Investigative Journalism

Subject JOUR90013 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 25 hours, comprising 6x2hr seminars and one two-day workshop
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Margaret Simons


Subject Overview:

This subject builds on basic journalistic interview and research skills to introduce the discipline and advanced research techniques of investigative journalism. Students will learn how to access and analyse public records, how to use Freedom of Information legislation, how to use social media to crowdsource information and be introduced to data journalism. They will be introduced to the multiple ethical and legal issues involved in use of confidential sources and unauthorised disclosures, and how this relates to core journalistic ethical principles. Students will undertake an investigation as part of the subject.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:

  • Access and analyse key public records, including land titles, company searches and legal documents.
  • Use Freedom of Information legislation to obtain information from governments
  • Understand the ethical issues raised by unauthorised disclosures and relationships of confidence with sources.
  • Understand the techniques and principles of data journalism
  • Understand the potential of social media for crowdsourcing information
  • Be able to confidently conduct in depth and difficult interviews for journalistic purposes.


1,000 word plan of investigative project, due early in the semester (10%)

1,500 word essay, due mid way through semester (20%)

2,500 word written report or equivalent in audio or video investigative project, due during the examination period (70%)

Prescribed Texts:

detailed reading guide will be made available, plus additional internet-accessible reading issued weekly.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level ability to analyse writing techniques and affects
  • High level ability to express thoughts, ideas and observations in accessible written English.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Journalism (Advanced)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Journalism

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