Digital Media, Culture and Education MA
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).
- Digital Media, Cultural Theory and Education
This core module provides a critical overview of key concepts, theories and developments within the interdisciplinary fields of media, cultural studies and education. The aim is to provide a foundation in concepts which will be applied and developed in different areas throughout the programme, particularly in dissertations.
The module provides an introduction to three key aspects of media and cultural studies: the analysis of production, texts and audiences. In each case, we will also be addressing a range of broader themes and topics, including globalisation, consumption, ideology and technology; and addressing a range of theoretical approaches, including structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and social theory more broadly. Concerns to do with education run throughout the module, but are addressed more explicitly towards the end of the term. The links between theories will be highlighted through lectures and discussion; and through a small-scale investigation that will be considered in the second residential.
- Internet Cultures: Theory & Practice
Recommended optional modules include:
- Moving Image Production
This module, run in partnership with the BFI, introduces students to the theory and practice of digital video production and stop frame animation in formal and informal settings of education; it comprises day seminars at the BFI at the beginnings and ends of term bridged by online content.
We aim to have a launch residential at which some of the key issues are outlined. This will be followed by online tasks, reading and reflection. A portfolio of animated and filmed artefacts will be produced and a reflective commentary produced at the end of the module. It is suitable for teachers, lecturers, youth-workers and other professionals, as well as media students, who would like to engage with making and sharing media. It encourages participants to develop practical skills alongside theoretical discussion of how meaning is made with the moving image using digital video production tools and techniques.
- Digital Games, Play and Creativity
Millions of people regularly play computer and video games, and during the past decade there has been an explosion of innovative research in the area of Game Studies. Students of this course will analyse games, research player culture, and explore current games and education debates. The course will cover:
- narrative, representation and games
- the relationship between games and other popular media
- play, player culture and online communities
- identity, gender and fandom
- learning in games, and within game communities
- the use of games and virtual worlds by teachers
- the place of games within the Media Studies curriculum
- the meaning and acquisition of 'game literacy'
- drama, role-play and learning
- game research methodology.
This MA level course is aimed at anyone interested in studying games, play and education. The course combines distance learning with two days of face-to-face teaching.
- Bodies and Digital Media
The module offers a wide-ranging exploration of the cultural manifestations of the body and its relationship to digital media, including a study of how this relationship shapes and reshapes cultural identities and produces different modes of being. The term 'digital media' describes interrelationships between different forms of media, digital technologies and computational-based practices. In this module is used in direct reference to digital art and other cultural practices, thus the module provides key socio-cultural methods for the study of this relationship in the contemporary world, including methods for the study of visual culture and embodied forms of interaction. The module recognises both disciplinary and interdisciplinary dimensions of the topic.
All of the sessions involve questions around the relationship between identity, culture, the body and digital media. The range of sessions offered allow for a comparative understanding of different perspectives of the body and digital media, encouraging more holistic responses to the experience of the topic.
- Digital Design Thinking and Making
This module will examine how design thinking can drive the development of novel digital technology that fosters cultural and learning opportunities and practices. Weeks 1-3 of the module will focus on how design thinking can support the development of desirable and feasible technologies for digital cultures and education, and why this approach can transform the ways in which we have traditionally approached digital design within these domains. It will introduce students to the features and methods of the design process and the role of design thinking in mobilising communities of designers, learners and educators (e.g. DIY communities, Open Innovation, Design Making). Weeks 4-10 will unpack the design process starting from the design concept all the way to digital prototyping. Students will carry out project-based design work during which they will craft their own design questions and employ design methods, toward developing a digital prototype (e.g. sensor-based technologies, digital games).
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.
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 Current Students website. Fees to be confimred by April 2018. Programme also available on a modular ( flexible) basis. 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 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
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.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
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.
Why study this degree at UCL?
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.
Department: Culture, Communication & Media
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
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.
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.
Who can apply?
This programme is suited to anyone with a personal, professional, educational or academic interest in digital media and cultural studies in terms of both analysis and production.
- All applicants
- 12 April 2018
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, Culture and Education at graduate level
- why you want to study Digital Media, Culture and Education 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.