The MA in Digital Media is unique in its combination of practical and theoretical approaches to contemporary media and technology- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-digital-media-technology-cultural-form/
The established and exciting degree is designed to help you understand digital transformations in media, culture and society and apply this understanding in practice, in the media and creative industries and in further research. You will be equipped with skills that can be applied to current and future developments in digital media, social media, computing and other aspects of technology.
The MA in Digital Media educates aspiring media practitioners and academics as well as early and mid-career professionals who seek to reflect on their roles in a structured and stimulating learning environment designed to give all students up-to-the-minute knowledge of digital media and the skills to apply that knowledge to future developments.
The MA offers two pathways:
-Pathway 1 is a theory programme where you learn about developments in digital media and technology from a wide range of perspectives
-Pathway 2 is a theory and practice programme where you improve your skills, understanding and experience in one of the following areas:
Acclaimed academics and practitioners
Benefit from the experience and expertise of one of the world’s leading media and communications departments. You'll be taught by theorists and practitioners of international standing: Sarah Kember, Joanna Zylinska, Graham Young, Tony Dowmunt, Angela Phillips, Julian Henriques and David Morley.
Work placements and internships
The MA in Digital Media regularly attracts offers of work placements and internships. Recently these have come from Google, The Science Museum and N1creative.com.
Our students have access to state-of-the-art facilities including well-equipped lecture and seminar rooms, exhibition spaces, computer facilities and digital media suites.
The department is also currently host to the renowned philosopher of media and technology, Bernard Stiegler and students will have access to his modulein Media Philosophy as well as priority access to the innovative and popular option After New Media. Designed to complement the MA in Digital Media, this course provides a framework for thinking about the current media environment as well as future forms of human and computer interaction.
An established record
The MA in Digital Media has been redefining media theory and practice since 2004. Our students become proficient in:
the history, sociology and philosophy of digital media
the application of critical conceptual skills to specialist areas and future forms of media
multimedia skills in image making (photography, video, animation, graphic art) script writing, journalism and documentary
MA Digital Media students have access the pioneering option ‘After New Media’, a non-assessed online module which explores the themes of self mediation, ethical mediation and intelligent mediation, and develops a framework for thinking about 'life' after new media. As befits a course of this kind we will be combining media, and exploring their pedagogic potential – uniting digital-online technologies with more traditional teaching formats, such as reading groups, seminars and an end of year symposium.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Sarah Kember.
Modules & Structure
The programme consists of:
Two compulsory core modules
Pathway 1 - between two and four option modules (worth 60 credits) OR
Pathway 2 - a two-term practice block (worth 30 credits) and either one or two option modules (worth 30 credits)
The dissertation or the practice/theory project
Seen take-home paper; essays; dissertation or practice/theory project and other production work in the area of documentary, image-making, journalism or fiction.
This is an exciting programme which offers a critical, contextual and practical approach to digital media and technology. It problematises approaches to the 'new' media in academic and professional debate, especially those which overemphasise the potential for radical social change led by a homogenised technology itself.
The programme is defined by its resistance to technological determinism and its insistence on the importance of addressing the social and historical contexts within which a range of media technologies are employed. In order to provide a contextual framework and facilitate the conceptualisation of digital media and technologies as fully cultural forms and processes, the programme will draw on a range of disciplines including: media and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and philosophy. However, the programme will remain focused on key contemporary concerns about the potential role of digital media in society and on refiguring the contours of the 'new' media debate.
The programme offers two pathways. Pathway 1 addresses central theoretical and conceptual concerns relating to digital media. Pathway 2 combines theoretical analysis and practical work, offering students the opportunity to explore new media theories and concepts in practice. Pathway 2 is primarily aimed at students who already have some experience in one of the areas on offer: documentary; digital photography and image making; journalism; writing. It is meant to appeal to media industry professionals who are keen to reflect critically on their practice within a structured learning environment, graduates of practice-based courses but also those who have gained their practical experience in documentary; digital photography and image making; journalism or writing in informal settings.
The first compulsory core course is Digital Media - critical perspectives and this is taught in a small workshop format in the Autumn term. This course functions as a foundation for the second core course and offers students a map of the key debates in digital media. The course is taught in ten two hour workshop sessions and is supported by the provision of one-to-one tutorials.
The second compulsory core course is Technology and Cultural Form - debates, models, dialogues and this develops questions of technology, power, politics and subjectivity which were introduced in the first core course. The first part of this course highlights the key conceptual concerns of a contextualised approach to digital media plus the relevant debates and models formulated by key figures in the field. The second part of this course aims to generate a dialogue between theoreticians and practitioners around some of the most intellectually stimulating, contentious and contemporary ideas in the field without necessarily seeking a resolution. This course is taught in ten two hour workshop sessions during the Spring term and is supported by the weekly provision of one-to-one tutorials.
Students are required to take options from the lists provided by the Media and Communications, Anthropology, Comparative Literature and Sociology Departments as well as the Centre for Cultural Studies. Examples might include: After New Media, Nature and Culture, Cultural Theory, Globalisation, Risk and Control, Embodiment and Experience, Political Communications. Options are taught primarily through lectures and seminars and take place in the Autumn or Spring terms.
Each student's option profile is discussed with the programme convenor in order to ensure that the balance of subject-specific topics is appropriate for the individual concerned. Option courses are taught primarily through lectures, seminars and tutorials and take place in the Autumn or Spring terms.
All students are required to produce either a 12,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed by the student and supervisor or a practice/theory project in the area of documentary, photography and image making, journalism or fiction. The length of the practical element is dependent on the media and the form used and will be agreed in advance with the supervisor. It will, however, be comparable with practical projects undertaken in practice MA programmes in the relevant field. Students undertaking the practice/theory project will also be expected to submit a 3-4000 word analysis of their practice which locates it within the theoretical debates explored in the MA as a whole. This essay may be presented as a separate document or as an integral part of the project depending on the nature of the project and by a agreement with both theory and practice supervisors.
The programme's subject specific learning outcomes require students to analyse and contextualise developments in digital media and technology with reference to key debates in the history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of the media. Students who opt for the practice/theory pathway will also be required to produce material of publishable or broadcast standard and to evaluate the ways in which theoretical and practical insights intersect. All students will develop a wide range of transferable qualities and skills necessary for employment in related or unrelated areas. These are described by the Quality Assurance Agency as: 'the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development'.
By the end of the programme students will be able to:
-Map and critically evaluate key debates in the field of new media
-Analyse and contextualise current and future developments in digital media and technology
-Evaluate and articulate key historical, sociological, anthropological and philosophical approaches to the study of digital media and technology
-Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of at least four differing areas of inquiry
-Demonstrate an advanced level of conceptual knowledge and (where relevant) practical skill appropriate for a sustained piece of work in the field
-Prepare and deliver clearly argued and informed work
-Locate, retrieve and present relevant information for a specific project
-Manage a complex array of competing demands and work effectively to a deadline
-Work resourcefully and independently
-Think critically and/or work practically within a given context
We provide graduates with skills that are cutting edge: in the critical analysis and/or creative production of digital media; in the disciplinary knowledge and conceptual frameworks necessary for current and future forms of media and technology; in the awareness of how digital media and technologies are re-shaping society from the ways we communicate (through social media and web 2.0) to the increasingly ‘smart’ environments in which we live.
Our programme provides a theory and practice pathway and prepares students for work in the following areas:
-media and creative industries; advertising, marketing and PR (graduates of the MA Digital Media have found work with Virgin Media, Google, the BBC and other leading organisations worldwide)
-research and academia (graduates from this programme have gone on to study for PhD degrees in higher education institutions around the world and also here with us)
-media production and new media art (graduates have exhibited, published and produced work in photography, journalism, TV, documentary, film and multimedia)
Graduate Ekaterina discusses her career:
"I work for a company, called Visual DNA, which already sounds like life happening After New Media. The company is the largest data provider in Europe and is totally multinational. We actually try to analyse human visual DNA, you memories, feelings, thoughts about the future, anticipations, etc by creating personality quizzes where instead of verbal answers we tend to use images.
My role is as Creative Developer. It involves working with images from concept to finding/shooting and post-production. My qualifications perfectly matched what they’ve been looking for, Digital Media rocks!
My tip for the new-to-be-graduates is this: physically go to places and companies and talk to people. It really opens up loads of possibilities, and when I tell someone where I’ve graduated from they look impressed, and there is some sort of respect coming from them."
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