Digital Media: Critical Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA is for students who wish to critically investigate the significance and interpretation of digital media. Students explore media and cultural theories and methods relevant to the analysis of media texts, audiences, users and digital cultures. Optional modules offer students the opportunity to focus on specific topics, such as digital games, gender in digital media, and mobile media in more depth. During their final term, students undertake independent research on a relevant topic of their choice with the support of a supervisor.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Pathways include:
Critical Studies (TMAEDUSCRS01)
Education (TMAEDUSEDM01)
Production (TMAEDUSPRO01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Pathways include:
Critical Studies (TMAEDUSCRS01)
Education (TMAEDUSEDM01)
Production (TMAEDUSPRO01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024

Applications closed

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Applicants with a 2:1 from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Games Studies, Digital / Interactive Media Arts or English Literature will be considered. Applicants with a 2:2 in a relevant subject, plus at least 2 year's work experience within the fields of education, media and/or the cultural industries may be considered. Applicants with a non-relevant subject will not be considered.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

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.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting September.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Students will engage with perspectives from the interdisciplinary fields of Media Studies and Cultural Studies to critically examine digital media and digital cultures, while exploring questions of power, subjectivity and representation.

Who this course is for

The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA is for students who wish to investigate the social, textual and cultural aspects of digital media. It will be suitable for those interested in the fields of Media Studies and Cultural Studies, and in a professional or academic career in culture, the arts, communication or media.

What this course will give you

The Digital Media MA at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society is one of the longest-established Media MAs in the UK. It is based at the UCL Knowledge Lab, a leading interdisciplinary centre whose mission includes researching digital media and developing digital technologies. Student will have an opportunity to attend a variety of academic events at the Lab and meet internationally known scholars and guests.

The Digital Media programme team belongs to the ReMAP research centre (Research in Media Arts and Play), and all team members are active researchers. The team's research experience directly informs the design and teaching of the MA.

The foundation of your career

Graduates of this programme will acquire critical insights into digital media and digital cultures, including digital platforms, mobile media and digital games. They will gain experience of researching media texts, media audiences/users, and media technologies using reflexive, qualitative, and in-depth Media Studies and Cultural Studies approaches. 


The Digital Media: Critical Studies MA will equip students with critical knowledge and skills to interrogate and study digital media texts, users, and cultures. The programme does not provide practical skills in content production, marketing, or artistic practice, but it does provide an excellent base for further postgraduate research or a broad range of careers in media and cultural sectors. Our recent graduates are working in areas such as research (for example as a PhD candidate), data privacy and Internet safety, and cultural and educational institutions.


Students can make use of our team of experienced career professionals at UCL Careers to find the right path to ensure success in their future career.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face lectures, seminars, meetings, and workshops. The lectures often lay the theoretical foundation for further in-depth reflection and application in seminar discussions and tasks as well as for online engagement with classmates and tutors. Students are expected to work independently by completing tasks and reading or viewing assigned materials in advance to classes or meetings. Our goal is to encourage independent, critical thinking and an inquisitive attitude towards digital media, its users, and the world. Our teaching methods are designed to support this goal.

Students are assessed by a mixture of mostly written work, such as critical essays and reflexive journals. Typically, 30-credit modules may include coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words.

Your study time is made up by teaching and learning events, including lectures, seminars and independent learning (self-directed study). As with any Master's programme, you should plan your independent study time carefully, keeping in mind other commitments you may have.

As a general guide, a 30-credit module is recommended to equate to 300 study hours. This can include reading and engaging with required and recommended module materials, attending and participating in lectures and seminars, independently developing skills and working on individual and group assignments. Typically, each 30-credit module includes 30 contact hours.


The degree includes two compulsory modules (30 credits each); two optional modules (30 credits each); and a 15,000-word Dissertation (60 credits). You also have the option to choose three optional modules (30 credits each) with a 7,500-word Report (30 credits). However, a Dissertation is recommended to enable in-depth development of your independent project skills.

You will follow one module per term over 2 years.

This includes:

  • two compulsory modules (30 credits each, one of these taken in each Autumn term)
  • two optional modules (30 credits each, one of these taken in each Spring term)
  • and in year 2, a 15,000-word Dissertation (60 credits) starting in the Spring term. 

You also have the option to choose a 7,500-word Report (30 credits), allowing an additional 30-credit optional module taken in the Spring term.

There is also an option for students to complete the MA over a period of time, between 2 years (part-time) and 5 years (flexible mode). 

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits including compulsory and optional modules and write a dissertation (15,000 words) or report (7,500 words). Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Digital Media: Critical Studies.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Digital Media: Critical Studies, Education and Production

Are you interested in the digital media and technology in society and education? We welcome you to book your place at our Virtual Open Event. You will meet our Programme Leaders, hear about the programmes you are interested in and have the chance to ask any questions you might have. These sessions are free and open to all.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

Pathways include:
Critical Studies (TMAEDUSCRS01)
Education (TMAEDUSEDM01)
Production (TMAEDUSPRO01)

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their report or dissertation.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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. Please find more information here:

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Digital Media Programme Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £5,000 (One year)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

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 Application fees.

The personal statement is your chance to tell us why you are a good match for this MA, and why this MA is the right programme for you. Explain what attracts you to this programme. Tell us something about your expectations and interests. Your statement should cover the following points in a maximum of 600 words:

  • why do you want to study Digital Media: Critical Studies at postgraduate level?
  • what modules interest you and why?
  • what issues, topics or problems do you look forward to exploring?
  • why are you particularly interested in Media Studies and Cultural Studies approaches to these issues?
  • how has your academic and/or professional background prepared you to meet the demands of this programme?
  • what will this MA help you to achieve or explore?


  • When answering these questions, use your own words and avoid making general statements.
  • Try to describe your personal motivation for applying for this Programme, giving examples.
  • Do not simply repeat information from your CV or copy text from the UCL website.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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