The Master of Science in Digital Humanities helps graduates from Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences programmes to develop digital competencies that will allow them to add digital dimensions to their own domain expertise. It aims to explicitly link these competencies to research questions, case studies and applications related to the domain expertise of the students.
Graduates of this programme will be able to bring their own domain expertise to a significantly higher level of functionality, using digital tools and techniques. Building both on the expertise they obtained from the programme and their prior expertise in Humanities, Social or Behavioral Sciences, graduates will be well placed to open many new digital applications to a much wider community. Moreover, those who wish to move to a professional profile involving more advanced digital competencies, are well prepared to do so.
The programme is organized around a number of clusters of course units. The central clusters are the Application Domains cluster and the Tools for the Digital World cluster. Supporting clusters are the Introductory Digitization Components cluster, the Advanced Digitization Components cluster and the Management Component. The heart of the research activities is situated in the Master’s thesis.
The Master’s Programme is conceived as a one year, international and multidisciplinary advanced master programme (master-after-master). The programme is unique in Flanders and one of only a few in Europe. The programme is firmly framed in an explicit collaboration between the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Sciences - Department of Computer Science. As such, it is supported by experts in Digital Humanities applications, who supply research expertise for the programme, as well as by experts in digital techniques and tools, who provide a sound technical basis for the students.
Digitization affects in many ways how future scientists in Humanities and Behavioural Sciences will conduct their research. Also, graduates from Humanities and Behavioural Sciences programs enter a professional world in which digitization becomes the standard, be it in publishing, arts, libraries, teaching and many others.
The Master of Science in Digital Humanities program aims to prepare graduates from Humanities and Behavioural Sciences programs for these challenges. It aims to help such graduates to develop digital competencies that will allow them to add digital dimensions to their own domain expertise. It aims to explicitly link this knowledge and these competencies to case studies and applications related to the domain expertise of the students. It will train them to master information structures and functionalities of data, programming structures and technique to produce scripts for digital applications, tools for improving access and interactive use of data and the development of new digital applications. It will train them how to manage projects related to digitization and introduce them to emerging new digital technologies and their applications.
As an advanced master program (master-after master), it is assumed that the students entering this program have already achieved the general academic competencies defined for any master's program. Nevertheless, it is also within the aims of the program to further strengthen these competencies, within the specific context that Digital Humanities offers.
More specifically, graduates understand the basics of Digital Humanities, databases and query languages, scripting languages, the role of IT in management and of some of the emerging technologies in Digital Humanities. They are able to formulate research goals, determine trajectories that achieve these goals, collect and select information relevant to achieve the research goals and interpret collected information on the basis of a critical research attitude. They are able to communicate scientifically. They are able to model a database and use SQL, to use a scripting language, to apply tools for Digital Humanities and to study applications in Digital Humanities. They have the attitudes of valuing and fostering creative, critical and independent thinking, of applying an interdisciplinary and participative approach in innovative development and of striving towards opening the digital world to a broader society.
Academically, researchers in the Humanities, Social or Behavioral Science are confronted with the need to apply digital tools to facilitate and enhance their research. The program enables graduates to enhance their research in the Humanities, Social or Behavioral Sciences through non-trivial uses of digital tools and techniques. This may include modeling and querying databases, accessing data, interconnecting andquerying web resources, extending tools with scripts to provide extra functionality, text-encoding and e-publishing, mining repositories, data visualization, analyzing social networks, adopting, adapting and enhancing e-learning environments, improvingusability of human-computer interaction. As such, graduates are very well placed to take on the challenges that novel research positions require.
Professionally, graduates of the Humanities, Social of Behavioral Sciences enter professional environments where connecting the company’s business with digital tools and techniques has become standard. Here as well, the program enables its graduates to put to use non-trivial digital techniques in their professional occupations, including e-media, publishing, arts, history, culture, music, libraries, e-education or interactions for end-user applications. Thus, graduates who want to pursue a career in the usual sectors for graduates of the Humanities, Social or Behavioral Sciences will be much better prepared to cope with the digital techniques that are currently applied there.
More generally, graduates of this program provide society with professionals and researchers who are able to bring their own domain expertise to a higher level of functionality, using digital tools and techniques. Building both on the expertise they obtained from the program and their prior expertise in Humanities, Social or Behavioral Sciences, are well placed to take part in opening the digital world to a larger community.
Graduates of this program who wish to move to a job profile involving more advanced digital competencies, are prepared to do so and will help to close to gap in an IT-focused labor market. This will require extra training at the company and aims at positions such as project analysts, project managers, service managers.