Taught course

Investigative Journalism

De Montfort University · Faculty of Technology

Entry requirements

Candidates should normally have:

  • the equivalent of a British honours degree (2:1 minimum);
  • an excellent standard of English (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent for international applicants);
  • be able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in journalism through involvement in student media, online blogging or broadcast;
  • be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge and awareness of current affairs, and also a minimum of one week’s work experience in a professional newsroom.

All candidates must complete a written application which will form the basis for selection at interview. Therefore, we expect a substantial and well written personal statement which evidences a strong and persuasive case for your acceptance onto the course by demonstrating an aptitude for investigation. Please provide us with an example of an investigation you have carried out or would like to carry out.

Those who do not meet the criteria in other ways should contact the course leader for advice.

Months of entry


Course content

This exciting new programme focuses on the practical skills of investigative journalism. It is ideally suited to established professionals who wish to develop their skillset or change careers, as well as students progressing from undergraduate study.

The content of this course is endorsed by and has been developed with Channel 4, meaning you are assured of the highest quality teaching by expert academics, including professional journalists from a variety of disciplines with strong track records in industry and experience in helping students and trainees embark on successful careers.

The programme will provide you with the tools you need to produce commercially viable television investigations targeted at national and international audiences.

As part of the degree, you will be expected to devise, pitch and manage investigations, in consultation with some the UK’s leading providers.

We have a 20 year track record of launching graduates into the highly competitive world of journalism, with graduates now working for both local and national organisations like the BBC, Mail Online, top news agencies, national and international magazines and related careers such as PR and corporate communications".


Investigative Journalism – Skills And Theory

This module introduces two core themes of the programme: The underpinning knowledge that we need to be effective practitioners and the scholarly analysis of the world of the investigative reporter. You will study the range of law which affects journalists, including libel, copyright, contempt, privacy and confidentiality, Freedom of Information and data protection. There will also be a detailed introduction to regulatory frameworks such as Ofcom and an exploration of wider ethical issues. Political structures and politicians, at all levels, are integral to almost all stories and form a second focus of the module. We also begin the exploration of the history of journalism and how that has been perceived by the academic community.

Introduction to Practical Investigative Journalism

This workshop-based module is where you get your hands dirty and begin to produce journalism. We begin by looking at where stories come from and how we develop the narrative around those stories. A variety of experts will share the tricks of their trade in a wide range of practical skills, from interview techniques to dealing with the technology to get those stories in to the public arena.

Investigative Journalism – Global Perspectives

This module builds on the basic theoretical frameworks of earlier modules and applies them to the in-depth study of significant investigations. Students will learn about the research methods appropriate for the production of master’s level projects and dissertations. There will also be a focus on dealing with complex data – knowing how to read a financial spreadsheet has been the source of many key investigations.

Advanced Practical Investigative Journalism

Throughout the programme there is an emphasis on applying material from each module to practical situations. This module is where everything comes together and you use the skills and competencies you have learned to produce journalist pieces. There will also be more advanced work with editing, multimedia production and dealing with specialist equipment such as undercover filming. Industry experts will be on hand to make sure students understand the current markets for their work and how to pitch and complete their ideas.

Final project

You will have a choice of options for your final project which is completed over the summer. It is expected that most students will produce, either on their own or in small groups, a piece of investigative journalism suitable for broadcast by one of the mainstream outlets. A traditional 15,000 word dissertation may be selected in lieu of this.

Please note: that these modules are correct at time of print and are subject to review each year so may vary.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential - On-site accommodation - A number of English Language courses are run for international students before courses begin in September.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Technology Admissions
0116 257 7456