As a case study, this article will illustrate how a project-based approach has addressed some of the challenges of embedding data journalism content into courses at a small Australian university. It will also identify some of the associated limitations and difficulties. Since 2013, Bond journalism students have undertaken five collaborative data-driven investigations, with a sixth underway in 2018. The project-based approach encourages resilience, creative problem-solving and minimizes students’ aversion to maths and statistics while empowering students to produce industry-standard work in an area of inexperience and discomfort. However, it is a reasonably resource-intensive approach and would be difficult to replicate in a larger cohort.