5 of the Best Copy Editing Courses You Can Do Online

5 of the Best Copy Editing Courses You Can Do Online

  • Sep 30, 2023
  • 7 min read

If you’re looking for copy editing courses, you’re in the right place! Copy editing is a varied and rewarding career. Although you don’t need any particular qualifications to get started, a copy editing course is a great way to build your confidence, gain the skills necessary to become a top-notch editor, and ensure your resume stands out from the crowd.

But how can you decide which course to take when there are so many options available?

Our guide to five of the best copy editing courses will help you see what’s available and choose which option is best for you. We’ll look at:

  1. Knowadays: Becoming An Editor
  2. Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA): Copyediting Beginning
  3. Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP): Copyediting 1 (Introduction)
  4. Publishing Training Centre (PTC): Essential Copy-Editing
  5. UC San Diego: Copyediting

The Best Online Copy Editing Courses

1. Knowadays: Becoming An Editor

With 35 comprehensive lessons, including dozens of interactive exercises like try-it-yourself questions and quizzes, our Becoming An Editor course teaches all of the essential copy editing skills you will need to master to become a sought-after editor.

The course covers copy, line, comprehensive, and developmental editing and how to improve different types of writing – from academic documents to commercial copy and creative fiction. Plus, you’ll learn how to build a solid foundation for your freelance career: how to market your business, how to communicate effectively with clients, how to manage projects and deadlines, and more.

You’ll have one-to-one access to our friendly tutors and 24/7 support. You can take as long as you like to complete the course, with lifetime access provided (but it usually takes three to four weeks if you study five hours a week).

Our courses are CPD-accredited, and you will receive a certificate of completion.

If you complete both the Becoming An Editor and Becoming A Proofreader courses and achieve a score of more than 80% in each, you will qualify for guaranteed work with our partner company, Proofed.

On its own, Becoming An Editor costs $499 (£399), but you will save 15% if you choose our course bundle.

2. EFA: Copyediting Beginning

The EFA’s course, Copyediting: Beginning, is open to students of all levels and covers the basics of copy editing. An intermediate-level course is available for learners looking to refresh or further hone their skills.

This course largely follows the conventions set out in the Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS).

The EFA provides two types of online courses: traditional and self-paced. This course is self-paced, meaning there is no instructor feedback (although learners can participate in regular live Q and A sessions held on Zoom if they choose). However, you’ll receive full access to the course content for a year, meaning you can review and return to lessons at your own convenience.

EFA courses don’t include graded assignments, and you do not receive a certificate of completion.

The course is $190. There is sometimes limited availability, so make sure to book your seat quickly.

3. CIEP: Copyediting 1 (Introduction)

CIEP’s copy editing training is split into three parts. Copyediting 1: Introduction covers the foundations of copy editing while Copyediting 2: Headway and Copyediting 3: Progress build upon these skills and explore key concepts in further detail.

Copyediting 1: Introduction is recommended for beginners. It covers the differences between proofreading and copy editing, how a copy editor works on texts, what they are expected to spot, and how far to go when making changes.

There are two learning options available: self-paced or live webinar. If you choose the live webinar option, you will need to be able to commit to five live webinar sessions (one per week), each lasting a maximum of two hours. If you choose the self-paced option, you will have access to the course materials for six months and can progress at your own pace.

The course is not assessed, but up to one hour of tutor support is included in the course price. If you need extra support, you can buy more tutor hours.

While CIEP courses are not accredited, they are widely recognized in the industry. You will receive a certificate of recognition upon completing the course, as well as three CIEP upgrade points that you can use toward upgrading your membership.

The self-paced course is £110 for CIEP members and £180 for non-members. The webinar course is £195 for CIEP members and £320 for non-members.

4. The PTC: Essential Copy-Editing

The PTC’s Essential Copy-Editing course takes you through the entire copy editing process from start to finish. It covers both fiction and non-fiction copy editing, fundamental skills, and guidance on tackling specialist document types.

The course is self-paced, with around 70 hours of material, but you must complete it within 18 months of enrollment. You can continue the course beyond this period, but you will incur a £75 fee.

At the start of the course, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will support you throughout your studies (and for up to three months after). There are seven units, each containing self-check exercises plus a longer assignment.

You will receive a certificate of completion and entry into the PTC’s Freelance Finder, which can be used by publishers when looking for a qualified copy editor. You can also earn 10–20 CIEP upgrade points.

The course costs £495 upfront, but you can pay in three installments of £215, £140, and £140.

5. UC San Diego: Copyediting

UC San Diego’s Copyediting course is a comprehensive course that provides an overview of the essential tools and techniques required for a copy editing career. Like the EFA course, this course uses the CMoS but covers various style guides used in the industry.

The course can be completed in 12 months. It is not self-paced; you are expected to complete weekly assignments and conduct exercises outside of your learning hours. Most students spend three to six hours a week on the coursework. You can reach out to your instructor for help if you need it.

The course costs $2,950 in total.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Key FeaturesLearning SupportCertificationPricing
Knowadays: Becoming An EditorCovers academic, business, and creative editing

Guaranteed work with Proofed if you pass Becoming An Editor and Becoming A Proofreader with distinction
One-to-one access to our friendly tutors 

24/7 support

Certificate of completion
$499 (£399) for Becoming An Editor

$849 (£678) for bundle with Becoming A Proofreader course
EFA: Copyediting BeginningLargely follows the conventions of the CMoSNo instructor feedback 

One live Q and A session
Not accredited

No certificate of completion
CIEP: Copyediting 1 (Introduction)Covers editing workflows and the differences between copy editing and proofreading 

Three CIEP upgrade points
Access to an experienced tutorNot accredited, but widely recognized in the industry 

Certificate of completion
Self-paced course: £110 for members and £180 for non-members 

Webinar course: £195 for members and £320 for non-members
Publishing Training Centre (PTC): Essential Copy-EditingAdvice on tackling specific document types 

Entry into PTC’s Freelance Finder

10–20 CIEP upgrade points
A personal tutor who will support you through your course and for up to three months afterwardWidely recognized course 

Certificate of completion
£495 upfront or three payments of £215, £140, and £140
UC San Diego: CopyeditingA structured program

You must complete exercises every week
Access to one-to-one supportCertificate of completion$2,950

Which Copy Editing Course Is Best for You?

Ultimately, you should choose the copy editing course that’s right for you. This will depend on:

  • How much time you have to work on the course
  • What your budget is
  • Whether you want a self-paced or instructor-led course

If you are still struggling to decide which course you want to do, you can try our courses for free. And if you change your mind after purchasing the full course, we’ve got a 14-day money-back guarantee. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team if you have any questions!

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