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Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

Qualification - Certificate In Journalism

Course CodeVWR001
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours



  • Become a Journalist -freelance or in house
  • Develop your writing and communication skills to the next level
  • Develop an understanding of the industry, and begin building networks for career opportunities

The full certificate involves thirty lessons spread over up to two years, and covers the following areas: Introduction to writing, writing skills, the publishing world, planning what you write, magazine articles, newspaper articles, graphic & photographic illustration, layout skills, publishing, office organization & procedures, conducting an interview, biographical and fictional story writing, educational & scientific writing, writing a regular column, newsletters & news columns, and how to present & sell yourself to a publisher.

Course Content
The course is made up of 6 modules as follows:

Module 1. Freelance Writing
Many professional writers start out by freelancing.
This course will show you how to write, what writing is marketable, and how to go about selling your work. Emphasis is placed on things which are important to publishers who might buy your work. Tutors concentrate on your ability to properly structure an article, and to be both concise and clear in your use of words. Learning outcomes for graduates of the course include:
* Have improved communication skills, particularly with respect to clarity, conciseness and correct grammar.
* Be familiar with the "writing industry"; having a clear idea of where opportunities exist for obtaining work as a freelance writer.
* Know how to go about approaching potential clients to obtain work.
* Have an understanding of the processes involved in publishing books, magazines and newspapers;
from generating concepts to seeing the finished publication on sale.
There are ten lessons:
1. Introduction
2. Basic Writing Skills
3. The Publishing World
4. Manuscripts
5. Planning
6. Newspaper Writing
7. Magazine Writing
8. Writing Books
9. Writing Advertising
10. Special Project

Module 2. Advanced Freelance Writing
This is an ideal course to follow Freelance Writing for people with existing skills, but a need to improve their overall technique and develop a more "commercial" approach to their work. Eight lessons:
1. Writing Themes
2. Writing a Regular Column
3. Educational Writing
4. Scientific Writing
5. Writing a Biographical Story
6. Writing a News Article
7. Fiction Writing
8. Other Writing.

Module 3. Editing l
This course develops your understanding of the purposes and aims of editing, and also of what editors do. Students will learn about the importance of clear, effective writing throughout all stages of the publishing process and how editors assess manuscripts and prepare them for publication. The course may be taken alone or as part of higher level courses in journalism, writing, editing and
The course covers: the nature and scope of editing, the role and responsibility of the editor in publishing, working with authors and publishers, the editing process and skills required, copyright and other legal concerns, indexing and referencing, varying the approach according to the kind of
book, etc.

Module 4. Publishing l
This course provides an excellent start for anyone considering self publishing, or seeking employment in publishing. It is equally relevant to electronic or print publishing. There are ten lessons as follows:
1. Nature and scope of the publishing world
2. Publishing procedures and techniques
3. Desktop publishing A
4. Desktop publishing B
5. Illustration: Graphics
6. Illlustration: Photography
7. Research Skills: Market research, researching an article
8. Marketing of publications
9. Ethics and the law in publishing
10. Developing a publishing Project

Module 5. Photoshop
Provides a basic understanding of how to create and manipulate images using Adobe Photoshop, for use on the web as well as print. There are 9 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Getting Started
2. Working With Digital Image Files
3. Understanding The Tool Palette
4. Using Layers, Actions, and History
5. Digital Painting, Shapes and Colours
6. Selecting, Resizing, Transforming and Masking
7. Adjustments and Modifications
8. Adding Filters and Effects
9. Preparing Files For Print and Web

Module 6. plus one relevant elective module/short course from one of these fields of study -
writing, publishing, editing, IT, or photography.

Learning Facilities

ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:

  • Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
  • An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
  • Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
  • A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
  • Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
  • The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
  • No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
  • No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
  • Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
  • The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.


 How our Courses Differ

  • Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
  • Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.

These things cannot be always said of other colleges.


Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.



Meet some of our academics

John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Rosemary Davies Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing

Check out our eBooks

English GrammarGrammar is a tool through which we can enhance communication through writing (as well as speech). Grammar provides a coherent structure for the expression of thoughts and ideas. By following grammatical rules we are able to compose logical sentences that make sense to the receiver. This ebook provides a comprehensive yet easy to follow guide. 79 pages
Professional WritingHow many people dream about becoming a professional writer? Professional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books, other academic material and so on. However, many people just write for sheer pleasure. A must read for anyone wanting to make money from writing. 63 pages
Creative WritingCreative writing is relevant for both fiction and non fiction, and in any place where you write, from business writing to technical reports and children's books. Writing that is creative will usually be more interesting, communicative and effective. Through this book you explore both how to be more creative, as well as how and where to use it.
How to be a Successful EditorLearn all of tips for editing success from the experts! This 60 page ebook will give you lots of tips on becoming a successful editor.