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Digital Journalism (Online Distance Learning) MSc

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year full-time
Full-time via online distance learning
£8,600 (UK) *
£8,600 (INT) *
Course leader
Sophie Knowles

Consultants from pioneers in the digital world, such as Google News Lab and the Guardian/Observer, have contributed to make this master's course industry-relevant and at the forefront of the most innovative developments in the news business. The curriculum has been specifically designed to be consumed and shared with an online, diverse community of students from around the world.

Why study MSc Digital Journalism at Middlesex University?

This programme will develop your existing core and technical journalistic skills while you are encouraged to discover the type of journalist you would like to be. Find a topic or subject that truly sparks your interest and become an expert as you explore this topic critically and creatively in your final project.

Build and improve your intellectual rigour as you learn about the relevance and legacy of trends and affairs that are shaping the media landscape right now. You'll gain the skills and knowledge required to work in the media industry in a number of ways: for instance, as a data or digital journalist, or as a media analyst or researcher.

This course gives you the opportunity to push your academic work or take on a work placement. We have industry links with the a variety of national and international news outlets and our academics are at the forefront of their fields and will guide you as you develop your own specialist knowledge and practice.

All of the modules you'll study link theory with practice, giving you the chance to reflect on how you practice, why you should practice in a certain way, and the implications of journalistic practice.

Course highlights

  • This course is up-to-date and innovative; we continually consult with big industry players like Google, the BBC and the Guardian
  • You'll be able to use our state-of-the-art materials and tutorials around your own schedule and connect with people around the world, from different countries, cultures and backgrounds
  • Exploit the opportunities that this level of access and expertise brings from the comfort of wherever you are in the world.

Introduction to Digital Journalism MSc

Find out more

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What will you study on MSc Digital Journalism?

Over the course of this master's, you'll learn about the key phenomena that are impacting the journalism and media industry from a technical, practical and intellectual perspective. For example, you'll investigate how artificial intelligence is benefitting and challenging the power dynamics that shape the news industry.

You'll consider the ethical challenges that global shifts in power are bringing to journalism and you'll explore some of the fundamentals you need to both practice and understand coding for journalistic purposes and big data trends in storytelling.

In addition to building your knowledge about these latest trends, including where they have come from and projections about where they are heading, you'll specialise in a subject or topic to advance your critical, independent and researching skills.

What will you gain?

This course will allow you to hone your critical and independent thinking skills, especially as you embark on the major project to explore a subject of your choosing.

You'll learn new technical skills in shooting and editing using mobile phones, and building multi-modal journalism online. You'll also develop new and existing skills of coding, data analysis and data visualisation techniques.

You'll develop your story-telling skills through reporting and interviewing, and you'll be able to build more rigorous research skills, both academically and journalistically.

  • Modules

    • Multimedia and Digital Journalism Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will teach you how to work across and within mediums to exploit the power of synthesising a number of them together in one place. You'll learn new and innovative ways to record, report and edit stories online. If you already have skills in shooting and editing videos, you'll still be encouraged to develop these skills and create packages for online consumption.

    • Reporting and Accountability: Power and Ethics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you'll learn about the shifts in power we have witnessed in recent decades, as the world has been brought closer together by globalization, technology and financial markets. These developments present a myriad of challenges for journalists to overcome as their ethical practices are being stretched in a way they have never been before.

    • Algorithmic Journalism: Innovation in an Age of Digital Disruption (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Algorithms are becoming a new power broker in news, deciding what stories are most popular, and even identifying sources for new ones. However, these are just some of the basic ways to understand how AI is changing the game in the news industry. In this module, you'll build on your knowledge of AI and learn how you might use it appropriately in your own practice.

    • Big Data and Coding for Journalism (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Big data is big news! Learn all the historical, current and future ways data is changing the paradigm for storytelling. Understand the basics you need to code as a journalist and data visualisation techniques. Data surrounds us in a digital world, offering journalists opportunities to identify, access and report in new and innovative ways. The reporting of the Panama papers, for instance, demonstrate the sheer breadth of information that needs to be covered, synthesised and reported in ways that a wide audience can understand.

    • Major Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      There are two pathways to choose from in this module which offer you a degree of flexibility to specialise in a way that suits you best: either the dissertation route or through a work placement route.

      You'll learn some investigative techniques to use either in an academic sense, or in a journalistic sense. You'll be encouraged to develop your critical and independent thinking, drawing on themes you have covered during the course, and explore more forensically a subject that has sparked your interest.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MSc Digital Journalism taught?

This module is taught solely and specifically online. You'll be given the flexibility of working from wherever you are in the world, while being connected to some of the world’s best educational resources, practitioners and prestigious academics. You'll also be able to take advantage of the many benefits from connecting with students from all over the world.

You can choose to do a work placement as part of your major project. We'll encourage and help you to build on your current work experience to develop a stronger sense of the media industry and where your skills and interests lie within it.

Throughout the course, you'll have the opportunity to showcase your work on a dedicated sharing platform for other students and your tutors. You'll work in teams online to produce news stories in real-time and you'll benefit from numerous practical tutorials recorded in our state-of-the-art newsroom.


Assessments are based 100% on coursework. This means that you'll not be assessed by an examination. The work that you submit will be diverse and take various forms from practical audio-visual work, critical and traditional essays, to reports, reflective writing, and group work.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & International
  2. Additional costs
  3. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Digital Journalism support your career?

The career routes on offer to journalism graduates is broadening and diversifying. There are many new roles becoming available in journalism and your journalism skills are easily transferable to other careers. This marks a transition from jobs principally being available at newspapers and other legacy media to a wide range of other jobs that are being made available online, through alternative media and the wider communications industry.

Prospective students could find themselves in the following jobs:

  • Journalists, news writers, editors and reporters – specifically as online, digital, data journalists or as international correspondents.
  • Working for international organisations, charities, NGOs.
  • Online platforms have expanded rapidly in the past decade. Google is now as big an employer of journalists as major broadcasters.
  • Analysing or producing media for various corporations and companies in the communications sector.

Dr Sophie Knowles
Programme leader

Dr Knowles gained her PhD in Australia and her research falls under the broad areas of media, crisis, the economy and public trust in news. She is published in numerous journals, is author of Watchdogs, Lapdogs or Canaries in the Coalmine?, and co-editor of Media and Austerity.

Professor Kurt Barling
Professor of Journalism

Professor Barling worked for the BBC for decades as a special correspondent before joining MDX as a professor. Before that he gained his PhD from the London School of Economics. Among other things, Professor Barling teaches multi-media and long-form journalism.

Dr Maja Simunjak
Senior lecturer

Dr Simunjak's background is in broadcast and digital reporting, and she has a PhD in Political Communications.

  • Heather from Texas

    Photo credit: Michael Baker

    After a long hiatus from work, I realized I was going to need to re-train if I wanted to have a career again. I looked at many courses, and Middlesex's digital journalism course stood out for being the most modern and relevant. It's multi-modal nature is exactly right for today's media landscape.

    The faculty members were supportive, informative, and came from relevant and interesting positions in the media. MSc Digital Journalism was the first course I've really enjoyed doing, and it was great for my career
  • Joseph, executive editor at Punch in Nigeria

    After a long hiatus from work, I realized I was going to need to re-train if I wanted to have a career again. The faculty members were supportive, informative, and came from relevant and interesting positions in the media. MSc Digital Journalism was the first course I've really enjoyed doing, and it was great for my career.
  • Dinoshen Groshell

    This course is for anyone who wants to learn about the world of digital journalism in-depth. It's very well put together and incredibly rewarding. The lecturers are outstanding and they always go the extra mile to help you succeed.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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