Investigative Journalism MA

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.


Reasons to study Investigative Journalism at De Montfort University:

  • Course developed in collaboration with Channel 4
    professional endorsement from industry ensures high quality teaching by expert academics and professional journalists 
  • Designed with input from Industry leaders
    this specialist course is designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and contacts you need to embark on a successful career in investigative journalism
  • Work on live briefs
    produce your own professional programme to pitch to major broadcasters or elsewhere 
  • More than 20 years’ experience of teaching journalism
    our teaching staff have many years of industry experience which you can draw upon to develop skills and expertise that are relevant for a career in Journalism 
  • Excellent graduate prospects
    this course will equip graduates for a successful career in Investigative Journalism, in national television as well as working for national and international news agencies and roles in PR and corporate communications

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"




International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students.


*Terms and conditions apply

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

Course code: P50074

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September

Fees and funding: 

2018/19 - £6,300

2019/20 - £6,540

DMU fee waiver scholarship worth £6,000, find out how to apply

EU Students: Find out about student loan information and scholarships.

Apply for the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Institution code: D26

Course code: P50074

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September

Fees and funding: 

2018/19 - £13,600

2019/20 - £14,100

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

How to apply: International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online portal or direct application form

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Candidates should normally:

  • Have the equivalent of a British honours degree (2:1 minimum)

  • An excellent standard of English (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent for international applicants).

  • Be able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in journalism through involvement in student media, online blogging and/or broadcast, or a minimum of one week’s experience in a professional newsroom.
  • Be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge and awareness of current affairs. 



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.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Academic expertise



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.



You will experience a wide range of teaching styles and environments, from traditional lectures and seminars to intensive skills workshops, news days and studio work. As a postgraduate student, you will be increasingly responsible for developing your own professional practice  and working with other course members to produce pieces of journalism.

You will be working collaboratively with undergraduate students and other postgraduate students from our portfolio of related journalism courses including on events.



This is an intensive programme and you should be aware that full-time engagement will be expected throughout.

There will be a diverse range of assessments, including traditional essays, presentations, case studies, phase tests and reports as well as continuous assessment of professional practice. These culminate in your final project or dissertation. 

Contact and learning hours

You will normally attend at least 12 hours of timetabled taught sessions per week. As part of this, you will be expected to produce substantial amounts of journalism outside of class.


Current staff on the programme include:

Dr Richard Danbury
Richard Danbury is Principal Lecturer in investigative journalism, and also coordinates Channel 4’s Investigative Journalism Training Scheme.

David Hayward
David was a journalist at the BBC for 18 years. He worked across the organisation, as a reporter, producer and senior editor, in network radio, TV and for the BBC World Service Trust in Bosnia, Albania and Romania. His most recent role was head of the BBC Journalism Programme.



Ali Haynes LLB MBA DipM 
Ali is Principal Lecturer in Journalism, founder of the Leicester Centre for Journalism and the journalism provision at DMU, and programme leader for Journalism BA (Hons) (NCTJ accredited). She is an award-winning journalist whose accolades include a national investigative journalism award.

Professor Stuart Price
Stuart is Professor of Media and Political Discourse, Chair of the Media Discourse Group, co-editor of the books series ‘Protest, Media and Culture’ (including ‘Sites of Protest’, 2016), and the author of a number of monographs, book chapters and articles on Media, Communication and Politics (including ‘Worstcase Scenario’, 2011).

Facilities and features

Endorsed by Channel 4

Dorothy Byrne, Head of Channel 4 News and Current Affairs and Visiting Professor in Media Discourse at DMU, said: “Channel 4 is committed to training the next generation of investigative journalists. Our current Investigative Journalism Training Scheme provides training in investigative skills to working television journalists with more experience.

“This collaboration with DMU takes our commitment a stage further providing a very high quality MA with teaching provided by professionals who are themselves television journalists of the highest calibre. It’s vital for the future of investigative television journalism that we train up a new generation and widen the pool of talent to include people from diverse backgrounds.

“Quite a number of people have general television making skills, but lack the sort of specialist knowledge required.” 

Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood Building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.

Library services

We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus. These give access to more than half a million publications, an extensive range of DVDs, e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. 

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks. We offer a range of workshops, drop-in and one-to-one sessions, and our Just Ask service provides email and telephone support.

Opportunities and careers




This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.



Graduate Careers

This is a specialist course designed specifically to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in investigative television journalism, so it is expected that graduates will enter that field to forge successful careers for themselves making the most of the skills and connections they have made whilst studying on the course.

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

Order your copy

How to apply

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Up to 50 per cent off select PG courses
Postgraduate events
Research at DMU
Leicester guide

Up to 50 per cent off select PG courses 

We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study, which is why we offer the Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship. This gives DMU graduates a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent on selected full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, based on academic achievement and merit. Find out more.


Postgraduate events

The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of the postgraduate open evenings or events that take place all year round. If you can't visit the university in person, you can also sign up for one of our online chats. Find out more.


Research at DMU

De Montfort University (DMU)’s growing reputation for research which benefits society has been confirmed with the publication of the REF 2014 results. Find out more.


A city like no other

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Discover the DMU campus
Discover the DMU campus

Take a look around DMU by exploring our virtual campus.