UK/summer course

Thomson Foundation summer course 2020: dates and details

*It is with great regret that we have taken the unprecedented step of cancelling this year’s Thomson Foundation summer course in London for early-career journalists because of the Covid-19 epidemic.*

While this will be of disappointment to all those keen to apply, we feel it is better to take that tough decision now rather than build a false expectation that the course is likely to go ahead.

The problem of international travel and quarantine issues are likely to persist for some time, and progress at different rates in different parts of the world.

We take the safety of our students, partners and staff very seriously, and believe it is wisest not to hold the five-week course in its traditional form this year.

We shall keep the situation under review to see if it is possible to replicate the course at a later date – and hopefully it will be possible to re-instate it, as normal, next year.

Thank you for your understanding, and we apologise for any disappointment this decision causes.

Keep safe, and we hope to see you soon in person, or in one of our online courses.


August 10 to September 11, 2020

In this intensive five-week programme, participants will cover a story for their media organisation from different angles using different technologies and techniques. It includes master classes from leading journalists, practical workshops and visits to UK media organisations.

Week one: Recipes for great journalism

What makes great journalism?: 

The art of story treatment and storytelling, adapting and creating material for different types of media platforms, exploring innovations in journalism and engaging audiences.

Masterclass – investigative journalism: Asking the right questions and interrogating information to establish the truth and piece together the whole story. With a leading international investigative journalist. 

Research and verification: Learning competency in digital research and verification including essential social media verification practices, handling user-generated content (UGC), open source tools and geolocation.

Example visits: The Guardian and Channel 4 News

Week two: Mobile journalism and innovations in media

Mobile journalism: the complete production studio in your pocket.

The power of the image: The use of framing, lighting and image sequences to tell visual stories. Includes a photo-walk to explore the streets of London through the lens of a mobile phone.

The power of video: Developing video filming and editing skills using mobile phones and tablets and using apps to create graphics and effects.

The power of live: Exploring opportunities for live broadcast anywhere, anytime, any place using a mobile phone, and the social media platforms to choose.

Innovations in media: 360°, overcapture and VR. Examining emerging technologies and immersive storytelling.

Example visits: BBC and YouTube

The mobile journalism and social media skills have helped changed the way I approach my job.

Monique Mortlock, summer course 2018
Week three: Data journalism, visualisation and social media 

Data journalism: Learning how to research and analyse data, data mining and the ethics of accessing data.

Data visualisation: Using infographics to make instant sense of complex trends and information, turning complex data into strong visual stories.

Social media: Identifying the right platform for specific content and audiences and the best apps and open source digital tools to help gather and create the stories and messages.


Week four: Hands-on great journalism

Bringing it all together: Working with mentors to produce a finished story in creative formats suitable for relevant media organisations' output channels.

Week five: UK media placement

One week spent observing an international newsroom.



To take part in the summer course you will need:

  • To have worked as a journalist.
  • Funding for course fees (£4,800, excluding travel and accommodation; estimated at around £10,000, including travel and accommodation). 
  • The support of your employer. 
  • A good working knowledge of English. 


Apply for part-scholarship

Thomson Foundation is inviting journalists to apply for part scholarships for the five-week summer convergence course. The two scholarships are reserved for exceptional and ambitious journalists with at least two years' experience. They represent an up to 80 per cent deduction on the course fees but do not include travel and accommodation costs.

To apply, send your CV and cover letter to putting 'Summer Course' in the subject line. First come, first served basis. Apply early.

How to apply:

Click on this link you will be asked to submit your CV and a cover letter. 



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