This programme will provide you with a rigorous introduction to the sociological study of digital society and digital culture. The programme will introduce you to the core theoretical and methodological issues that arise when sociologists investigate the increasing prevalence of digital technology, digital infrastructure, and data production, capture, and analysis in everyday life. It will also allow you to study the very social conditions (economic, political, and cultural) that give rise to such technologies and their circuits of power. Students in this programme may take up the following specialised topics, including (but not limited to) the sociological analysis of digital technology and new forms of data on the fields of contemporary culture, work and labour, leisure, health, education, government and law, and finance.
While this programme will be primarily suitable for those with some background in the social sciences, the MSc in Digital Society is intended for anyone who wants to understand, as well as learn to study, analyse, and critique digital technologies and the complex ways in which they shape society, social institutions, and culture. The degree combines seminar teaching on specific topics with individual research supervision by leading researchers in the emerging field of “Digital Sociology”, in the UK’s top-ranked department for sociological research.
You will take compulsory courses that give you a sociological perspective and prepare you for independent dissertation research. Your four further option courses can address digital media, social and cultural theory and research training, as you prefer. The dissertation, a piece of self-designed research with supervisory support, allows you to put your personal stamp on your studies.
As well as providing students with , studying for this degree will allow you:
This degree is well-positioned for a wide range of careers in the public, private, and third sectors. It is particularly relevant for those who have aspirations for a career in digital research or digital media design and development. The programme is also key for those who wish to engage with digital technology and data in their own personal lives or on a wider scale as an activist, artist, manager, practitioner, or policy maker. You may go on to undertake roles in social media analysis, Internet research, journalism, education, and law and government. The programme also offers a route to a PhD programme in social research. You will gain highly transferable skills in research, communication, and project management applicable to roles in many fields.
Designed for students interested in new ways of exploring and understanding the social world through the use of visual, sensory and other experimental approaches, this programme allows you to study sociological issues alongside innovative methods.
The MA will enable you to examine, represent and intervene in the social world. You will develop the ability to undertake empirical research and present it publicly in a variety of media and materials. You will engage with sociology as an inventive research practice, deploying creative research methods to address classic and changing sociological problems.
The MA in Visual Sociology provides an introduction to the range of debates in visual research, encouraging you to build on these by using visual, sensory and inventive methodological practices to carry out critical social research in your areas of interest, whether this is science and technology, contemporary capitalism, gender and sexual cultures, race, human rights, globalisation, or other aspects of social life.
The programme combines lectures and seminars with practical sessions and workshop-based projects in which you develop a hands-on approach to sociological research, providing a skills base in methods which could be used in public sector contexts, art/media research, design or commercial application.
As well as presenting your ideas through writing, during the MA you will have the opportunity to produce different outputs, including film/video, photography, sound and multi-media pieces. You will also organise and curate some of this work in an exhibition. Critical feedback sessions function as a testing ground for individual projects, and themed projects allow you to further develop a portfolio of research outputs geared to a variety of audiences.
Throughout the programme is a concern with the research process, and you will have the opportunity to design and reflect on your own research projects. The dissertation allows you to undertake a substantive research project on your individual interests, supporting by one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. You will have access to the Visual Media Lab, which offers post-production and editing stations, as well as equipment for photography and video. Students can also borrow equipment from the Media Equipment Centre.
The MA is based in the Department of Sociology, home of the The Methods Lab and at the forefront of research using live methods. It is taught by staff with a wide range of experience in both sociology and interdisciplinary research, including visual and experimental approaches. The course is suitable for applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including art, design, anthropology, media and communications, cultural studies, geography, and sociology.
In the first part of the course you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, a module that takes you through the empirical research cycle in the context of the transformation of sociology in the age of visual, digital and other empirical methods. The module Theories and Debates in Visual Research' enables you to address debates within visual sociology, and also encompasses more recent issues surrounding the notions of media, interdisciplinarity and translation which become significant if sociology works with visual and other sensory materials. Assessment of these modules is by essay.
Alongside these modules you will take a core practical component, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice A’, that offers the opportunity to gain skills in photography, sound and video and to develop materials that engage a sociological imagination. A central focus is on how to translate a research question into a variety of materials or media and to be able to critically discuss the selection and use of these.
In the second term you continue with a practical module in inventive sociology, ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’, in which you will work individually or in groups to respond to a theme to create a visual, sensory or experimental object or media to be exhibited to a particular public. Assessment of the practical work includes a diary of research process alongside documentation of work.
These core modules are taught in Sociology. In the second term you will also take an option that may be chosen from Sociology or may be taken from departments across Goldsmiths including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics and International Relations, Media and Communications, Educational Studies, Music, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.
In the summer term you will complete a dissertation involving a major practical project consisting of any media and addressing a specific sociological problem. You will meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff. The dissertation is a substantive piece of research in which you develop a visual, inventive or experimental approach to a topic of your choice.
If you follow the MA part-time over two years, you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice’ and ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’ in year 1, and ‘Theories and Debates in Visual Research’, the dissertation and an option in year 2.
You will chose an option module to the value of 30 credits from Sociology or from departments across the College including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics, Media and Communications, Music, Educational Studies, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.
Modules in Sociology address themes such as:
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
This programme attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds, including art and design, business, and the third sector, as well as those with social science degrees. This means the careers that they are interested in pursuing are wide and varied.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
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:
The Digital Media, Culture and Education MA explores the theory and practice of media in society, with a particular focus on education and emergent new literacies in the digital age. The programme combines theory with practical opportunities for media production. Students will critically examine new developments within digital media and work with partners including the British Film Institute (BFI).
This programme provides the opportunity to explore different media forms, media education, media literacy and related fields. It combines theory with practical opportunities in moving image production, Internet cultures and game design. Students will critically examine developments in the fields of new media, including the impact of new technologies on education, and debates about the place and purpose of media in society.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), a dissertation (60 credits) or a report (30 credits) and an additional optional module (30 credits).
Recommended optional modules include:
All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words or a report of 10,000 words. Either the dissertation or the report can be part-production based, in which case the production element replaces 50% of the wordcount.
Teaching and learning
Teaching is delivered by face-to-face lectures and seminars, practical workshops combined with online-learning. Students are assessed by coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words, plus practical work for some modules, and a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Digital Media, Culture and Education MA
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers in primary, secondary schools and further and higher education, while others have jobs as within areas related to digital media. Graduates can also be found working as museum and gallery education officers and in other informal learning spaces.
The course provides students with skills relevant to media work in a wide variety of employment contexts, including education, museums and galleries, social media, cultural organisations. It provides experience of digital media production relevant to these contexts, but not professional production traiinng for the media industries.
This programme will equip students with skills, knowledge and experience related to the rapidly-changing worlds of digital media, culture and education. It will therefore support career development in a variety of media contexts, including educational settings, broadly-defined.
Students are able to work with the BFI, our partner for part of the course, as well as leading researchers from the DARE Collaborative, a research partnership focussed on the digital arts in education led by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and the BFI.
The course is based at the UCL Knowledge Lab, which conducts research, design and development across a broad range of media, systems and environments and brings together researchers from the areas of education, sociology, culture and media, semiotics, computational intelligence, information management, personalisation, semantic web and ubiquitous technologies.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Culture, Communication & Media
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This course offers you a unique opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the interweaving of digital media and society from a sociological perspective.
Our graduates are academics, researchers and health and social care professionals. Others become managers or administrators in the public and private sectors.
Our teaching is rigorous and research-led. We encourage you to think critically, to learn research techniques and develop transferable skills. We also help you to develop the personal attributes that will make you highly employable. The department is a friendly place, where staff and postgraduates work together as colleagues.
Our interdisciplinary approach brings together sociologists, social policy analysts, social workers and social anthropologists. Our empirical research is internationally recognised. We make significant contributions to policy debates.
Drawing upon staff expertise in digital media and digital society, this programme will give you a grounding in four aspects of digital media, allowing you to specialise in a specific area, or develop your understanding of all of the following:
As a student within the Faculty of Social Sciences, you will also benefit from the research and training activities of both the University’s Sheffield Methods Institute and the faculty-wide Digital Society Network, the latter of which brings together interdisciplinary researchers engaged in research at the cutting-edge of society– technology interactions.
These can include:
Assessment varies across modules and will include a combination of coursework (essays, portfolio and practical work).
Formal examination may be required for some optional modules. Students are also expected to complete a dissertation-length project equivalent to 15,000 words in length.
The Digital Cultures and Industries Track within the MA in Global Communications offers an innovative and interdisciplinary focus on the central importance of digital technologies in today’s world. The Digital Cultures and Industries track helps students to meet the challenge of a world in flux with a suite of up-to-the-minute critical and practical courses that can be tailored to different career pathways.
Students graduate with a stellar profile: theoretical sophistication, skills-based mastery in key domains, and practical experience in global communications.
As a student of the Digital Cultures and Industries Track, you will acquire in-depth knowledge of theories, contexts and practices of digital media as well as their relationship to global cultures and communications industries. Building on a solid base of critical thought around the rise of digital media and current global debates, you can take on specialized topics such as mobile media, the new app economy, data and algorithmic cultures and digital advocacy.
To put ideas into action, choose from hands-on courses teaching skills such as data analysis and visualization, social media strategy, digital writing, multimedia storytelling, visual design and coding. Learning from digital media scholars and industry professionals alike, you are primed with the critical and practical skills and emerging literacies required to thrive and adapt in a transforming digital world.
Students pursuing this track may come from various backgrounds of work and study – advertising and PR, design and film, sociology, anthropology and psychology, writing and journalism – or be interested in pursuing careers in those fields. Whichever their individual talents, the Digital Cultures and Industries track prepares students for professional careers at the changing face of communications or further graduate study in emerging fields.
As a student, you will benefit from hands-on fieldwork and research development as you gain professional skills throughout the duration of your studies. This, together with the rigorous academic training, can lead to jobs in companies across the world. You will be well-prepared to pursue a career in a range of sectors and organization types, including corporations, non-governmental organizations, start-ups, nonprofits and family businesses. View career results for graduates of the MA in Global Communications program.
The MA in Global Communications encourages students to take their education beyond the classroom. Your learning experience is deepened by the opportunity of immersive practica and study trips where you will come into contact with experts in the field. Whether networking with communications professionals in New York or London, developing sustainable initiatives in India, or experiencing nation branding in Iceland or cultural heritage in Morocco, or we are committed to putting theory into practice.
Sociology at Manchester is one of the UK's largest and most prestigious centres for the subject, with over 30 academic staff and 60 postgraduate students forming a diverse and rigorous academic community.
The MA programme aims to provide students who have an interest in sociology, the opportunity to extend and deepen their knowledge of the discipline. Our teaching includes all areas of contemporary sociology but we have particular expertise in the fields of socio-cultural change, gender and sexuality, and consumption and sustainability.
We are consistently highly ranked for research, coming first in the UK for the percentage of our research outputs that are judged as `world-leading', and second nationally based on our research power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our research feeds into all of our postgraduate teaching.
The Sociology MA is the perfect course to develop your analytical and investigative skills, training you in methods of social investigation in order to equip you with the ability for independent thinking, research and analysis, setting you up perfectly for the world of employment.
Course Director: Dr Nick Thoburn
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2496
Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.
You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.
Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director
Assessment is normally by a 3,000 word assessed essay for each unit and, for the MA students, a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words.
You take four core compulsory course units: Social Theory and Cultural Identity; Culture, Modernity and Media; Research Design I and II, together with four options chosen from a wide range of specialist units. Examples of optional course units include: Politics and Culture; Protest and Progress: Understanding Movements for Social and Political Change; Cultures of Digital Play; New Developments in Theories of Gender and Sexuality; Qualitative Research Methods; Introduction to Quantitative Methods; Methodological Issues in Social Research. Students may also negotiate an Independent Studies course unit, linked to their particular research interests, subject to a suitable academic supervisor being available. Students registered for the MA (or who upgrade from the PG Diploma) complete a 12,000 word dissertation, on a research topic of their choice, in addition to the eight taught course units.
Many MA students go on to take research degrees (PhD), but the skills gained on this programme can be put to use in a variety of career paths. Careers which are most closely related include education, social and community work (related to a range of areas such as welfare advice, working with families or dealing with issues such as homelessness and mental health problems), human resources and working in the media.
Are you fascinated by digital media, especially social media? Would you like to investigate the new media landscape and understand its effects on society? Do you have your sights set on a career in the media world, with an emphasis on digital media and contemporary media practices? If so, Media Culture may be the right choice for you. The programme combines theoretical reflection, research on user practices and basic media skills training. Using an interdisciplinary approach, media studies is integrated with political philosophy, philosophical aesthetics, history and sociology of technology. This ensures that you develop the theoretical, analytical and practical skills that are essential to understanding and adapting to the ever-changing media world, whether you are working in a cultural organisation, a broadcasting company, a commercial business or a governmental organization
Why this programme?
New digital technologies have transformed the ways we share and distribute information, interact with each other and spend our leisure time. Digital media have had a major impact on our engagement with politics and with culture. At the same time, older media such as printed books, radio, television and film are still present and are evolving in complex interrelationships with digital media.
The master's programme in Media Culture combines theoretical reflection on these developments, research on user practices and training in basic media skills. You will be trained to become both a media researcher and an active player in today’s media world. You will also develop media expertise by investigating questions such as: