Investigative Journalism

Subject JOUR90013 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 Hours, made up of one two hour seminar in each of the first six weeks of semester, and one two day workshop (6 hours per day)
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours


It is strongly recommended that students complete JOUR90001 Researching and Writing Stories before attempting this advanced subject.



Recommended Background Knowledge:

Completion of JOUR90001 Researching and Writing Stories, and/or substantial industry experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:


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, and 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%)

Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

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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