Data Journalism – MA / PgCert
Attendance MA - Full Time PgCert - Part Time
The MA in Data Journalism is a cutting edge course designed to give you the interactive storytelling skills needed to work within a growing number of jobs in the media and beyond.
The course includes partnerships with The Telegraph, Haymarket magazines, Reach newspapers (formerly Trinity Mirror) in the UK, La Nacion in Argentina and Convoca in Peru, as well as a number of other organisations covering broadcast, online and print data journalism, all of which are keen to bring in the skills that you will be developing on the course. You should indicate on your application in you wish to be considered for opportunities with those organisations during the course.
Studying under internationally renowned course leaders in a city with a vibrant cultural sector, and with access to a range of media organisations, you’ll learn exciting new skills in data journalism and interactive storytelling across a range of contexts, from mobile-first data journalism on social platforms, to practising data driven journalism within online and broadcast newsroom contexts. Partnerships with newspaper, magazine, online and broadcast organisations provide unique opportunities for students to build contacts and experience, and work on live projects.
What’s covered in the course?
This practical course is designed to help you respond to work within a range of data journalism roles, from sourcing data, to investigating leads, and communicating your stories in new, engaging ways, in a range of newsroom contexts
Under the guidance of award-winning journalists who have worked with organisations ranging from the BBC and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism to The Guardian and specialist magazines, you’ll develop a keen eye for a story, develop advanced data driven journalism techniques that help you establish the facts, find out how to work within a range of newsroom contexts and tell those stories across a range of platforms.
You’ll get access to some of the industry’s most respected journalists who are working in the field now, learn about the legal, commercial and ethical contexts surrounding the future of journalism, and you’ll have the opportunity to work with wider data communities as you make a name for yourself in your chosen sector. Previous students have worked with organisations including the BBC, ITN, ITV News, The Guardian, The Mirror, Carbon Brief, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the European Data Journalism Network, TV3 in Catalonia and the Centre for Investigative Journalism.
You’ll have access to the facilities at BCU’s new Parkside campus, including radio and TV studios, and audio and video editing suites. You’ll have access to video and still cameras, audio recording equipment and mobile journalism kits to get out and capture the human side of the story too. You’ll be expected to find and report stories regularly, experimenting with new formats while exploring and testing the latest research into this exciting period in journalism’s development.
As the course progresses you will develop more specialist skills and connect with others already in the industry, building your reputation as you prepare to enter the industry. Graduates of the course and the predecessor MA Online Journalism course have gone on to work as data journalists, data designers, digital editors and journalism consultants.
“I honestly couldn’t have done my job without the MA: I’m using R constantly and a lot of OpenRefine. The course taught me which sources I’d need to use to find data and how to accurately report what the figures mean.” Carmen Aguilar García, Data Journalist at Sky News
Why Choose Us?
- Course leader Paul Bradshaw is a leading innovator in the field of online journalism. An experienced and practising journalist who works with the BBC England data unit, he publishes the Online Journalism Blog, has authored a number of books about data journalism, and has a reputation as one of the most influential people in data journalism.
- The course has partnerships with newspaper publishers, broadcast data teams both in the UK and internationally, a number of magazine brands covering both consumer and business media, and two online data operations in South America. The department is also part of Google’s News Lab University Network.
- Birmingham is the base of the BBC England’s Data Unit as well as the BBC’s shared industry data team, the BBC Academy and BBC Three. Students regularly work with projects involving those teams.
- You’ll be involved in the annual Data Journalism UK conference, organised by Birmingham City University School of Media and the BBC Academy. It’s a chance to meet and learn from some of the country’s leading data journalists.
- Graduates have gone on to occupy senior positions in the media as Data Journalist, Data Designer, Stanford University Fellow, and media analyst, and been shortlisted for and won awards.
*Photo by Sara Chaudhry: the Data Journalism UK conference, organised by MA students with the BBC Academy