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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Communication & Media Studies

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

  • Last Updated

    07 August 2017

Course content

Investigative journalism is at a crossroads in theory and practice. Crises of ethics and funding have brought profound changes to the nature of long form journalism, the ways in which it is produced and the institutions that invest in it. This innovative MA brings together leading practitioners and institutions to deliver advanced training in emergent investigative newsgathering and publishing skills applicable to a range of professional contexts, within and beyond journalism. At the same time, the degree introduces students to critical accounts of the the media's watchdog function and journalism's evolving social role.

In partnership with the Centre of Investigative Journalism (which provides bespoke training workshops for the degree's core courses) and Google (which has provided funding assistance for scholarships), this MA addresses new challenges whilst also reflecting the constants that underpin investigative journalism ethics and storytelling. Above all, it presents an opportunity to both study and do investigative journalism, under the guidance of award-winning journalists and experienced academics.

Guest lecture profiles

You will be taught by a mix of academics, writers, investigative journalists, editors and bloggers, including:

Ewen MacAskill

Ewen is The Guardian's defence and intelligence correspondent. In 2013 he was among the first journalists to meet NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and, as a result of his reporting on global surveillance, he was named co-recipient of the 2013 George Polk Award. The same reporting also contributed to the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, awarded jointly to The Guardian and the Washington Post in 2014. Ewen was featured prominently in Laura Poitras' Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour and he will be portrayed by British actor Tom Wilkinson in the upcoming biopic Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone.

Iain Overton

Iain is Director of Policy and Investigations for the London-based charity Action on Armed Violence. As well as a writer, Iain is also an investigative journalist and documentary maker who has won a number of awards, including 2 Amnesty Media Awards, a Peabody Award and a BAFTA Scotland. In 1998 he was appointed senior producer of BBC Current Affairs and in 2009 he became the founding editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism where he produced a number of high-profile documentaries, including Iraq War Logs based on the military intelligence files leaked by Chelsea Manning.

Siobhan Sinnerton

Siobhan is a Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, before which she spent 4 years at the award-winning Quicksilver Productions. Two of those were as Series Editor on Unreported World, Channel 4’s flagship foreign affairs strand and as an executive producer on Dispatches and First Cut. Previously, Siobhan was a producer-director on both Unreported World and Dispatches and worked at ITV/Granada making a wide range of documentaries and current affairs.

Eliot Higgins (AKA 'Brown Moses')

Eliot is a renowned citizen journalist and blogger, known for using open sources and social media to investigate international conflicts. He first gained mainstream media attention by identifying weapons in uploaded videos from the Syrian conflict. At the time, Eliot was an unemployed finance and admin worker who spent his days taking care of his child at home. He has since won praise from human rights groups and journalists from around the world and has been profiled by The Guardian, The Independent, The Huffington Post and The New Yorker magazine, as well as the subject of television features run by Channel 4 and CNN International. In 2014 he started a new website, Bellingcat, which mobilises citizen journalists to investigate current events using open data.

Dr Justin Schlosberg

Justin is Lecturer in Journalism and Media at Birkbeck and programme director for the MA Investigative Reporting. His research takes a critical look at mainstream media coverage of a number of national security controversies, including alleged corruption in the British arms trade, the death of intelligence whistleblower David Kelly, and the release of diplomatic cables by Wikileaks. His forthcoming book Media Ownership and Agenda Control: The Hidden Limits of the Information Age will be published by Routledge in 2016.

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






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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London

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