports and Statistics; Organising Crime Writing; Bringing your Story alive; Features and background stories; Understanding the language; Adopting the right tone; Ethics of Crime Reporting; Court reporting;

Political Reporting

Introduction; Educational Requirements; Interviewing; Types of journalists; Principles of Political Reporting; Local Government; Standard Reporting; Retaining Interest; Writing structures; Jargon; Politicians; Crisis; Elections; Achieving balance and fairness; Issues & Processes; Results; Radio & TV Coverage; Media Checklist; Planned Events; Party Political Broadcasts; Citizen Journalism in political reporting;

Business Journalism

Origins of Business Journalism; Understanding the basics; How to read a Profit & Loss account; a balance sheet; a stock table; Accounting terms explained; Key Audiences; Types of business stories; Story Style; Simplifying; International News Stories; Categories; Common Business Reporting Mistakes;

International Affairs

News Agency Reporting; Origins of the News Agency; Reuters; the First Correspondents; Challenges - Citizen Journalism; Professional versus Citizen; Challenges set by Digital and Social Media; Diplomatic Reporting; Interpreting Diplomacy; Predicting outcomes; Understanding Diplomatic Speak; Wars and diplomacies; Ethical Considerations; Tips on becoming a Correspondent; World Media Perspectives; Global Conflict reporting; Humanitarian Crises; Working with Aid Agencies; Journalist Safety;

Journalism Specialisations

Investigative Journalism

Learn to investigate stories concerning Malpractice; Corporate wrongdoing; Political corruption; Crime; Analyzing documents - court cases; legal documents; tax records; company and property ownership; government reports; regulatory reports; corporate financial filings/returns; Investigating technical issues; Interviewing on-the-record sources; Interviewing anonymous sources/whistleblowers; Sourcing information through Freedom of Information Acts from Government and Government agencies; Understanding cause and effect; Uncovering the stories behind the statistics;

Sports Journalism

Sports journalism; an essential element of any news media organisation; is a highly specialised field and requires specific knowledge and skills; but the disciplines and practices are similar to those of a standard journalist; How media coverage of sport is structured and prioritised; Interviews; Sources and contacts; Planning; Researching; Covering an event; Sports news reporting; Captions; Feature writing; Profiles; Sport as soap opera - Scene setters; Types of stories - build up or scene setter; Previews; Running reports; Considered reports; Delayed reports; Inquest pieces;

Writing for Women's & Men's Magazines

Women: The changing face of women's magazines; Front page teasers How to tackle the triumph over tragedy article; How to write the confessional article; Celebrity profiles; Celebrity interviews - how to approach them and what questions to ask; The importance of preparation; getting an original quote; The role of photographs;

Men: the new contents of men's magazines; Understanding how they are read and consumed; Demographics and target markets; Market research - observing the contents; review the work of other writers; Picking an area of interest and becoming an expert; Common topics - fashion; cars; sport;

Travel Writing

What a travel editor is looking for; The secret of a good travel piece; Tips on finding new angles; How to write the travel article - what to include and what to leave out; Gripping introductions; Use of sidebars; Staycations; City Breaks; Cheap travel; Special offers; Niche markets - Grey Pound travel; Features; The Travel Narrative; Contacting and writing for the top travel markets; Other opportunities - in-flight magazines; eco tours; exercise holidays; wellness travel;

Public Relations

Sponsorship; Internal PR functions; Corporate Image; Press and Broadcast Media Relations; Client Relationships; Internal PR; Commissioning and Briefing Photographers; Supplying Material to the Press/Getting Material onto TV and Radio; Organising Seminars; Exhibitions and Conferences; Audio/Visual Aids; Writing Skills (Press Releases; Writing Feature Articles for the Press; In-house Journals and Newsletters); Crisis Management; Corporate Advertising; Brochures and Printing;

Online Public Relations

The Social Media Landscape

Blogs; Microblogs; Chatrooms; Delicious; Email; Flickr; Twitter; Instant messaging; Message Boards; Mobile Internet ; New Media Releases; Online Conferencing; Online Surveys; Pay per click; Podcasts; RSS; Search Engines; SEO; Social Networking Service Sites; Video Sharing; Virtual worlds; VoIP; Wiki and Widgets;

The Internet as a Media

Commercial Implications of the Internet; Social Interaction with the Internet; Web 2;0 and its Implications; Internet Convergence; the Network Effect; Internet Information Exchange; Internet Audience Size and Exposure; Internet Culture and Communication; Transparency and the Internet;

Public Relations and Search Engine Optimisation

PR tactics; Optimising your Campaign; the Google Factor; SEO Tactics; SEO Guidelines; Factors influencing SEO; on-page and off-page SEO; CMS; Link Building; Link Building guidelines;

Social Media and PR Strategy

Local versus Global Communication; Landscaping Platforms; Channels and context; Online PR Organisational Analysis and Segmentation; Developing Online PR Strategies; Online PR Tactics and SEO considerations; Online PR Planning; Managing Online PR Risk and Opportunities;

Online Influences on present PR practices

Internet influence on News; Internet Journalists; Economics of Online News Production; Internet Critics and other influences; the PR Practitioner as an Online Publisher; Ethical Internet PR; Truthfulness and Duty of Care; Online Ethics; Debate; Guidelines and Best Practice; Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Media Discourse; Trends and Value; Policy Influences; corporate speak; Implications of Social Media for Corporate Social Responsibility;

Writing for the Web

Blogrolls to wikis; the audience for online journalism; Print industry under attack; The rise of citizen journalism; The journalist as online publisher; Online ethics - guidelines and best practice; Blogs; Weblog conventions; blogspeak; How to begin blogging; Tips for setting up a blog; Blogroll; Tags; Trackbacks; How to promote your blog; Using wikis; How to write for a wiki;

Social Media Marketing

Facebook; Twitter; YouTube; Snapchat; Instagram; LinkedIn; Blogs and Blogger; Social Bookmarking; Running a Social Media Marketing Campaign; Measuring the Success of Social Media Marketing;


Theory of E-Commerce; Website Design & Usability Guidelines; Working with Images; Site Uploading; HTML; CSS;

Setting Up and Marketing Your Consultancy

Creating a Business Plan; Executive Summary; Business Opportunities; Sales Strategy; Competitor Analysis; Management Team and Personnel; Operations; Financial Forecasts; Business Legalities; the Workplace; Office Equipment; Financing your Business; Marketing Strategy; Marketing Plan; Competitors; Promotional Tools;

Presentation Skills

Preparation and Research; Speech Content; Subject Matter and Objectives; Speech Delivery and Variety; Body Language; Eye Contact; etc.; Presentation Aids; Management of Locations and Audiences; Presentation Structure;

For many years, St Patrick's Festival have hosted both PR and Event Management students from Fitzwilliam Institute Group on work placement. On completion of the course, Fitzwilliam Institute students are ready for the workplace and hit the ground running. The high standards of training and the work placement programme itself keeps us coming back to host students - some of whom have stayed on full time with us afterwards

Criteria for eligibility must be met in full prior to commencing the programme. For successful enrollment on the Postgraduate Diploma course, the minimum entry requirement is a prior Degree level qualification.

On successful completion of this course you will receive a Professional Postgraduate Diploma qualification that is certified and awarded by the ICM (Institute of Commercial Management).

The Institute of Commercial Management was founded in 1979 and is one of the leading Professional Examination and Certification Bodies in the world today. Fitzwilliam Institute have developed and provided practical skills training courses in liaison with the Institute of Commercial Management qualifications and certifications framework for over 25 years. The Institute of Commercial Management certifications and continual professional development training awards are recognised by leading industries, bodies and professions.

next start date: 28th June 2024

Duration: You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for two calendar years. However, you can complete the course in as little as 1 year, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.

Course Fees: 1995.00 EUR

To secure your place on the course the full fee is required. All fees must be paid in full before the course begins. Please note, the full course fees are inclusive of all course materials and certification costs.

Enrolment intake is strictly limited on this course. Early application is advised. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

We want to make education easy and enjoyable for you. At Fitzwilliam Institute, we offer a range of finance options to suit your needs.

You can buy now and pay later with humm - humm provides a simple application process, simple terms and conditions, up to 36 monthly payments. With low-interest rates.

Fitzwilliam Institute closes on Bank Holidays and for a number of days at Christmas and New Year. Fitzwilliam Institute reserves the right to postpone, cancel or alter courses without notice or to change any of the details in this brochure. Fees are not refundable unless the course is cancelled by Fitzwilliam Institute. Distance Learning courses are provided by Fitzwilliam Institute BGLS Ltd.

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Year on year, we have the pleasure of training students from top Ireland and international companies. See where our most recent students come from and find out what they have to say.

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