The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA is for students who wish to investigate the significance, impact and interpretation of digital media. Students explore theories and methods relevant to the analysis of media, audiences and digital technology. Optional modules offer students the opportunity to focus on specific topics in more depth. During their final term, students undertake research on a relevant topic of their choice with the support of a supervisor.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (e.g. media studies, cultural studies, art, education, digital media, interactive media, English. Applicants with a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a non-relevant subject and at least one year's experience within the fields of education, media and/or the cultural industries will also be considered.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students will explore contemporary digital media in relation to questions of culture, social practices and representation. Students will critically examine media texts and transformations in digital culture while focusing on, for example, mobile media, screens and the body, and digital games and player cultures.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits including compulsory and optional modules and write a dissertation (20,000 words) or report (10,000 words).
The degree includes two compulsory modules (30 credits each); two optional modules (30 credits each); with a 20,000-word Dissertation (60 credits); or a 10,000-word Report (30 credits), allowing an additional 30-credit module.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Digital Media: Critical Studies.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
The two compulsory modules are: Digital Media Theory, addressing theories of the media in society; and Digital Media Enquiry, providing training in research methodologies including textual analysis and ethnographic practice.
Optional modules include: Mobile Media; Bodies and Digital Media; Digital Games and Play; Gender and Digital Media; or other modules in the MA Digital Media programme, subject to availability.
All students undertake a research project culminating in a 20,000-word Dissertation (60 credits) or a smaller study leading to a 10,000-word Report (30 credits).
Teaching and learning
Teaching is delivered through face-to-face lectures and seminars, and practical workshops combined with online-learning support. Students are assessed by coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words, or by a portfolio of work for some modules.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.
Ten bursaries are offered to UK applicants across the three MAs on the Digital Media Programme, to the value of £5,000 for full-time study, £2,500 per year for part-time study, and pro-rata for flexible study. They will be evaluated by the faculty and programme team using the same criteria as the MA application, with the added requirement that the applicant is eligible to pay UK fees.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This programme will equip students with skills, knowledge and experience related to a critical engagement with rapidly-changing worlds of digital media. It will support career development in a variety of media-related contexts, as well as further postgraduate study.
Graduates of this programme will gain critical insight into digital media and digital cultures. They will gain experience in the analysis of media texts, media audiences, and media technologies. They will acquire critical insights into the nature of contemporary digital media, such as mobile media and digital games. They will gain experience of researching digital media using media and cultural studies approaches.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Digital Media programme at the UCL Institute of Education is one of the longest-established postgraduate media programmes in the UK. It is based at the UCL Knowledge Lab, a leading interdisciplinary centre whose mission is to understand and develop digital technologies to support and transform education and beyond. Based on research evidence, the Knowledge Lab devises new pedagogies, designs and implements innovative digital media and smart technologies for teaching and learning, and informs policymakers and educational stakeholders.
The programme team belongs to the DARE research centre. With a track record of funded research in the digital media, we offer students a chance to learn from direct research experience.
Department: Culture, Communication & Media
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA is for students who wish to investigate the social and cultural aspects of digital media. It will be suitable for those interested in media and cultural studies, and in a professional or academic career in culture, communication, and media.
- All applicants
- 30 July 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Digital Media: Critical Studies at graduate level
- why you want to study Digital Media: Critical Studies at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
In your statement, tell us why you want to study digital media at a postgraduate level. Explain what attracts you to this programme in particular, how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme, and what you would like to do after graduation. Tell us something about your interest in digital media, in digital media theory and research, and your potential report/dissertation topic.
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