Critical examination of the latest trends in the political economy and cultures of the internet; Knowledge of the latest research that engages with the social, ethical and legal aspects of internet use; Advanced social and digital research skills that will prepare graduates for researching online and using user data appropriately.
While the Department of Sociology has teaching and research strengths in social studies of technology and work, the political economy of digital media, data infrastructures and research methods, the Department of Law (Dr Maria Murphy) brings expertise in the areas of Technology, Privacy and Internet Law. Meanwhile the Department of Media Studies (Dr. Kylie Jarrett) has an established track record in the textual and cultural significance of digital media.
The M.A. aims to prepare students not only to work in academic and non-academic research positions, but also in emergent roles which require knowledge of social behaviour online, including on social media and in large transnational online communities. Ireland is the European headquarters for many multinational digital media companies, and with the development of big data and data warehousing we also see the emergence of a range of data ‘savvy’ roles (Expert Group on Future Skills and Forfás, 2014). Some of these roles are suitable for social science and humanities graduates.
The proposed M.A. seeks to equip social science and humanities graduates with the intellectual and practical research skills to understand social behaviour and the performance of identity online. It might also be of interest to students from other disciplinary backgrounds who seek to explore and understand social life online.
Graduates of this course will be able to interface with programmers and designers and with those working on the deep statistical analysis of user data. They will be able to develop, execute and report on internet based research projects. There is a demand for digitally literate graduates who understand the social, cultural, political, legal and business aspects of transnational online users.
BA in Sociology or cognate discipline with 2.2 or higher, or international equivalent Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. Certain programmes may have additional requirements.