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Investigative Journalism  MA

Overview

City's pioneering Investigative Journalism MA provides you with the essential skills for a first job in print or broadcast journalism, together with innovative and in-depth research and investigation techniques.

You will learn advanced research skills including computer-assisted reporting, the effective use of public records and databases, and the Freedom of Information Act.

Course lecturers include leading investigative journalists:

  • David Leigh, investigations editor of The Guardian
  • David Lloyd, former Head News and Current Affairs Channel 4
  • Heather Brooke, Freedom of Information campaigner
  • Rosie Waterhouse, formerly of the Sunday Times Insight team and Newsnight
The Department of Journalism is ranked 2nd in the UK for universities to prepare for careers in journalism (QS World University Rankings 2014).

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £9,000
  • Full-time Non EU: £18,000
More...

Start Date:

September 2015

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

  • You should have an upper second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution. Consideration will also be given to mature applicants with substantial work experience in journalism.
  • You must be able to demonstrate commitment to journalism through relevant work experience, including regional newspapers, magazines, online, broadcast or student journalism. You don't need a set number of weeks of work experience, but we advise you to get as much as possible, both before and after submitting your application.

English Requirements

If your first language is not English, the following qualification is also required:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (with 7.0 in the writing component).
You might like to consider applying for the International Journalism MA instead, which is designed specifically for students from outside the UK.

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake this course part-time.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
September 2015
Duration:
Full-time (10 months). We advise our students that they need to be available for classes and assignments from Mondays to Fridays during working hours, and occasionally outside those times.

Course Content

This pioneering new course, launched in 2008, provides you with the essential skills for a first job in print or broadcast journalism, together with innovative and in-depth research and investigation techniques.

The course:

  • teaches advanced research skills including computer-assisted reporting, the effective use of public records and databases, the Freedom of Information Act, and other complex information
  • provides case studies of high-profile investigations and the skills to investigate issues of public concern, miscarriages of justice, and companies, organisations and individuals within an ethical framework
  • offers you the opportunity to complete a real-life investigation aimed for publication or broadcast
  • is taught by leading investigative journalists, including: David Leigh, investigations editor of The Guardian and Professor of Reporting at City; Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism based at City; Heather Brooke, Freedom of Information expert and Visiting Professor at City; Rosie Waterhouse, formerly of the Sunday Times Insight team and Newsnight, and; Melanie McFadyean, City lecturer and freelance journalist

Students and graduates of this course have worked as interns at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, based at City University London.

Topics will range from business and financial journalism and investigations into individuals, organisations and corporations to miscarriages of justice. You will also be taught the basic essential skills required by the media industry such as producing news and feature material, interviewing, production, law, structure of government and ethics.

STOP PRESS: Investigative Journalism MA graduate Billy Kenber wins the 2011 Cudlipp Award for this investigation into forced deportation. The investigation, written as part of Billy's MA project, became front-page news in The Independent in July 2010.

See Billy talking about the award on YouTube:

Topics will range from business and financial journalism and investigations into individuals, organisations and corporations to miscarriages of justice. You will also be taught the basic essential skills required by the media industry such as producing news and feature material, interviewing, production, law, structure of government and ethics.

Course Structure

Modules include:

Read the full 2014 programme specification.

Teaching and Assessment

All MA Journalism courses at City are practical, hands-on courses designed for people that want to become journalists. As a result, much of your coursework will be journalistic assignments that you produce to deadline, as you would in a real news organisation.

Some courses are taught in lecture theatres, such as Journalism and Society 1 and Media Law, but most are small-group workshops that allow you to develop your journalistic skills and knowledge with the support of our expert academics.

We advise our students that they need to be available for classes and assignments from Mondays to Fridays during working hours, and occasionally outside those times.

Tutors

  • Rosie Waterhouse | Course Director
  • Melanie McFadyean | Journalism Practice
  • David Leigh | Investigative Reporting 1
  • Gavin MacFadyen | Investigative Reporting 2
  • Heather Brooke | Investigative Reporting 2
  • Prof Roy Greenslade | Journalism and Society
  • John Battle | Media Law
  • Joy Johnson | Public Administration
  • Paul Bradshaw | Online Journalism
  • Ron Emler | Editorial Production

Read the full 2014 programme specification.

Recommended Reading

Sample reading list

Journalism & Society 1

  • Belsley, Andrew, Chadwick, Ruth (Eds) Ethical Issues In Journalism And The Media , Routledge, 1992
  • Hicks, Wynford, English for Journalists, Routledge, 1998
  • Morrison, James, Public Affairs for Journalists, Oxford University Press, 2009
  • Quinn, Frances, LawfFor Journalists, Pearson Education, 2007

Fees

  • Full-time EU: £9,000
  • Full-time Non EU: £18,000

Funding

For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Bursaries

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation Bursaries

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation will generously support two students studying the 2014/15 MA in Investigative Journalism from the School of Arts and Social Sciences for the duration of their degree with a bursary of £9,000. Find out more

Other bursary and scholarship schemes

The following organisations have supported students in the Department of Journalism in the past. This is not a guarantee of future sponsorship, and you are advised to check the websites of these organisations for details of future bursary and scholarship schemes. 

Career Prospects

This course aims to prepare you for a first job in any form of journalism, including newspapers, magazines, online and the broadcast media. Course graduates will be especially valued in jobs which require rigorous, in-depth and advanced research and investigative skills.

Graduates of this MA are now working at organisations including:

  • Bloomberg TV
  • Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • CNN 
  • Health Service Journal
  • ITN
  • Mobile News
  • October Films
  • Property Week
  • The Art Newspaper
  • The Spectator
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times (graduate trainee scheme)

Journalism at City: 5,000 alumni

We have been running Journalism courses at City since 1976. In the 36 years since, over 5,000 students have graduated and are now working in the media in the UK and internationally.

Read alumni stories and see the full list of graduate destinations in the 2014 issue of our alumni magazine XCity.

Application Deadline

There is no formal application deadline. However, places on the course are limited and we recommend that you apply as early as possible, as admission will close when the course is full.


MA Investigative Journalism

Please submit the following:

  1. One application form. You can download a pdf file of our application form (pdf) or apply online following the links below.
  2. Two references. We prefer you to submit one academic reference, and one reference from a journalism-related work placement.
  3. A copy of your degree transcript. We require one of the following: an original transcript; a copy certified by your university; and electronic scan of your transcript. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to submit your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.
  4. Details of your work experience in journalism. Either include these on a separate sheet with your postal application, or copy and paste the details into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
  5. The following two articles. Either include these with your postal application, or copy and paste them into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
    Article 1: write no more than 250 words on what attracts you to investigative journalism, and a subject you would like to investigate
    Article 2: interview someone interesting in your local area. Based on this interview, applicants should write a 250-article.


Application forms

or

Selection process

  1. Application deadline
    There is no formal application deadline. However, places on the course are limited and we recommend that you apply as early as possible, as admission will close when the course is full. The first round of applications will be reviewed and shortlisted in March 2015.

Return address

Please return your application form and/or supporting documents, marked "Investigative Journalism 2015", to: Graduate School of Journalism, City University London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK.