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Course content

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.


This course has an exceptional reputation and an outstanding graduate employment record with students going on to work at The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Panorama, Dispatches, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Buzzfeed, Spectator and Wired magazines, Sky News, and a number of other newspapers, magazines, production companies and NGOs.

Employers respect the quality of research and reporting skills graduates acquire on this course. You will learn advanced research skills, including data journalism to analyse data to find stories, and the effective use of disclosure laws, public records and databases. The course provides case studies of high-profile investigations and will help you develop the skills needed to investigate issues of public concern and miscarriages of justice involving companies, organisations and individuals within an ethical framework.

On this course you will complete an investigation and learn practical multi-media skills including television as well as print. It moves swiftly from basic journalism to fully-fledged investigative journalism provided by leading investigative journalists. Prof Heather Brooke, who was the catalyst for the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal, is pathway leader and David Leigh, former Investigations Editor of The Guardian, teaches investigative reporting. A number of working investigative journalists also deliver guest lectures on their current work.

The course is practical and encourages you to develop and practice your real-world journalistic skills and techniques. Covering both print and broadcast investigative journalism, the course is ideal as a first step into a career as an in-depth researcher and journalist.

Taking advantage of our London location and extensive alumni and contact networks, students arrange work placements across a number of media, usually arranging them for the winter and/or spring break.


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.

Academic facilities

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.

Teaching and learning

Some modules 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.

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.


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.

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.

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 Financial Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Spectator
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times (graduate trainee scheme)
  • Vice News.

Visit the Investigative Journalism (MA) page on the City, University of London website for more details!





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