The Daily Mail & MailOnline Graduate Schemes

Applications are now open for The Daily Mail’s 2019 graduate schemes. Apply now for the Daily Mail reporter scheme, Daily Mail’s sub-editing scheme, however the sports scheme has closed early. Oh, and get a few insider tips first below.

First things first, you need to know there’s not one, but two different schemes on offer from The Daily Mail.

We’ve spoken to people who’ve applied, interviewed and got the gig at the end of it all to give you the best shot, as well as help to understand what life’s really like in the job.

Looking for the MailOnline scheme? As it’s a separate outlet we’ve given it it’s own shiny new page! It’s over ‘ere.

If you’re on the scheme yourself we’d love to hear from you to help add to this guide. Go on, we might even buy you a gin.

The Schemes

The Mail currently run three schemes, which are open for applications until February 10. You are advised to pick just one.

All schemes last for a year and start in August or September. You’ll start with some initial in-house training, followed by a five month placement at a regional publisher or news agency.

You’ll then go back to The Daily Mail newsroom, and the paper claim most recruits are offered full-time jobs once the scheme is up.

Regardless of which scheme you apply for you’re expected to have a background in student media, a good degree and work experience at regional or national papers.

To apply you just need your CV, three of your best pieces of work and a cover letter. Boom.

Click to find out more about each scheme:

Sub Editors Scheme


The Daily Mail Sub Editors Scheme trains you up to become a truly kick-ass sub – ie the person who checks a journalists’ copy before it goes out into the wider world.

You’ll also learn the art of crafting stonking headlines, spotting legal issues and much more.

At the Mail sub-editors work a 7.5 hour day as standard. You’ll start on £20,000, which rises to £24,000 when you’ve completed your placement and £28,000 six months after the placement.

The Insider’s View

‘The reality of being a sub is a lot of waiting around for the articles to come in – so if you are someone who gets bored very easily then subbing is probably not for you. But if you love working on lots of different stories in any one day, fixing spelling and grammar and doing research to fact check, as well as caring about layout and design, and generally being  a perfectionist who can work quickly to tight deadlines, then subbing may be for you!”

The Application Process

After you’ve put in your initial application, successful applications are invited to interview.

The first stage includes tests in news and subbing, as well as an individual interview with a panel of three people.

Questions will largely focus on you and your interests, such as the work you’ve done, the details on your CV and what you do in your spare time.

The second stage is an assessment day, which which involves subbing exercises and a group discussion about the day’s paper.

Past applicants report talking about their favourite story in the Mail that day and the editorial and ethical decisions behind them.

For example, what do you make of the decision to call Mohammed Emwazi Jihadi John in the headline?

Most people say they waited two months before getting a call saying they were successful.

In House Training

quote1The first month of the subbing scheme is made up of training at the Mail’s office with other subs.

Lessons focus on the art of subbing and journalism as a whole, with classes covering how to write headlines, place pictures, use InDesign, write intros, basic spelling and grammar, and legal training.

In 2016 this training was led by Peter Sands, so it’s worth following his Twitter and looking at his website to get a more in-depth flavour of what you’ll be learning.

The training also includes a weekly news quiz to make sure you’re keeping up to date with the papers, which you can also find on Peter’s website. Keeping up with newspapers is a bigger job than you think, trust us.

You’ll also be expected to come up with a daily presentation in pairs of what’s in the news, and you can look forward to guest sessions from prominent Mail journos such as Quentin Letts.

Homework exercises are also a thing too and you’ll get personalised feedback.

The Placement

After your in-house training you’ll move onto a regional paper to get some working experience as a sub. In 2016 trainees were sent to either the London Evening Standard or the Metro.

Conveniently these are both based in Northcliffe House – which also houses the Mail – so you won’t have to travel far.

If you’re assigned time at the Metro you will work on news stories, while those at the London Evening Standard will get to try both features and news.

On a day to day basis you’ll be assigned bits of copy to check – you’ll have to sub it to length, fix any spelling or grammar issues, fact check it thoroughly, write captions for pictures, headline and subdeck as and when needed, and just generally make the whole thing as super great as possible.

The Job

Don’t panic, more info for this section is on its way!

Want to read more?

Ben Jackson, who used to be on the scheme, has written a blog about the initial training and his time on placement at Metro.

You can also find Peter Sands’ news quizzes on his website.

Sue Ryan, the paper’s media consultant, talks to Press Gazette about how to get onto the scheme.

Daily Mail Reporters Scheme

We’re working on it! We’ll be updating this page soon with insight from people on the reporting scheme.
You or someone you know interview or get a place on the scheme? Get in touch!