Modules in detail

A strong theme of intellectual, theoretical and research skills development runs throughout the degree programme, including a number of compulsory modules, including a research skills-based module.

The compulsory modules in Semester 1 introduce a range of core theoretical, disciplinary and transferable skills including postgraduate study skills, presentation skills, quantitative and qualitative research methods, the development and communication of original and reasoned arguments and the critical evaluation of advanced scholarship.

These are developed and enhanced in Semester 2, with a greater emphasis on independent research skills, and the proposal of new hypotheses for the Master’s Dissertation.

Semester 1

Understanding Digital Culture & Society

This module introduces key aspects of the relationship between digital media technologies, culture and society. It examines the role of emergent digital technologies in the development of theoretical ideas, as well as changes in user interaction and everyday media practices, such as crowd-sourcing and peer-to-peer production.

Debates in Digital Media: Policy, Literacy and Social Inclusion

This module introduces key debates and concepts from the fields of media and communications and discusses them with focus on policy and digital literacy.  It investigates implications of digital media infrastructure and content services for culture, the economy and society, and the role of public policy in conditioning and shaping our access to media connectivity.

Practising Research Methods

Research methods can appear a dry topic of discussion. However Practising Research Methods demonstrates how particular methods are deployed in actual projects. Practitioners show how particular methods have been used throughout their career, modelling strategies and approaches for students. By the end of the module, students will be confident in their selection of methods to suit a project.

Semester 2 (3 modules in full-time study)

Big Data, Culture & Society

This module examines contemporary debates around the social, cultural and ethical dimensions of Big Data. It equips students with the necessary creative, theoretical and research skills that will enable them to approach the dynamics of digital, informational and data cultures and media practices, such as hactivism and the Quantified Self. By drawing from cases in algorithmic living, science fiction, and speculative design, it poses key questions about how we imagine livable futures through everyday practices with data and media technologies.


Sonic Media

The history of our cultural engagement with sound and music, particularly in the Global North, can also be viewed as a history of the technologies surrounding sound’s reproduction, composition and performance. In this module, we will analyse and discuss the technological and cultural processes and historical changes that continue to influence our relationship to sound and noise, and their impact on cultural domains such as music, digital media, and sound art.

Professional Media Practice: Industries & Cultures

The intention of this module is to encourage students to capitalise on the current social and cultural climate of unprecedented technical change, convergence and globalisation by engaging with a range of textual, institutional and theoretical perspectives. Students will gain a broader understanding of media practices and texts through a series of lectures, and interviews, with industry practitioners, decision-makers and observers.

Participatory Media Production for Social Change

Students will gain an understanding of theoretical and historical perspectives underpinning participatory, collaborative media production and community& art education projects. Students will develop skills in understanding and facilitating community arts projects. This module aims to explore how these types of projects can affect social change on both a micro and a macro level. Using multimedia (photography, film, and possibly audio) students will capture and document the processes and final outcomes of their collaborative work.

Digital Cities

This module aims to introduce students to concepts, theories and practice in the area of digital cities (where digital media and urban space are experienced at once). Digital cities are also referred to as smart cities, intelligent cities and sentient cities – all concepts that will be critically interrogated in the module. The module emphasises both commercial and Digital Media, Culture and Society engagement with public and urban spaces. It offers an interdisciplinary and global perspective by drawing on case studies from a range of countries, cities, cultures, professions and sensory modalities.

Social & Digital Media Activism

This module examines themes and debates in the area of digital and social media activism through an interdisciplinary Media Studies critical lens. Through a set of case studies and theorisation it pays particular attention to how social media activism and civic engagement are shaped by social, economic, political, technological and cultural factors. It also explores how activist and protest aesthetics are mediated and understood across social media.