The MA in Digital Media is unique in its combination of practical and theoretical approaches to contemporary media and technology.
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 can explore transformations in media, culture and society through the practice of contemporary digital communication. You will work with one or more of the following to create installations, apps and single- and multi-screen work that's responsive to the continually changing digital landscape:
Acclaimed academics and practitioners
Benefit from the experience and expertise of one of the world’s leading media and communications departments. The programme is co-convened by Professor Joanna Zylinska and Daniel Rourke, and you will be taught by theorists and practitioners of international standing.
Work placements and internships
The MA in Digital Media regularly attracts offers of work placements and internships. In the past these have come from Google, The Science Museum and N1creative.com. There is also £6,000 bursary available for UK students studying this course. Find out more about the Stationers' Postgraduate Bursary Scheme on our departmental awards page.
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:
MA Digital Media students have access to the pioneering option ‘After New Media’, currently 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 well as accessing a series of podcasts, students are offered reading groups and a masterclass with Professor Sarah Kember co-author of the book Life After New Media on which the course is based.
The programme consists of:
Seen take-home paper; essays; dissertation or practice/theory project and other production work for image-making.
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:
Smartphones and social media, digital networks and big data, gamification and mobile platforms – new media continue to change the way we live, work and communicate. This programme interrogates the impact of digital technologies on individuals and society, and provides you with the skills and knowledge to be able to think critically and creatively about new media.
Working both individually and in teams, you will learn about diverse digital media techniques and processes, including coding and hacking, web design, mapping and visualisation, scraping and mining, interactive narratives, animation, digital ethnography, action research, prototyping and iterative design, representation, and more. Through an applied, hands-on approach, you will gain an understanding of the social, cultural and economic roles of new media, and explore what it is like to work in the new media industries.
With a range of optional modules to choose from, you will also be able to expand your knowledge into areas such as multimedia journalism, cinema and photography, political and promotional communication, feminism and the media, and many more. Taught by expert practitioners and researchers, you will gain the knowledge and skills to thrive in this dynamic, fast-paced sector.Our School has a range of fantastic facilities to support your studies. The 58-seat Phil Taylor Cinema is equipped with Dolby Digital sound and high-definition projection facilities, as well as projectors for 16mm and 35mm film.
You can also work on your own projects in our 44 editing suites, equipped with Avid Media Composer editing software and Adobe Creative Cloud. The fully equipped TV studio also has a large green screen area, lighting and photo-flash facilities. We also have a track and dolly, sliders, Glidecam and various cranes, and you’ll have access to a new photographic dark room.
We also run a loans service where you can borrow a range of HD digital camcorders and various Canon stills cameras to help with your project work.
In each semester you’ll study core modules that build your knowledge of new media contexts and practice. You’ll consider the relationship between new media and contemporary culture and the interactive forms and practices that are emerging. Then you’ll gain practical production, project management and critical skills and respond to new media briefs in collaborative projects.
You’ll then have the chance to broaden your approach with your choice of optional modules, from photography and cinematics to political communication, television narratives and public relations in society.
To demonstrate the skills you’ve gained, you’ll also undertake a major independent project. You can choose to submit a dissertation and take classes on research methods throughout the year, or you can work on a sustained, practical new media project with a written element.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll complete the MA over two years, instead of one, taking fewer modules each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
You’ll be taught in a mixture of practical workshops, lectures and small group seminars which allow you to discuss your reading and present some of your research to other students. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, allowing you to practice your skills and deepen your knowledge.
We also use a range of assessment methods, depending on the modules you choose. They’re likely to include practical projects, essays, reports, group and individual presentations and case studies among others.
This programme is still relatively new, and digital media are rapidly growing, evolving and expanding.
People with high-level production and project management skills in new media will be in high demand for decades to come, and this programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a wide – and rapidly expanding – range of careers in new media practice.
These could include digital marketing, animation, web design and development, social media, analytics, PR and consultancy among others. You’ll also be well prepared for future research in this young and fast-changing field.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This Research Master's programme in Media, Art and Performance Studies is an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research-based programme which offers an advanced training in academic research skills appropriate for today's highly dynamic and interdisciplinary field of media, visual arts and performance.
Contemporary media, art and performance increasingly play with and transcend disciplinary boundaries. Intermedial and performative practices both produce and critically investigate cultural transitions in today’s mediatized and performative culture. Such synergies invite to explore how emerging forms of media, art and performance – while historically and culturally embedded - interact with and relate to social and cultural transformations.
As a student of this programme, you will be introduced to and specialise in new research areas and methodologies, necessary for investigating emerging media, performance and contemporary art forms within today's rapidly changing culture. In relation to this you will also reflect on the role of the Humanities in both academic and public debates.
Central concerns in this programme are, amongst others:
We approach this broad field from a range of comparative and intermedial perspectives, focusing primarily on the dynamics of change and exchange between media, contemporary arts and performance within a culture and society in transition.
In this programme you will reflect on questions such as how media have developed from the time of early cinema up to current new media art; how the definition of 'live' has changed alongside these mediatised cultural forms. How has the performative turn changed the ways we think about audiences? How do media technologies facilitate new methods of self-staging and social performance? What is the influence of media and technology on way we curate and educate in museums and archives and other cultural institutions.
In this age of selfies, datafication, (self-) staging and re-staging, and playful learning, you will examine how various media, art forms, and performance have been used for critical analysis, civic engagement, entertainment and educational purposes. You will do this by asking how digital technologies, dramaturgical and artistic strategies alter ways of dealing with knowledge production and distribution, and how these transitions have contributed to and also ask for new methods of research.
How does the ubiquity of media technology change our understanding of the world and our sense of self within it, as well as how we communicate and act?
This programme will train you as a researcher within the field of Media, Contemporary Art and Performance Studies, to either prepare you for a PhD position, or for research-oriented positions in professional contexts of cultural institutions such as archives, museums, art institutions, theatres, for education, (non-)governmental organisations, or in creative industries.
After completing the programme:
The Research Master’s is aimed at excellent students from both the Netherlands and overseas, who have a background in the history and theory of contemporary art, or media and performance studies with a focus on theatre, dance, film, television, and/or digital media.
Alumni of the Media, Art and Performance Studies Research Master’s have been successful in obtaining PhD positions in various prestigious international programmes. Graduates also find their way to other job markets. For example in the domain of curation, dramaturgy, or media consultancy.