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  1. Postgraduate
  2. 2020
Study at City

MA Investigative Journalism

Entry Year:
City’s pioneering MA in Investigative Journalism is an intense and challenging degree designed to equip students with the essential reporting and research skills needed to produce investigations that change lives and society.

Key information

Start date

September 2020

Academic year dates


10 months


Full-time: £10,400


Full-time: £20,810

Application period

Until There is no fixed application deadline. However, applications will close when the course is full, so you are encouraged to apply early.


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for students with any good degree who want to specialise in the area of investigative journalism. You will have a keen interest in digging deeper into topics beyond the daily headlines and a hunger to expose injustices and abuses of power using an evidence-based methodology.

One of City's Investigative Journalism students highlighted:

“I have just had a week at the Telegraph. I have published one original article and it looks like Monday’s splash will have my byline on it. I am going back next week to finish an investigation. But most importantly, whatever happens on Monday, I have been offered a job by the editor this afternoon. This is because of such amazing teachers!”


On this course you will learn how to investigate, how to communicate across a range of platforms - digital, audio-visual and text, and how to work ethically and legally. You will quickly progress from learning the basics of writing, whether a text-based news report or for broadcast, to producing radio and TV, and laying out text.

You will learn how to investigate using open and closed sources, and will be taught a variety of skills such as interviewing techniques, how to use access to information laws, and the basics of ethical undercover work. At the end of the year, you will be expected to produce a piece of investigative work of your own, of professional quality.

The course is taught by experienced professionals. Teaching is led by course director Dr Richard Danbury, who spent about a decade at the BBC and won awards for his work there, and Jenna Corderoy, whose work has been long-listed for the Paul Foot Prize and is an alumna of the course. They will be joined by a wide range of skilled and experienced professional investigative reporters and editors.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • You should hold an upper second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution.
  • 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.

INTO City, University of London

Don’t meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You’ll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Journalism.

Other suitable qualifications

As well as new graduates, we also welcome mature applicants with substantial work experience in the industry.

English requirements

If English is not your first language, you must get a minimum overall score of 7.0 in the IELTS English language test, including at least 7.0 in the writing component of the test and no lower than 6.5 in any other component. Students from outside the UK might wish to apply for the International Journalism MA, which is specifically designed for a global cohort.

English language programmes

Don't meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

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 six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for 2020 are now open.

MA Investigative Journalism (Full time)

Once applications open, please submit the following:

  1. One application form. Apply online using the link below.
  2. 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.
  3. Details of your work experience in journalism. Copy and paste the details into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form. Please also provide a copy of your CV.
  4. The following two articles. Copy and paste them into the "Personal Statement" section of the online application form.
    1. Article 1: write no more than 250 words on what attracts you to investigative journalism, and a subject you would like to investigate.
    2. Article 2: interview someone interesting in your local area. Based on this interview, applicants should write a 250-article.

If you have any enquiries please contact the Programmes Office:

Postgraduate and Research Enquiries,
School of Arts and Social Sciences,
City, University of London,
Northampton Square,

Tel.: +44 (0)20 7040 0249 or +44 (0)20 7040 3721

Return address

Please return your supporting documents, marked "Investigative Journalism", to: Department of Journalism, City, University of London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK.

of graduates in employment six months after completing the course (DLHE survey 2014-15).
We are ranked 1st in London for Communication and Media Studies in the Complete University Guide 2020
alumni provide unique networking benefits.
During your course

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

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.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.


We actively encourage all our journalism student to gain journalism experience during their studies with us. Professional experience is an important step in developing a career in journalism and it helps students by put their learning into practice and make contacts in the industry.

Work experiences are not formally assessed or arranged as part of the MA Programme but your personal tutor may be able to advise you in suitable organisations to approach that may suit your chosen career path.

Work placements in 2019 included:

  • BBC
  • Daily Telegraph’s investigations desk
  • Sunday Times
  • Mail on Sunday
  • The Sun
  • BriteSpark Films
  • Quicksilver Films
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Camden New Journal,
  • Hardcash Films
  • TalkRadio
  • Turqoise TV
  • Source Material Media
  • South London Press.

Academic facilities

A broadcast from City's journalism television recording studio

You will gain practical skills in our state-of-the-art digital television studio, digital editing suites, radio studios and broadcast newsrooms.

In 2014 we completed a £12m development projects for our Journalism facilities. These facilities were developed in consultation with experts from the BBC and ITN, and were praised by the BJTC. Our facilities include:

  • A television studio: enabling simultaneous multi-media broadcast and a major expansion in the number of news and current affairs programmes produced
  • Four radio studios: enabling an increase in output and the potential to explore a permanent radio station
  • Two radio broadcast newsrooms: high-tech facilities that enable you to learn how to produce a radio programme
  • Two digital newsrooms: impressive modern facilities that enable you to learn the skills required to produce newspapers, magazines and websites
  • Two TV editing and production newsrooms: state-of-the-art facilities that enable you to learn about TV production.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

Teaching and learning

Some modules are taught in lecture theatres, such as journalistic ethics 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.

You will receive tutoring from some of the industry’s most experienced journalists and editors.


Our students have the option of taking part in a Teeline shorthand course alongside their studies. This costs £100 (refundable if you reach 100 words per minute) and runs across two terms.

Visiting Lecturers

For details of the expert academics who teach on this course see the Academic Profiles below. In addition you will also be taught by a team of visiting lecturers.

In 2019/20 the experts listed below taught on this course, but may be subject to change in future years.

Jenna Corderoy is an investigative journalist for openDemocracy. She has written for VICE News and Finance Uncovered. She is also the author of a handbook on subject access requests, as published by the Centre for Investigative Journalism. Her work has been shortlisted for the Paul Foot award and the British Press Gazette’s investigation award.

Ashely Kirk is a Senior Data Journalist at The Telegraph. Interested in data-driven storytelling, statistical analysis and multi-platform reporting. Previously published in the Guardian, the Independent and City AM.

Paul Dunn has more than 40 years' experience as a working journalist and has held senior positions at The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Sunday Express, Sunday Business and The Times. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Visiting Professor Barney Jones started a new award winning political programme in the 1990's - Breakfast with Frost - anchored by David Frost, then launched The Andrew Marr Show. Earlier in his career he worked a producer at Newsnight, and BBC Breakfast News, and ran Election coverage at the BBC.

Claire de Than is Co-Director of the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City, University of London. She is a Law Commissioner (Jersey). The author or co-author of more than 15 books.

Richard Ward (Shorthand)


All MA Journalism courses at City are practical, hands-on courses designed for aspiring 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.


Topics on the MA in Investigative Journalism range from business and financial journalism to 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.

Core modules

  • Journalism Portfolio (30 credits) – Covers the essentials of reporting, from ideas and research to interviewing and writing, news and features, and using the Freedom of Information Act in journalism.
  • Editorial Production (30 credits) – Producing and editing content for print and online publication, including video as well as text and images.
  • Ethics, Rules and Standards (30 credits) – You put practical journalism in an ethical context with case studies and there are discussion groups in the second term.
  • Final Project (30 credits) – You explore a topic of your choice in depth to produce one or more pieces of longer-form journalism, ideally for publication online and/or in print.
  • Investigative Reporting (30 credits)
  • UK Media Law (15 credits) – You learn the basics of UK Media Law to enable you to work in a UK newsroom.
  • Political Headlines (15 credits) – You learn the structure of British Government and how it works; and you meet journalists who report and present it..

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

After you graduate

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. Investigative Journalism graduates will be especially valued in jobs which require rigorous, in-depth and advanced research and investigative skills.

Students who recently graduated from the course obtained jobs including:

  • Researcher at Raw Cut TV
  • Legal Reporter at Bloomberg News
  • News Reporter at Solent News Agency
  • Trainee reporter at the Daily Mail
  • Digital sports journalist at The Telegraph
  • Researcher at BBC
  • Staff writer at the Kyiv Post
  • Researcher at Clover Films
  • News reporter at Reuters
  • Junior reporter with the Irish Times
  • Trainee sub-editor at The Times
  • Events producer at Frontline Club
  • Trainee journalist at BBC Radio 1/1Xtra Newsbeat
  • Staff writer at People Management Magazine
  • Employee at Media Diversity Institute
  • Reporter at New Civil Engineer
  • Health Reporter at Healthcare Leader/Management in Practice/The Pharmacist
  • Trainee sub-editor at The Times
  • Reporter with Legal Week
  • Daily Mail trainee sports journalist.

Investigative journalism MA alumni

Alumni from the Investigative journalism MA include:

  • Seb Payne - Whitehall Correspondent at the Financial Times
  • David Pegg - Investigative reporter at the Guardian, who worked on the Panama and Paradise papers
  • Tom Warren - Investigations reporter at BuzzFeed
  • Jordan Milne - Home Affairs and Crime Producer at Sky
  • Neil Johnston - Midlands Correspondent at The Times
  • Judith Welikala - Producer at Channel 5 News
  • Tom Webb - Editor of Global Data Review
  • Camilla Turner - Education Editor at the Telegraph
  • Margot Gibbs - Investigative reporter at Finance Uncovered
  • Kadhim Shubber - US Legal and Enforcement Correspondent at the Financial Times
  • Emma Slater - Producer in current affairs at ITV
  • Jenna Cordeory - Reporter at openDemocracy – shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and British Press Gazette awards.
100% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

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