Computational Journalism (MSc)
1 year (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
Today’s media industries are changing at unprecedented speed as digital technologies facilitate the growth of global markets in digital media. With this has come a need for enhanced specialist skills which combine an understanding of journalism best practise and the ability to develop digital platforms and applications to meet changing technology and consumer demand. This course offers students the experience and skills required to develop and gain employment in emerging areas of the industry.
- Two week placement during the project phase of the course
- Guest speakers from industry
This full-time MSc focuses on the development of knowledge and skills through research-informed learning in digital journalism, data science, computer coding and digital development. These core elements in the MSc programme will be supplemented by a range of options enabling students to study media and computational issues by participation in new and existing modules delivered within the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and the School of Computer Science and Informatics.
Students will benefit from a dedicated programme of seminars to harmonise their skills and understanding across these two different disciplines and to bring together the issues arising from the existing teaching modules.
The optional modules offer students the opportunity to address media issues where data and digital skills are relevant such as health and science media; business and economics reporting; international crisis reporting and the transition from print to digital platforms.
Additionally, the School of Computer Science and Informatics will offer new modules in Visual Communication and Information Design and Web Application Development, delivering the skills required for students to retrieve, analyse and present data.
The School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies will also offer a new compulsory module: Digital Investigation, as an introduction to the history and current issues in computer-assisted reporting. This MSc in Computational Journalism is primarily designed for recent graduates seeking a rigorous foundation for a career in digital journalism, media development and the creative industries.
The course is structured in three phases – Foundation, Application and Specialisation, Dissertation – in order to support students in the development of skills and knowledge in the key aspects of the course. Each student is appointed a personal tutor to support them during their studies.
Semester 1 – Foundation phase
All modules listed below are core in this phase:
- Information Processing in Python
- Web Application Development
- Digital Journalism
- Reporters and the Reported
Students will also attend a cross computing/journalism set of workshops and seminars, which support early application and development and to support harmonisation of the skills being developed through each of the subject areas.
Semester 2 – Application and Specialisation
- Digital Investigation (core)
In the second semester students chose a computing module from:
- Web and Social Computing
- Human Centric Computing
- Visual Communication and Information Design
And two journalism modules from:
- Reporting Business, Finance and Economics
- Reporting Health and Science
- Global Crisis Reporting
- Managing Print in a Digital World
The dissertation project phase
The project component is the third stage of the programme. In this stage, students carry out individual research and development of a Dissertation project using the editorial and computational skills they have learned in the first two stages of the course.
Students who wish to exit the programme early may be awarded a PgDip or PgCert.
The MSc in Computational Journalism aims to:
- enable students to acquire specialist knowledge of journalism and computer science , with a particular emphasis on digital media and development, the increasing use of data by media whilst placing that subject knowledge within a wider contextual framework;
- produce reflective practitioners who are able to negotiate the multiplicity of social and cultural complexities encountered in creating public communication and have a strong understanding of and competence in the technology skills required to develop digital media;
- prepare students for employment in a wide range of journalistic, digital technology and media contexts;
- capacitate students to apply the specialist skills and knowledge to the organisations or other work places in which they may operate;
- equip students with the background knowledge and values that will enable them to have a successful media or technology career;
- encourage students to solve complex problems in the field of digital journalism and media and make decisions through identifying issues, evaluating options and reviewing outcomes;
- empower students to work effectively on their own initiative and in group contexts through immersing them in guided praxis;
- provide students with the intellectual tools to recognise and address ethical and moral issues in journalism and to apply analytical and technical skills to resolve them;
- develop students’ ability to understand, plan, conduct and evaluate a long piece of journalism with applied computational skills through independent work leading to the submission of the final Dissertation project;
The course will prepare students for jobs within the digital media and digital journalism, particularly focussing on data journalism, newsroom development and more widely within the creative industries and start-ups focussed on digital media products.
Applicants should have a good first degree.
Applications must include a personal statement that outlines the applicant’s reasons for applying, and at least one reference letter from a previous tutor or person in charge of a past professional experience. Work experience within the media or creative industries would be beneficial.
Applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a British Council IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with a minimum subscore of 6.0 in each component), or an equivalent English language qualification. However, applicants with an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum subscore of 6.0 in each component) will be considered provided they undertake and successfully complete the University’s eight-week pre-sessional English course. This requirement may be waived if the applicant can furnish sufficient evidence that they are suitably proficient in the use of English.
Full details of Cardiff University's English Language requirements can be found here.
How to Apply
Please apply via the University's Online Application Service via the link above.
UK & EU Full Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
International Full Time (fees are for 2015/16, unless otherwise stated):
Next intake: September each year
Name: Mr Huw Thomas (Administrative Contact)
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4786
Name: Mr Glyn Mottershead (Academic Contact)
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6183