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Course content

Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB MA is a new and innovative course, designed for digital storytellers and shaped like a media LAB. This means that during the course you will be able to produce a wide range of digital-first work for multi-platform story formats. Your work will be underpinned with academic research, theories and expertise on mobile platforms, and digital interactive communication.

The course delivers industry-level professional expertise in visual communication from photography to cinema journalism, interactive narratives and apps for change.

You’ll be involved in creating content that extends beyond current ideas in multimedia and online productions – our aim is to advance storytelling. We recognise how competitive the job market currently is, therefore this Master's has been created to develop your skills and knowledge in a way that will enhance your career.

The Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB MA prepares you for a range of industries, present and future, as entrepreneurial content creators, mobile and platform producers, cinema and video journalists, interactive factual narratives, social marketers, and project managers.

The content is structured around a knowledge of platforms and three major fields: cinema (video) journalism, photographic communication and interactive factual narratives, which are seamlessly knitted together into five modules.

Cinema Journalism builds upon videojournalism – a much-misunderstood term that in reality embraces multimedia and the creation of multiple genres of video production in different styles – from one-minute social-media docs, two-minute news, to lengthier docs. Cinema journalism combines a deep understanding of cinema cues and tropes to create compelling immersive content on fast-turn around times whilst mastering an array of tools from different lenses, cameras, drones and mobiles. You can find examples of student work David has previously supervised, as well as read about his work in journals, such as the The Documentary Handbook.

The rethinking of photographic digital communication both in terms of media and content is what drives my research The Image As Storytelling. By engaging the quickly evolving worlds of photography and photojournalism within a digital-first approach, in the LAB you will learn how to engage visual communication to its full potential, and incorporate storytelling as a digital practice for interactive platforms. Through a hands-on, experimental and practice-led approach, you will reconsider today’s shifting visual vocabulary specifically for digital and interactive communication frameworks.

Interactive Factual Narratives range from web-documentary, to games for change, VR and social mobile apps. You’ve likely seen examples of interactive factual narratives with the New York Times Snowfall, and Brett Gaylor’s Do Not Track. You will be given an exhaustive overview to be able to map the territory and position your practice in it. You will be guided through your creative journey with a user-centred workflow that mixes design and software methodologies to prototype and design interactive narratives. You will be challenged by a “what’s next” approach and will be pushed to think further than current trends.

Course structure

The course incorporates an agency media LAB approach to learning through knowledge sharing and project completion which is pragmatic. It underpins problem solving using evolving theories and practice. The goal is the production of digital stories and, or interactive factual narrative. The method is through iteration and collaboration.

Modules on the course are compulsory and follow a schedule towards production of digital and, or interactive projects via an iterative approach. Testing and user experience is taken into consideration at each step of the creative process. You will be encouraged to work in ways that rewards experimenting, building and refining ideas. We expect a mix of cohorts, some yet to enter industry, others looking to bolster their careers or change direction and encourage a wisdom of crowds method in learning – also from one another.

You’ll be encouraged to work collaboratively, opening up your professional expertise, or experiences to the benefit of your course peers. In doing so, you will feel part of a creative community that will support you when needed, and may serve you as a network even after the course has finished.

By the end of the year you should reach a level of expertise to create innovative digital and interactive storytelling artefacts, acquiring a solid knowledge of the field, consolidating a multi-skilled network of people and developing digital prototypes of your ideas. By then your project should be ready to be presented to potential financers and media partners.

The following modules, below, which are all compulsory are indicative of what you will study on this course. The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. 

Modules

Career path

The course is mainly geared at giving you the right support and methodology to develop your interactive project during the course. The critical awareness and the iterative methodology that you will gain will then serve you to remain competitive in the digital creative industries you might enter in the future, regardless of the technologies they use.


Visit the Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

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