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Computational and Data Journalism (Taught)

Cardiff University
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
26 September 2022

Program description

Computational and Data Journalism (Taught)

MSc Computational and Data Journalism is a cutting-edge programme based at one of the UK’s leading Journalism Schools. It is jointly delivered by the School of Journalism, Media and Culture and the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

This programme provides the perfect vantage point from which to succeed in digital journalism and allows you to develop skills in both data journalism and newsroom development. No previous knowledge of computing is necessary, and the programme is open to graduates from any discipline.

It is ideal for recent graduates looking for specialist skills in digital journalism and coding that are proven to be in demand by leading organisations. We also welcome working journalists who want to develop their skills in this growing area of the industry.

As a hands-on programme, it focuses on the development of knowledge and skills through research-informed practical learning in journalism, data analysis, computer coding and digital development.

During this one-year, full-time Master's degree, you’ll benefit from a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops to develop your skills in an open, discussion-driven environment.

You’ll develop a solid foundation in journalism and computing, before specialising in your areas of interest and finally completing a practical and research-based dissertation project using the unique skills that you have acquired.

This programme is the perfect foundation for a career at the forefront of digital journalism. It has been designed to respond to a shortage in skills reported by employers and built to develop professional writing and editorial skills. In addition, it delivers specialist training to understanding data, coding and web application development.

Admission requirements

This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.

Academic requirements:

Typically, you will need to have either:

  • a 2:2 honours degree, or an equivalent international degree
  • or a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification.

English Language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 7.0 with 6.0 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

  • Computational Thinking
  • Fundamentals of Programming
  • Reporters and the Reported
  • Digital Investigation
  • Data Journalism
  • Dissertation Project

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

  • Tuition fees for UK Students: £10,200 per year.
  • Tuition fees for International Students: £23,450 per year.

For more information about tuition fee, please visit the university website.


What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge and Understanding

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main principles and theories that are applicable to the practices of digital journalism and computer science
  • Show knowledge of contemporary issues and thinking to which data journalists and developers have had to respond over the period of study
  • Identify and utilise the main research methods relevant to addressing the themes and case studies presented in the course
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and critical understanding – displaying originality, depth and insight – of an area relevant to the field of Computational Journalism in your final dissertation project

Intellectual Skills

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify, synthesise and critically analyse literature which underpins the study of the issues facing data journalism and the interface with computer science
  • Analyse issues and problems arising in data journalism and computer science using appropriate theories, concepts and techniques to arrive at solutions
  • Complete a dissertation project, which combines an understanding of journalism or media issues and applies computer science techniques to deliver an editorial outcome. These include: designing the project, collecting relevant data and information and presenting the material in a logical and coherent manner.

Application of Knowledge and Practical Skills

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify, prepare and use relevant information for data journalism employing computer science techniques
  • Utilise data resources (including analytics and databases) in addressing journalistic problems and issues
  • Analyse problems facing different branches of journalism and the interface with computer science and propose solutions: for example the transition of print publications onto digital platforms and growing consumer demand for visualised information
  • Identify, analyse and devise strategic approaches to political, social and ethical issues affecting media performance, such as concerns around data privacy, pluralism and trust

Transferable Skills

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Communicate relevant theories and principles, in writing and orally, in an effective and engaging manner
  • Engage in team working and make a positive contribution to the development of innovative editorial content through the use of data analysis and the application of computer science and digital technology
  • Effectively use a full range of IT resources, including the internet, electronic journals, databases, word processing, spreadsheets and social media platforms
  • Identify the challenges in data science and analysis and the presentation of information for public consumption
  • Identify media industry trends and display awareness of the need for and techniques for achieving innovation in the face of rapid technological and market change

Career opportunities

The skills taught by this MSc are in demand with employers. Students from the course have gone on to work as data journalists with national news organisations. Students on this programme have also included working journalists looking to specialise in this important area of growth within the media.

“The new course in computational journalism looks like a great initiative and will no doubt equip graduates with a deeper understanding of technology that will be invaluable in their future careers. Media organisations need close liaison between editorial and technology teams, and this course can really focus graduates on helping to bridge what can be a dangerous divide.” Peter Clifton, Executive Editor, MSN UK (Microsoft) now editor-in-chief Press Association

“Finding and making best use of data to discover and tell stories is a key skill for any news organisation, and we need people who can combine digital and data skills with a journalistic grounding and ability, so this course looks very promising.” Steve Herrmann, Editor, BBC News

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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